When was the last time you replaced the caulk between your inground swimming pool and the deck? Routine maintenance of your pool’s caulk can prevent serious damage to the structure of your cement or nylon swimming pool and the surrounding area. Old and flaking caulk looks unsightly but worse than that, it may be failing in its job to keep moisture out of sensitive areas.
Regularly replacing your caulk is a simple task that will result in a better-looking and longer-lasting pool.
Pool caulking helps keep water out of areas where it can cause damage. But over time, cracks and holes can form and the caulk must be replaced.
Just like caulk around your bathtub keeps moisture from rotting out your floor, pool caulk provides an important role in the structural integrity of your pool.
As temperatures vary, your deck and pool expand and contract. To adjust for this, many pools have an expansion joint, which allows small changes in size without damaging the pool and surrounding area. Most newer pools have a foam strip installed that separates the deck from the pool for this purpose.
The joint is sealed with caulk to prevent dirt and moisture from entering the seam. Dirt and debris can fill the gap and prevent the joint from naturally expanding as needed. And if enough water gets into the expansion joint and cools, it can cause severe structural damage.
Under the heat of the sun, cement expands. And ice expands with such force that it can break cement, stone, and even steel. Repairing that sort of damage to the pool or deck can be extremely costly.
It’s crucial to check your pool caulk for cracks and signs of wear to avoid damage from expansion. If you live in an area where the temperature fluctuates, you should be extra vigilant.
If the caulk looks old or brittle, it’s time to remove and replace it.
Caulking your pool is a fairly straightforward process for most DIYers, but it can be strenuous. You’ll need to spend plenty of time on your knees, bending over your work. You should work carefully to ensure the caulk is even and clean looking for the best results.
If you have doubts about the process, consider calling a professional.
You don’t need advanced or expensive equipment to caulk your pool. Just make sure you have the following materials before you begin:
Now that you have your materials, it’s time to begin caulking.
Choose a dry, temperate day between 50 and 80 degrees. Extreme heat and cold can interfere with the drying and hardening process, not to mention making this simple task much more unpleasant.
For the best results, don’t rush the caulking process, even if you’re sick of being on your knees. Not only will a rush job look bad, but the caulk may not do its job to prevent moisture from entering the seam.
Your caulk will be somewhat visible when you’re done, so make sure you work carefully. Smooth, even distribution will make the finished product look better.
More importantly, consistent application will work better to prevent moisture from entering any crevices. As the caulk dries, it will fill any nooks and crannies and keep water out, at least until it needs replacing again.
Well, yes. It might seem like a pain, but regular maintenance of your pool’s caulking could save you thousands of dollars in more substantial repairs.
You should replace the caulk every five to ten years and regularly inspect it for signs of wear. If you live somewhere with extreme temperature fluctuations, be extra vigilant about regularly replacing your caulk. And if you have kids, guests, or dogs who frequently splash outside the pool, you may also need more frequent upkeep.
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced the caulk, it’s probably time to pull out your caulk gun. All things considered, it’s a pretty easy and inexpensive chore. Putting it off year after year might be appealing, but you’ll regret it when cracks and distortions to your foundation begin to form.
So watch your caulk for signs of wear and tear. When it starts to look old and flaky, it’s time to replace it.