Like a vehicle, an air conditioning unit, or a fancy haircut, swimming pools and their surrounding concrete decks need regular maintenance to keep them looking and functioning their best. Epoxy concrete sealer is one of the best ways to protect your concrete pool deck.
If small cracks begin to appear on or around a pool deck, it does more than just mar the concrete's appearance. These cracks can deepen and penetrate further if they are ignored or not immediately repaired. Spilled drinks and swimming pool water will continue to seep into the cracks and eventually cause concrete erosion, weakening the pool's foundation. Even worse, it may threaten the entire pool's integrity. Unless you don't mind the expense and bother to remove and reinstall an entirely new concrete swimming pool and deck surround, it is essential to have repairs attended to promptly. To circumvent these potentially damaging issues, contact a concrete specialist to apply an epoxy concrete sealer.
What Is Concrete?
Concrete is a mixture of materials composed of coarse and fine stones, sand, and cement that hardens over time when mixed with water. It's a heavy building material that can be poured into molds or spread across an area to create walls, sidewalks, blocks, swimming pools, decks, etc.
Most people think of concrete as a solid material that is highly durable. That's true, of course, but concrete is also quite porous and absorbent. It is easily susceptible to becoming stained and damaged by water, oil, and other liquids. Eventually, this can lead to problems both structurally and aesthetically. To prevent these issues, a professional contractor should apply a concrete sealer over the entire surface.
Why Does Concrete Crack?
The most common reason why concrete will crack is due to shrinkage. Concrete is full of water and more pliable before its hardening. As the concrete dries and cures, it gets smaller as it loses moisture. However, if the concrete dries too quickly, it may crack, because this fast shrinkage causes stress on the poured slab.
Expansion is also a reason why concrete may crack. If a room’s temperature gets too hot a concrete slab will expand with the heat. If the concrete doesn't have enough room to flex and move, this expansion can also create cracks. On the other hand, cold temperatures can also have a similar effect. The remaining moisture in the concrete may expand, causing it to break.
Additionally, concrete pool decks can deteriorate due to strong UV rays coming in through large windows, wear and tear of high foot traffic, and continuously splashing pool water. Holes, cracks, and chips not only become trip hazards, but they weaken the stability of the pool and can also create accidents. Don't take the chance of someone getting hurt.
How Epoxy Concrete Sealers Work
An epoxy concrete sealer, when applied correctly, creates a strong, impenetrable barrier to protect the concrete from surface damage, staining, cracks, and corrosion.
Some concrete sealers will block the pores and open areas in the concrete to reduce water absorption and other moisture. Others form an impermeable layer to prevent liquids from passing through or soaking in.
Most epoxy concrete sealers are a high solids system in two parts, designed for long-lasting protection, especially on new concrete pool decks. Sealers can be installed with a clear epoxy topcoat or with an added color. Epoxy concrete sealers still allow the concrete to breathe while providing an effective barrier against moisture migration and corrosive chemical penetration. An epoxy concrete sealer can also help to prolong a partly deteriorated concrete deck's lifespan.
Hotels, condo complexes, single-family homes, etc., can renew the look of their swimming pools with a coating of an epoxy sealer. Sealers excel in transforming cracked or slightly damaged pool decks to look new again while strengthening the concrete, and increasing the pool and surrounding deck's stability.
Repairing and Coating Concrete Pool Decks
With the correct application, specialized epoxy concrete sealing compounds soak into the pool deck's cracks and chips and form a watertight bond. The coated results are up to three times stronger than noncoated concrete and will prevent surface cracks and structural issues from worsening. An epoxy concrete sealer provides a more permanent solution for repairs than other kinds of sealers.
Here are the top reasons to consider having your concrete pool decks coated with an epoxy sealer:
• Helps reduce cracking
• Waterproofs the concrete - expands deep inside the pores
• It makes the concrete deck denser and stronger, hardens the surface
• Slip-resistant - penetrates the concrete to seal it
• Protects pool concrete decks from damage
• Permanent sealer, you don't have to keep re-sealing every year
• Doesn't peel, flake, or wear away
Adding an epoxy sealer to a cast concrete pool deck will help keep it clean, give it a better appearance, and improve its durability and strength.
Saving Time and Money by Coating Concrete Surfaces
Condo communities, country clubs, public pools, hotels, and other locations with swimming pools can save money and staff time by not employing a team of workers to spend a day or two every month to power wash the deck around the pool. Instead, keep the swimming pool's concrete deck spotless by coating it with epoxy. Hire a professional company that specializes in concrete coating. They will begin the process by thoroughly pressure washing the entire surface. Then, they will seal the deck with an epoxy coating. The sealer protects the concrete surface from mold, mildew, UV rays, and other damage. Best of all, once the pool deck area is coated and sealed, it will be protected for up to five years before having to do it again. That saves a business a lot of time and money.
Additional Benefits to Sealing a Concrete Pool Deck
Concrete decks and other hardscape surfaces can be quite lovely but, unfortunately, can be marred by all sorts of conditions. By protecting your concrete surfaces with quality epoxy sealers, the coatings can stabilize the surface, inhibit fading, make maintenance much easier, and protect it from stains. Epoxy coatings will make your deck a more livable and beautiful space.
Epoxy sealers will slow down the mold growth process and make it easier to eliminate mold and mildew from the pool deck's surface. Also, sealers stabilize joints and fill cracks.
Especially when they're wet, poured cast concrete pool decks can be slippery. Although it's challenging to prevent a pool deck from getting wet, additives in the epoxy coating (such as sand) will make the pool deck less slick and hazardous.
Maintaining the Epoxy Coating
Epoxy coatings create a moisture barrier for concrete. Rather than water and other liquids soaking into the surface, the moisture will stay on top. Future deck maintenance will be much easier once the surface is coated with epoxy.
In general, one coat of sealer is sufficient to cover the entire deck. For the best results, the concrete must be clean and dry before application. The product should be rolled to ensure even coverage while the air temperature stays between 50 and 90 degrees.
Once the coating is dry, the surface can be maintained relatively easily. Oil and other staining fluids should be washed off the concrete surface using a mild cleaning agent as soon as possible. Keep the deck clean by lightly hosing off the dirt, mildew, pollen, and any other surface buildup every day or two.
Enhance Your Pool Deck with Color
To give your concrete pool deck a new and updated look, epoxy sealers can also have color-enhancers. Plain, grey concrete can be dull. Give it a coat of color with the epoxy to liven it up.
The standard, epoxy sealer will keep protecting a concrete pool deck for five or more years. However, color-enhancing sealers will typically only last 2 or 3 years; the shine and color-enhancement don't last as long as the sealer. This is due to a variety of factors that influence the longevity of the coating: incorrect sealer application, frequency of cleaning and type of cleaning chemicals used, a residential versus a commercial pool, sun versus shade exposure, environmental conditions, and the volume of foot traffic. In harsh surroundings, adding a UV stabilizer will ensure better color longevity. There are also decorative flakes that can be added to give a speckled and more attractive look to the concrete pool deck surround for even more style.
Two Popular Types of Sealants
When it comes to choosing a pool deck sealer, a few different types can be used. The two most popular sealers for concrete are acrylic and sealers that are water repellent.
Acrylic sealers will leave behind a visible surface film on concrete. When water splashes up onto the coating, it just sits on the surface because of the film. However, while the coat itself isn't slippery, the water sitting on the surface is. This can pose a hazard for children and the elderly. When using an acrylic sealer, be sure to add a non-slip additive to the topcoat to provide more surface traction. This will leave behind a sand-like grit. The grit doesn't guarantee that the pool deck's surface will be completely slip-proof, but the additives will make a noticeable improvement.
Unlike acrylic coatings, water repellent sealers do not leave behind a visible surface film. They work within the pores of the concrete slab. This kind of sealer chemically reacts to the concrete surface to reduce water absorption by up to 95%. It does this by forming a hydrophobic barrier in the tiny openings of the poured concrete. Water repellent sealers won't change the surface traction properties of the concrete or make the surface slippery. They do, however, help protect the concrete from deterioration caused by it absorbing water.
But… Epoxy Coating for a Concrete Pool Deck Is Best
The two types of sealers listed above are excellent, but an epoxy concrete sealer works best on pool decks. Especially decks with a rough surface or have an area that needs repairing due to cracks or pits. The epoxy fills in crevices and small holes in the pool deck and offers an easy-to-clean finish that won't fade from exposure to pool chemicals or UV rays, etc.
Not only is a plain grey concrete pool deck not very attractive, but it can also be hazardous. Hot concrete baked by the sun streaming through windows can quickly burn a person's bare feet, and concrete is a somewhat slippery surface because it is very smooth. Epoxy coatings are available to give every pool deck a high-quality appearance and work to protect against potential damage. Rough patches can hurt bare feet, and anti-slip coatings are essential to use for the health and welfare of swimmers and sunbathers.
Creative Maintenance Solutions
Creative Maintenance Solutions (CMS) has a stellar reputation for offering top-quality solutions with state-of-the-art cement covering and resurfacing systems. Based in Wisconsin, Creative Maintenance Solutions specializes in epoxy coatings and polished concrete floors for a variety of industries – from industrial manufacturing plants and food processing facilities to commercial kitchens, corporate offices, and more, all across the country.
As one of the leading epoxy floor coating contractors, CMS's reputation precedes them, and they have proudly served customers throughout the US since 1989. CMS is committed to outstanding customer service. Their quality of work is unparalleled, and their professional products guarantee a superior outcome.
CMS continues to offer innovative concrete flooring solutions and meet their customers' ever-evolving business and safety needs. As one of the best concrete flooring resurfacing companies in the country, their skilled staff has provided expert resurfacing and installations, staying up to date on new products and features. CMS can satisfy any client's range of needs, budgets, and deadlines. Their solutions lay the foundation for a productive and safe environment that will stand the test of time.
You can trust Creative Maintenance Solutions to use the best concrete sealer to make your concrete pool deck safe, clean, and look brand new. Contact CMS for an assessment of your concrete project today.