Protecting the Concrete Deck of an In-Ground Swimming Pool with Sealer
After 14 years, our in-ground swimming pool needed a new liner. We had to drain the entire pool and this presented the perfect opportunity to seal the concrete deck that surrounds the entire pool.
When our swimming pool was first constructed, we were not in the concrete coatings business, so I didn’t know to do anything to the concrete. The concrete deck around the pool was subjected to the normal wear and tear for any concrete sidewalk. But, now that we are switching over to a chlorine generator – which breaks down salt into chlorine – I wanted to protect the concrete from future salt attack and further damage from winter’s freeze/thaw cycles.
Is the Pool getting a Stronghold Floors coating?
No, our epoxy coatings are not the proper type for around an outdoor swimming pool (at least in our opinion). The types of concrete coatings we regularly apply would be too slippery for around a pool and difficult to install over the cantilever coping we have (where the concrete deck wraps down around to the pool liner).
Instead of a topical, thick polymer coating, I installed a water based, silane-siloxane sealer. I just poured it into a low-pressure pump-up sprayer. When the air was calm and the concrete dry, I simply sprayed it onto the concrete until the surface looked wet and darker.
This type of sealer/water repellent does not create any film build. It just soaked into the pores of the concrete which looked only slightly darker after it dried. The results are immediate. Water now beads on the surface. The concrete does not change to a darker color and the water does not soak in.
The most bizarre thing you notice is how the beads of water can be “flicked” across the surface of the concrete.
What Maintenance will be Necessary?
No maintenance will be required of this sealer for anywhere from 5 to 10 years. At that time, I’ll simply re-apply the same material and that’s it.
The only reason for such a broad period of time for reapplication is that the criteria for how long the sealer will last depend upon many factors, such as: UV exposure, weathering, concrete porosity and surface wear.
Why Not Use the Same Sealers in a Garage?
While these sealers work well in low-wear environments, they will not protect the concrete surface like a thin-mil or high film build, polymer coating (such as epoxy, polyuria and urethane).
The wear and tear in garage due to vehicles, lawnmowers, snowblowers, etc. are too much for soak-in, no build materials. Plus, it will not protect against many chemicals, such as solvents, fuel, oils and fertilizers.
Garage require thicker coatings such as our decorative chip, epoxy/poly coatings.
Other Uses for Water Repellant Sealers?
This type of sealer would also be ideal for walkways, outside stairs, building entrances, parking decks, concrete driveways and exposed aggregate surfaces.