Renovation and repair leaking pool, Estepona, Malaga
This swimming pool was leaking through structural damage and cracks in the rear wall of the pool, where it meets the concrete foundation of the villa, adjacent to the basement.
Pool leaks like this can end up making basements damp, or even in extreme cases causing structural damage to the house, so they need to be addressed quickly.
In a popular Andalucia forum, we saw some horrifying advice from homeowner to homeowner regarding swimming pool leaks. The type of advise that ends up wasting clients money and causing jobs to be done twice. These points are particularly pertinent here, as our client was wrongly advised the same things.
Many people falsely believe that the tiles in a swimming pool provide the waterproofing. They do not. If the pool is properly built, the structure itself is waterproof, (using gunite or reinforced vibrated concrete), or the structure is treated using a waterproof render. The tiles are then a cosmetic finish. The grout between the tiles is cement based and is not waterproof.
Other contractors suggested to the client that regrouting the pool would solve their problems, but they had done their research and knew that this was not the solution, despite posts on forums advising it.
Regrouting a pool does not stop it leaking. There are specialist epoxy grouts that will help with the waterproofing (as mentioned in the popular Andalucia forum), but will only work if the pool is structurally sound and it is not a permanent solution. This is for 2 reasons.
- A cracked pool structure has failed, it has been weakened and will always move slightly at the point of the crack. Epoxy grout is not flexible and will fail at the same point, as the structure moves slightly. This movement can be because the ground is moving, heat and cold, or wet and dry (rain then sun).
- The second problem is that the tiling in an existing pool has been subjected to years of chemicals, acids, chlorine and the adhesives or cements start to break down (which is one of the reasons that pools need to be regrouted). This means that applying the epoxy grout, is only patching a surface that is not completely solid. The tiles may move, then the fine skin is broken and the process starts again and the whole pool has to be treated again.
- The other problem with epoxy grout is that it is very difficult and slow to work with, so the job could take weeks.
Another false belief that we hear, is that a fine crack in a pool wall can’t leak. In the same popular Andalucian forum, a home owner was wrongly advised that a 2mm crack in the pool was nothing to worry about!! If you beer was in a glass with a 2mm crack, it would all leak out, the same as the water in the pool.
Poor advise on the repair of a structural swimming pool leak causes unnecessary costs. There is the cost of the work, cost of water, inconvenience, then when this hasn’t worked, the process has to be repeated again. We find it particularity annoying when a client has previously been given bad advise.
In this pool, we installed the Renolit AlkorPlan 3000 reinforced liner, to PERMANENTLY solve the structural problems. With a 10 year manufacturers guarantee, the work is done once, properly.
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