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    Inground Pool Design: Patio & Pool Deck Upgrades

    September 26, 2013
    debbiefarnan

    ugly-pool-decks

    When you build your own swimming pool, you can give it any look and feel you want. At the time of construction however, many of our customers are focused on keeping costs low, and frequently opt for the standard 3 ft wide apron of plain 'ol concrete around the pool.

    Outside of your basic broom finished concrete, there are dozens of pool deck options for new pools, as discussed by Larry in a recent blog post. Upgrading or renovating your pool deck, without ripping out the old deck, is approached a little differently.

    Resurfacing your Pool Deck

    Over time, a concrete pool deck can become stained, dull or cracked. Resurfacing the concrete is the fastest way to create a whole new look around the pool. There are several ways to resurface a concrete pool deck, stain it, or use paint coatings or cement coatings.

    Painted pool decks are an easy way to give your pool deck a makeover. Begin by pressure washing the pool deck, then using a cleaner to remove any grease or oils. Patch any cracks or spalling with epoxy or Top 'n Bond, by Sakrete. Once dry, you can begin to apply the pool deck coating. Available in 6 colors, our non-skid pool deck coatings give a uniform color to your deck, and is the easiest way to upgrade your pool deck.

    pool-deck-coating-colors

    To keep your painted pool deck great looking for years to come, and protect it from staining, discoloration and salt degradation, Seal-It with Deck-O-Seal water based pool deck sealers. One coat protects your deck by penetrating through the deck coating, to resist moisture, dirt and minerals. Dries to a matte finish.

    Stained pool decks are a great alternative to painting because the color soaks into the deck, and there's no chance of bond failure, and although it fades over time, it tends to last longer than pool deck coatings.

    Pool deck stains come in a wide variety of colors, and can be custom mixed by any paint store, or home store.You can go for a light neutral tone, or go bold, and lay down two coats of a rich, deep color.

    stained-pool-deck

    Pool decks should be cleaned thoroughly, as described above before staining. You can roll it on, but it works best with a tank sprayer. Two coats may be needed for the desired depth of color. Stained pool decks are beautiful, but are not as uniform in color as a painted pool deck - expect some mottling and variations in hue.

    Spray-On Concrete Coatings: Common in the southwest, decks can be coated with a coated cementitious coating; sprayed on with a hopper connected to a small air compressor. After spraying the deck, the high spots of the 'gloppy' mixture are knocked down with a trowel, to create a 'travertine' finish of great texture.

    Kool Deck, Miracote, Spray-Crete, Perma Crete and others are brand names for decorative concrete resurfacing. Cracks are repaired, the pool deck is cleaned and etched, and then the colored cement is sprayed. Afterwards, a colored sealer is rolled over top to give a uniform color and protect from moisture and minerals. Taping the deck before spraying, one can create many types of patterns, resembling stone, brick or pavers.

    concrete resurfacing

    In northern areas, this method is not as common, as freeze / thaw cycles can allow moisture to seep between the deck and the top coat, in areas that did not achieve 100% bonding. Nonetheless, this deck renovation project is popular throughout the U.S., even though application usually requires a contractor with equipment and experience to apply.

    Enlarging your Pool Deck

    If your pool was built within a budget, you may have chosen to install less pool deck than you now would like to have. Enlarging the pool deck, in one or more areas, or connecting the patio with the pool deck, is a common pool deck renovation.

    Adding contrasting materials or textures for your deck expansion is a good way to brighten up the pool area. Wood, stone, pavers or brick can be used, as can any of the resurfacing options listed above. For pools with sloping hillsides around the pool, a supported wooden pool deck can extend the pool deck over the hill.

    making-the-pool-deck-bigger

    Overlaying your Pool Deck

    Concrete pool decks can be overlaid with stone, brick or pavers. Deck equipment, like ladders, slides or diving boards, may have to have their anchor sockets raised in some cases. Safety pool covers will need to be reinstalled as well.

    This allows you the most flexibility in terms of materials of the deck and pool coping. Bullnose brick coping is popular, as are cantilevered pool decks, which extend to the edge of the pool, without separate coping.

    Generally, thin pavers of 1-2" in height are used. Saltillo or ceramic tile can also be overlaid on a concrete pool deck, with spectacular results. Flagstone or bluestone can be used, for the most luxurious pool deck.

    Pool decks can add ambiance and flair to your backyard paradise. When your pool has some age to it, and you're ready for a change of view, consider changes to the pool deck - for dramatic results!  

    Debbie Farnan
    SPP Pool Expert

    Blog Author
    debbiefarnan
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