Trouble with Flagstone Coping

boscojulieMay 13, 2011

We installed our pool last summer and, although it is wonderful and beautiful, we are having trouble with the flagstone coping and water fall. We live in Atlanta, GA, and have a salt water chlorinator. We are having a good bit of trouble with calcium and salt leaving a white stain all over the stone and water line tile. We are also having a large amount of dust from the coping settle on the pool bottom in certain places, and it has to be brushed/vacuumed daily. I have done some research and have decided to pressure wash and then seal the stone but would like some feedback as to what brands people have had success with. Does anyone have any experience with the DuPont Stonetech Professional Saltwater Resistant Sealer? I read somewhere that it is also a good idea to treat the stone with an impregnator before sealing if it is flaking, which ours is-- any feedback on that? Any other advice? Thanks so much in advance!


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This is the product I used on my own pool and it has held up great. I used the high gloss and it really made my flagstone look great...

Here is a link that might be useful: Sealer

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 6:59AM
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We have a chlorine pool with flagstone but our town well water has an extremely high salt content. Slat build up is not uncommon where water sprinklers hit a surface regularly. That said, our water from the pool has not been kind to our Oklahoma flagstone.
We are going to clean ours as well to get up all the loose stuff but not sure how to clean up the rusty areas. The rings probably go too deep but the streaking is not all loose in some area. Just unsightly.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:22AM
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Salt pools are going out of favor because of the damage they do to natural stone. Consider converting to ozone + chlorine and remove the salt cell.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:21PM
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What should be out of style is Oklahoma Flagstone. It isn't a suitable coping.

A zinc anode will help with electrolysis related corrosion.

Proper chemistry will help reduce the calcium scaling.

Ozone has its own set of issues.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 11:28PM
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I agree with Scott my Tennessee Flagstone has no sign of damage from the salt and My pool is 5yrs old. The old test of hitting it with a hammer and if it pings it's ok for coping but if you hear a dull thud than don't use it has something to it. IMO

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:59AM
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Wow, Where you been muddy? Welcome home!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:08PM
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I have been in the back looking in. You do such a good job with the questions I just don't need to

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:27PM
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Well, I can sure use the help. It's the start of my busy season!


    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 5:56AM
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ok our pool is only 5 years old this summer..the salt cell has been replaced among many other parts, the oklahoma flagstone scales like crazy and we can never keep the grout and the tile connnected because of the contracting the flagstone does with heat and called the pool company out and they did the hammer test(which Muddy above talks about...not sure if he agrees with that test??) and guess what?? they said not only does all our decking need to be replaced(1800 sq ft!!) but coping as well and pool resurfaced?? seriously?? I remodel houses for a business and trust me I know all about natural stone...i do NOT think these products were ever inteneded to be used around pools especially salt water ones...when asking this to pool builder they stare at you blankly and offer NO response!! I am sure its because they still sell it and do NOT tell the customers to steer clear away from now what do i select?? I have stone everywhere...retaining walls so mad!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:21AM
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Salt has nothing to do with it.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 6:45PM
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Could it be your water chemistry that's causing the problem?

Before deciding on alternate/replacement materials, I would try to figure out why this happened in the first place - or you might be in the same position again. Some may say the culprit is the salt, while others cite alternate theories. Ask someone that doesn't think it's the salt what they think it could be and check it out. The pool needing to be resurfaced signals to me that it's not the salt, but rather something wrong with maintainence and water chemistry.

If it's truly the salt - the pool builders I interviewed said that the best choice for coping is brick or the old pre-cast concrete forms. Either choice might be a little out-dated when compared to natural stone, but at least nobody has had any corrosion problems!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:00PM
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I had the same problem with my flagstone coping, I live in Houston, The flagstone looked like it was breaking down, when I sat on the edge i would get up and sand from the flagstone would be on my bathing suite. I hired a company called flagstone sealers and they came out cleaned the flagstone and moss rock and sprayed it with dupont salt water resistant sealer. It took about 2-3 gallons of sealer. Its been three years now it everything looks fine. I love my flagstone....

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:54PM
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Did the dupont sealer make your flagstone look any darker or did it change the color of it?

I am considering using the same dupont product. How large is yyour pool? 3 years later does it still bead up the salt water?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 2:58PM
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