Crack in concrete deck- normal?

ashmereJuly 6, 2010

Our concrete pool deck was poured approx. 3 months ago. This past weekend, I noticed a long (approx. 4 foot) crack that runs from the raised portion of the deck at the rear of the pool, down both steps, and continues on the lower level of the concrete deck. I also extends towards the brick coping. Should I be concerned about this? Is this normal? I have contacted our pool builder but was wondering what should be done about this, if anything, or is it normal for a crack like this to appear this soon? Any advice or feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,

Laura

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grassy

I'm no expert but 3 months seems a bit early to crack.

However, we have a poured concrete deck (not aggregate, and no elevations or steps) and our pool builder gave us a guarantee... he guaranteed that at some point it would crack!

But it was finished in October of last year and so far no cracks.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 2:09PM
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jeff_jeff

I have 2 cracks perpendicular to the pool from the coping through the deck. One goes through the middle of the skimmer, one goes through the middle of a deck drain. They showed up 4 - 6 months after the pour.

PB says it is "normal". But I also think I have a slow leak, wondering if the two are related.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 4:00PM
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plasterman2000

A leak in the skimmer throat is possible where the tile in the throat meets the plastic skimmer with a little dye food coloring,red color bottle in test kit equip off move slowly squeeze a little dye around grout, plastic skimmer inside throat if leak, watch for dye to suck in leaking spot. Cracks are sometimes signs of a leak or movement

Hairline cracks in new decks is common

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:55AM
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fins_up

Our pool was installed last year and we had a 2 cracks form within a couple of weeks of the pour. We had the same guarantee from our pool builder that Grassy mentioned above. However, since 2 weeks seemed a little ridiculous, we still called the concrete installer who came back promptly & investigated our issues. The first one was a good size crack and the installer admitted that they should have placed the expansion joint differently. They broke out the entire section & re-poured it within a matter of days and did the expansion joint differently. The other crack was smaller & more spidery in nature. It was closer to the pool and ran through a section of the concrete that butted up against our aluminum coping, included the skimmer access, and had wire mesh underneath. Based on how the surrounding sections had been poured, expansion joints, etc. it would have required many additional sections to be removed & re-poured to keep everything looking consistent. We agreed that it was acceptable to live with that one, which of course was the smaller & less unsightly of the two cracks. It's now one year later and we have had no additional cracking after a typical Michigan winter. The crack we agreed to live with expanded slightly, but I just stare at the pool as I walk by. I do believe that some cracking is part of the nature of the beast. However, with all that said yours looks rather agressive to me and leads me to wonder if they compacted properly before they poured. I'd complain for sure.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 12:14PM
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busboy

You need lots of expasion joint and the base must be compacted prior to pour..Doubt many builders take the time to do this. 20 year ago the next door neighbor placed a lot of rebar in his patio. No cracks but the surface eventually had to be redone.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 2:06PM
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plasterman2000

The back ground area looks pretty wet (bottom of fence)no expasion joint is going to stop that crack, measure from brick edge (closest to the water) to crack, gunite beam is ten inches A crack running north to south and stops but a little bit east or west a second crack appear

~ 
    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 6:04PM
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ashmere

The back area near the fence does get pretty wet. I think I took those pictures just after some rain. To answer some questions-
-the cracks are on the side of the pool where the skimmers are
-the cracks seem to be level across from one side to another.
-there was rebar in the patio before they poured the concrete, approx 6" apart

Pool builder came out the other day to look, and he said that it's going to crack since it is a concrete patio. However, he said that he'd be glad to saw cut out that section and repour it, reminding me that the color/pebble mix of the new concrete would not be a perfect match with the existing patio. He seemed to be encouraging me that this would be a better option instead of leaving it. He also looked around the rest of the deck and found no cracks anywhere else. Does this seem reasonable?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 9:47PM
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plasterman2000

yes thats good the sooner the better chance to match, and will blend with weathering over time. Pool builder is giving you the right call to cut out.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 11:15PM
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geobrick

ashmere,

If you remember, can you please post some photos of the repaired section when it's finished. I'm also grappling with the choice of repairing a crack vs. living with it.

Our pool was built 2 years ago and there was one crack in the first few months that was across the deck right at the center of the Baja entry. It went from the coping to the end of the deck. Our builder told us that the crack would need to be wider than a dime's edge or be a web of cracks before they'd replace the section.

Otherwise the cracks I've found since have been less obvious (mostly in the carved joints).

I'd really like to see how the repair looks when it's done so please post again. The concern we all seem to have is that any repair would be more obvious than the crack itself (and the crack is very obvious on my deck). I've been considering putting some kind of inlay along the crack as a decorative thing. Maybe little fish tiles that make it look like they're swimming along the crack to get to the pool.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 1:49PM
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ashmere

I will post pictures when its done, however, I did not get the impression that it would be done anytime soon. I'm guessing that our pool builder has more pressing things to do than to repair our decking. He didn't give the impression that it was urgent, but that it would be done.
I'll let you know what happens with it and how it turns out.
Laura

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 8:31AM
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bunystomp

I know that this issue has come and gone,(just became a member) but a few notes about concrete: Concrete is a living entity. It expands and contracts. It breathes, so to speak.It appears from your photos that the contractor used FRC,(fibre reinforced concrete)for the mix. This is used to help mitigate cracking, particularly in the surface. What I don't see are any control joints. the contractor was 100% correct when he said that the concrete would rack. The purpose of control joints is to tell the concrete WHERE to crack. It also appears from the photos that the cracks are "shrinkage" cracks. These cracks generally arise when concrete is not cured properly. Control joints (also called contraction joints) and sound curing procedures would have surely helped prevent this from occurring. Just my 2 cents though. Hope it all worked out for you.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 6:44PM
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