How to make structural, concrete crack
repairs in swimming pools and other
Swimming pools can develop cracks in the
concrete that lies beneath the plaster finish,
due to settling, ground shifting or erosion.
Simple hairline cracks in the finish may not
involve a leak and can, usually, be easily
repaired. However, a crack that is structural in
nature and is under stress cannot be simply
glued in place or plastered over, as the forces
involved will continue to pull the crack apart.
Such cracks must be stabilized in order to
prevent the crack from widening and causing
ongoing leak problems. A product, such as
Torque-Lock, prevents cracks from widening and
allows for a rock-solid repair. If problems
arise, refer to the
Page, as a source of problem-solving
information, broken down into various
categories. Scroll down the page and click on the linked
or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
Cracked And Growing In Size?
There is a crack in my pool which is
in the coping about half inch wide
and travels down into the tile and
into the plaster about one quarter
inch wide in plaster, about 7-feet
long vertical down side of pool.
What is the best way to repair this
crack that is losing about quarter
inch of water a day ? Thank you.
Elizabeth M., Simi Valley, CA,
is a structural crack, likely the
result of settling. Filling the
crack with epoxy might seal the
leak, but the forces causing the
crack will still be at work.
Eventually the crack will expand.
Torque-Lock is a system for
repairing structural concrete
cracks. It used "staples" to hold
the opposite sides of the crack
together, with 5,000 pounds of
torque. It is used with epoxy to
make a true repair. Once complete
the repaired area can be
replastered. I hope that the
information provided was helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster,
► Cracked Pool Wall?
I have what started out as a hairline
crack, in marcite, below the waterline. I used an epoxy
based product to seal the crack and everything seemed OK.
Now, it seems that the crack has widened very slightly. I am
losing about 1/4" of water a day and, from what I have read,
that is reasonably normal. Is there something that would be
better to seal this crack. I'm afraid it could get bigger.
Thanks for the help.
Carl R., San Diego, CA, 3/31/2017
It is hard to tell if you are losing water, at this time. If
the crack widens, a leak will likely result. If the crack
is widening, it is probably an indication that the area is
still under stress, due to settling, erosion, or shifting.
As you have discovered repair compounds may solve the
problem, but if there is ongoing stress you may need more
repair efforts. The Torque-Lock Staple System will make a
repair that will prevent expansion and will be rock solid.
This is the right product, for your problem. I hope that
this information proves helpful. Good luck with the repair.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/1/2017
I had my pool and deck redone about 3 summers ago. I noticed
the outer decking was sinking and now one end of the pool
has raised. There is a crack in the in the deck next to the
skimmer basket and is just starting in the tile. The deep
end of the pool and inner deck has raised 2 and 1/4 inch.
What should I do?
This is a construction problem and I am really not qualified
to offer much in the way of specifics. Obviously, erosion,
settling or water table level changes are entering into what
has happened. How it can be best remedied is something that
I cannot help with. You need to discuss this with several
builders and compare the options. You can't just patch a
crack, as it will continue to expand. If concrete is cracked
and still under stress, the Torque-Lock product might be
able to help solve the issues, at hand. Good luck with the
work and I hope that I have been of some help.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/28/2016
► Repairing A
I have a small crack just below the
tile border. If it matters the pool is in Florida. Any
suggestions on what to do? I appreciate any help and thanks
for the opportunity to email the question.
Dick S., Florida, 3/1/2014
There are several ways to do this, depending upon the pool
surface. In the simplest case, you can use an epoxy or
silicone repair material. Aesthetically, it make not be the
most attractive repair. You could chip out the crack, seal
with epoxy or silicone caulk and resurface the repaired
area. How inconspicuous the repaired area will be a matter
of being able to get the exact match on the pool surface.
However, such repairs may not last, if there is settling or
stress. The Torque-Lock System physically holds the opposite
side together, so that when filled with epoxy, it will not
pull apart. This will make a rock-solid repair! Good luck
and I hope that this information proves useful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/1/2014
I am planning on repainting my gunite
pool next year. I have notices a few cracks and defects on
the surface. I am not losing any water, above normal, so far
a I know. I would like to repair the problem spots this year
and paint next year. I don't want to have to drain the pool
to get at theses underwater areas. Is there something that
will work under the water. Thanks for the help.
Mike H., Lakeland, FL 4/23/2005
It is a good idea to do something to prevent water getting
behind the original plaster finish.
manufactures a complete line of product for making
underwater repairs. One of the products is an underwater
epoxy kit. The material is white and can be painted over
when you're ready. In the meantime it will make a water
tight repair, without having to drain the water. Just follow
the simple directions. Good luck and I hope that I have been
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/23/2005
Your website is really helpful. Can
you give me some information on how do pools actually
develop cracks? I have heard that if you drain all the water
and leave the pool empty, it can crack? Thank you for your
Hairline crack could develop, as the surface dries out.
However, the greater danger is that the pool will crack, due
to shifting or settling. In cases where the water table is
high, the pool can pop up out of the ground. The shorter the
time, the better, when it comes to draining and make sure
the water table is not unusually high. I hope that this
information will be helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/16/2008
We are in the process of putting in an
inground gunite pool. The pool was dug and gunite was shot
in 3 weeks ago. There is one area of the pool that we are
noticing cracks about 4 inches long and 1/8 inch wide in the
gunite that were not there 2 weeks ago. They have not yet
put the plaster yet, but will do so soon. Should I insist
that these cracks are repaired, or will the plaster seal
them. I would rather deal with this now if it is an issue
then later. Thanks.
Joan R., 5/20/2010
Cracks are subject to expansion. Just filling it in and
plastering over will expose you to a cracked finish, at some
future time. Insist on a proper repair or it may come back
to haunt you. In my opinion, you need a product, such as
Torque-Lock, to make a proper repair. It prevents expansion
and allows the void to be filled in with epoxy. Once
replastered, you won't know a repair was done. I hope this
information proves helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/21/2010
Hairline Cracks And A Pool Leak?
Alan, I have gunite pool that has a
small crack some where. My pool builder has already repaired
some of them, but I still have a small leak. If I apply Fix
A Leak, will it fix a small crack? I've read where this
stuff is some what flexible. Is that true? Also, my builder
did not install the hydrostatic valve. After having a lot of
rain is when my pool cracks started showing. If the valve
was installed, would the pool have the cracked from the
Robert C., Florida, 10/21/2008
In order for hydrostatic pressure to become an issue, the
ground water level would have to be higher than the pool
water level. That would have made construction difficult, at
the very least. The cracks might not be related to the water
loss. Fix A Leak will not eliminate the cracks, but could
help make a long lasting seal. There are dye solutions that
can help you trace a leak. A drop or two can be added to a
still pool, near possible sites of a leak, and can help
trace the way to the location, as the water leaks out. There
are easy to use dye solution, available at some pool stores.
Fix A Leak: a product that can permanently seal leaks as big
as 1/8" in diameter. It works in gunite, fiberglass or vinyl
pools and in the plumbing, as well. Easy to use and will not
require that the pool be drained. Patching compounds are
available, that might be a close match to your pool finish.
I hope that this information will be helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster. 10/21/2008
We have a 20X40 inground vinyl pool
the steps have a crack in them . What is the best way to
take care of this problem? Is there such a thing a
You could try repairing the crack with an underwater
Boxer adhesives. It should be the right product.
It may be possible to have a vinyl cover made for the steps.
It won't be inexpensive, won't look as well and probably
won't make you happy. Try the epoxy. It cures to a white
finish and it should be hard to notice. Good luck.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/16/2006
The Need To Use A Liner?
We have a very old in-ground concrete
pool. The pool has now developed a crack which is leaking
fast. Except for the crack the pool is in very good shape.
We have been told that a pool liner is our only option (by a
pool liner company). They maintain that if we fix the crack,
it will only be a temporary solution since the crack will
open again. I am not sure how, but this is what they say. Do
you share this view or do you think we should investigate
other sealing options. Any advice will be appreciated. Many
Marius G., 4/23/2005
Such a crack must be stabilized, in order for it not to
happen again. In that sense, they are correct. However,
Torque-Lock will allow you to stabilize the crack, so that
expansion will not occur. Do it before the pool is plastered
and you will have it back to new. Good luck and I hope that
I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/24/2005
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