How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Is the deteriorated finish of a concrete pool shell only a cosmetic problem?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

We occasionally hear a realtor tell a homebuyer that a pool with a deteriorated and pock-marked finish (like in the photo above) is “just a cosmetic defect”; but, unfortunately, that is not an accurate statement. Concrete is not a waterproof barrier and the application of a plaster-type marcite or one of the newer exposed aggregate finishes is necessary to keep the pool shell watertight. 

    It’s also not a good idea to wait too long once you see the finish begin to come loose in spots, because those missing areas allow water to seep into the concrete and, once the water reaches the grid of reinforcing steel bars in the walls and floor of the pool, they begin to rust. Rust is an expansive process and, as the rust builds up, it pops out small chunks on concrete. This allows more water to get to the steel and accelerates the corrosion. Eventually larger chunks of concrete break away and rust colored stains appear around them. At this point, the corroded steel and missing concrete must be repaired before a new finish can be applied, which gets more expensive the longer you wait.

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about POOL AND SPA:

• Does an above-ground pool require a building permit? 

• Does an above-ground pool have to comply with code requirements for a swimming pool barrier?

• What are the pros and cons of vinyl liner vs fiberglas vs concrete in-ground pools? 

• Can a pool with green, cloudy water be inspected?

• Should I refinish-resurface my pool with paint or plaster?

• Why are pool pumps now required to be variable speed? 

• What are the clearance requirements for an overhead electric service drop that is directly over or near a swimming pool?

   Visit our POOL AND SPA page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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