Technical Papers

Unsightly Pool Deck Repair

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Michelle Dalinghaus

Pool Deck Repair for Sinking and Settling Slabs

When you think backyard oasis, do you think a nice swimming pool, for the kids and adults to enjoy on the warm California days?  I am sure you are not thinking a trip hazard and lawsuits.  If you happen to have a pool and the deck around the pool is not safe anymore, Saber is here to help.  In this article you will find what causes the concrete around pool decks to settle, and cause trip hazards or worse.  We will also review what you can do to fix or cover the problem and explain how Saber can assist you in all of your pool deck repair needs.


Concrete Settlement due to Soil Settlement

First, what is concrete settlement?  Concrete slab settlement is simply the movement a concrete slab experiences when the soil underneath can no longer support its weight.  You may wonder how the soil under the concrete patio was once fine, and now it is not?  What changed? The answer to that question is simply…the soil changed.  There are three common reasons as to why the soils may have changed, they are as follows: changes in the soils moisture content, wash-out of soil under the slab, and/or poorly compacted fill soil.

How does this movement and settlement result from changes in the soils moisture content?   Many of the homes in California are built on clay soils or sandy soil.  Clay soil, when wet, holds onto moisture and expands. When it is dry, it shrinks.  Soil can dry out for many different reasons, including drought, tree roots sucking out the moisture from the soil, and leaking HVAC systems.  In any of these cases the soil under the slab shrinks in size, and in turn creates an empty space for the slab to settle.  Moisture does not really have much of an effect on sandy soils.  When sand gets wet it does not expand, and it does not shrink when dry; however, sand does wash out.  Thus, in both cases (clay soils to expand and shrink, or sandy soils that wash away) a concrete slab resting on these types of soil will shift and settle, which causes cracking and an un-level concrete surface.

Repairing Settled and Uneven Concrete Slabs

There are a couple of options when it comes to fixing or raising concrete.  The follow two methods are options for repair and can be very costly and cause a huge mess in the process.  They are mudjacking and concrete replacement. 

Mudjacking is an old method for leveling concrete, it involves drilling a series of holes throughout the concrete and then pumping cement or mud beneath the slab to fill in the void and attempt a lift.  A huge drawback to this method is that the process of injecting the high-pressure grout is very messy. It is not uncommon for the cement slurry to spew out of the holes.  Then there are the holes, which are cored about every 2-3 feet in the slab and are the size of a soda can.  Also, cement slurry is heavy, weighing about 120 lbs per cubic foot, which adds weight to the soil that is supporting the slab.  This additional weight often makes the problem worse, and will cause the slab to sink in the future.  Additionally, there is to be no walking on the slab for several days, because it takes time for the cement slurry to cure once it is installed. 

With concrete replacement, there is the obvious: it is disruptive and expensive, but really it is not addressing the actual issue.  The concrete is not the problem, it is soil that supports the slab that is causing the problem.  When replacing a new concrete slab over the same existing soils, you can expect that you are going to get the same result: sinking concrete.  There is another issue with replacing the concrete: the matching up of the colors of the old concrete with the new.  So, unless you plan to replace all of the concrete, there is a possibility you will have a variation in color of the concrete.  In concrete replacing, much like mudjacking, the curing time can take days or even weeks before you can fully enjoy the pool deck once again.

PolyLevel for Effective Pool Deck Repair

So, what does Saber offer as a way to repair a sinking pool deck effectively?  Saber uses the PolyLevel™ system to repair pool decks and other sinking concrete slabs.  The PolyLevel™ system is state of the art.  It take the original concept of mudjacking and combines it with modern technology.  Rather than using a cement slurry mixture, this method uses a high-density polymer to raise the slab back to a desired level.  This method is done by drilling small penny sized holes in the slab and then using specifically designed equipment to inject the polymers.  Once the void is filled, the expansion of the polyurethane allows for a precise lift and stabilization of the slab. The best part is that it sets up in minutes.  Some other benefits of PolyLevel™ include; less holes which means less mess, and nearly unnoticeable patching once complete. It is also very lightweight (less then 4 lbs per cubic foot compared to the 120 lbs for mudjacking).  The material is environmentally friendly and waterproof.  There will be no wash out in the future.  Best of all it, reduces trip hazards and restores the value of the property. 

So, if your pool deck is in need of some attention, call Saber today for your free property evaluation, and have your oasis back in no time.  We service Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach, Bakersfield, Santa Ana, Riverside, Anaheim, San Bernardino, Oceanside, Huntington Beach, Oxnard, Whittier, Chula Vista, Glendale, Torrance, Van Nuys, Fontana and surrounding areas in San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. 


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