How a simple solution can fix the concrete around your pool

11:38 AM, Jan 06, 2022

Outdoor concrete settles, shrinks, and cracks over time because of erosion and weather and because concrete is heavy. When this happens around your swimming pool, it can lead to a number of issues, from cosmetic to hazardous.

A common cause of concrete problems near a pool is soil washout. This occurs when water flows under or along the edge of concrete, eroding the soil and leaving empty space under concrete.

“When the soils underneath a concrete slab are unable to support its weight, the slab will sink,” according to Arizona Foundation Solutions. “If part of the concrete slab is supported by soils and other sections are not, the unsupported pieces may crack away from the other section and result in uneven concrete.”

Another common issue is expansive soil, which contains clay and changes how much space it takes up, depending on its water content. For example, it swells when there is a lot of water and shrinks as it dries.

“Each year in the U.S., expansive soils are responsible for more damage to homes than are floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined,” according to the Arizona Geologic Survey.

While you can’t choose whether soil erosion or expansive soils damage the concrete around your pool, you can repair the damage. Leveling concrete around a swimming pool will solve several issues:

  • You’ll reduce tripping and slipping hazards, like risen lips or edges.
  • You’ll prevent further erosion, such as washout that will worsen over time without repairs.
  • You’ll correct drainage issues from water running over sinking concrete instead of into a drain, which can also affect landscaping or other nearby concrete.
  • You’ll prevent expensive future repairs from heaving or sinking concrete that cracks concrete around it.

A simple solution

In the past, the most effective repair for concrete sinking was mud jacking, a process of pumping liquid mortar into empty spaces beneath existing concrete. Unfortunately, it was messy and added weight to soil, raising the risk of future erosion. Today, however, innovation has led to more effective repair options, like a PolyLevel polymer injection, which offers more lifting power than mud jacking.

“PolyLevel is an alternative solution to traditional mud jacking that lifts concrete slabs to a level position with less weight and destruction,” according to Arizona Foundation Solutions.

PolyLevel is a high-density foam created by the chemical reaction of combining two liquids, which are injected into 3-centimeter holes drilled through concrete. A technician can fine tune the foam’s lifting force — factoring in the weight of the area being lifted, the temperature, the weather, and soil characteristics — to reduce strain on the soil and the concrete.

PolyLevel weighs only about 4 pounds per cubic foot, compared to 120 pounds per cubic foot for standard fill material.

“PolyLevel’s light weight makes it useful where denser fill material might impose an undesirable load on weak soils,” according to Arizona Foundation Solutions. “Despite its light weight, PolyLevel can support substantial loads; it typically provides greater lifting power than mudjacking.”

Another benefit of PolyLevel is that its waterproofing properties prevent it from washing away. It cures quickly, so you can use the area within 15 to 30 minutes after it is injected. You can also get a polymer injection before pouring concrete if you’re concerned about soil stability and strength.

For more information about PolyLevel or to schedule a free quote to repair the concrete around your pool, visit Arizona Foundation Solutions online.

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