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Problem and Solution:
 
This swimming pool deck illustrates several of the problems that outdoor stone installations encounter. Many of these problems cannot be avoided, only repaired and restored in a timely manner to maintain the beauty, utility and safety of the stone installation.

First, dirt, it is everywhere and it quickly settles onto the surface and into the pores of outdoor stone. Rain and irrigation leach dirt from flowerpots and planters. Mud is carried across the stone by water run off. I have even seen a lawn crew drive their equipment across the terrace as a shortcut, and you know what a problem grass stains are.

Second, spills, everything and anything end up on the pool deck: food, beverages, sun tan lotion, fertilizers, and pool chemicals. Everything seeps into the stone and causes stains.

Third, mildew, moss and other growths flourish wherever moisture will sustain them, and a little dirt will help them thrive.

Fourth, temperature changes, especially winter freezing, open cracks in the grout and within some stones. Water expands 3% when it freezes, and it is strong enough to split rock. Where moisture penetrates and then freezes, it forces open a crack. The following year, the larger crack allows more water to penetrate, and when it freezes the crack grows. In the summer the direct sunlight heats and expands the deck, while the cooler swimming pool expands much less. The expansion joint around the swimming pool will maintain a seal between these moving parts, but the material in the expansion joint deteriorates overtime and separates from the stone. The expansion joint must be replaced whenever it separates from the adjacent stone.

This flagstone deck was scrubbed with brushes and a professional stone detergent, and then it was rinsed with pressurized water. The gray cement grout was removed by hand with stone chisels and replaced with high quality MAPEI Ultracolor grout. The expansion joint was replaced with Pecora Urexpan NR-201, an elastometric polyurethane sealant designed for expansion joints.



For more information on flagstone restoration and care, contact us at 203.885.3717.


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