Extreme cold temperatures like the ones that have just occurred can bring problems in pools to the forefront very quickly. Although, the bond beams of pools are typically poured thicker than the rest of the pool, that is not always the case. You see, the area where the most drastic soil conditions occur are in the top 18” of your pool shell. It is in this area that the coping and tile reside and unfortunately, the tile can sometimes hide the problems that are occurring. Prior to simply re-tiling a pool, existing tile need to be removed to see the condition of the pool shell behind it. While getting 100% coverage of tiles cannot be guaranteed, there are techniques to setting tile which makes it more effective. Things like applying a coat of thinset to the back of tiles prior to sticking them to the thinset bed sure help the setting process. Repairing and preparing the wall for tile is obviously, the most important. As they say when painting, 90% of the work is in the preparation, 10% in the painting itself, the same is true of setting tile and coping.
Many pool industry workers do not understand the concepts behind these construction techniques. At Bi-State Pool & Spa, we pride ourselves on being one of the very few CERTIFIED Service Professionals and CERTIFIED Building Professionals. This year, we were honored as having only the third Certified Service Professional ever for the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. In addition, Rick Woemmel, President of Bi-State Pool & Spa serves as the chairman of the national builders council, leading the charge to lead our pool builders in the future. He is the only chairman to ever come from the St. Louis chapter area.
Being a leader in the industry is a double edge sword… at times, we realize that our schedule can fill up and we certainly don’t want to rush our jobs. But we do pride ourselves on doing things the correct way and when a customer says “can’t you just stick a tile over that crack”, our answer unfortunately is “NO”. Our reputation as an industry leader and our reputation with our customers is only as good as our last job. This may mean that unfortunately, when the tiles are popping off and you get a bid for $100 to replace the tiles, our bid may be 10 x that amount, but we will also explain to you why we are demolishing the wall and re-pouring it prior to replacing the tile. The prep work again is the majority of the work and makes for a happy customer down the road.