Selecting the material for an inground pool deck takes time and thought. You need to consider the part of the country you live in, how much use the deck is likely to get, and the amount of time that you want to devote to maintenance.
Once the decision has been in favor of concrete pool decking, some questions will still need to be settled. Will you have a poured-in-place concrete pool deck, a deck finished by a broom, or leave the aggregate exposed? No matter what type you choose, the concrete definitely needs to be cured properly to develop its strength and durability.
Curing a concrete pool deck is a necessity for two reasons. Keeping the concrete moist through the drying process helps it to gain strength and it also delays drying shrinkage, which reduces the chance of cracking when it dries.
Concrete Curing Techniques
There are a two ways to cure concrete pool decking; either one will work if done properly.
Water curing is when the concrete is flooded, or sprayed with a mist of water. This method helps prevent the water mixed into the concrete from evaporating and is very effective.
Water retention methods involve covering the newly-poured concrete with materials such as burlap or straw, but the drawback in this method is that the covering must be kept damp throughout the drying period.
Other methods involve the use of paper films or plastic film coverings, but plastic films may cause the concrete to become discolored and should not be used in areas where appearance is important. Chemical membrane coverings need to be applied when the concrete is fresh and, if flooring over the concrete is planned, can effect its adherence abilities.
Other options in choosing concrete pool decking include pre-cast slabs or stamped concrete. A wide selection of patterns and color are available for stamped concrete and can be chosen to blend in with the surrounding area. Patterns can be found that look like bricks, stones, and tile. Stamped concrete that resembles wood is also available.
Coping Finishes the Pool Walls
Another consideration with concrete pool decking is the coping, the material used on the top of the pool walls. On a poured concrete deck, the coping can be part of the deck, becoming one unit.
There are also pre-cast coping units available to finish off the concrete pool decking with the pool. These can come in a variety of designs and shapes to help fit into the design of the pool, as well as the landscaping design.
Decorative Concrete Effects