As a premier caulking contractor, I highly recommend caulking the perimeter of your pool (where the coping meets the decking). This is the single most important step you can take in protecting your tile, coping and decking from the effects of water damage.
If this joint is not properly caulked, water will enter behind the coping, which during the winter months will freeze and expand causing expensive damage to the coping, tiles, beam and/or decking.
Additionally, when water enters this joint, it slowly erodes the dirt from beneath the decking, causing it to drop. An uneven surface at the perimeter of the pool can be dangerous.
Caulking this joint not only protects the tile, coping and decking from water damage, it provides a nice transition from the decking to the coping. The caulk will prevent dirt and debris from accumulating at the pools’ edge, making it easier to keep the deck and pool clean.
Dirt, cement and laitance will accumulate on the surface of the joint during the construction process. These contaminants must be completely removed in order for the caulk to securely bond to the surface of the masonry. A bonding agent primer must be applied to both sides of the joint prior to caulking. If the joint has not been properly cleaned (diamond blade grinder) and not primed with a bonding agent, the caulk will eventually pull away from the sides of the joint (usually within a year or two).
The joint between the coping and decking is typically around 1/2” to 5/8” wide. However, many pools that have been renovated will end up with a joint that can be 1”, 2” or more. A great deal of skill is involved in caulking a joint this wide. Some contractors will use self leveling material because it eliminates the need for tooling the caulk.
Self leveling caulk should be avoided for two reasons, the first being that self leveling caulk creates thousands of tiny air bubbles below the surface of the caulk resulting in a weak, inferior sealant. Secondly, unless the joint is perfectly level around the entire perimeter, the self leveling caulk will overflow at the high spots and sink in the low spots.
Russell Caulking Company only uses state of the art, gun grade urethane sealant. The tooling process removes any air in the caulk resulting in a strong, sound caulk joint.
I am the owner of Russell Caulking Company. I have been a commercial/industrial sealant contractor since 1989. I have caulked hundreds of projects (schools, hospitals, office buildings, warehouses) ranging in price from $100 to $400,000. All of the work is performed by me. I meet the pool owners before every job, educate them in the caulking process and help them pick out the right color. All of my work comes with a 5 year warranty.