Honey, that pool tile just popped back off!

When waterline tiles crack or keep falling off the wall of your pool, it can be a real hassle.  It could also be the sign of a real problem with your pool in the form of a leak. The Tampa Bay area has had more than it’s fair share of rainfall this summer.  Many pool owners have been constantly pumping down their overflowing pools, wondering just when they can take a break from it.  Unfortunately for some though, their pool never overflows no matter how much rainfall received.  This is not usually a good thing.  Unless the pool has an automatic overflow line plumbed in, chances are very good that a crack has formed somewhere behind the waterline tiles.

The area behind the tile is known as the bond beam, which is the uppermost portion of the pool’s shell where the waterline tiles are set into.  If the bond beam crack goes all the way through, this allows water to leak from the pool.  This crack could be at any level along the tile line.  It could be high above, right at, or down below the normal operating water level of the pool.  The higher the water level gets above this crack, the faster it leaks out due to the extra water weight pushing it out.   As water leaks through, it can erode the soil below the deck as well as that from around the pool plumbing.  The piping can sag, eventually snap, and now your pool has a plumbing leak also.  Many in-ground concrete pools have bond beam cracks that will leak, and luckily most are high above the normal operating water level.

If you are having your pool resurfaced and you are changing the tiles, try to have all the old waterline tiles removed first before the new ones are applied.  Now any cracks are clearly visible which otherwise would normally be hidden by the tiles.  If you can see any cracks, especially if they would be at or below the middle height of the skimmer mouth level, let us know.  The reason that the pool tiles keep popping off over and over again is probably due to constant moisture weeping out from the crack behind the tile.  The adhesive used to hold the tiles onto the wall breaks down as a result.

Spas unfortunately get bond beam cracks too.