If you are the owner of a pebble tec pool, you undoubtedly know by now that you need a matching pebble tec patch mix to make most repairs. Pool technicians can cost a fortune and often an effective patch or repair can be made with the right materials (which can easily be bought on the web) and without the added cost. Here are some guidelines to get you started on your DIY pebble pool repair project.
- Determine the amount of pebble tec repair mix you will need for your project.
- Once you have everything together, make sure that the area you will be working on is clean and dry (lower the water level of your pool if needed).
- Study the instructions on your product purchase. If the product you got isn’t a ready-to-use variety, make sure to follow their instructions carefully to get to right consistency.
- Tapping the area surrounding the crack with a hammer will expose any hollow cells and will let you know how much of the pre-existing pebble material needs to be knocked out around the crack to make a lasting repair.
- Knock out the area to expose the underlying substrate using a hammer and large chisel (find one designed for this type of work) and continue tapping around the area to find more hollow areas until you find no more.
- Use a 4″ masonry blade on a 4″ grinder to saw-cut the edges straight down so that they do not bevel or slant (always using the appropriate protective gear – goggles, gloves, etc.) You can also continue to use your hammer and chisel to do this, however it just isn’t as fast and accurate. Ideally you should have worked down at least 1/4″ for a good patch.
- Leaving the working area smooth doesn’t always allow the most effective bond. To fix this problem, cut criss-cross grooves into the underlying substrate with the grinder or roughen it up with the chisel.
- Rinse and scrub the area of loose dust and debris, using a sponge to remove any excess water.
- Apply the prepared pebble mix with a trowel or your hands to fill in the area that needs repair and smooth it out to be flush with the surrounding area. Use a rounded edge trowel level out the area, removing excess repair material from the repair area. Holding your trowel against the existing pebble surface acts as a guide as you remove excess pebble material to obtain levelness at the edges.
- Sponge the edges to fill in any voids. While waiting for the material to stiffen you can clean up any loose materials – using a hairdryer or anything else to speed up the drying process is not recommended. Once the material is stiff to the touch (confirm this with the labeling of the product), use a hose with a soft spray or bug sprayer to remove extra cement and expose the pebble. Use a sponge to clean off any excess repair material surrounding the repair area.
For repairs inside the pool let it set overnight before refilling the pool (or per product instructions).