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Contractor or DIY: What are your pool deck resurfacing options?

What Is Pool Deck Resurfacing?

Is pool deck resurfacing on your to-do list this season? We know saving money is a top concern these days. Homeowners are figuring out which projects they can undertake without the help of an expert to decrease the costs. Read more to find out if you need a contractor to resurface your pool’s deck or if this is something you can do on your own.

To be clear about the surface we’re discussing here, we’re sharing this definition by The Spruce: “The hardscape area around your swimming pool is called a surround, deck, or decking, even though it isn’t always made of wood or composite, like traditional outdoor decks with which we most often associate the words. Traditionally, most in-ground swimming pool decks are made of concrete. Other materials, like pavers and brick, are also popular choices.”

No matter the deck material or if you have been careful and diligent with the maintenance of your pool deck, the area around your swimming pool is constantly exposed. Water, direct sunlight, chlorine, dirt, and other environmental factors can affect it. You may notice some signs of wear and tear that indicate it is time for you to consider pool deck resurfacing. Specifically, look for:

  • Slipperiness
  • Flaking
  • Changes in texture
  • Rotting (commonly seen on wooden decks)
  • Cracking
  • Discoloration
  • Structural damage (in severe cases)

With these common red flags in mind, determine whether your decking only requires a different maintenance regimen or if a complete redo is in order to improve the area’s safety, durability, and appearance. The overall condition of the materials and the structure will define the complexity of the task.

Additional variables to consider are grading, drainage, surrounding natural elements, and existing structures. You want the pool deck to look great and hold up, as well as fit your current lifestyle. An important question to ask is if you want the decking to simply be an extension of your existing pool or if you want to turn it into a more extensive outdoor living space.

Related: Signs It’s Time for Pool Deck Resurfacing

Option 1: The DIY Approach

As briefly mentioned above, some homeowners consider pool deck resurfacing as a project they can do on their own to save money. They believe that they can get the job done simply by buying some materials and tools and following online video tutorials.

However, the higher expense aspect is often a myth. The required materials could end up costing about the same compared to hiring a contractor who can usually source the same items for much less. And while some homeowners have certain DIY skills, they may not know the proper techniques to ensure the durability and overall quality of the pool deck over time. We’ve seen well-intended repairs require redoing or more extensive (and expensive) maintenance.

Specific pool building experience comes with knowledge of the complexities of deck resurfacing. A skilled contractor will understand the risks involved, as well as the best materials and techniques. Depending on the scope of the pool deck resurfacing project, the renovations can be more similar to a regular construction project.

A typical pool deck resurfacing project may include etching and grounding to prepare the top, pressure washing, mixing and applying the new product, spraying, rolling, troweling, and sealing.

Also, the project should be precise in terms of following the codes to comply with the required safety measurements and standards. DIY Network explains, “Building codes say a deck with a walking surface that’s 30 inches or more above grade needs a railing that’s at least 36 inches high, with balusters spaced not more than 4 inches apart. Also, free-standing decks — not attached to a structure — do not need frost-proof footings.”

If you don’t have much experience in the pool or decking industries, you could be at risk of losing time and money, even depreciating the value of your home. We highly recommend getting the help of a professional.

Related: Pool Deck Resurfacing: When is the Right Time?

Option 2: Finding A Pool Deck Resurfacing Contractor

Now that you may be convinced it’s best to look for an expert to resurface your pool’s deck, let’s go over some of the criteria to find the right contractor. Begin your online research with these items in mind:

  1. Consider how long the company has been in the industry, and verify its record of completed pool construction and renovation projects. In this case, more is better. Newer, less experienced players may offer lower costs but bring risks. Be careful!
  2. Ask your neighbors if they can recommend a particular company, and don’t be afraid to ask contractors for references.
  3. See if the company provides you with a timeline. They should determine the project’s estimated finish date based on full-time dedication from an entire team of experts.
  4. Review their terms, paying close attention to liability, warranties, training, and licenses.
  5. Ask about their quality assurance procedures during and after the pool deck resurfacing.

It’s an added value if your contractor can think outside the box and propose creative ideas that will fit your goals, budget, and lifestyle. By choosing the right company, you can take this opportunity to upgrade your pool deck with modern features, such as:

  • Baja shelf or beach entry 
  • Creative deck extensions that support additional living spaces
  • Dedicated lounging, dining, kitchen & bar, and entertaining areas
  • Pathways between structures
  • Elevated decking to enhance views
  • Decking detailed squares
  • Integrated water and fire features

Besides safety and quality, a seasoned contractor can provide creative guidance to help you get the most out of your deck resurfacing project while staying within your budget.

Pool Deck Maintenance

Let’s assume you found a great contractor. Your pool deck is now freshly resurfaced with a 10 to 15-year durability promise with the proper maintenance.

What steps should you regularly take to keep the surface in good condition for a long time? Here are some recommendations you can incorporate into your weekly or biweekly pool maintenance routine.

  • Protect the surface of your deck from damage due to chipping from heavy objects (such as deck furniture) or staining by pool chemicals.
  • Hose off the deck weekly with a spray nozzle to keep dirt, debris, and mildew from setting in.
  • Be careful to place potted plants, lawn furniture, BBQs, and other items that can retain water and stain the deck.
  • Dirt and chemicals such as plant food have iron in them and will leave rust stains. Be sure to remove them from the deck area quickly. All plants should have a tray under them to collect excess water. 
  • Avoid flooding the soil around your decking as it may cause soil expansion that can damage the deck.
  • With concrete decks, cracks surrounding division joints are common and expected. Just keep them clean and be on the lookout for unusual cracks that don’t follow the joints.

If you have the time, the proper tools, and the right products, maintaining your deck is an easy DIY project. Rely on an experienced pool contractor to do the more intensive work, such as construction and remodeling. California Pools has been in the industry since 1952, with an impeccable record of beautiful, durable, and safe outdoor spaces created for every homeowner’s needs. Get started on your project today.