Among the most durable pool edgings is stone pool coping. Made of sandstone, limestone, bluestone or travertine, it can withstand wear, chlorine and bromine pool treatments, and all kinds of weather to keep your pool looking beautiful for years. Caring for your stone pool coping as part of your regular pool maintenance presents no difficulty with these tips.
Preserve and Protect Your Stone Pool Coping
Apply a water-based sealer formulated for use on natural stone, to protect your stone pool coping from stains and dirt. Choose a breathable sealer that can help minimize freeze-thaw shifting and cracking, and is salt-resistant. Before grouting, add a grout sealer to the grooves between stones to prevent mold and mildew development.
Clean Your Pool Coping
Cleaning your stone swimming pool coping can be as easy as sweeping it frequently to keep leaf mold from forming on the stones. Sweep more often in the early autumn as leaves are falling, because leaf mold can leave nearly permanent stains on stone. Wash your stone pool coping with a pH-neutral cleaner, as recommended by pool care experts. Apply an acidic cleaner to stained areas, carefully following the manufacturer's directions to prevent stone bleaching. You can also use a pressure washer once a month to flush away ingrained grime on your stone pool coping.
Maintain Your Stone Pool Coping
Be sure to caulk the expansion joints created between the coping and the pool deck. This will allow the stone to expand and contract while preventing pool water from freezing in the joint and cracking the coping stones.
Check the Mortar Between Stones
When you open your pool for the season, check the mortar between the coping stones for any cracking or crumbling. If there are just tiny cracks, fill them with waterproof caulking colored to match the mortar. For larger cracks or overall loss of mortar in a joint, try to find out the reason for this problem before repairing, or it will keep recurring. You may need to replace mortar, stones or both.
Replacing a Coping Stone
Carefully dislodge the coping stone with a hammer and chisel. Clean out the mortar bed and remove mud from the pool beam. Refill the stone bed with a mortar and set the new coping stone carefully, ensuring it is level with the other stones. It may stand out from the others for a season or two, but it will weather to match their color and texture.
Refinishing Pool Coping
Stone pool coping can be refinished if it starts to look dull after a few years. You can choose from a stone color enhancer, which brings out the stone's natural shades and includes a stain-protector and sealer. You could also choose a stone polish if your stone pool coping had a high-shine finish when it was installed. This will remove watermarks and stains, and restore the gleam of your stone pool coping.
Along with your daily pool maintenance of vacuuming, sweeping and water treatment, take the time to clean and maintain your stone pool coping for years of safe, enjoyable fun, exercise, and relaxation in your pool.