Top 3 Reasons to Waterproof Your Swimming Pool

Top 3 reasons to waterproof your pool
by Frank Vitori

A very important, yet often overlooked topic of pool construction and pool remodel is waterproofing. What is it and what are the key benefits?

In short, waterproofing in swimming pools refers to the application of a specialized coating or membrane to the pool shell to prevent water leakage and shell damage, ensuring the pool's integrity and longevity.

In addition to creating a watertight vessel, waterproofing your pool provides several other significant advantages. In this article, we dive into why investing in waterproofing enhances visual appeal, improves structural integrity, and provides long-term cost savings. 

1. Waterproofing Keeps Your Pool Tile Investment Shiny and New

Waterproofing shields your pool tile from unsightly efflorescence. This is a hard, powdery white residue that forms on the surface of pool tiles over time. It is comprised primarily of calcium and other minerals that originate from the concrete shell of your swimming pool, behind your beautiful pool tiles.

Blue swimming pool tile on a feature wall on one side of the pool showing severe signs of efflorescence.

These dissolved minerals permeate through porous, cementitious thin sets and grouts, making their way to and accumulating on the surface of your tile. Areas that have constant running water over the tile are typically the most vulnerable. In swimming pool applications these areas generally translate to waterline tile, tiled spas, tiled feature walls, and the backside wall of vanishing edge pools.

Just as you may use a tarp or liner to protect your beautiful garden, waterproofing creates a protective barrier between the pool shell and your beautiful pool tiles.

a close up of tile suffering from efflorescence overlaid on top of a photo of a pool's coping overlooking the water. A woman with finely manicured feet stands at the edge.

AquaBlu offers industry-leading products such as Basecrete Waterproofing and Litokol’s Aquamaster. When applied correctly, these waterproofing agents eliminate the conditions conducive to efflorescence formation. As a result, your beautiful pool tile will maintain its aesthetic appeal, free from the blemishes caused by efflorescence buildup.

The choice of waterproofing and application method can vary from installation to installation. Therefore, it is important to understand which waterproofing products to use, and when. Be sure to speak with your pool professional about your installation.

a blue tiled pool wall with scuppers that's suffering from severe efflorescence damage.

2. Waterproofing Provides Ease of Maintenance, & Long-Term Cost Savings

Certainly, keeping a pool free of efflorescence significantly streamlines maintenance. This translates to fewer hours spent scrubbing and more effective chemical treatments, thus providing you with more leisure time to enjoy your pool and less time dedicated to maintaining it.

Not only will waterproofing cut back on your maintenance and pool chemical expenses, but it will also help ensure that you only have your pool tile installed once! Besides being unsightly, efflorescence can cause permanent damage to your tile. Often, permanent hazing, discoloration, and even delamination of your tile can occur if left unchecked. Additionally, a professional pool tile expert may find it challenging to resolve your issue, potentially resulting in the need for a complete pool tile replacement as the only viable solution.

Moreover, a pool that is completely waterproofed prevents seepage into the ground, resulting in fewer instances of water top-offs and reduced long-term utility expenses. From less scrubbing, to greatly reducing the chances of long-term pool tile replacement and lower water bills, it’s easy to see the benefits of this small up-front investment. 

large, modern rooftop pool on top of luxury condos.

3. Waterproofing Prevents Structural Damage: A Must for Suspended and In-Home Pools

Most importantly, waterproofing protects the structural integrity of the pool shell and surrounding structures. By maintaining a watertight seal, you ensure that your pool remains structurally sound, reducing the risk of leaks, cracks, and other costly issues that could compromise its safety and functionality.

According to Vito Mariano, proprietor of the renowned Basecrete, "When your pool is elevated above ground level, water migration becomes problematic. Moisture and vapor can penetrate through the walls and floor, becoming noticeable on the opposite side. In suspended rooftop and indoor pool installations, waterproofing is absolutely mandatory to avoid severe structural damage to the surrounding areas."

Beautiful modern, luxury rooftop pool with gray loungers.

Also, with the increasing prevalence of raised spas, negative edges, and above-ground installations, the consequences of water transmission through the pool can result in tile detachment, efflorescence, and potentially delamination.

In summary, the benefits of waterproofing are undeniable and should be addressed with your pool professional. It provides long-term cost savings and serves as a crucial protective measure that not only maintains the aesthetic appeal of your pool tile investment but also ensures structural integrity and longevity. Therefore, don't let water-related issues diminish your pool experience—embrace waterproofing and relish your oasis for years to come.

Have further questions about Basecrete or Litokol waterproofing and installation products? Our in-house team of tile specialists are ready to assist you Monday – Friday 9 to 5 ET