Sealing Your Salt Water Pool Deck FAQs
There are so many advantages to having a salt water pool. Salt water is less harsh on your skin, there’s no horrid chlorine smell, and salt water pools are less costly to maintain. Although salt water is clearly an improvement over chlorine, the truth is that even salt can impact sealed decorative concrete finishes over time.
Once water splashed on the concrete around pools begins to evaporate, salt crystals form and adhere to the sealer surface. At the microscopic level, salt crystals are jagged in shape and begin to damage the concrete sealer finish with repeated exposure.
The question is, what can be done to prevent the damage? Oh boy, do we have some handy tips for you! Keep in mind that all of the following recommendations apply to chlorine pools as well – especially those daily maintenance tips.
Salt water pools are all the rage these days for both residential and commercial installations. Without question, salt water is an improvement over chlorine, but even salt can have an impact on sealed decorative concrete finishes over time.
Once water splashed on the poolside concrete begins to evaporate, salt crystals form and adhere to the sealer surface. At the microscopic level, salt crystals are quite jagged in shape and begin to damage the sealer finish with repeated exposure.
The question is, what can be done to prevent the damage? Keep in mind that all our recommendations would also apply to chlorinated pools as well, especially the daily maintenance tips.
What is the best concrete sealer for a salt water pool deck?
Whether you’re speaking to our DIYers or DC Pro contractors, solvent-based acrylic sealers are most definitely the winner – ding ding! These concrete sealers seal and protect the deck surface from abrasion and saltwater absorption.
Select a satin finish sealer rather than a high gloss sealer. High gloss acrylic sealers can create a slip hazard when wet which means they’re not a great choice for a pool deck! Our EasySeal Satin Concrete and Paver Sealer is the best choice for rough outdoor concrete.
To further reduce slip hazards by the pool, add a non-slip concrete sealer additive to the last coat of acrylic sealer.
For smooth concrete that hasn’t been previously sealed, consider our Penetrating Concrete Sealer & Hardener.
While this matte finish sealer provides no gloss whatsoever, it’s a one-time sealer application that lasts just as long as the life of the concrete. Seriously! It’s also highly salt resistant and significantly reduces damage and discoloration caused by salt residues.
What do I do if salt deposits occur?
First, make sure the discoloration is due to saltwater. Irrigation often leaves hard water deposits on concrete and may also leave a milky, powder-like residue over time. Apply full-strength vinegar to the affected area first to see if the material dissolves away after cleaning.
If not, it’s time to get out the power washer and carefully clean off the salt residue from the surface without damaging the sealer finish. Wait until the concrete is completely dry before evaluating whether or not the cleaning was successful.
How often should I reseal my concrete pool deck?
Most pool decks sealed with an acrylic sealer will need to be resealed every two to three years. Here’s the gist of how it’s done.
Once the concrete is clean and dry, apply the sealer (spraying is the best method) and allow it to dry. Repeat. Two coats are always better than one with acrylic sealers.
A polyurea, polyurethane, or urethane sealer will require light sanding before reapplication, so it’s helpful to know which one you’ve used in the past before applying anything new.
Need some inspiration? Check out our Concrete Pool Deck Stain Ideas!
Is there anything I can do to prevent concrete damage?
If you tend to host a ton of pool parties or use your pool often, be sure to rinse off the concrete pool deck afterward each time. Salt water may damage concrete sealer over time, but washing the deck off with your garden hose after extensive use will make a big difference in both sealer appearance and long-term durability.
Now go ahead and enjoy that pool!