Setting Up the Barricade

Time investment: Waterproofing is needed any time tile is applied to a surface. The Tile Council of North America offers suggestions for how to do this. But it can be a time-consuming process: Alan Smith Pool Plastering recently dedicated a four-man crew to this task for eight days on an intricate waterscape with extensive glass tile. He suspects he loses some bids to companies that ignore this step.

Paying the consequences: The contractor of the vanishing-edge wall, above left, appears to have skipped waterproofing, resulting in efflorescence on both sides. To bolster his argument in favor of waterproofing throughout every pool, regardless of finish, builder and consultant Dave Peterson shows the project above right. The hairline cracks likely won’t damage the structure, but efflorescence has built up inside them. Even though the pool has been empty for weeks, the plaster next to the cracks is wet from groundwater pushing through..

Taking shelter: Some waterproofing systems require environmental controls such as tenting so that they don’t set too quickly. This also helps to keep the area clean.

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