Welcome to the Ultimate Guide on Pool Deck Coatings! Here at Encore Coatings, we know how many pool deck options can be considered for a remodelling project or a newly built pool. You’ve probably come across everything from flagstone to pavers, stamped concrete to exposed pebble finishes, and of course, specialty coatings. We hope this guide will address some of your questions and perhaps educate you on the best option to remediate any current concerns with your pool deck!
Diving Right In – Why Refinish Pool Decks?
Depending on budget and what type of site, i.e. residential or commercial , most pool decks remain bare concrete after the pool construction is complete (Natural stone and pavers are very expensive and are typically found amongst the more luxurious swimming pools). Eventually, homeowners will usually treat their bare concrete pool deck with sealers, stains, and other “DIY” treatments throughout the years.
Although budget-friendly, these “lite” products usually last a year or two at best, putting the owner in a perpetual maintenance cycle. They are water thin and meant to penetrate the concrete (non-film forming). UV exposure is always the main cause of failure with these products. However, these penetrating products are always better than using ordinary house paint, which is never a good idea for around the pool as it creates a hot, slippery surface and simply doesn’t belong on concrete to begin with.
Common Pool Deck Options – Knockdown Coatings
Other pool decks have concrete treatments installed immediately after the concrete is poured (typically cementitious knock-down toppings). These products are labor-intensive and require a skilled applicator, but offer some advantages including decorative textures and cooling capabilities for your pool.
Although less expensive than natural stone, tiles, and pavers, these products are always more expensive than the aforementioned “lite / DIY” products simply because they require skilled
labor. Additionally, these “knockdown” products often require freshly poured “green” concrete in order to bond and perform correctly.
*Depending on which knockdown system you’re considering, it may be out of the question if your concrete pool deck is more than 28 days old!
All this being said, knockdown coatings have been available to pool owners since the 1960’s and have become a standard when it comes to pool deck toppings. This is because they are relatively affordable and last a long time- *IF they are installed correctly. Many fail within the first year if application protocols are not followed.
What is the best pool deck coating to use?
COOL! by Encore Coatings is the first product of it’s kind which brings the long term performance of a correctly installed knockdown, but without the headache of a labor intensive installation. COOL! is easily applied as a coating for decks using standard paint tools, making it “DIY-capable” for the everyday homeowner.
Encore Coatings offers an easy to use system that begins with a highly effective cleaner (Triple Crown) for preparing the concrete. Triple Crown encourages the best possible bond between the concrete surface and the coating itself, so you can expect years of performance and longevity.
COOL! is also the best option for resurfacing existing knockdown toppings that may need a makeover. This is a great feature, because as mentioned above, traditional paint and stains become hot and sometimes slippery- making them illogical for resurfacing any pool deck. However, homeowners with aged knockdown toppings are often left with no option but to paint or stain it, simply because a new knockdown installation would require a full demolition of the existing knockdown! This is very expensive, messy, and also requires a skilled contractor with grinding equipment and the know-how.
What deck material does COOL! work best with?
When searching for the best pool deck concrete coatings, you’ll find COOL! Is the most dynamic and offer the most value for the money. It does a great job on the following surfaces:
- New Concrete
- Existing, aged bare concrete
- Stamped Concrete
- Pebble, exposed aggregate concrete
- Existing Knockdown Pool Deck Toppings
How does COOL! work?
COOL! is a very unique product that has many features and benefits that aren’t found elsewhere in the industry. Compared to other pool deck products that are DIY- capable, COOL! is unmatched in the following:
- Durability. Third party ASTM lab testing shows that COOL! is up to 4x more abrasion resistant than average floor coatings. Testing report available for download at encorecoatings.com
- Color Choices. UNLIMITED color choices makes COOL! a fun and creative user experience. End users will often match or contrast the surrounding environment of their home. This is only possible because the product’s design, which is a Part A & Part B that requires a gallon of locally sourced exterior acrylic paint. This means users will add one gallon of their favorite color paint that they choose at the local paint store. COOL! is tinted and activated by the addition of this paint, blended thoroughly into the included contents (Part A & B) of the COOL! bucket.
- Heat Sink Technology. COOL! works by employing a “Heat-Sink” technology that allows excess heat build up to dissipate towards the soil beneath the concrete. This has been found to reduce surface temperatures up to 38%. If heat reduction is a priority for you, remain in the light-mid pastel ranges when choosing colors.
- Warranty. COOL! users receive a lifetime residential material warranty for as long as they own their home, with commercial applications receiving a 10 year material warranty.
How to apply COOL! to your pool deck
COOL! is applied with three simple steps:
- Clean with Triple Crown: Whether you have an existing pool deck topping or bare concrete, Triple Crown is a necessity for preparing the surface to accept COOL! *Triple Crown will not act as a sealer stripper, so always test the surface for active water repellents before beginning Triple Crown phase. Consult an Encore representative for more info. Triple Crown should be sprayed onto the surface using a pump sprayer, allowed to dry, then pressure washed away. Triple Crown will kill vegetation so be diligent during application and aware of rinse drainage.
- Apply COOL!: 2 Coats of COOL! are always required using a ¾” nap roller. The first coat is very important to ensure a good foundational coat has been applied. Do this by feeding the porosity of the surface completely, applying the product fairly “wet” onto the surface, unlike interior house painting. The roller should be dripping wet as it moves from the COOL! bucket to the surface. Allow at least 1-2 hours in between coats, although allowing more time is not prohibited. Do not apply above 85 degrees, work in the morning or late evenings.
- Seal with SealBack Clear Sealer: 2 thin coats of Sealback should be applied to complete the project. You can spray SealBack with a pump sprayer then back-roll into consistency using a ¼” or ½” nap roller.
These are very brief application instructions, PLEASE watch this video below to educate and prepare yourself before beginning application. You’ll be glad you did!
Can I paint a pool deck that has been refinished with COOL! coatings?
Remember, ordinary paints never belong on a pool deck. Therefore, any repainting or patching should be carried out with the COOL! product itself.
COOL! Pool Deck Ideas for your Outdoor Area
Did you know COOL! can be also applied in decorative textures such as a “knockdown” finish and more? Additionally, due to unlimited color selection, COOL! is the most dynamic product available when it comes to custom color combinations.
Watch this video to learn more about custom two-tones and application tips!
Tips for Maintaining Your COOL! Pool Deck
COOL! is relatively maintenance-free, you should expect to clean and reseal with Sealback every 2-3 years depending on UV exposure and foot traffic. SealBack helps the COOL! surface remains clean. However, regular cleaning (blowing leaves, sweeping, hose spraying) should be done to avoid accumulation and decomposition of natural contaminants.
Common Questions about COOL! Pool Deck Coatings
COOL! will, in fact, prevent moisture intrusion from the top side, but will allow the concrete to breathe from underneath, which is important.
Many customers refer to knockdown coatings as “Cool Decks,” simply because the product “KOOL Deck” has been around for so long and is the epitome of a knockdown finish. Yes, COOL! is the best option for resurfacing these old knockdowns without sacrificing any cooling capabilities.
Yes, but proper inspection should be done to ensure the existing paint is still well-adhered to the concrete below. Remember, COOL! is only as good as the surface it’s applied to, therefore loose or compromised material should be removed during the cleaning phase. This is “Coatings 101”!
Yes, COOL! can be applied to green or aged concrete.
Fun Facts: The History of Pool Decks
As mentioned previously, cementitious knockdown toppings hit the scene in the 1960’s and was primarily known as “KoolDeck.” Since then, many other cementitious knockdown systems have come and gone, and many are still around! Although they can be found under many different trade names and each claim to have their own advantages, one thing remains the same: A cementitious formula that is labor intensive to install. Period. COOL! Is the first product of its kind to employ a “hybrid” technology that performs as well as cementitious acrylics, with the ease of application that comes with ordinary paint!
Final Thoughts on COOL!
COOL! is a one of a kind product that was designed with user experience and satisfaction in mind. The pool deck is a brutal and demanding environment for any coating; a peculiar application that requires many features from the coating itself, including:
- Non slip safety factor
- Ease of Application
- Surface Temperature Reduction
- Chemical Resistance
- Long term value
Any product being considered for a pool deck needs to meet most, if not all of these requirements. If not, it will somehow disappoint you down the road. If you have more questions, we’re eager to help you here at Encore Coatings. Give us a call today and a dedicated representative will be happy to help you!
(888) 776- 2242.