Flagstone coping around swimming pool

by Sam
(Houston)

When we built our pool 2 years ago we decided to use flagstone for the coping that goes approx 2 inches into the water. We have a salt water pool system.

As expected and explained by our pool contractor the flagstone would flake for a period of time. The contractor came out and spray sealed the stone after about eight months of installation which didn't seem to do anything.
Two years later the flagstone is flaking worse than in the beginning to the point of deteriating below the grout lines.
Some of the stone can be rubbed off by hand into a redish sand. Needless to say I am concerend and would appreciate your advice.

Thanks,
Sam
Houston Texas

Comments for Flagstone coping around swimming pool

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Los Angeles printing NEW
by: Los Angeles printing

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Hello! NEW
by: Nicol Jackson

Hey Sam, it’s too good that you are having a pool with salt water. Thanks for sharing your experience. I think salt water will get polluted in few days and a pool with salt water will need more maintenance. Pool Cleaning Service, Woodland Hills. A dirty pool will destroy the environment around you and it may lead you get sick so you need to clean your pool in intervals.

Hello! NEW
by: Anonymous

Nice article!

Houston Pool Builders
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Dupont Stonetech Products
by: Lyle T

I recently had a company seal my patio and the coping around my pool. We have Oklahoma flagstone all throughout and when installed, the contractor told me it was sealed. Within about 9 months, there was dust everywhere and flakes falling into my pool daily. I saw many companies offering different products that I have never heard of but I finally found one that carries the DuPont Stonetech product line. They used Saltwater Resistant sealer on the coping and Heavy Duty sealer for the patio. The prep was thorough (which I think is the secret) and the result has been great. If you are looking for a long-term solution, search for a company that uses the DuPont line. I have researched for quite some time and DuPont is by far the most superior brand. Good luck!

Warranty
by: Shelia

I am trying to located the company that is offering a five year warranty on the Dupont Sealer? I think they say if it fails to bead water anytime during the five years they will come back out and re apply it for FREE. No questions asked.

We are located in Houston and our pool was just built, it has flagstone as the coping. I don't mind paying a little more for a company who stands behind their work and can provide some references I can call from a few years ago.

Sure appreciate any feedback. We want this done soon..

Shelia

edited some content
by: David

I deleted some of the content from this thread. I hope it can stay informative and not combative.

David

This thread will be deleted
by: The Flagstone Experts

We have notice several of these post are being done from the same ip addresses and them listing different names, different customer names. If you have an explanation as to why your doing this please contact us. See the email tab on the left.

I agree
by: Anonymous

stop advertising here!!!!!!!!!!

That's right go away
by: Anonymous

You companies need to stop posting here, go away and stop posting your own reviews, "they did a fabulous job" we know these are not true ..

contact Dupont
by: Anonymous

Dupont will be the first one to tell customers that they cannot verify and will not stand behind resellers. That is exactly what they told us.

Besides, this site is supposed to be instructive helpful tips. Not a site for you to be doing free advertising.

wow!
by: Anonymous

sounds like you have a huge chip on your shoulder.

agree
by: Larry W.

I agree with the comment below. My wife and I have followed this site for some time now and it has been real instructive. Lately though it has been very negative and dealer promotional. Hopefully it will pass like a bad flu:)

no way
by: Anonymous

Just because you sell on Amazon does not mean it is legit. Easy to swap out liquid. WAY TOO CHEAP!!!! Impossible to sell at that price.

bogus blog
by: Anonymous

I THINK THIS IS A BOGUS BLOG, BEWARE ON ALL COMMENTS, THEY ARE PROBABLY FROM THE COMPANIES THEMSELVES, ONLY TRUST REFERRALS YOU CAN CALL.....

could be bogus product
by: Anonymous

Dupont sells their Salt water sealer on their website for close to $250 a gallon with shipping and tax. The site below is selling it for about $85 a gallon, including shipping and tax. There is no way they could be selling for a third the cost on Dupont website.. We called Dupont and they said they CANNOT verify the sites selling for so cheap and it may be bogus product. Be very careful when you purchase on internet for such cheap prices. You usually get what you pay for.

Ginger
by: Anonymous

My parents tried Rock Steel almost 2 years ago. The sealer was a slick shiny urethane. It did not allow the stones to breath and got muddied up after about 14 months. The had to have entire area stripped and ended up going with some other silicone based stripper ( not Dupont ), which seems to be working at around 6 months. The stripping was nasty and very expensive.

type of sealer
by: Jonathan C

Can you tell me the exact name of the sealer you use? Seems way too cheap. In response to one of comments below, if you do it yourself make sure to cover all areas , including the lip of the pool and all waterfall and moss rock...that is where alot of the shedding occurs. Also, when manually chipping the loose rock away and pressure washing be very careful not to damage the stone. We learned that the hard way. We also ended up using more product than you mentioned. Good luck!

Stone Sealer
by: Anonymous

Sam,

Any natural stone or masonry surrounding a saltwater pools should be sealed for protection to prevent pitting and flaking of the surface called "Spalling", This is caused by saltwater splash-outs penetrating into porous stone or concrete. The product you need is manufactured by DuPont specifically for stone and masonry surrounding saltwater pools. It can be purchased online at the link below http://www.levantinausaec.com/d14226675.html


Flagstone Seal
by: Carlton (Houston Texas)

Hi everyone,

We did our pool. It took 1 gallon of the Dupont Saltwater sealer, I bought it off ebay, $110.00 plus shipping. I went to Sears $185, Ace Hardware $190.
If you own a pressure washer and a paint brush you can do it. We have a large pool, with two water falls and the spa is raised above the deck coping. I think its 110 linear feet if that helps.
The steps, chip off loose pieces, I used a small paint scraper and screw driver. Then I used a electric pressure washer, low pressure is best. Wash all of the flagstone and waterfall rocks. Let it dry for 3 or 4 hours. You can use a small paint brush or small pump sprayer to apply the sealer, its water based, I was very surprised, easy cleanup, I used almost one gallon. I put it on heavy. Mine looks great, no flaking, no residual in my pool. We did it 30 months ago.
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the hardest this was easier than mowing the yard maybe a 2.



correction on below comment
by: Geraldine K

My husband and son sealed our pool about 14 months ago. We have a fairly standard kidney shaped pool...coping, water feature, and spa. We used close to 2 and half gallons of sealer on that area in order for it to properly absorb into the rock.

It is not bubbling up on the surface and starting to absorb water again. I spoke with a couple of pool guys and they said that any lose stone needed to be chipped away and then a proper pressure wash with a good cleanser that compliments the sealer needs to be done first.

No matter how good the sealer is it definitely needs to be properly prepped first. We are do it your selfers but will definitely have it done professionally on our next go.

correction on below comment
by: Geraldine K

My husband and son sealed our pool about 14 months ago. We have a fairly standard kidney shaped pool...coping, water feature, and spa. We used close to 2 and half gallons of sealer on that area in order for it to properly absorb into the rock.

It is not bubbling up on the surface and starting to absorb water again. I spoke with a couple of pool guys and they said that any lose stone needed to be chipped away and then a proper pressure wash with a good cleanser that compliments the sealer needs to be done first.

No matter how good the sealer is it definitely needs to be properly prepped first. We are do it your selfers but will definitely have it done professionally on our next go.

thumbs up
by: Susan

Texas Stone Sealers did a fantastic job for us. Easy to talk with. Would recommend to my friends.

Susan

Mike
by: Anonymous

I have to apologize, I thought it was Texas Stone Sealers, saw the wonderful comments and thought let me straighten this out. Its my mistake the company was DFW Sealers, my husband corrected me.

Again I apologize, my mistake, I am so so sorry. I don't know you or your company, so very sorry, I feel dumb...Please disregard my earlier comment everyone, I spoke about the wrong company...

Company response
by: Anonymous

This is Mike with Texas Stone Sealers. We pride ourselves on always responding to any warranty inquiries and issues in a timely manner.
In response to the comment below below, the anonymous person stated that he spoke to Ron over 8 months ago. Ron has only been involved with the company for 6 months.

If this anonymous person truely is a disgruntled customer, please contact us immediately so that we can take care of your issue. As service manager, I have always always made sure to respond to any customer inquiries. In addition, the countless testimonials regarding us on this site and our website speak to our high quality of service.

Micheal Martin,
1 888 275 5354

watch out
by: Debbie

I used this so called rock seal product, it lasted about one year, them I had to pay to have it removed, what was left. I was told my flagstone was the problem, huh. They believed in the product so much they would not offer any warranty. Later I had a company come out that really understands flagstone, they removed the remaining rock seal stuff and applied Dupont saltwater resistant sealer, its been three years and my flagstone looks great....I guess they healed my flagstone? I have a five year warranty.. Dupont is the only way to go.

Debbie, real customer,

flagstone problem
by: Martha

Nice blog, we used premier something a couple years ago, it was joke. We found Flagstone Sealers later, they came out and corrected the other guys mistakes.
Its benny or jennifer at 713-882-4602 cost was 500-600 bucks, well worth it. Been two years so far so good.

Martha & Matt
Katy, Texas
Go Aggies

Jim Terrell
by: Anonymous

Wow I did not realize how bad the problem was, I called a couple pool store and they referred me to a company called Flagstone Sealers, flagstonesealers.com, Benny & Jennifer. They came out replaced a few flagstones, cleaned and sealed the rest, the pool looks so good. I wish I had called them a couple years ago. They used the dupont saltwater seal stuff, my flagstone beads water. Very happy with their services. No more dust or flagstone in my pool.....

Jim Terrell

Sealing flagstone
by: Debbie

I have used both duponts saltwater sealer and prosoco. Both products worked well. With my husbands job we live in the same area for 2-3 years then relocate. The dupont cost around 180 per gallon and the prosoco ran about the same. I think we used a couple gallons on each pool, very easy to do.

Debbie
Southlake Texas


Flagstone deterioration in California
by: Angel

Hi, I'm writing from Los Angeles with a similar problem of flagstone flaking and crumbling off around my salt water pool. In some places there are actual chunks of the stone breaking off and some edges of the coping near the steps where one would get in and out, are sharp and serrated due to the erosion.

I'm lookng for someone to come and fix, replace and finally seal my flagstone. Do any of you have a recommendation for a company here that could help me out?

(The pool is about 7 years old.)

Thanks in advance!

Why it Happens
by: Ron

Those replying may want to include the location as well as what type of flagstone you installed. Flagstone is a very general term. Some can be hard and durable while others can be in porous and others flaky. The different colors of flagstone come from the different minerals within the rock. For example some flagstones have a higher amount of sand while others have more clay.
Typically northern/eastern states have harder flagstones than southern. But just because you live in the south doesn't mean that your builder/contractor didn't use a northern type of flagstone. Even in the southern states, Oklahoma flagstone, Arizona flagstone, and Tennessee flagstone can all be quite different in the types of minerals present.

In flagstones with a high percentage of clay (can be any color) the flagstone is more susceptible to salt water erosion/damage. The scientific reason is because the clay particles are very small. The water (with dissolved salt) flows inbetween the clay particles....remember were talking microscopic here. There won't be "leakage" just very slight getting wet at the surface (you might notice a change in color when the stone gets wet.). Over time of hot and cold changes the clay particles will swell and contract. In addition, the water will evaporate leaving the salt behind. When the salt was in the water, it was dissolved into Na and Cl. Each individual Na and Cl are very small. But when the water leaves/evaporates, then the Na and Cl will recombine to make salt again - which is a larger molecule. The size of this molecule cannot fit between the clay particles. Both the temperature change of the clay as well as the salt molecule can cause pressure on the rock and can allow it to break/crack/erode/pit, etc. This process takes time, years maybe months. (This is the reason places with high clay in their soil - like Houston - have ground water pipes burst - because of the natural swelling/contraction during temperature/water changes in the soil. The same thing - albeit on a smaller scale - is what is happening to those that may experience damage.)

Number one suggestion is to have someone seal the flagstone as soon as possible. I would suggest calling Texas Stone Sealers, they know what they are doing.

Carl
Flagstone Masters

Austin Saltwater Pool
by: Allison

We used a couple other sealers with no luck and finally gave up and called Texas Stone Sealers, it took about two weeks to get on the schedule. They did a great job and we have not have any problems for three years now, thanks

Allison,
Georgetown

Best Flagstone/Moss Rock Sealer
by: Claude

The best sealer in the world for flagstone is made right here in Houston and it is called Rock Steel Ultra Porous and is distributed through Lone Star Seal. They are great guys and will council you on the correct product and sell it to you at a great price. Their number is 281-772-6015.

Falgstone Coping problem cured..
by: Gene Tipton

Have to say thank you to Bruce Miller
with Texas Stone Sealers, your guys went out of the way to help me. Great Job THANK YOU. Falgstone pool coping looks perfect...
Gene

Flagstone problem
by: Bruce M

Hello Gene, sanding is a very common problem with flagstone installed as coping on salt water pools. The problem can be corrected, You'll need to clean and seal the flagstone. I would suggest using DuPont's Salt Water Resistant sealer. First thing, this is a project you can complete yourself. Not sure what city you live in, I am located in Houston my toll free number is 888-275-5354 call and I'll walk you through the process. Also you may find our website to be helpful www.texasstonesealers.com
Bruce 888-275-5354


Flagstone problem
by: Gene

Any suggestions on how to stop flagstone from turning into sand, its breaking down very slowly.
I'll check back in a couple days.


Flagstone Sealer
by: Tile Savers of Houston

Problem with flagstone in New Orleans, if you will contact me and I'll walk you through the process and find you a DuPont dealer in New Orleans that carries the DuPonts Saltwater Sealer. We have installed this product on many pools and it will correct your problem if installed correctly.

Tile Savers of Texas
Bruce M
888-275-5354
www.tilesaversofhouston.com

Flagstone Disaster
by: Anonymous

I have a three month old saltwater pool with flagstone coping. Whenever I walk or sit on the flagstone I am covered in a gray film.
I contacted the pool company in New Orleans and needless to say they deny what is obviously happening with the coping. They indicated that I should pressure wash the flagstone and that the problem of the flagstone flaking will eventually stop. I can not even get this company to seal the stone. Any ideas

DuPont Saltwater Sealer Installer
by: Tile Savers of Texas

Great questions, we use DuPont Saltwater Sealer on all flagstone around saltwater pools, it works great. It is expensive, around $150-$175 per gallon for the DIY, to date we have installed it on over 1000 pools with very good results. The product is not difficult to install, cleanup is easy, it's the prep work that takes some time. The sealer will prevent most of the problems addressed in this blog. Remember it will need to be re-applied every 4-6 years depending on use and condition of the flagstone when first applied.
Tile Savers of Texas has offices in all of the major cities in Texas and will be glad to answer any questions you may have or quote your sealing project, our toll free number is 888-275-5354.

Tile Savers of Texas
Bruce
888-275-5354


Salt Water Pool
by: Anonymous

I have had my saltwater pool for six years and have the Oklahoma Flagstone.

Not long after the pool was completed I sealed the flagstone using a product called "Dry-Treat 40SK". 5 years plus later, flagstone still looks great. I have a couple of pieces that show a little wear and flaking (40' pool - lots of coping). I would powerwash, let dry for a day or two, apply product according to direction and hopefully you will get great results as I have had. Pool equipment and chlorine cell have not had any issues to date. I don't like the tatse of the water, my eyes and skin love it compared to using chlorine as a disinfectant. The cost on the product is about 150 per gallon, yes expensive but it works compared to other inferior brands.
To sum it up...I am not against flagstone and saltwater so long as you seal it with a top notch sealer. Good Luck - Greg C. Houston, Texas

Flagstone Sealer
by: Benny

We have had excellent results from the DuPont Saltwater Sealer on our flagstone coping and moss rock waterfall. We hired Tile Savers of Houston, they cleaned and sealed both the flagstone/moss rock and pool tile. They removed the calcium buildup. Pool looks great. Our main problem was the stone appeared to be breaking down and we kept having to clean out the sand from the stone, hope I said that right.

Benny

Seal...then enhance?
by: Brenda

We have Oklahoma stone around our 3-year-old salt pool. It's holding up OK, but I need to seal it. But I also want to use an enhancer because I like the look of the stone better when it's wet. Can I do both? In what order? Recommended product?

Thank you!!

Never found a lasting solution
by: M from Texas

We were new to pool ownership when we installed salt with our beautiful flagstone coping. It's been 3 years now and we are simply going to install the tried and true chlorine feeder. The spalling issue is real and it a never ending battle. I've tried 3 different (expensive) products that all but guarantee to stop this. Looked great for a few weeks then starts to show signs of being eaten away. Surface prep done with a grinder with a wire wheel is very hard work. This will be my 3rd time to resurface the stone The advice you are seeing here and on other sites is right. If you want a salt system make sure you install a manmade material for your coping such as tile or brick. Salt systems are fine but they're not any cheaper and less trouble than the plain old chlorine pool. It just a preference thing. Salt water is softer and doesn't have the smell of chlorine. As it was explained to me, the key is to keep your water checked and in shape. Otherwise there's no more work with one or the other.

Flagstone + Saltwater = No Bueno
by: Anonymous

The flagstone coping around our pool has been steadily deteriorating for the past 4 years. We contacted our pool builder, South Beach Pools, and they completely ignored us. We've tried sealing several times and that just results in bigger chunks coming off the flagstone. I finally had a pool guy come out and he said that they should have never installed flagstone around the pool because it's too porous. When the water from the saltwater pool system splash up on the flagstone, the minerals get into the pores of the stone, which expands when it's dry (thus causing the flagstone to deteriorate).
Thanks South Beach!

Dupont Saltwater Professional
by: Premier Sealer Of Texas

The coping needs to be pressure washed and cleaned. Let dry for maybe a day, temp should be above 80 but below 100. The product need to be brushed on doing one stone at a time, keep applying until you notice its not soaking in anymore, don't let it puddle.

All flaking or loose pieces need to be removed before you apply the sealer. As long as its cleaned and applied correctly we have good results. Alot of the success will depend also on the current condition of the stone.

Hope this helps.

Premier Sealer Of Texas
Chris C

Flagstone errosion
by: Tommy G in LC

I saw a comment on this blog referencing the DuPont sealer. My friend used the sealer and has experienced much success. I too used it with much less success. I was experiencing the "sanding" on the bottom of the pool so I washed and scrubbed the coping. I then let it dry thoroughly during the summer and I sealed it according to the directions. The errosion returned much worse than it was previously. It almost appears it was erroding under the sealer and now is breaking off into small sheet like pieces. The pool is beautiful, the equipment is great; however, I will never install a salt water pool again with flagstone..... I wish someone could offer a viable solution but I don't think one exists.

We can seal the flagstone
by: Premier Sealer of Houston

I get so many request from customers, one ask me to post on your website. We clean and seal flagstone in and around saltwater pools and have very good success. It needs to be done soon after the pool has been installed.

Premier Sealer of Houston
713-780-3333

Sorry to have spent the extra for a saltwater system
by: Anonymous

Our pool is 4 years old. We too have a salt water system with flagstone coping and paramiter edging. I am furious that our builder did not even bring up the issue that saltwater systems will cause greater deterioration of flagstone.He did not even mention that we would need to seal it. We are also on our second salt cell and at $800 a pop, this is another expense of the saltwater system. We are told they go out about every 3 years. I would NOT advise a saltwater system- it is a bunch of hype by pool builders to get you to spend more!!

Flagstone coping
by: Anonymous

Do not use flagstone coping on your salt water pool. I made this mistake and it has caused me nothing but misery. The flagstone has flaked into my pool from the beginning. It has been resealed three times with no success. It simply is not appropriate material for a salt pool. I would suggest a different material or a traditional pool system.

Make it right
by: Marval

Sam,
We put a pool in about four years ago and had the salt system. We had the unforunate problem of the flagstone wearing away continually getting worse and worse. Every summer we called the pool builder and each time someone from the company came to take a look. We tried sealing the flagstone to no avail and the flagston was staining the floor of the pool. Finally, this year I wrote a letter explaining to the owner that something needed to be done because we had been told by others that the salt system eats away flagstone. We were also not told this was the first time the pool builder had ever tried to use this flagstone. After sending the letter and not getting any response my husband and I just showed up at his office and told him it was time to do some thing and if need be I would go to the news people because they have someone who reports on problems. We were very cordial to him and told him we did not want to ruin his business but the right thing for them to do was to replace it. He responded and offered to replace all our flagstone, which was alot, and did a rock salt finish. We came to a final agreement and they have replaced it. We shared half the expense. They also acid washed the inside of the pool and now it is prettier than ever. I would be persistant with the builder and try to get them to repair the damage. Me

Make it right
by: Marval

Sam,
We put a pool in about four years ago and had the salt system. We had the unforunate problem of the flagstone wearing away continually getting worse and worse. Every summer we called the pool builder and each time someone from the company came to take a look. We tried sealing the flagstone to no avail and the flagston was staining the floor of the pool. Finally, this year I wrote a letter explaining to the owner that something needed to be done because we had been told by others that the salt system eats away flagstone. We were also not told this was the first time the pool builder had ever tried to use this flagstone. After sending the letter and not getting any response my husband and I just showed up at his office and told him it was time to do some thing and if need be I would go to the news people because they have someone who reports on problems. We were very cordial to him and told him we did not want to ruin his business but the right thing for them to do was to replace it. He responded and offered to replace all our flagstone, which was alot, and did a rock salt finish. We came to a final agreement and they have replaced it. We shared half the expense. They also acid washed the inside of the pool and now it is prettier than ever. I would be persistant with the builder and try to get them to repair the damage. Me

oklahoma pool coping
by: Anonymous

I have had my pool for less than a year and do not have a salt system. My oklahoma flagstone coping is flaking so bad Iam wondering if there is going to be any left in a few more years.

flagstone & salt water pools
by: Anonymous

The primo swimming pool company in my area put in my lovely salt water pool the end of the summer of 2006. After multiple problems -- equipment failures and the total inability of the pool to maintain a chlorine level -- the company finally admitted in 2009 that sealing the flagstone wasn't sufficient to prevent the degradation of the stone and the attendant equipment failures. After much back and forth, they converted the failed system. This pool company no longer installs saltwater pools.
Don't use a saltwater pool if you have flagstone!

Flagstone Coping with Saltwater Pool
by: KatyPoolDisaster

I have a flagstone coping around my saltwater pool and had the coping replaced about a 18 months ago due to excessive deterioration of the stone. I was informed that the problems were only due to poor quality stone on the first go around and putting back in would be fine.

I am now 18 months down the road and am in the same condition with lots of sanding and flaking of the stone. I am now told that I should not be using a salt water pool system and one company says that I can wash the stone off and seal it and that will stop the issue another insists that the salt has leached into the stone and will continue to deteriorate, and the stone should be replaced.

Has anyone else faced this issue?

Stone Sealer
by: Anonymous

Any natural stone or masonry surrounding a saltwater pools should be sealed for protection to prevent pitting and flaking of the surface called "Spalling", This is caused by saltwater splash-outs penetrating into porous stone or concrete. The product you need is manufactured by DuPont specifically for stone and masonry surrounding saltwater pools. It can be purchased online at the link below http://www.levantinausaec.com/d14226675.html

Saltwater Pools & Natural Stone
by: Anonymous

As Sam has found out, salt water pool systems don't play nice with natural stone. If you MUST have a salt water pool, your builder SHOULD recommend you use ONLY man-made coping (brick, cement, etc.) and ceramic waterline tiles. Further, pebble plaster is almost a must because of the staining that will occur immediately with traditional white marble plaster in a salt pool.

Sorry you're having the problem, but your builder should have either explained this to you or steered you away from a salt water pool. Be prepared to replace your equipment sooner as well. The salt eats the pump parts up rather quickly as well.

Unfortunately, the pool equipment manufacturers don't TEST their products for years before putting them to market. The consumer is the one that gets to find out what happens 5 - 10 years down the road.

The pool chemicals
by: David

Dear Sam,

My dad has done a few swimming pool copings, but he usually advises people against it for two reasons.

One reason is that the pool chemicals tend to beat up the stone fairly fast and two, flagstone tends to get very hot making it uncomfortable for people when they get out of the pool.

It sounds like the pool chemicals are attacking your stone. He's got some good sealers that have worked, but your stone might be too far gone.

Your should give Prosoco a call at 1-800-255-4255. That's the chemical company my dad has used for years and maybe they will have a solution for you.

Great luck!

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