Saturday, February 21, 2015

Natural Stone around Swimming Pools

Natural stone is beautiful adjacent to water.  But not all natural stones are suitable for use around swimming pools.

Chose the Right Stone

The density of a stone will help determine it's durability outdoors.  Soft stones will wear from traffic, spall, crack and stain easily.  Many people like the softer appearance of these stones, such as flagstone, limestone, shale and sandstone.  These stones are known as sedimentary rocks.

The porous nature of these rocks also makes them susceptible to  cracking from freeze - thaw cycles.  They are suitable for use in warmer climates, however they will experience issues in colder climates.  Irrigation overspray and chlorinated pool water can also cause damage to the stones.

These stones stain easily.  Stains easily penetrate the matrix of the stone due to their porous nature.  They will quickly degrade in oceanfront applications, due to the salt exposure.

Igneous rocks such as granite and basalt are much denser.  As such, they are more suitable for use outdoors and around swimming pools.  Like any stone, they are susceptible to damage and staining.  But their density prevents deep penetration of the stain.  This density also helps resist free - thaw damage.  Splash out from salt water pools also seem to cause less damage to these  stones.

Metamorphic rock, such as marble may not be the best stone around swimming pools.  They tend to be soft and contain minerals that are easily dissolved by salts.  Chlorinated pool water can wreak havoc on these stones.  Common pool chemicals, acids, food and drink stains if not attended to swiftly can lead to permanent stains and damage.

Get it in WRITING

Who ever specifies and recommends stones for use around a swimming pool should be asked these questions.  They should respond to them in writing, so that the owner has documentation as to the performance of the materials.

If there is any doubt, inquiries should be made of the rock quarry.  They know the exact properties of their products, the densities, compressive strengths, permeability and resistance to freeze - thaw issues.

When in doubt - get it in WRITING.

Contact the author, 
Paolo Benedetti of Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa at: 
or 408-776-8220. 
Visit his website at: 
All Contents © Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, 2013. 
All rights reserved.

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To contact the author, Paolo Benedetti of Aquatic Technology pool and Spa, email him at: or call 408-776-8220.
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