Pool coping is essential in any swimming pool, as it covers the top edge of the pool wall, giving the pool a finished look. However, pool coping is constantly exposed to water, sun, and chemicals, making it prone to damage and deterioration over time. To protect and prolong the life of the pool coping, you should use a high-quality sealant.
In this article, I’ll explore the different types of sealants you can use for pool coping and help you determine the best one for your pool.
- You need to seal pool coping to protect it from water damage, UV rays, salt, and mold. It also helps improve safety.
- There are three types of pool coping sealant: silicone, acrylic, or polyurethane.
- Some factors to consider when picking a pool coping sealant include durability, appearance, application, and maintenance.
- As a general rule, you should seal pool coping every 2-3 years.
Why Do You Need to Seal Pool Coping?
Pool coping is the edging around the perimeter of the top of a swimming pool. It typically hangs over the water slightly and is a barrier between the decking and the pool. It serves several important functions, such as protecting the pool structure from water damage, UV rays, salt, and mold. It also improves safety by preventing slips and falls. Pool coping is generally made from concrete, natural stone, bricks, or composite.
Sealing pool coping is necessary to protect it from weathering, erosion, and water damage. Coping left unsealed can absorb water, which can cause it to crack, fade, or discolor over time. Sealing the coping helps to prevent water from penetrating the material, reducing the risk of damage and extending its lifespan.
In addition to protecting the coping material, sealing also helps maintain the pool area’s appearance because sealant prevents the color of the coping from fading. It can also make cleaning and maintenance easier by reducing the porosity of the surface and making it less prone to stains and discoloration.
Types of Pool Coping Sealant
Here are some of the common types of sealant used for pool coping.
Silicone sealant is one of the most popular choices for sealing pool coping. It is very flexible, durable, and water-resistant, so it ticks all the boxes to protect your coping. This type of sealant is made of silicone-based polymers that bond with your coping and prevent water from seeping through. On top of being durable, it is also easy to apply, dries quickly, and is available in a range of colors to match the coping or deck’s color scheme. Silicone sealant cures very fast, typically being fully cured in less than 24 hours.
One downside of silicone sealant is that it can be more expensive than other sealant options. In some cases, it can cost more than twice as much! It also requires proper surface preparation before application to ensure it bonds effectively. Furthermore, silicone sealant may not be the best choice for all coping materials, such as natural stone, as it may discolor or stain some porous surfaces.
Best Silicone Sealant For Pool Coping: Siloxa-Tek 8500
Siloxa-Tek 8500 is the perfect choice if you’re after a silicone-based sealant for your pool coping. This industrial-grade sealant protects your coping from water and salt (super handy if you have a saltwater pool!). It is incredibly easy to apply with a sprayer, roller, or brush. And since this sealant dries clear, you won’t experience any appearance changes on your pool coping – unlike some other silicone sealants!
Acrylic concrete sealant is a popular pool coping sealant option due to its affordability and ease of application. Acrylic sealant is made of acrylic resin and is water-based. This type of sealant forms a protective film over the surface of the coping, helping to prevent water absorption and reducing the risk of cracking, fading, or discoloration.
Acrylic sealants also come in either a matte or glossy finish that can enhance the appearance of the pool area. Glossy finishes make the coping look shiny and almost wet-looking, and a matte finish retains the natural look of the coping.
One downside of acrylic sealant is that it is less durable than other sealant options, so it must be reapplied more often.
Best Acrylic Sealant For Pool Coping: EasySeal Concrete Sealer
EasySeal Concrete Sealer is an ideal choice for pool coping. This sealer penetrates the concrete pores, creating a barrier that resists water, UV damage, and stains. It has a clear, matte finish. So, your coping will maintain its natural look. EasySeal is affordable, straightforward to apply, quick-drying, and fade-resistant.
Polyurethane is a type of plastic used in sealant that is typically oil-based. Polyurethane sealant is known for its exceptional durability and flexibility. It can withstand high temperatures, heavy foot traffic, and movement without cracking or deteriorating. This makes it an ideal choice for high-stress areas and is great for pool coping in a pool that gets a lot of use, such as public pools. Polyurethane sealant also has excellent adhesion, which means it bonds very effectively.
However, it tends to be more expensive than acrylic sealant and can be more challenging to apply than other types of sealant. Because it is oil-based, you cannot clean it up with water, so it is more difficult to remove from unwanted areas. Polyurethane sealant also tends to affect people with chemical sensitivities more than other types of sealant.
Best Polyurethane Sealant For Pool Coping: Liquid Rubber Textured Polyurethane Deck Coating
This PU sealant by Liquid Rubber is a great option if you’re looking for polyurethane coating for your pool coping. It is hard, durable, and waterproof. Plus, it is ideal for pool coping as it is both waterproof and has excellent UV stability. This product is available in both textured and smooth finishes and comes in a variety of different colors.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pool Coping Sealant
Choosing the right sealant for your pool coping is crucial to properly protect your sealant. Here are some basic considerations.
Durability is one of the main factors to consider when choosing between silicone, polyurethane, and acrylic sealants. Silicone and PU sealants are highly durable and resistant to UV rays, chemicals, and abrasions. On the other hand, acrylic sealants are less durable but provide and may need to be reapplied every few years.
Another critical factor to consider is the appearance of the sealant. Silicone sealants come in various colors and finishes, making them suitable for achieving a glossy or matte appearance; however, they may cause staining on a natural looking coping. PU sealants come in clear or colored options and can come in a matte finish. Acrylic sealants are primarily clear but can be tinted to match the color of the pool coping material.
Application is also very important. PU sealants are more difficult to apply than silicone and acrylic and are much more difficult to clean. PU sealants also require a clean and dry surface for proper adhesion, so you must prepare the area beforehand to ensure the coping is not wet.
The maintenance required for the sealant is another factor to consider. Silicone sealants require less maintenance and can withstand extreme temperatures. PU sealants may need reapplication after a few years, depending on how often the pool is used. Acrylic sealants are the most prone to cracking and require more frequent reapplication.
What is the Best Sealant For Pool Coping?
Ultimately, the best type of sealant for pool coping will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you really don’t know what you’re doing, though, I recommend contacting a professional pool contractor or supplier to determine the most suitable sealant for your particular pool and coping materials. I’m also happy to help if you want to shoot me an email.
- Silicone sealant is an excellent option if it fits your budget and you want the most durable and flexible option, but it isn’t a good option for a natural look and can be expensive.
- Acrylic sealant is easy to install, looks great, and is affordable. But it is less durable than other options and will require more maintenance.
- Polyurethane sealant is very strong and flexible, but applying it is much more difficult due to its strong adhesive properties.
Tips for Applying Pool Coping Sealant
Here are some of my top tips for applying pool coping sealant:
- Choose the right type of sealant: First of all, you should choose the best sealant for your coping based on the color, usage your pool gets, and budget.
- Clean and dry the coping: Before applying the sealant, remove any debris or dirt from the area using a brush and a mild detergent. Then allow the area to dry completely.
- Apply the sealant: Apply the sealant to the coping. Use a sprayer, roller, or brush to apply the sealant and smooth it out evenly on the coping.
- Work in sections: It’s best to work in sections, applying the sealant to one area at a time and ensuring it is applied correctly before moving on to the next section.
- Allow the sealant to cure: After applying the sealant, allow it to cure for the recommended time before using the pool. This can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, depending on the type of sealant used.
- Regular maintenance: Regularly inspect the sealant for any signs of wear or damage and reapply the sealant when necessary to ensure the pool coping remains water-tight. You should also clean the coping regularly.
Read my research on the pool coping installation process for the rest of the steps outside of just sealing.
How Often to Reseal Pool Coping
As a general rule, you should reseal your pool coping every 2-3 years. However, the frequency of resealing your pool coping depends on a few factors, including the coping material, the quality of the sealant itself, the amount of exposure to external factors like sunlight and chemicals, and even the climate.
If you notice any damage to the sealant or the pool coping, you may need to reseal your coping then and there to prevent any further damage.
If you’re unsure if you need to reseal your pool coping, you can do a quick test. Simply sprinkle a couple of drops of water on the coping and watch how the water behaves. Your sealant is still effective if the water beads up and rolls off. On the other hand, if the water spreads, it means it is time to reseal your pool coping.
Questions about pool coping? Let me know; I’m here to help.