Without cement, the world would be a very different place. The Romans used it to build and maintain their empire, it remains the material of choice for deep footings or foundations, and it simply can’t be beat if you’re building a hydroelectric dam. However, if you’re installing a pool and not, say, recreating the Pantheon in your backyard, there are better options available. Here are five good reasons to pick something other than concrete or cement for your in-ground pool deck.
1. It’s Abrasive
The knock on concrete used to be that it was incredibly slippery when it got wet, and that is still true, but there are now additives that can make concrete much less slippery...and instead make it abrasive. There’s no question that abrasive is better than slippery when it comes to safety, but that’s cold comfort when you’re nursing scrapes on elbows and knees after someone takes a tumble.
2. It’s Ugly
The Brutalist movement in architecture didn’t last particularly long, but it did produce a startling number of massive concrete structures worldwide. While the name actually stems from a French term for raw concrete, it’s also an accurate descriptor of the hulking, grey buildings that dominated the former Soviet Union. Plain concrete adds nothing to a space and costs rise quickly for any treatment designed to make it look less, well, brutal.
3. It Needs to be Replaced
Despite its reputation for strength and durability, concrete can show quite a bit of damage. If the surface is porous, it can stain easily, and the settling of the soil will cause it to crack and become uneven. Some of the damage can be mitigated by annual repairs, but deeper damage can require a whole new slab.
4. It Gets Really Hot
Anyone who has stood in line at a waterpark knows that concrete gets hot and stays hot, making it unpleasant to stand or walk on for any length of time. Given that the summer sun is a big reason people love pools, why put a material known for conducting heat between them and the sweet relief they crave?
5. It’s As Hard As a Rock
The vast majority of public pools have a prominent sign that says “no glass by the pool,” because a glass dropped on concrete won’t just break, it will shatter and shard. A softer deck will be more pleasant for parents or anyone else who has to stand in the pool area without being in the pool, and should someone fall, they’ll be grateful for a surface
Concrete is a traditional choice for pools, but just like togas went out of style, it’s time to find a modern option for your pool deck.