By Mike Farley
It’s a case of familiarity breeding neglect: Pool and deck contractors work with so much mastic through the years that it’s easy for them to take this wonderful material for granted. And that’s a shame, because I’ve run into plenty of clients who are plainly interested in learning what function these rubbery joints serve and why they’re a necessary part of the package.
The video linked below offers an explanation that’s helped my own clients see why mastic-filled joints are there and understand their importance to the long-term performance and durability of their pools’ coping and any associated decking. It’s pretty basic, but I find that it also leads to helpful follow-up discussions about longer-term maintenance issues and the fact that these flexible lines of sand-covered material will eventually need to be replaced.
To be sure, I’m not always thrilled by the way these lines can divide deck spaces into distinct visual zones, but the alternative of cantilevering material across the gap between the coping/bond beam structure and the decking’s substrate can be time consuming and quite costly (depending upon the extent of the pool’s perimeter and how much of it is bound by decking). Even then, mastic is still part of the process (although a less obvious one), so the video’s explanation suits just about every occasion.
Please feel free to share this one with your curious clients: It’ll motivate them to keep their eyes open – maybe even vigilant enough to stop the kids from poking away at the mastic with sharp sticks!
To see the video on mastic joints, click here.
Mike Farley is a landscape designer with nearly 25 years of experience and is currently a designer/project manager for Claffey Pools in Southlake, Texas. He holds a degree in landscape architecture from Texas Tech University and has worked as a watershaper in both California and Texas.