The Ultimate Guide to Waterproofing Your Gunite Pool

If you own a gunite pool, you probably know how important maintaining and protecting it is. A gunite pool is a significant investment, and you want to ensure it lasts for decades, providing you and your family with years of enjoyment. One of the most critical aspects of gunite pool maintenance is waterproofing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about waterproofing your gunite pool, including why it’s essential and how to do it effectively.

Why should you waterproof your gunite pool?

First, you need to know why waterproofing is critical for your gunite pool. A gunite pool is made of concrete that has a low water absorption rate and is highly resistant to freeze-thaw cycles. However, it is not entirely impervious to water. Prolonged exposure to water can cause cracks and leaks, leading to costly repairs. Waterproofing your gunite pool ensures that it stays in excellent condition for years to come, even in harsh weather conditions.

Types of Waterproofing Materials

Different types of waterproofing materials are available in the market, all offering different advantages: cementitious coatings, liquid membranes, and epoxy coatings. Cementitious coatings are the most affordable and easy to apply but require frequent maintenance. Liquid membranes are more expensive but provide better waterproofing results. Epoxy coatings are the most durable and long-lasting but require professional application and dismantling of the pool for application.

The Process of Waterproofing a Gunite Pool

Waterproofing your gunite pool will depend on the type of material you choose. Going for cementitious coatings is as simple as applying a thin coat and allowing it to dry. However, if you opt for more permanent solutions like liquid membranes or epoxy coatings, the process can be more complex. It will require thorough preparation, such as cleaning and smoothing out the surface and ensuring it’s debris-free. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, contacting a professional to perform the task may be necessary.

Non-Toxic Waterproofing Materials

If you’re environmentally conscious and concerned about using harsh chemicals, non-toxic waterproofing materials are available. Natural rubber latex-based sealers, for example, are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional waterproofing materials and are both biodegradable and non-flammable. They adhere well to concrete surfaces and provide long-lasting waterproof protection. However, make sure to research brands that offer non-toxic and eco-friendly options before making a purchase.

7 Steps to Waterproof a gunite pool

To waterproof a gunite pool, you’ll need to follow a series of steps to ensure proper sealing and protection against water leakage. Here’s a general guide to help you waterproof your gunite pool:

  1. Drain the pool: Start by draining the pool completely. Ensure that the pool is dry before proceeding with the waterproofing process.
  2. Clean the pool surface: Thoroughly clean the pool surface to remove any dirt, debris, or loose material. Use a pressure washer or a stiff brush to scrub the entire surface.
  3. Repair cracks and damage: Inspect the pool for any cracks, chips, or other damages. Repair these areas using an appropriate pool repair compound or hydraulic cement. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the repair product.
  4. Etch the surface: Gunite is a porous material, so it’s necessary to etch the surface to improve the adhesion of the waterproofing material. Use an etching solution specifically designed for concrete or gunite surfaces. Apply the solution per the manufacturer’s instructions, and rinse it thoroughly with clean water.
  5. Apply the waterproofing agent: Choose a high-quality one suitable for gunite or concrete surfaces. Various options are available, such as epoxy coatings, rubber-based coatings, or specialized pool waterproofing products. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific product you choose.
  6. Allow for curing time: Once the waterproofing agent is applied, allow it to cure as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves keeping the pool empty and avoiding any water contact for a specific period.
  7. Fill the pool: After the waterproofing agent has fully cured, you can refill the pool with water. Monitor the pool for any signs of leakage and ensure the waterproofing is effective.


Waterproofing Your Gunite Pool may seem daunting, but it’s a manageable task with the right knowledge and preparation. Remember to choose the right waterproofing material, research eco-friendly options, and seek professional help. Most importantly, maintain your pool regularly, and keep it clean. With these essential tips in mind, your gunite pool will remain in perfect condition for years, providing you and your family endless hours of fun in the sun.

Remember, the specific products and procedures may vary depending on the brand of waterproofing agent you choose. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Additionally, if you’re not experienced with pool maintenance or repairs, it’s advisable to consult with a professional pool contractor who can provide expert guidance and assistance throughout the waterproofing process.

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