repair my pool deck

What Is the Best Way to Handle Uneven Concrete Around My Pool Deck?

You’ve got a fabulous pool . . . or well, it used to be fabulous until your pool deck started looking unsightly with uneven panels and tripping hazards. Ack! It’s also practically summer and you’re behind on getting this handled.

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

How can you get these unsafe and uneven concrete surfaces in shape and return your pool to its former glory as quickly as possible? 

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we fix uneven concrete surfaces of all kinds including pool decks. Not only do I own a foundation repair company, but I also own a pool and have tried to solve this problem personally. So I am *quite familiar* with this issue and can share all the options you have to tackle it even if we don’t offer every solution.

This article discusses various ways a pool owner can handle uneven concrete surfaces organized from fast and cheap to difficult and costly. Along the way, we also help point you toward the choice that sounds like the best direction for you.

7 Ways to Deal With an Uneven Pool Deck

ways to deal with an uneven pool deck
Seven is a good number, ain’t it?

Here are seven options to explore for handling your uneven pool deck. Notice I didn’t say *repair* because all these are not necessarily repair options but just ways to handle (or not handle) the issue.

These choices are organized from fastest/cheapest/easiest to most difficult, time-consuming, and costly. So without further ado, here are the ways to deal with that darn pool deck:

  1. Do practically nothing – highlight the trip hazard with spray paint so no one trips
  2. Do next to nothing – cover it up with furniture, an outdoor rug, or a waterproof mat
  3. Address it by grinding down the high spots
  4. Repair by raising, leveling, and filling voids with mud jacking
  5. Repair by raising and leveling with polyjacking
  6. Partial removal and replacement of only the uneven parts – attempt to match the finish
  7. Full removal and replacement of the entire pool deck with a new finish

Summer is *pretty much* here as this article is being published so if you’re reading this hot off the press you might opt for quicker solutions. But if you stumble upon this article at another time of year, some of the more involved fixes could be more feasible.

More About Your Options to Handle Uneven Pool Decks

Some homeowners might not need more detail on the options listed above. For those who want to take a *deep dive* on the choices, we will do so now.

1. Highlight the Trip Hazard and Hope for the Best

You wanted fast and cheap, well this is it. Buy yourself a nice bright can of spray paint and mark off the tripping hazard locations. Since it’s a pool deck, you might have to refresh your paint lines in case they fade or wash out throughout the summer.

concrete repair for tripping hazards

Maybe the uneven spots are in just one or two places that you can very easily highlight and/or avoid. Maybe you don’t plan on having any potential summer guests likely to sue you for injuries should they fall. Hopefully, your sister won’t sue you if you’re babysitting her kids all summer for free. . . 

Potential Cost: How much is a can of spray paint going for these days? Looks like about $7-9.

Disclaimer: I didn’t say this was the best option or even a good option, but it’s certainly a quick and easy option to handle things in the short term if the risks are low for injury or lawsuits. But really, there are many reasons to fix your tripping hazards instead of ignoring them.

2. Cover with Furniture or a Rug

If the uneven areas lend themselves to a cover-up, you can rearrange or buy some new furniture or a rubber mat/rug to essentially hide the problem area. It can certainly help keep people safer from trip hazards. 

how to fix an uneven pool deck
I swear there is *nothing* under this rug…

Covering the problem is very easy but may or may not work well for you depending on the location of the issues. You still want to place the furniture or rug where it at least makes a little sense, especially if guests are coming over.

This is a lot like putting a rug over a stain on your carpet. The issue is still there, but it’s not visible or as obvious to the visitors. A quick camouflage tactic like this can feasibly work for quite some time, as long as the problem is not actively getting worse.

Potential Cost: Could be free if you’ve already got what you need or the cost of any new items you need to buy. So it depends mostly on your household decorator’s taste and budget . . . 

Major Consideration: Beware if your unevenness is caused by water erosion or if things start to sound hollow underneath the surface. At some point, you need to address any developing voids under the deck to prevent cracked panels, cave-ins, or more damage/serious injuries.

3. Grind Down the High Spots

Instead of raising the low spots back up into position, you can grind the high spots down to even out your pool deck. You can hire this job out or do it on your own by renting a concrete grinder from a tool rental place. Concrete grinding doesn’t take a ton of skill but does take more time than the other options we’ve discussed so far.

sample of concrete grinding
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kinda gross…

Potential Cost: This could be from $500 to $2,000 but the bigger cost will be in sweat equity if it’s a DIY project.

Major Considerations: You’ve got to do the work and/or endure the noise. Does the din of concrete grinding sound potentially pleasant to anyone??? Also, the visual result of concrete grinding is decidedly unattractive. In other words, it will surely even out your pool deck for less time and cost, but it ain’t pretty. 

In my opinion, this will always look bad. So if looks are what’s important to you, it’s not a great option. But if *Redneck Riviera* is your pool vibe and *Joe Dirt* is your tribe, then have at it!

4. Repair by Raising with Mud Jacking

mud jacking for a pool deck
Prepping for mud jacking

Mud jacking is a concrete raising option that lifts sunken concrete back into place by injecting a natural slurry material under the slab to lift from below. A big plus is that it preserves and reuses your existing pool deck and returns it to its original position. 

Depending on your pool deck surface finish, the injection holes could be completely hidden or show some minimal evidence of repair.

It’s a relatively quick project for a contractor that does mud jacking (like us!), taking usually ½ to 1 full day or maybe 2 days if it’s a larger job.

Potential Cost: Mud jacking and polyjacking (discussed next) have similar costs ranging from $5 to $10 per square foot. Either method would likely cost $2,000 to $2,500 for a smaller job up to $7,000 to $8,000 for a really big pool deck.

Major Considerations: In my opinion, mud jacking more thoroughly fills any voids under a concrete surface to fully support your pool deck surface. This is especially important around a pool because many of the settlement issues are related to erosion from pool water runoff.

The injection site holes are larger in diameter compared to polyjacking and might be a consideration depending on your pool deck finish and desired post-repair appearance.

5. Repair by Raising with Polyjacking

Polyjacking is a concrete raising option that lifts sunken concrete back into place by injecting an expanding polyurethane chemical foam under the slab to lift from below. Similar to mud jacking, it also preserves and reuses your existing pool deck and returns it to its original position. 

Depending on your pool deck surface finish, the injection holes (which are smaller for polyjacking) could be completely hidden or show some minimal evidence of repair.

Polyjacking a pool deck

It’s also a relatively quick project for a contractor that does polyjacking, taking usually ½ to 1 full day or maybe 2 days if it’s a larger job.

Potential Cost: Mud jacking and polyjacking have similar costs with prices ranging from $5 to $10 per square foot. Either method would likely cost $2,000 to $2,500 for a smaller job up to $7,000 to $8,000 for a really big pool deck.

Major Considerations: In my opinion, the polyurethane foam may not as thoroughly fill voids under a concrete surface, potentially leaving behind small holes and spaces where water intrusion can recur easily around a pool.

The injection site holes are much smaller in diameter compared to mud jacking but could still be visible post-repair depending on your pool deck finish.

6. Partial Removal and Replacement

Removal and replacement is sort of a repair, but you’re not really fixing what’s already there. You’re taking out old stuff and replacing it with new stuff. It’s a much larger project that can render parts of your pool deck or your whole pool area unusable for days or even weeks until the job is complete.

remove and replace concrete
Old vs. New concrete appearance

Potential Cost: Removing and replacing any concrete surface can cost from $15 to $20 per square foot or *much more* depending on your pool deck finish. The other “cost” to keep in mind is any lost pool time if you’re choosing this option at the wrong time.

Major Considerations: If you’re only taking out faulty portions of your pool deck, then you have to worry more about matching finishes and comparing the old to the new. The replaced area could stick out like a sore thumb, or activate your OCD if it doesn’t blend in seamlessly. Sometimes these issues can fade with pool usage and time but not always.

7. Complete Removal and Replacement

The concrete removal and replacement process is a major overhaul. It’s a much larger project that makes your whole pool area unsafe and unusable for days or even weeks until the job is complete. It’s the most time-consuming and costly option. 

On the upside, it’s a great opportunity to refresh the look of your whole pool area and might energize you to *jump in* with a full pool area makeover.

concrete replacement

Potential Cost: Removing and replacing any concrete surface can cost from $15 to $20 per square foot or *much more* depending on your pool deck finish. As with partial removal and replacement, there can be lost pool time. If you decide on higher-end finishes and purchase other new pool decor, or landscaping then costs add up more.

Major Considerations: As opposed to only taking out faulty portions of your pool deck, you don’t have to worry about matching old and new because it will all be new. With this option, you’ve got more pre-planning and decisions to make which can sometimes get overwhelming. Plus, your backyard will be a noisy, somewhat intrusive construction zone for some time.

Ultimately time and money are your biggest considerations here. If you have plenty of both, why not spring for a new pool deck and more?!

Disclaimer: No pool guys or concrete are paying us to say this. Just if you’ve got the resources, then why not go for it?

Fastest Repair Option for Fixing Misaligned Concrete Pool Deck

If you want to actually repair tripping hazards well rather than just covering them up, honestly your fastest options for fixing your uneven pool deck are going to be some kind of concrete slab jacking

Either mud jacking or polyjacking can be hired out and easily done in a day in most cases. These are both mid-range options on cost, and you don’t have to lift a finger because someone else is doing the work.

Concrete grinding could be fast, or it could not be. It’s really hard to say especially if you choose to do the work yourself. It’s also harder to find a contractor willing to do this type of work for you.

concrete slab jacking
Why remove it when you can mud jack or polyjack it back into place?

Most Efficient Way to Repair Uneven Concrete Around Your Pool

If you’re looking for efficiency and reuse of existing materials, again some kind of concrete lifting is your most efficient option. Both mud jacking and polyjacking will get you an actual repair quickly and with the least amount of disruption to your pool use.

There will be no major decisions or appearance changes slowing things down. Any freshly covered holes showing evidence of a repair will be easily forgotten once you jump back into your refreshing pool.

Which Concrete Lifting Method Is Best For Your Pool Deck?

repair my pool deck

Mud jacking and polyjacking are both good and viable options for raising a concrete pool deck. We happen to do one – mud jacking – and are a fan of polyjacking too. Both methods have their pros and cons and best fits for certain situations, so it’s really hard to pick.

If you have the option in your area, get bids for both methods and see which contractor and process aligns better with your needs.

At Anchor Foundation Repair, we don’t fix things that don’t need fixin’, and we don’t try to sell you stuff you don’t need. After 35+ years in business, that’s what’s best for our Brazos Valley community and for exceptional homeowners like you. We’re here to help guide you through decision-making on your home problems but want you to choose the option that’s best for you.

Check out the full list of pros and cons comparing mud jacking to polyjacking with this article next!