Polyurethane caulk + no gloves = big mess

At long last, I got the planetary alignment needed to caulk the pool deck joints, so I did it this morning. First lesson learned: I need to wear disposable gloves when doing this. Because as bad as I thought silicone caulk stuck to my hands, polyurethane caulk is 10 times worse. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still peeling this stuff off my fingers when I’m 60.

The actual job went very quickly. The caulk flows very easily. The important thing is to mask the joint on both sides. I went through 2+ rolls of masking tape, but it was well worth it. If I hadn’t, the caulk would have been all over the map. I went through 8 29-oz tubes of caulk to do this portion of the pool (I couldn’t do the entire pool because the coping stones are off on the deep end side). I imagine I’ll need 4 to 6 additional tubes to complete the job once the coping is repaired. Not too bad, and the Sikaflex stuff I used was much less expensive than using Deck-o-Seal or some other pool-specific product.

It will be interesting to see how well the joint holds up. There are a couple spots I’m concerned about, where the backer rod was a little close to the surface, and I suspect the caulk bead might be too thin. If these areas fail, I’ll just touch them up as needed. I’m confident that most of the joint will be sound.

The color of the stuff is interesting. Sika calls it “sandstone”, but it looks more like “calamine lotion” to me. For some reason, Home Depot carried only this color and gray — no white. It really doesn’t look too bad, just a little more pinkish than I expected. I wonder how it’ll weather.

It seems to cure pretty fast. When I was finishing up, the areas I had done first were already starting to solidify. The directions say that a full cure takes from 48-72 hours. Given the weather forecast (sunny / upper 80s), I’m guessing I’ll be at the early end of that window.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll do one last joint that I haven’t stuffed with backer rod yet. All in all, this wasn’t a hard job at all. If I have to do it again down the road, I should be able to do everything in a single weekend. The other nice thing is, I have an idea now how much caulk I need for the job. So if Home Depot stops carrying it or something, I won’t have to guess how much to order.

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