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Unread 05-29-2014, 11:14 PM   #1
AZEM
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Travertine Pool Paver Issue

I live in AZ and have travertine pavers on my pool deck that are around five years old. The home was an extensive 'flip' but my guess is they didn't put in the highest grade of travertine. Within the first two years there was a section that seemed to erode a bit. Over time more pavers are deteriorating. I have not sealed them and they are set in sand (except for borders) but what is strange is a lot of the problem pavers are under a covered patio area so they are not as exposed to the elements or do they get moisture.

The ones that are starting to deteriorate seem to have an efflorescence as there is a calcium like residue and then over time the paver starts to break down.

Questions:
- Is there anything that can be done to stop this?
- Would sealing at this point do anything?
- Once they start to break down can it be restored at all or do they have to be replaced?

Any feedback is appreciated!
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Unread 05-30-2014, 03:22 AM   #2
Higher Standard Tile
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Azem,

Can you post some pictures? Use the manage attachment button below the box where you type your reply.
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Unread 05-30-2014, 11:11 AM   #3
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Welcome, and while you're attaching those photos please add a first name to a permanent signature line for us to use.
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Unread 05-30-2014, 11:26 AM   #4
AZEM
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Images

Sure thing - see attached.
Attached Images
  
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Unread 05-31-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
ceramictec
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Some of the average travertine paver deteriorate like that.
some parts of them are very brittle.

A select better quality travertine paver would have less holes and stand up better to the weather.

Most of the ones I dabble in with in Tampa we use the quality stuff:
http://ceramictec.com/travertine-her...aver-pool-deck



here are samples of good and junk travertine.

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Unread 05-31-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
doitright
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Hi Evan, Welcome!

How thick are theses travertine pavers?

When I was setting brick pavers in AZ, we would add dry portand cement to the sand, which would stiffen up the base a bit over that wonderful AZ soil.

Thanks for posting the photos!

I'm not seeing any signs of efflorescence in your photos.

Do you hose down the patio for cleaning (under the covering)? I didn't remember AZ getting much rain (except during the monsoon season).

My guess is that problem you are experiencing is just do to the actual quality of the stone. It's also possible that the corners are getting pinched due to movement and them being but jointed. Have you placed a straight edge over the affected areas? Don't forget to consider thermal expansion can be an issue. As you stated, the area covered is the worse. Two different rates of expansion between the covered and uncovered stone.

Two corrective measures (if the issue isn't caused by thermal expansion) are replacement (least expensive), or consolidate the stone, which done properly is a very extensive procedure. Having your stone TESTed is very expensive, and it only pertains to the actual piece of stone TESTed. No guarantees from one stone to another.

If this is a thermal expansion issue, there is not easy solution, except to remove and space the stone at a proper distance to allow for espansion and contraction. It wouldn't be practical to place expansion (soft) joints in a dry set application.

Do you have extra material on hand?
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Unread 05-31-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
ceramictec
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John,

travertine pavers are 1 1/4" thick
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Unread 06-01-2014, 11:19 AM   #8
AZEM
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Thanks for the comments. I'm thinking that it is the quality. As mentioned when I purchased the house it was a flip and one of the areas they did was the pool and patio. I'm sure they went with the lower quality stone - looked nice initially and they're far gone when it starts to fall apart...lucky me.

I'm guessing the tough part is going to be to try and find a color match if I'm going to replace as I only have a few extra and it's pretty extensive...well that and cost...

I'm gonna grout the ones with holes to try and prolong them, but 5 years into it, how long do you think I have before these things start crumbling? The only positive, if there is one, is that I have small kids and it does make the pool deck less slippery.
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Unread 06-01-2014, 04:45 PM   #9
ceramictec
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Its a good idea to fill the holes and pits with a matching grout. Then you might possibly want to seal them good and hopefully it will hold things together a little longer. I like using a good solvent based penetrating sealer, but that might make things a little slippery for your kids. So you need to weight your options.

doitright will be able to advise you on other sealers since he's a sealer guru.

here is a travertine pool deck in Clearwater, Florida a few hours after I sealed it.

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Unread 06-02-2014, 11:03 PM   #10
doitright
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Hi Evan

The grout will help, but it's anyone's guess as to how long the life will be extended. I can only suggest to continue to monitor them after grouting.
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