swimming pool steps


A step gasket’s flexibility becomes compromised over time in a chlorinated environment. The plasticizers can migrate from the vinyl liner or the gasket, making the material brittle and causing a crack to appear. And if the inground swimming pool step has been leaking for a period of time, the fill material which was originally there to stabilize the step can wash away, creating a void and weakening the step area.

To determine how to repair pool step cracks and leaks, first ask these questions:

  • Is the inground pool step gasket leaking?
  • Is the pool step cracked?
  • Is the step crack the result of a void?

AquaBond® has the right products for any kind of inground swimming pool step repair. All are designed to provide a permanent flexible seal to stop water loss. 

The best product for the job is determined by the extent of the problem. Many pool step cracks and leaks can be fixed underwater without draining the pool. However, sometimes the best solution is obtained by lowering the water level below the repair area. Below are the AquaBond pool step repair products and methods to apply them to fix different types of pool leaks and cracks. If you need technical help on choosing the best product(s) for your situation, call AquaBond Tech Support at 714-961-1420 Ext 1. 

Below we describe

  • underwater pool step repair products
  • pool step repair products for dry surfaces
  • three methods for repairing cracked steps in vinyl-lined inground pools including
    • dry repair of cracks
    • sand-slurry and foam Injection for reinforcing under-step support
    • dry or underwater step tread replacement
  • a real life example of pool step repair


AquaBond Underwater Swimming Pool Step Repair Products 

These AquaBond products can be mixed, applied and cured underwater – without draining the pool! 

Underwater Repair Adhesive is a super versatile two-part, hybrid epoxy. It’s our best underwater structural repair compound, delivering a clean finish and long-lasting results. It’s a highly durable, cost-effective solution versus replacing a leaking step gasket in an inground pool. 

AquaFlex Underwater Sealant can be used easily on almost any material and works extremely well as a sealant for step gasket or crack repair. Our patent-pending polyethylene film application process provides ease of application along with the added advantage of an additional layer of protection. 

Pool Step Repair Products For Dry Surfaces

The following products must be applied dry.

Polyurethane Foam Crack Injection Kit permanently repairs leaking cracks and voids in inground pool steps. It’s used in conjunction with other AquaBond products. The white polyurethane foam in this low-pressure injection kit expands to 25 times its original volume. When cured, this permanent, waterproof resin maintains its volume and flexibility and is not subject to shrinkage, even through normal ground movement and thermal cycles. 

Structural Repair Adhesive SRX  is an extremely strong, fast-setting, two-part acrylic adhesive with added flexibility. It provides the high structural adhesion to dissimilar substrates necessary for permanent inground pool step repair… adhering the rubberized gaskets, the vinyl liner and the acrylic pool step.  Our fastest curing product, it hardens in 5 minutes and requires little surface preparation. Order our step repair kit here. 

Waterproof Permanent Gap & Seam Filler is a professional pool and spa sealant specially engineered to work like silicone caulk but with the added advantage of permanent flexibility! If the pool is drained below the step level, this is the most economical fix. 

Step Tread Replacement Kits are perfect for above-water repair/replacement of cracked pool step treads using our Structural Repair Adhesive. Kits include a 12″ x 60″ heavy-duty vinyl, non-skid tread that you trim to fit your cracked step. The kits include the new tread, adhesive and adhesive dispensing gun. Additional treads and adhesive can be purchased separately, as well. 


Have technical questions? Call AquaBond at 714-961-1420 Ext 1

Three Methods for Repairing Cracked Steps in Vinyl-lined Inground Swimming Pools 

Method 1Dry Repair of Cracks 

Download AquaBond Vinyl Lined Pool Step Repair Instructions

Chase the crack with a grinder, Dremel tool or saw blade to give the crack some depth and allow better adhesion for AquaBond SR-3000 Structural Repair Compound. Smooth and clean the prepared crack with sandpaper, then wipe with isopropyl alcohol or acetone to remove any residue and then apply the SR-3000 adhesive. Finish-sand the repair as needed or use Aquabond’s patent-pending polyethylene film application process to produce an amazingly smooth finish. 

Materials list: 

Method 2Sand-slurry and Foam Injection for Reinforcing Under-step Support 

This option requires a visual field assessment for erosion of under-step support. You will need to replace as much sand as possible then fill the rest of the void with AquaBond’s PF-37 High Density Polyurethane Injection Foam. 

You may have to hole-saw or drill each step to visually make a determination. (Remember to keep the pieces you hole-sawed out for reattachment later in this repair). If there is sand erosion, then you can add sand slurry (water soaked sand) into those holes, leaving a 2-3 inch gap for room to inject the foam. Inject foam slowly through hole into wet sand slurry at multiple angles to create a good sand-and-foam foundation under the step. The foam can take 20-25 minutes to fully expand so be patient. It expands as much as 15-25 times its original volume so inject slowly and pay attention to how things are going. 

Once the foam is injected and cured, you can cut some of the foam out, 1/4 ” deep, and dispense AquaBond SR-3000 Structural Repair Compound there and replace the cut-out pieces. Fill any gaps or edges to level the repaired area. Sand or grind the SR-3000 level if necessary, to remove any rough edges. 

Material list:
*You may need additional PF-37 foam cartridges for larger voids, or additional SR-3000 Structural repair adhesive 50 ml cartridges.

Method 3 – Dry or Underwater Step Tread Replacement

First, repair any cracks as in Method 1, above.

Next, using AquaBond VSRK-60 Vinyl Step Repair Kit, cut the new step tread to size. Trim front edge of new tread to finish 1/2″ to 3/4″ in from rounded front edge of the original step. Round-off the four corners and soften sharp edges. Fill all uneven surfaces in the old step tread with adhesive and apply adhesive liberally to entire backside of the new tread before setting it in place.

When doing a dry repair, use AquaBond SRX-3000-400 Structural Repair Compound to adhere the new tread in place over the old one. Caulk thoroughly around the perimeter of the new tread using the SRX-3000-400.

If doing the repair underwater, use AquaBond UW-5000-400 Underwater Repair Compound to adhere the new tread in place. Caulk thoroughly around the perimeter of the new tread using the UW-5000-400.

Material list:
For above water or dry step tread replacement, use our VSRK-60 Vinyl Step Repair Kit (Includes our DM-400 Dispensing Gun). You may need additional AquaBond VS-60 Step Repair Treads. You may also need SRX-3000-400 adhesive cartridges for larger repairs or multiple steps.

For underwater or wet step tread replacement, use our DMK-5000-400 Underwater Repair Kit (Includes our DM-400 Dispensing Gun). You may need additional UW-5000-400 adhesive cartridges for larger repairs or multiple steps. You may also need extra VSRT-60 Step Repair Treads.

Have technical questions? Call AquaBond at 714-961-1420 Ext 1

Pool Step Repair Example

Susan Burton had a leaky pool step. She sought help from AquaBond.


“Thanks for responding so quickly. I just walked out to pool and tried to do a video for you. I weigh approximately 120. When I step on the far end of the step, only one or two bubbles come out and then no more. If I move directly to the hairline crack you can obviously see more bubbles and if I move they continue. There are 2 lines there but only one is sending bubbles out.”

Susan Burton

Susan's cracked pool step

Susan’s cracked pool step


“Hi Susan, Mark Barnes with Aquabond here!

Thank you for your inquiry. If you like, you can give me a call and I can talk a little bit about what’s going on with your step. The product that I recommend for you is AquaBond SR-3000 Structural Repair Compound. You would lower the water level down, scrape out and clean that crack, then apply the structural repair adhesive.

If it’s been leaking for a long time you may have some water underneath that step. that’s why you see the bubbles coming up. The leak may have washed away the dirt that was under there. I’m assuming it’s dirt because your pool is 30 years old.

SR-3000 is a structural acrylic repair adhesive and it should be able to hold that together unless there’s a big void underneath that step – and then you would need to inject foam under there, which AquaBond carries. But that’s a bigger job and we would have to talk further about that issue.”

~ Mark Barnes


“Dear Mark,

I just wanted to thank you so much for your help a few weeks ago. I bought the product you suggested and it worked like a charm. I cannot thank you enough for your patience and expertise!! You did an awesome job and all of my problems are solved!

Thank you again!”



Have technical questions? Call AquaBond at 714-961-1420 Ext 1