Want to increase the life of
Barring problems in the mixing,
application and curing processes, the pool
owner, or service company controls its
condition and life span. Keeping your water
chemistry in balance and
most importantly, preventing corrosive
water environments of low pH and low alkalinity
will reduce wear and tear.
your pH levels at between 7.4 - 7.8.
be kept between 80 - 120 ppm. Lower levels
may etch your plaster, which provides a
safe harbor for dirt and algae to
grow, isn't attractive and is rough to
metals cause stains.
salts cause scale. These salts are primarily
forms of calcium and magnesium which
can deposit on your plaster, pipes and
equipment. They may arise from the use
of calcium based sanitizers or
the fill water may have high calcium
calcium hardness levels between 200 - 400
level that is above this may find it easy
to precipitate out of solution. This is
known as a scaling condition. Conversely,
water with low levels of hardness will
produce an aggressive condition. In aggressive
conditions (soft water), the water will
take the calcium it wants directly out
of your plaster, resulting in plaster breakdown
and bond failure.
plaster is pitted or etched?
your plaster has surface irregularities,
which may take on a beige hue, you have
what's commonly called etching. This etching
can be caused by low pH or
alkalinity; an acidic condition. It may
begin within the plaster, from the original
mix on application, or etching may start
from the gunite side of the plaster and
work itself from the outside in.
plaster has large, dark areas?
may be seeing the gunite or shotcrete beneath
the plaster beginning to show through.
You better start budgeting for that re-plaster.
plaster has small cracks?
as crazing or checking, the tiny, barely
visible cracks are usually caused by extreme
temperature variations, especially during
initial curing. These are not actually
cracks, and pose no structural hazard or
danger of leaking. Acid
washing could remove the crazed layer.
Larger cracks should be cut out in a butterfly
or dovetail fashion with a 4" or 7" grinder,
and filled with a plaster patch mix or
sealant can be used where further movement
as bond failure, this will occur as areas
where the plaster has popped off. Usually
seen on re-plaster jobs, where the plaster
to plaster bond may never be as strong
as the original plaster to concrete bond.
This is repaired with a plaster patch.
Plaster normally does not delaminate from
the gunite; this bond failure can
more easily occur, plaster to plaster.
Chip away any loose material around the
edge of the delaminated area. This will
sometimes make the patch much bigger than
the hole is to begin with. Chip & chisel
to break up and rough up the surface, clean
and brush on a bonding additive. Then pour
in premixed white Portland cement and marble
dust; 2:1. Use bonding additive (like Acryl
60) to mix the plaster with. Trowel smooth
with a round ended trowel. Keep the patch
from drying too quickly by doing this repair
in the evening and covering with moist
towels or burlap.
delaminated area is chipped outwards
until good bond is found. The surface
is roughened and plastered is troweled in
place by hand. Cost depends on the
size and location of the patch. Plaster
patching material can be purchased
at most pool stores. It is a mixture
of white Portland cement and marble
dust. A bonding additive such as Acryl
60 should be used when applying.
pool is drained and acid etched several
times. Chipping and cutting around all
fittings and under the tile allows the
new coat to be feathered. A scratch coat
is applied first, followed by a finish
coat. The pool is filled immediately; the
plaster cures underwater. The surface must
then be brushed twice daily, with vacuuming
and continuous filtering to remove the
plaster dust. Cost for a re-plaster is
based on surface square footage. Expect
$2,500 - $4,000.
upon a time, plasterers would plaster a
pool in any color, as long as it was white.
Black or gray plaster is now becoming more
common, and other colored additives can
produce varied color effects. Any colored
plaster will show more mottling than white
pools, however. If you plaster in any color
other than white, expect streaking and
uneven hues. Don't expect flat black color,
painting: Before plastering became popular,
pool shells were painted. These were
low grade paints that barely lasted one
season. The annual drain & paint
was gladly given up when plaster became
popular. The underwater epoxies used
today offer a 7 year life span for about
half the cost of re-plastering. Paint
adheres very well to properly prepped
plaster, and offers a wide variety of
colors and graphic capabilities. Pool
painting is a second class choice to
re-plastering. It may be half the cost,
but will last only half as long (at best).
If you start painting, you keep painting,
unless you sandblast it off to allow
re-plastering. We tend to discourage
our customers from painting a pool. A
few dollars saved in the short run will
cost more in the long run.
pool is drained and degreased. It is
then acid etched and degreased again.
After drying, a primer coat is applied,
followed by two coats of the chosen
color(s). Again with the drying, and
the pool is filled. Price will vary
according to size and prep factors.
Expect $1,900 - $2,800. Pool artwork
to Re-plaster the pool yourself?
I would discourage this. Plastering
is nothing short of an art and science.