Tag: Plastering Pools

What Goes into a Pool?

Having your own pool on your property is a wonderful luxury. Having full access to it anytime you want without having to worry about screaming strangers and lifeguards can be liberating, if you don’t mind being responsible for your own maintenance. There’s little doubt that any owner of a private in-ground pool is fully aware of all the elements that go into a pool, but those who may not own one but one day will may not fully be aware of what exactly makes a pool a pool. This article can be used as a brief overview of some important elements and the overall makeup of the plastering process used on every pool installed.

Plastering

                Plastering is at the tail end of pool installation. It is that final layer installed on the in-ground pool that smooths out the surface for users to touch without injury. This can also be installed using different material, such as vinyl and fiberglass. Fiberglass especially is much stronger than the typical plaster and is much more resistant to the typical wear and tear of the conventional plaster, such as mold, etc. Vinyl has the benefit of being much easier and quicker to install and is cheaper to install overall. It’s important to take any factors of your pool to heart before deciding on which liner to use, taking into consider the costs and general upkeep requirements.

Tiles

                The tile used in your pool may seem like a trivial element but when looked at visually the importance comes more into view. Using tile on a pool gives the owner an incredible diversity of options and looks to have your pool stand out in the neighborhood. Not only are colors an option but creating a design or pattern unique to your own personality will give you an edge and give your entire pool area its own personality that guests can recognize and enjoy. Aside from being a visual blank slate on which to craft your design, tiles can also be incredibly long-lasting if kept in good condition. Being an outdoor element, tile is designed and manufactured to withstand the harsh outside conditions and can last for years when handled correctly. Your pool can be the highlight of your property for years if you understand the maintenance and upkeep required.

Chemicals

                The pool makeup itself is important but equally crucial is the water inside of it. The water is where your friends and family will spend the time, so you need to be aware of how to balance it chemically to keep those people safe. The Pool Products website recommends the following chemicals:

  • Stain & Scale Preventer
  • Granular Shock Chlorine
  • Chlorine Tablets
  • pH Increaser and/or pH Decreaser
  • Alkalinity and/or Calcium Increaser
  • Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer)
  • Algaecide and Clarifiers if needed
  • Complete Test Kit or Test Strips.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Starting Up Your Pool After New or Refinished Plaster Is Done


The start up procedure for a pool that has new plaster or had the plaster resurfaced is very important to guarantee that the plaster cures properly. Having a professional plaster company or builder to handle this process is the best option but understanding the process and being involved with the maintenance of your pool with benefit your pool’s over all life. Before making any start up tasks on your own, be sure to ask your plaster company for recommendations and be sure that anything done on your part will not void the warranty provided by them.

Steps to Follow During Set Up

  1. Fill up the pool as fast as possible without stopping at any time. The use of additional hoses to speed the process can be beneficial. If the pool is only partially filled and process is stopped, a line will be left from the water level and be very difficult to be removed without doing an acid bath. The water from the hose should not spray directly onto the fresh plaster as well.
  2. Once pool is full, add a dose of sequestrant for startup. The use of sequestrant is to act as an aid when locating Iron and other metals that are hard to detect otherwise. These metals can cause staining on new plaster that are difficult to remove so by using this product it acts as a precaution for this.
  3. Do not operate the heater for a 2-week period after filling the pool. It is typical for new plastered pool to create a lot of plaster dust that can cause clogs in tubing of the heater. By passing the heater will avoid the risk of damage to it during the 2 weeks start up.
  4. Refrain from swimming in the pool until the water is properly balanced. After the pool is fully filled with water, run tests using test kits to verify the water is clean and non-acidic.
  5. It is best to not use any automatic cleaning system during the first 2 weeks. Proper cleaning by brushing the entire pool twice a day during the first week. After the first week switching to a once a day routine for the remainder of one month should be done on the whole plaster surface. Starting at the top of the walls and working towards the bottom starting from shallow end to the deeper. This process will help with removing any loose plaster dusts left behind from the install.

The above directions for new plaster or resurfaced plaster start up are basic and generic instructions given for any type of pool however there are 3 specific start up methods a builder may use that has separate rules to follow. These methods include; acid, traditional, or biocarbonite. Be sure to ask your builder or pool plaster company for guidance since variations of steps can be done and the professionals are always the best advice to follow for your own specific pool and conditions.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Signs Your Pool Needs Resurfacing

Is your pool in need of some extra love and extreme maintenance? Do you know the signs that your swimming pool is giving you that it may be time for resurfacing?  Some our obvious, some not so much.  All in all, your Gunite swimming pool is very helpful in telling you it needs some attention.  Below are five signs that your pool could stand some help from a resurfacing service like the professionals at Pound Pool Plastering. 

Flaking, Peeling Layers of Plaster

Have you started noticing the plaster of your pool or spas starting to peel on the steps or floor?  This is known as spalling in the pool industry.  Pool water with a low PH or low calcium causes spalling.   When this occurs, there is no way to properly repair the issue.  When spalling is noticed the pool or spa needs to be resurfaced or re-plastered.

Surface Stains

There are a number of culprits for surface stains including copper, calcium and salt.  These issues cause a grayish blue discoloration.  The pool industry calls this phenomenon topical stains.  These topical stains stick to the surface of the plaster.  Stains can be cleaned with an acid wash however this needs to be performed with extreme caution.  If stains are severe re-surfacing may be the only way to get rid of the stains. 

Roughness

When your pools plaster is no longer smooth it is a sure sign that it is time to call us.  Chemicals eat away at the pool surface causing roughness as well as extra calcium deposits.  When the surface starts to feel more like sandpaper than silk it is time to have the plaster resurfaced.  No one wants bloody feet after swimming. 

Check Cracks

It is hard to see check cracks but if you look closely you will notice cracks that appear to look like a spider web.  Some people say check cracks look like what an egg looks like when it cracks.  These cracks are a natural part of hydrating cement but are more noticeable when the pool is drained, and the sun is shining on it.  With the pools plaster expands and contracts with chanced in temperature changes small cracks in the plaster grow.  The only way to get rid of these cracks is to re-plaster the pools surface.

Discoloration

When you first had your pool installed it was a beautiful white, blue, or gray finish but today when you looked out you noticed it was no longer the lovely shade you originally loved.  Instead it is streaked with white streaks and spots, the plaster is being bleached out.  It usually starts on the steps of the pool and slowly moves to other areas of the pool plaster.  If this is an issue for your pools plaster when having the plaster redone it is important to choose a more durable plaster finish such as pebble as it doesn’t discolor as easily as plaster alone.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Materials To Choose For Your Plaster Pool

With summer right around the corner many people have begun to consider the shape their pools plaster is in, and others are starting to think about installing a new plaster pool.  Whichever situation describes the one you are in; Pound Pool Plastering is here to help.

Whether you are classic and want something clean and straightforward, like a simple white plaster, or you want multiple colors which can be found with pebble finishes, or something in between there is something available to fit your need.

Our pool plaster finish specialists understand the benefits and drawbacks that come with every surface product available for your plaster pool finish.  There is a lot of information to digest, especially if you are new to the pool scene, which means it is crucial to find a pool plaster company that fully understands the pros and cons of different plaster materials.  Our pool surface coordinators are experts in communicating with clients throughout the process from choosing a finish through to the day the water is filled.

Pool plaster is a unique element in that it is always submerged in water that is treated with chemicals.  It is different than other types of plaster materials.  Use the following as a guide when discovering more about different pool finishes.

Simple White

White pool plaster has been a standard finish for many pool and spa surfaces.  For as long as people have been swimming and soaking, white plaster has been around and remains a popular choice even with the introduction of new materials.  The strength of white plaster is that it offers a clean, light, blue appearance when the water fills the pool. 

It is also more affordable than other plaster options.  The concern with white pool plaster is like that of all plaster concerns in that if the chemicals within the pool are not properly maintained you can expect a change in the plaster’s appearance.  With white plaster these may stand out more than they would with a colored plaster.

Plaster Additives

Some pool owners choose to use plaster with additives added.  These additives hide the imperfections that come with time from white and colored plaster alone.  These highly innovative chemical additives are combined with the plaster before the application process.  The additives change the physical and chemical composition of the plaster and essentially strengthen the plaster, making it more durable without having to sacrifice the aesthetics and texture.  These additives do tend to add to the overall cost of the plaster but added longevity may make it worth it.

Aggregates

Another option is aggregate.  This is a special ceramic coated sand that is pre-mixed into the plaster.  There are many benefits to aggregate. 

It offers a wide range of color options from basic beige to vibrant greens.  It also creates a surface that is stronger than white plaster alone.  It is the most expensive pool plaster variant and can be susceptible to surface issues if the water chemistry is off.

There are a ton of variables to consider before choosing a material/finish for you pool!  Call the experts at Pound Pool Plastering today for a free in home consultation at (248) 476.4544. Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/

The Right Time To Open Your Swimming Pool In Michigan

Boy was this winter long and cold!  The deep freeze we endured makes the amazing weather we are having a real treat.  It also encourages us to get outside and start prepping for summer.  Let’s be honest, the other day when it reached 75 and we had to slather ourselves in sunscreen what we really wanted was to jump into our backyard pools.  This leaves many of us wondering exactly when the best time is to open our pools for the summer.  Is April too soon?

In Michigan, when you open your pool is less about the month of the year and more about the consistency of the temperatures.  When temperatures start to consistently stay warm and the threat of snow has passed it is the perfect time to open your pool. 

It’s important not to wait too long into the change of the season as algae and pollen issues can occur.  When the water in your pool is left stagnate and not allowed to circulate algae and pollen can build up.  Although there isn’t a certain month in which you should open your pool, it is important to open your swimming pool as soon as the temperature stabilizes.

Opening your swimming pool doesn’t need to be a stressful process.  With a bit of pre-planning most homeowners can easily open their pool on their own.   Of course, if you aren’t interested in going through the work there are local swimming pool contractors that offer these services. 

The process to open a swimming pool whether it is an in-ground Gunite plaster pool or above ground vinyl lined pool is basically the same.  One difference however is the inspection of the pool construction. Plaster pools may require resurfacing before they are opened if cracks are evident or rough plaster is present. Resurfacing a plaster pool is quite complicated and is best left up to professional pool plasterers like the experts here at Pound Pool Plastering.

Pool opening procedures however basically remain the same.  This process includes:

  • Remove debris and water from the pool cover
  • Take the pool cover off
  • Hook up the pools pump, filter, and heater
  • Add water if it is not at the proper level
  • Test the water
  • Add chemicals based on the pool waters analysis
  • Put ladders and railings back up
  • Inspect pool fencing and gate locks

Companies that service swimming pools or provide pool plastering or re-plastering services become quite busy during the warmest months of the year.  If you suspect that you will need professional pool services, it is important to schedule them early in the season especially if you suspect your pool needs a fresh coat of plaster. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Common Mistakes That Occur in Pool Maintenance


We all make mistakes when it comes to maintaining our homes and our pools are not exempt.  When caring for your pool a simple mistake while adding chemicals can take the pool out of commission for weeks.  Unfortunatly however, mistakes in maintaining your pool occur both big and small.

Large mistakes in caring for your swimming pool turn into valuable lessons to learn.  Pool maintenance education is imperative to prevent mistakes and in turn your pool is safer, cleaner, and more efficient without extra frustration on your end.

One of the biggest mistakes pool owners make is with the addition of a chemical commonly referred to as pool shock, a large dosage of chlorine. When dosages of chlorine are too high your pool water will essentially bleach out the color of your clothing.  Although you technically can’t over-shock the pool it can cause issues with more than your clothing.  Too much chlorine can lead to pitted plaster, vinyl liner discoloration, or brittle tile pieces breaking off.

One way to ensure this doesn’t occur is to dissolve the shock chemicals in a bucket of water prior to shocking the pool.  This allows the shock chemical to disperse more evenly throughout the water and in turn protects the pools finish.  As a norm, in pool maintenance a good rule to follow is to dissolve chemicals thoroughly before adding it to the pools water.

Another common mistake when owning a pool that homeowners make is that they don’t take the necessary time or care when brushing and vacuuming your pool.   A good brushing pushes the build up out into the water and settles on the bottom of the pool and then can be vacuumed up. Take the time to brush behind all those hard to reach places like pool ladders, steps, and stairs.  Corners, crevices, and water lines especially in plaster pools should be scrubbed really well.

Pool chemicals are a huge source of the mistakes made by homeowners when caring for their pool.  Your pools plaster can literally be destroyed if the chemicals in the water are not properly balanced.  Don’t ignore your pools pH and alkalinity levels.  A low pH indicates acidity and a high pH indicates alkalinity, too much of either one is bad for your pools plaster. Too low of a pH can damage the equipment used in the pool such as a pool pump and filter, plaster or vinyl linings, heaters, automatic pool cleaners and more.  Proper water chemical balance in a pool is easily accomplished by testing your pools water on a regular basis and making adjustments as needed.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Finishes for a Gunite Pool: Plaster, Pebble, and Tile

Pound Pool Plastering cares a great deal about our clients and their concrete pools.  We want to ensure that your plaster pool is finished with the utmost of care.  Standard white plaster is a classic, timeless, look that many homeowners still choose today however, there are other options available that may change your mind. 

Standard White Plaster Pool Finish

Plaster is made of a combination of white cement, white sand or a marble aggregate, and water.  Professional pool builders use a flat, rounded trowel to apply the plaster to the concrete (Gunite) base structure.  White plaster can be dyed different colors during the combination process if the homeowner desires. 

Advantages of Plaster

Plaster is a well-known material that has been used in pool design since the beginning of pool construction.  As a pool finish, plaster is an inexpensive option that provides a simple, classic look to your in-ground swimming pool. 

Disadvantages of Plaster

The main disadvantage of plaster is that it can feel rough to the touch.  As with any pool finish, plaster required regular surface maintenance to prevent algae build up.  Once every three to five years plaster requires acid washing which removes staining.  If a plaster pool is not maintained correctly it is prone to cracking however this is the same of many pool finishes.  Plaster, if well maintained is durable, and can lasts upwards of ten years.

Aggregate Pool Finish

An upgrade from a plaster finish is an aggregate which is a combination of pebbles instead of sand to cement, water mixture.  Once the pebbles, concrete, and water are combined it is applied to the pool.  The top later of plaster will be wiped away to reveal the pebbles.  Although pebbles are a common aggregate material other material such as glass beads and quartz can be used.  Aggregate finishes can be exposed or polished.  An exposed aggregate reveals the whole pebble which provides a bumpy texture.  A polished aggregate is polished flat and provides a smooth texture. 

                Advantages of Aggregate

Aggregate pool finishes, when maintained, can last longer than standard plaster finishes.  Quartz finishes can last twelve plus years while pebbles can last some twenty plus years.  Glass beads are small and soft on feet.

                Disadvantage of Aggregate

The larger the aggregate material, the less comfortable it can be to walk on.  Consider the last time you have walked into a rocky Great Lake; large rocks make navigation tricky to the feet.  Smaller aggregate materials are less of an issue.  If glass beads are used in creating the aggregate, it is common to experience some fading and discoloration.

Tile Pool Finish

Pool tiles are created from several different materials including standard porcelain, stone, and glass.  Some homeowners choose a combination of the three to create a unique pool design.  Porcelain pool tiles can be glazed, textured, or hand painted.  Porcelain tile is usually used around the waterline of the pool. 

                Advantages of Tile

Tile is the longest lasting material that can be used as an interior pool finish on concrete pool foundations.   Tile is easier to maintain as well.

                Disadvantage of Tile

Tile is costlier than plaster or aggregate which can add thousands of dollars to finishing your pool.  Another disadvantage is that tiles chip and crack easy and if installed incorrectly can have sharp edges. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Properly Opening a Freshly Plastered Pool


The first 30 days after a swimming pool has been plastered are the most important.  It is critical that the plaster is properly cured.  This is done by maintaining a proper balance in the pool waters chemistry and maintaining it throughout the life of the pool.  When starting up the pool the main objective will be to clean and get rid of the dust left over from the plaster while stabilizing and balancing the water that is in the pool.  This article will give you a few things to consider if you are contemplating having the plaster on your swimming pool re-done or a new plaster pool installed.

The Quality of the Water You Are Adding to the Pool

Before you begin to add water to a freshly plastered pool it is important to know the quality of the water.  Believe it or not all water is not the same.   The quality of the water in your home may not be the same as the quality of the water in the water spout outside of the home.  The local source that you have for filling the pool may not be suitable.  It is important to take a sample of the pools water to a pool retailer to have it analyzed.  Write down the water’s chemistry for reference at a later date.

Determine How Much Water Is Needed for The Pool

If you determine that your water source is appropriate for filling your swimming pool the next step is to take a meter reading to make sure the source is adequate to fill the pool without issues.  To measure the amount of water needed to fill a swimming pool use the following measurements:

Oval – Length x Width x Average Depth x 5.9

Round – Diameter x Diameter x Average Depth x 5.9

Square/Rectangle – Length x Width x Average Depth x 5.9

Irregular Shapes – Divide the pool into geometric shapes and add the gallon amounts together

Starting the Pool Filling Process

After the pool has been plastered, the water has been tested, and the amount of water needed to fill it is determined it is time to fill the swimming pool.  When filling the pool use a clean hose with a soft cloth tied to the end to diffuse the water so that it does not whip about and mar the freshly plastered surface.  It will also catch debris coming out of the hose.

If you are bringing water in via a truck note that a cushion of two feet is needed in the bottom of the pool.  Water should be added quickly but in a manner that does not harm the plaster.  If a pool fills too slowly cracks may appear.  In order to avoid this the plaster should be added in as quickly as possible.

Tips:

  • Do not let the hose flip and flail around the pool
  • Put the fill hose in at the deep end of the pool
  • Do not allow the hose to rest on the fresh plaster
  • Do not add anything to the pool until it has finished filling including clarifiers
  • Do not stop the water until the pool is completely filled
  • Do not walk on the freshly plastered pool

Test the Water After It Has Finished Filling

The water may test substantially different once the pool has been filled.  It is important to test the water and write the current water chemistry down.  The pools water must have the correct chemistry to prevent staining or pitting.  Calcium is especially important to the pools water chemistry.  If the calcium is not maintained, it will pull calcium from the plaster which could cause issues to the plaster surface

In our next installment on pool plaster we will continue to discuss the steps involved in properly opening a newly plastered pool including: starting the equipment, adding in chemicals, and maintenance. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Winter is Right Around the Corner

When it comes to closing your plaster pool for the winter there are three goals for most homeowners:

  • Preserve the quality of pool water
  • Secure all pool equipment
  • Protect the pools plaster surface

Water freezes, it’s pretty simple.  When the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit the water in your pool will begin to freeze.  When the water freezes it will expand.  Water that is allowed to freeze and expand without any special treatment given to it can cause homeowners a lot of grief in the from of busted plumbing, plaster cracks, and more.  The best way to prevent these issues is to follow a precise closing method when the season ends that includes draining the excess water from the pools plumbing.

When winterizing your plaster swimming pool one key element that must be taken into consideration is the need for chemically balanced water.  If the water is not balanced when you close your pool for the season there are a few issues that could arise including: build up and corrosion.  If water issues exist when you close the pool they will still be there when the pool is opened next spring which can make the opening process more difficult.  Stagnant pool water often “attracts” the growth of algae.  Chemicals also help to eliminate issues with pool staining from dissolving metals that are not being filtered.

Before the pool is closed down for the winter is crucial that homeowners not only take time to balance the chemicals in the pools water and include additives to prevent algae growth and staining.  Not only is balanced water important but also clean water.  The pool should be thoroughly cleaned and free of leaves, dirt, outside debris.  Any outside material left within the pools water has the ability to leave unsightly markings on the pools plaster surface.

Another step that is super important when closing your pool is the water level.  The pools water level should be lowered below the skimmer and all plumbing, drains, and pool equipment should be drained.  Once the pipes are drained it is important to use drain plugs to prevent the water from seeping back into the plumbing.  DO NOT completely drain the water in your pool.  This is especially true when it comes to plaster pools.  Water needs to be kept in the pool to avoid under ground water from putting pressure on the plaster which would cause it to crack.  Although having a pool re-plastered is common, it is not practical every year and is not financially cost effective to have done on a regular basis.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Materials Involved In Pool Plastering

There are many materials that go into building an in-ground pool.  Few materials get as much attention as the pools plaster surface.  Plaster is the exterior shell of the pool.  It is the part that everyone sees and feels.  It is also the first place that people usually notice when it starts to deteriorate, cracks become noticeable and discoloration is visible.  Over the years we have learned some important tips regarding the maintenance and care for the pool’s plaster to keep it in top condition.

Fresh Plaster Maintenance

Your swimming pool installer will add chemicals that are required to initially balance the pools water.  They will then brush the plaster with a nylon-bristle brush which improves the quality of the plaster as well.  This will also prevent the buildup of calcium and other minerals within the pools water.

If you notice that you have fine sand grains deposited on the bottom of the pool this is more likely “precipitation” which is common with a newly installed pool or fresh plaster.  Our recommendation is to continue brushing the pool twice a day for the first seven days.

Your pool water and pH levels affect plaster.  It is crucial to the longevity and health of your pools plaster.  Pool water below 7.0 tends to erode & remove the smooth plaster surface.  Water that is above 8.0 contributes to the formation of scale and stains.

Calcium is another one of the key elements found in both your pool water and in your plaster.  A proper calcium balance is 250 ppm.  Too much calcium will cause deposits on the plaster of your pool.  Not enough calcium in the water may weaken the plaster.

Other Water Related Concerns

Dissolved Metal: Stains that cannot be removed with bleach are generally stains caused by metal.  When the water becomes saturated with any metal, like copper or iron, it will generally “precipitate” or fall out of solution in the form of a metal stain.  Copper stains usually reveal themselves as blue or blue-green splotches or streaks.  Iron will usually appear brown to black.  Check with your local pool specialist to purchase chemicals to help prevent these types of stains.

Mottling: Mottling can occur naturally in pools.  It is more evident in pools with colored plaster but not more prevalent.  There are strategies that can be put into place to lessen mottling including sequestering, chelating, or pH and calcium reduction.

Organic Stains: Plants that are near the pool area can often cause your plaster to become stained with tannic acid, which are brown, and chlorophyll stains, which are green.  Organic stains will not remain long due to the Chlorine bleaching them out.

Pound Pool Plastering repairs commercial and residential Gunite swimming pools including coping, tile and plaster repairs. For more information or to request a quote, visit us at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.