Pool replastering is an essential maintenance operation for any in-ground concrete pool. That’s why it’s important for any pool owner to understand the pool replastering process. Knowing what is involved in this undertaking will let you know and appreciate why it’s important and why you should consider having your pool replastered periodically.
Draining the Pool
Replastering your pool requires your contractor to access the interior surface; that’s why draining the water is essential to pool replastering. The pool is to be drained and the hydrostatic plug removed in order to ensure that the pool will not pop out of the ground. That’s why it’s important to have a pool professional drain the pool. If not done properly, the water can be absorbed by the ground and the hydrostatic pressure will force the in-ground concrete pool upwards. The water is typically drained out of the property using a sump pump or any submersible pump and the water directed at a proper disposal drainage location. We usually do not recommend using your pool pump to drain the pool as it can overheat and break beyond repair. You don’t want to be dealing with unnecessary repairs when all you wanted was to have your pool replastered.
After the pool is drained, your contractor will clean the pool of any dirt or debris and finish the pool by drying the entirety of the pool. Once your pool contractor is done with draining and drying the pool, it’s time for the busiest part of the project.
Removing the Plaster
The next step is to remove the plaster. This is done to make way for the new interior and to allow it to have a better bond with the concrete. Chances are, the old plaster will have weak spots that can compromise the quality of the new plaster. To make sure that you keep your pool’s new interior reliable and dependable, the entirety of the old plaster is to be removed. Different pool contractors will have different means of removing the old plaster. The old plaster can either be removed by using pneumatic tools to lightly scrape off a thin layer of the old plaster or to forcefully chip the old plaster with the use of hand tools and power tools.
Depending on your contractor, they might use the hydroblast method (using pneumatic equipment) or the chip-out method (using conventional tools). It’s good to note that the latter is recommended by the National Plasterers Council and allows your contractor to remove more of the old and weathered surface. Doing so will ensure better adhesion of the new plaster and can potentially promise a better result.
Your contractor will usually start removing the old plaster from below the waterline tiles. As they make their way to the walls of your pool, they will finish as they reach the floor. They will also work on the steps of the pool as well as other features that are covered with plaster – like your Baja steps. Some pool contractors will also acid wash the exposed concrete which will eat off any remaining plaster and roughen its surface allowing the new plaster to have something to hold on to when applied. It will be left to cure and dry, after which, the new plaster will be applied.
Applying the New Plaster
Every plaster starts as a mixture of white Portland cement and aggregates typically marble dust, quartz sand, and sometimes, limestone. Your pool contractor can either arrive on site with a pre-mixed pool plaster or they will have to mix the actual plaster on site. Either way, they will have to pour the new plaster in by hand or use pneumatic equipment to spray the plaster over the walls and the floors of the pool. While shooting the plaster to the walls and on the floor, the crew working on your pool may wear special stilts allowing them to leave small holes, which can easily be troweled down. Speaking of which, after the plaster is applied, it is usually smoothened out and pressed further against the concrete which creates better adhesion and an overall smoother surface. Any imperfections are smoothed out and small pockets are filled with the plaster mix to make sure that the integrity of the pool is maintained and preserved. That said, your pool contractor should finish the application of the new plaster in the soonest time possible. Contrary to the common belief, you don’t want to let the plaster dry out before filling the pool with water. Your contractor should wait just until the plaster achieves a certain hardness, typically within 24 hours. After which, the pool will be ready for startup.
Starting the Pool
The pool startup involves filling the pool with water which will allow the plaster to cure and achieve better structural integrity. Your contractor will slowly fill the pool with water which will be followed up by testing and adjusting the water’s chemistry. Proper water chemistry will not only ensure better pool health, but will also allow you to avoid any issues that might cost you in the future including corrosion of your pool equipment and algae development. Keeping the pool water clean can save you from trouble, making it one of the most important parts of the pool replastering process.
Still on the fence about pool replastering? Check out some of the most popular reasons why pool owners have their pools replastered.
- Exposed concrete.
- Roughened plaster.
- Cracks on the pool walls and floor.
- Discoloration of plaster.
- Hard to remove stains.
- Unexplainable loss of water.
Chances are, if you’re experiencing any of these, you could be having a problem with structural damage or maybe your pool needs some aesthetic improvements. Make sure to contact a licensed and experienced pool contractor you can trust to provide you with professional quality pool replastering service. And now that you know the basics of the pool replastering process, you’ll be better equipped in planning for a pool replastering project for your pool.