We purchased a home a couple of months ago that has a pool. We got a pool inspection and the inspector noted some worn areas and hairline cracks in the plaster meant that we would probably need to replaster in the "next season or two." I asked him if there were reasons beyond cosmetics to replaster and he said no. He said that it was a cosmetic issue, the rough plaster could snag bathing suits and hurt feet.
I can live with cosmetic imperfections. And we have found since living and swimming here, the plaster is smooth except for the spots where we see wear, but it's not impacting our day to day life in the pool by any means. The pool also doesn't appear to be losing water. But in reading around the web a bit, I just wanted to run it by this group to get a consensus on whether it was purely a cosmetic issue. I've seen some assertions on the web that if the plaster is worn, the porous gunite could be exposed which could lead to rusting rebar and impacting the structural integrity of the pool. That assertion concerns me.