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Thread: When does replastering become critical?

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    When does replastering become critical?

    With all the recent posts concerning plaster, I thought I would throw out another question that has been bothering me ever since I inherited my pool.

    As I have stated in other posts, my pool has the original plaster from build date in the late 1970s. As you can probably imagine, it is rough and wearing thin in many places. It needs a replastering job, that is not in question. My question is: When does the need for a new finish become critical for the integrity of the pool structure vs replastering for obvious aesthetic reasons?

    You have guessed correctly that I don't have the money right now for this project, and I would like to string it out as long as possible without putting the overall structure in jeopardy.

    Here are a couple of pics to show the condition. The second one shows wear on the first step.[attachment=1:2et9fb71]deep end jets distance.jpg[/attachment:2et9fb71][attachment=0:2et9fb71]pool.jpg[/attachment:2et9fb71]
    Thanks in advance,
    Dave
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    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Another (Re)plaster question

    I think that you will have to post a better pic of the worn out area. I cannot see what you are talking about. So far your pool looks great
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: Another (Re)plaster question

    Quote Originally Posted by Brentr
    I think that you will have to post a better pic of the worn out area. I cannot see what you are talking about. So far your pool looks great
    That's because those are reused pics that I took for a different question when I first joined TFP.

    I can take better ones but if you look closer at the first pic especially, you will see the typical areas where the plaster has worn very thin I presume. Looks like discolored areas or stains. If you look closely at the second pic you will see the wear on the first step. When I first saw it I thought it was staining from dirty feet, but upon closer examination I realized it is actually where the plaster has been worn away.
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Another (Re)plaster question

    Here's another pic showing the wear. The discolored areas are not stains, but presumably where the plaster has worn thin.[attachment=0:36p885zq]deep end jet turned off.jpg[/attachment:36p885zq]
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    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Plaster is basically irrelevant to the structural integrity of your pool. It is there as a finish coat. It provides smoothness, a nice color, and is far less porous than the gunite structure.
    Dave S.
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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    From what I've read I must agree with duraleigh but if the plaster is gone in places... that means the porosity of the gunite is in play. On badly corroded pool surfaces you can see evidence of rust -- probably from the concrete re-bar that has come into contact with the water.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    I am not an expert at plaster but I have a friend's pool that had brown areas like that. He acid washed the pool and the brown areas are now blue again. He told me that he thought it was staining where the rebar bled thru. You may want to get a second opinion.
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Plaster is basically irrelevant to the structural integrity of your pool. It is there as a finish coat. It provides smoothness, a nice color, and is far less porous than the gunite structure.
    Huh, I don't know where I got the notion that plaster was more than an aesthetic finish. I thought I had read somewhere that plaster was the water tight element of the pool, and without it water would seep through the gunite, rusting rebar, and generally eroding the stability of the shell.
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    From what I've read I must agree with duraleigh but if the plaster is gone in places... that means the porosity of the gunite is in play. On badly corroded pool surfaces you can see evidence of rust -- probably from the concrete re-bar that has come into contact with the water.
    This is what I was worrying about...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brentr
    I am not an expert at plaster but I have a friend's pool that had brown areas like that. He acid washed the pool and the brown areas are now blue again. He told me that he thought it was staining where the rebar bled thru. You may want to get a second opinion.
    You can't really tell from the pictures, but the "discolored" areas are not brown as from rust, as a matter of fact they are not really stains at all as far as I can tell. They appear to be a different material altogether. Whereas the surrounding plaster is rough and white, these places seem smooth, almost polished with an off white, ivory color. I'm afraid if I just call someone up that I don't know to come look at it I wouldn't really trust their opinion. The pool inspector noted it before I bought the house, but he didn't seem particularly concerned about it. He is the one that pointed out to me that they were not in fact stains but worn plaster.

    Any other ideas?
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    If its rust from rebar or wire ties, the plaster will be very soft and chip away easily. The rust will continue until you find the source. As long as the pool is not leaking and you can live with the aesthetics you don't have to replaster. If you need to buy some time you can fix spots or areas.

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    I think that I have the very same issues, the discolored areas of my pool are much smoother than the plaster, seeming to be a different material altogether.

    So, am I to understand that these worn areas can be leaking water and damaging the steel internal structure of the pool shell? Just needing clarification before I start looking into price for this replastering event.

    After all the work trying to locate and find leaks in the pool in order to stop the weeping of water at the curb at the front of the house. Some were found and sealed and yet it is soggy out there again. I notice that the neighbor one house down replastered and now there is a wet curb at his house and I wonder if they did not seal around the rocks correctly. That is what was leaking in my pool and the rough rocks are a bit tricky to deal with I guess. There is water is seeping at his curb and around the cul-de-sac to my curb. Or maybe there is yet another leak in my sprinkler system, I've only repaired 4 or 8 of them so far.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    anonapersona, how old is your pool? Is this the original plaster? I'll be following this thread closely, if you find out any info please post on this thread or maybe even send me a PM & I'll do the same.

    Thanks muchly,
    Dave
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Pool is now 10 years old, this is original plaster, built by Lone Star Pools here in Houston/ Spring area. I do see in the files that the owner had sought an estimate for replaster in 2006, only 7 years after installation. They did not do anything at that time.

    Yeah, I think I am developing a theory here about worn plaster in part due to the Polaris that gets stuck in so many areas, and decaying sandstone/mossrock that leaves sand in the pool and perhaps creates leaks along the edge.

    On the bright side, now that I have done BBB for a full year, I am only testing sporadically and usually based on the lack of sparkle in the water. I find that when I do test, things are OK. I sort of go by whether there are 2 clorox jugs in the weekly recycle. If there is none or one, I add a jug. I did test recently, fist time in a month, and was stunned to find that all was well. I can only guess that knowing the difference between Sparkly and not, helps me to feel when I need to attend to the pool. Amazing.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    It looks like a calcium build up to me, not thinning plaster. Thats not to say that the plaster isn't past its prime. When the kids get raw feet and bathing suits get snags, it's usually time. When the plaster begins to delaminate and blister, its time. If the plaster has worn so thin that gunite can be seen, it's time.

    If your pool's main beef is those discolorations, then an acid wash may be the right thing. With better pictures, we could tell. Try to take them when the sun is obscured by cloud cover, winds are no more than light, and the pump is turned off. There will be fewer reflections.

    Plaster is water tight. Gunite is NOT.

    Exposed gunite is not good. It will weaken if ignored. It will allow water to weep through. It will make its way to the rebar.

    If the rebar is not the green epoxy coated type, such as you might see in a bridge under construction, it will rust and weaken and leach rust back towards the pool. Most gunite pools use the uncoated type.

    Scott
    PoolGuyNJ
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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Plaster is water tight. Gunite is NOT.

    Exposed gunite is not good. It will weaken if ignored. It will allow water to weep through. It will make its way to the rebar.
    Thanks for the response, Scott! But please allow me to ask a stupid question: What does exposed gunite look like?

    And also, you say plaster is water tight. Even plaster that is worn thin? I think this is the nagging question in my mind.

    Thanks,
    Dave
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    The following link shows a pool build. You can see what gunite looks like, as well as a great many other things.

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/po ... 90.html?55

    As to how thin the plaster can get will be dependent on a number of factors. The actual mix used will vary from one company/brand to the next. Its not all the same. A thin spot near the surface, say, 3/16" thick may remain water tight but allow leaching at 8 feet due to the added pressure.

    Are you losing water?

    Scott
    PoolGuyNJ
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    I'm not losing any water, so maybe that will be the final sign that the plaster has given up the ghost. But then again, I wonder if the amount of water loss through seepage would even be noticeable? Anyway here are two more pics that I took this morning. The first pic shows the wear on the steps that I've been talking about. Second pic is a close-up of the plaster in the deep end.[attachment=1:1r7u10yo]first step.jpg[/attachment:1r7u10yo][attachment=0:1r7u10yo]plaster close-up.jpg[/attachment:1r7u10yo]
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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Looks like calcium and ground in dirt.

    In a bucket, mix one part muriatic to 4 parts water. Please use long rubber gloves and goggles. Pour a small amount over the step and scrub with a scrub brush.

    Pour the left over around the the area of the calcium and scrub with a pool brush (not a stainless!).

    I'll bet it has a positive impact.

    Scott
    PoolGuyNJ
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: When does replastering become critical?

    Pictures below of scale on my pool steps.

    My scale is easier to see as the plaster is blue. It, also, is rougher and coarser than the plaster under it. It resides above the plaster (in my pool) so you can feel the rise up from plaster to the scale. The doggies leave mud footprints on the steps that will stain, mostly the scale, if I don't get the stairs brushed at night. Our silt stains and has iron in it. The scale, mostly on horizontal surfaces, stains more the the plaster does, any kind of staining, and also holds it harder than the plaster. I did an AA treatment a couple of months ago and it took the scaling areas loner to release the stains, mostly iron. Fall 08 I did an acid wash to the pool. We didn't concentrate on the horizontal surfaces as the scaling was so thick, I was afraid I would remove scale and plaster but we did get all off of sides. I would think you could tell if yours is thinning or scaling by whether the darker areas are higher or lower than the plaster.

    I had to use an angle grinder, with concrete discs, for a couple of hours, when pool was empty for acid wash last year, to remove the scale on steps, but only got the bottom one done, as you will see in pictures.

    Note bottom step with little to no scaling.

    Good news is that during and after the AA treatment the scaling is very slowly lifting.

    BTW...... Iron stains a yellowish tan to light brown and mostly on the scaling. Copper stains a dark grey. The copper staining I have, mostly where sides curve down to bottom, are like lines that can be straight or curved, but not large concentrated areas or roundish spots.







    2nd step with less scaling.




    There really is blue plaster under the stained "white" scale.
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