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Thread: Need plaster analysis please

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    Need plaster analysis please

    I have a pool built in '98 by the previous home owner and AFAIK this is the original plaster. I am 99% sure there are no leaks as water loss is well within normal ranges. I'm really wondering if this looks normal. Does old plaster crack when it gets old and thin? There is some staining and a couple of spots on the steps where the cleaning poles have worn the plaster to the gunite over the years. I'll definitely be looking at pebble tec at some point but want to make this last as long as I can. Pardon the debris, pics were taken at the end of the day.

    What do you think?








    18,000gal IG with FG finish + spa, Pentair CCP 420 filter, Pentair VS pump, Hayward AQR15 SWCG, Polaris 360, 325k BTU heater...

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need plaster analysis please

    In some of those photos the plaster looks very textured, but it is difficult to tell if that is just the pattern of light going through the water, of if there really is texture.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Need plaster analysis please

    Nope, no texture, that's just the light. Do these cracks look consistent with age or should I be worried?
    18,000gal IG with FG finish + spa, Pentair CCP 420 filter, Pentair VS pump, Hayward AQR15 SWCG, Polaris 360, 325k BTU heater...

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    In the Industry

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    Re: Need plaster analysis please

    There is no reason that I see that you "need" to replaster the pool.

    If you can deal with it being rough and ugly, you can refinish it whenever your finances allow.
    20X40 30,000 gallon gunite pool

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    Re: Need plaster analysis please

    Quote Originally Posted by 3des
    Do these cracks look consistent with age or should I be worried?
    Those cracks are almost definitely structural cracks that go through the gunite, and not just the plaster. They should be dye tested for leaks. If it were me, I would cut out the plaster over the cracks to examine the gunite to see how bad the cracks are. If the cracks are large enough, then epoxy can be injected to help slow the spread of the cracks. If you're not going to replaster, then you can just patch the plaster that has been cut out.

    Structural cracking can indicate settling of the pool. You should check that the pool is level. Structural cracks are fairly common in concrete pools. Sometimes the cracks can be serious and sometimes they are not so serious. I recommend that you have a qualified pool contractor evaluate the structural integrity of the pool.

    Remedial action may be indicated if the pool is settling. Remedial action could possibly included adding structural support to prevent further settling.

    Also, it looks like grout was used between the coping and the deck instead of caulk. Caulk should have been used to provide an expansion joint. Without an expansion joint, it is likely that most of the coping has become unbonded from the bond beam due to the expansion and contraction of the concrete as it changed temperature.

    You can tap on the coping with the plastic handle of a screwdriver to listen to the sound. There is a definite difference between the sound of bonded coping and unbonded coping.

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    Re: Need plaster analysis please

    Thanks for the replies.

    The pool is level. Water level is at the exact same place on the tile all the way around. The coping/deck expansion joint is deck-o-seal sanded to look like grout. A fairly common practice I'd imagine.

    So this could be bad, but maybe not. As long as there is no evidence of a leak just keep swimming until more of the plaster is gone or do I risk greater damage by waiting?
    18,000gal IG with FG finish + spa, Pentair CCP 420 filter, Pentair VS pump, Hayward AQR15 SWCG, Polaris 360, 325k BTU heater...

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    Re: Need plaster analysis please

    I would be surprised if those cracks were not leaking. You can dye test the cracks and you can do a "bucket" test by putting a bucket of water on a step in the pool, filling the bucket to the same level as the pool and comparing the water loss from the pool and the bucket. If the pool loses more than the bucket, then you have a leak.

    If the cracks go all of the way through the gunite, then the rebar is exposed and it will begin to rust and deteriorate. The rebar is what is holding the concrete together, if that goes, then the cracks will get much bigger.

    Some of the cracks look like they are due to delaminating plaster.

    At a minimum, I would drain the pool, cut out the cracks and delaminations and then patch the cracks and delaminations. That might last a few years if the pool is otherwise structurally sound and stable.

    Epoxy injection into the cracks in the gunite can be helpful in sealing the cracks and protecting the rebar, however, it is very difficult to find anyone who knows how to do it properly.

    I think that you need a qualified contractor on site to evaluate the structural integrity and stability of the pool. If the pool is substantially unstable and structurally unsound, then (in my opinion) it would probably be cost prohibitive to make it structurally sound and stable.

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