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Thread: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

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    I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    First of all thank you for helping new members like myself. My concern is related to the change in color of my white plaster. The pictures included show a grey color that has appeared on the entire pool. On the sun deck I have spots with the color surrounding these small spots on the entire area.

    The pool was build six months ago and we are in the southern part of Texas. Water in the area is supplied by the Rio Grand River and from I understand it is very hard. The pool has 17,400 gallon , it is an in ground , gunite, white plaster, in ground cleaning systems, Pentair equipment with a DE filter. If additional information is needed as far as construction or equipment I would be glad to answer.

    I agreed to a bi-weekly pool service since day one in order to ensure that any issues with the pool or equipment are monitored by the same company that build it. Upon my second month of opening the pool, I was told by the maintenance crew (same as the builder) that my CYA was above 60 and CH 700 and they wanted to initiate an auto drain. I agreed and the pool water was turned by 70% from what I remember. I have a simple water kit by Taylor K-1004 trouble shooter. I inspect the water every other day and consistently get the following results: Chlorine 2.5, Ph 7.5, Alkalinity 80. I have to consistently add muriatic acid in order to keep the Ph in line. Currently CYA is at 50 and CH is at 450. I am not able to inspect the CYA and CH with my kit and therefore depend on the techs information.

    I have communicated this to my builder and he has agreed to come out and inspect. I need some advise in preparation for my conversation. Is this normal? Is there a way to remove or lessen the visual impact? What changes would you make?
    Thank you in advance for your help!!

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Welcome to tfp, fab68

    Before I start, I am not a calcium scaling expert (I have a vinyl pool), since I have never dealt with it directly.

    That looks like calcium scaling to me. I would guess that the high calcium fill water along with improper maintenance of ph, TA, CH, and cya caused the scaling. You should probably read this pool school article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...alcium_scaling

    With that said, I would hesitate to do an acid wash, if that is what your builder ends up suggesting. Here is why...from your pictures the scaling does not look too bad and acid washes reduce the life of the plaster.

    If you properly maintain the levels of the parameters listed in the pool school article linked above, that scaling will slowly reverse (very slowly). See Richard320's slow progress here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/progr...le-t38568.html.

    The above can work, but the pool maintainer has to be vigilant, especially with ph. If you plan to continue to use a service, I would guess they will not test and adjust often enough to get this to reverse.

    Hopefully some others with direct experience will chime in soon
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Thank you Linen, I will read in to it.

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Fab68, from the pictures, I am fairly certain that the graying and white "soft" spotting discoloration is not a calcium scaling issue, nor from any water chemistry causes. Go to the "Deep End" section on this website, and look for the "Gray Mottling Discoloration" post written by me. That should help with understanding the actual possible causes.

    If the gray areas and the white spotting areas are smooth to the touch, then you know that it isn't scale. Also, sanding any area with 100 grit sandpaper for a few seconds and no change in the appearance also indicates that it isn't calcium scaling.

    The are plenty of studies that have shown and proven that similar graying and white spotting is an improper material and/or workmanship issue.

    There is a good chance that you will receive advice suggesting that an acid wash of some type will help even out the color or discoloration of your plaster job. That will simply etch the plaster surface, age it, and make it rougher to the touch. In my opinion, that would be the worst thing to do to new pool plaster. In some cases, it does improve the appearance, but more often, the discoloration returns in a few weeks, and makes the plaster look older. If it were my pool, I would insist on a replaster and doing it the right way.

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    thank you onbalance! For the test can use any kind of 100 grit paper? Is this a Lowes or HD product ?

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    I am sorry, I should have mentioned that it needs to be "wet & dry" sandpaper. And any hardware store should sell it.
    Is your plaster surface smooth, or does it feel rough and gritty?

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Fab68, for what it's worth, while my pool surface is not white, your pool bottom looks just like mine. My plaster is smooth to the touch and I've kept the CSI well within the range to prevent scaling--in fact it's usually negative and then becomes slightly positive until I add MA and the process repeats. Sandpaper did not remove my markings.

    I think onBalance is right about your plaster.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by onBalance
    I am sorry, I should have mentioned that it needs to be "wet & dry" sandpaper. And any hardware store should sell it.
    Is your plaster surface smooth, or does it feel rough and gritty?
    It is rough !!

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by HouTex
    Fab68, for what it's worth, while my pool surface is not white, your pool bottom looks just like mine. My plaster is smooth to the touch and I've kept the CSI well within the range to prevent scaling--in fact it's usually negative and then becomes slightly positive until I add MA and the process repeats. Sandpaper did not remove my markings.

    I think onBalance is right about your plaster.

    Do you have the same markings??

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Is there any difference in texture (rough versus smooth) on the plaster surface between the whiter spots from the grayish areas? If so, which is smooth and which is rough?
    You may have some scaling also. Sand a 6 inch by 6 inch square area for a minute and see if the scale is easily removed. Then see if any discoloration has been removed.

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    My builder has an update me with a response:
    1. They will acid wash, drain and sand at their cost.
    2. Replaster the pool but I have to pay the the work at their "cost".

    I am very concern about this!! Could anyone advise of how I should proceed? Obviously I will not accept either. I feel they should replaster at their expense and I could pay for the cost of upgrading the finish to peeple finish.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    It depends on how hard you want to push.
    Option #1. In my opinion, it is unlikely that a drain, acid wash, and sanding will make the plaster color uniform, or make it new again. If you accept that option, I suggest they sand the entire plaster surface sufficiently after the acid wash. And you may want to insist that if it doesn't work, then they agree to replaster for free. Also, one month needs to pass after the work is performed before an evaluation is made on the results.

    Option #2. I agree that replastering should be at their expense, and then you can pay for an upgrade if desired.

    If there is no agreement between you and the contractor, you may have to "core" a plaster sample and have it analyzed by a professional cement lab. They would probably be able to provide you with the evidence of improper plastering practices that led to the graying and white spotting discoloration.

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by onBalance
    It depends on how hard you want to push.
    Option #1. In my opinion, it is unlikely that a drain, acid wash, and sanding will make the plaster color uniform, or make it new again. If you accept that option, I suggest they sand the entire plaster surface sufficiently after the acid wash. And you may want to insist that if it doesn't work, then they agree to replaster for free. Also, one month needs to pass after the work is performed before an evaluation is made on the results.

    Option #2. I agree that replastering should be at their expense, and then you can pay for an upgrade if desired.

    If there is no agreement between you and the contractor, you may have to "core" a plaster sample and have it analyzed by a professional cement lab. They would probably be able to provide you with the evidence of improper plastering practices that led to the graying and white spotting discoloration.
    Thank you Onbalance, I agree with you. I am taking a proactive approach and was receptive to them. I believe during this situations one needs to have a positive perspective. They will come out and sand part of my "sundeck" in order to not drain the entire pool before taking a final approach. If the desired outcome is not positive then we will drain completely and replaster with the agreement that I will pay for the upgrade finish only. On 17,000 gallon pool and assuming replaster will take place and I like that clear look on the water. What finish should I look for and what should I pay?

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Sounds like a good approach. I suspect that they will have to do a lot of sanding to remove the graying and also the white spots. If it works, great! Don't overlook that sometimes the gray discoloration will return within a few weeks after filling the pool with water again.

    I do not know the prices of plastering in your area for regular plaster and for "pebble" finishes. I suggest you call other plasterers in Texas and get an idea of their cost breakdown for regular plaster, quartz finishes, and pebble. I assume you know that pebble finishes are "bumpy" and not smooth. But it is true that Pebble finishes are more durable and usually don't discolor.

    I am still curious about your current plaster surface. You stated that it is "rough" like sandpaper, but never stated whether there are smooth areas as opposed to rough areas. Are the walls rough or smooth as opposed to the floor areas? Are the gray areas rough or smooth, and are the white spots rough or smooth? Or are there just a few troweling ridges and scrapes?

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    My pool builder will replaster but will only do it if I upgrade to pepple or quartz. What do you recommend?

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by fab68
    Quote Originally Posted by HouTex
    Fab68, for what it's worth, while my pool surface is not white, your pool bottom looks just like mine. My plaster is smooth to the touch and I've kept the CSI well within the range to prevent scaling--in fact it's usually negative and then becomes slightly positive until I add MA and the process repeats. Sandpaper did not remove my markings.

    I think onBalance is right about your plaster.

    Do you have the same markings??
    Sorry, I didn't see this until now. Yes, my markings are very similar to the faint spots in your pictures. But in one of your pics it seems to show some swirling marks. I don't have any swirling marks. And the texture of the plaster is the same throughout the pool and the marks would not go away with sandpaper. Based on my water chemistry I'm certain that I don't have calcium scale.

    Overall, my plaster job is not horrible. The marks really are only visible in low light conditions. My plaster contractor offered to do a no-drain acid watch followed by a drain and re-fill for $500, but I passed.

    I have French Grey Luna Quartz, for what it's worth.
    9,200 gal. Gunite Luna Quartz French Grey pool with spill over spa, two fountains on tanning ledge (rarely used)
    Pentair Whisperflo 2HP, Pentair CCP Cartridge 420 Sq. Ft., Polaris 280 with booster pump
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, RayPak LoNox 266k Natural Gas heater, Aqua Rite SWCG T Cell 9, Borates, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Fab68, I like quartz finishes, but if the PB company does the same things as before, you will be disatisfied again. So I probably would recommend a pebble type finish, like pebble sheen or fina. I hope they understand not to add a lot of calcium chloride to the plaster mix. I also would reccomend a "light" colored finish, because dark colored jobs can occasionally lighten and may not stay a dark color.

    I believe that quartz finishes usually cost about 50 percent more than standard white plaster, and pebble finishes are a little more and may be nearly double the original cost, but I might also be a little on the high side. I am glad that the PB is trying to make good on this and at least recognizing their responsibility. Technically, the PB should not be making a profit on doing an upgrade, because that is not what you originally paid for. If he isn't confident about doing a normal white plaster job, then he should only charge his cost on doing Pebble.

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by onBalance
    Fab68, I like quartz finishes, but if the PB company does the same things as before, you will be disatisfied again. So I probably would recommend a pebble type finish, like pebble sheen or fina. I hope they understand not to add a lot of calcium chloride to the plaster mix. I also would reccomend a "light" colored finish, because dark colored jobs can occasionally lighten and may not stay a dark color.

    I believe that quartz finishes usually cost about 50 percent more than standard white plaster, and pebble finishes are a little more and may be nearly double the original cost, but I might also be a little on the high side. I am glad that the PB is trying to make good on this and at least recognizing their responsibility. Technically, the PB should not be making a profit on doing an upgrade, because that is not what you originally paid for. If he isn't confident about doing a normal white plaster job, then he should only charge his cost on doing Pebble.
    Thank you very much for the response how much should I pay for the pepple knowing that I paid for the white plaster allready? My pool is 14,000 gallons to give you an idea.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    I guess it is obvious that the pool plasterer couldn't improve the appearance of the plaster with an acid wash or sanding. That just shows that the gray discoloration was internal and not from a high mineral content of the tap water or from improper water chemistry. Perhaps the PB will make a change on the plastering subcontractor that he used before.

    I am not going to give you a set cost to accept. I suggested before that you contact other pool plasterers in Texas and get some estimates for quartz and pebble finishes. But as I stated before, if the cost of normal white plaster is about $3,000 to $4,000 in Texas, then I suppose that a quartz upgrade would be around $1500 to $2,000. For Pebble, then perhaps a ball park figure would be about $2,500 to $3,500 over the cost of white plaster. But I do not know the current prices and what plasterers charge in your area. So you will have to make the decision on what to agree to pay. It sounds like the PB is reputable, so I think you should consider that, be reasonable, and come to an agreement for an upgrade pool finish.

    Have the PB read the following link: ten-guidelines-for-quality-pool-plaster-t42957.html

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    Re: I would appreciate your help with plaster issue.

    I was skimming thru this post so not sure if anyone has asked: is there a heater connected to the pool?
    Melbi Stylz

    Beach Entry, pebble sheen, natural rock waterfall, raised bondbeam w/ 2 3ft cascades, Pentair VS Pump, 1hp Pentair whisperflo main pump, 1hp booster pump, FNS 60Sq Filter, Jandy Aqualink RS6, Sta-Rite Master Temp 400,000BTU, Raised Spa, Breeze salt system

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