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Thread: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

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    New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Hi guys

    I just filled my new pool up 2 weeks ago. I check the CH/PH/acid demand keeping all in check. I've been brushing it down on a daily basis keeping the pH in check with muratic acid. The interior is Tahoe Blue Quartz scape the builders sub did the plaster job and acid wash.The builder told me to brush it daily for the first 2 week and weekly there after. I can't believe how blotchy/splotchy this finish is any suggestions. I have a call into the builder so I'm patiently wanting on a response any suggestion other than get'a'rope....

    I'll get some Pics in the AM

    TIA Kirk In Texas
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Without pics it's hard to say what it may be. Calling the PB is the right thing to do. They'll know what needs to be done about it, if anything.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    It is impossible to get quartz finishes to be completely uniform. That said, it is almost always possible to improve the uniformity. Most builders are happy to take a second shot at getting the appearance more uniform, but after a couple of tries they will generally say that they have done as much as they can.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Thanks Guys

    That's what I figured as they want me to dump the water (15k+gallons $$$) and they'll do another acid wash... I'm thoughts are "if you think it's bad now, just wait until they/we fix it"
    I've been down this road before! It's a shame this pool builder can't tell you upfront the pitfalls of this product. Because I would have opted for another....... White plain Jane plaster would have been just fine with me, but not the wife;( Is there any thing that can be done at this late date (2 weeks old) to possible remedy the problem with the water in place ????

    I asked the pool builder this prior to the PLASTER WORK hoping to throttle back Murphy an his Law sadly to no avail.........

    My E-mail to him
    Which procedure do you use for my Quartzscape job?
    Start-up New Plaster
    If you have a new plaster pool or just had your pool resurfaced there is a special start-up procedure that needs to be followed to ensure the plaster cures properly. This is really the responsibility of your builder BUT you might have to carry out some of these maintenance steps yourself so we will briefly go through them so you know what is involved.

    If you can, you should talk to your builder, or the company that applied the plaster, and ask them what they recommend. They presumably have some kind of warranty and you don't want to do anything that might void the warranty. If they tell you to do something, you generally should, regardless of what we say, otherwise you risk voiding the warranty.

    Startup Procedures
    These rules apply for any start-up technique.

    •DO NOT SWIM DURING THE BREAK IN PERIOD!

    •Turn off the heater and leave it off for at least 3 weeks after filling. If practical, bypass the heater during this period.

    •Fill the pool. The pool should be filled as quickly as possible, without stopping. Use multiple hoses if possible. Do not allow water from the hose to spray directly onto the fresh plaster.

    •When the pool is full, add a startup dose of sequestrant.

    •Brush the entire pool at least once a day for the first week and at least once a week for the rest of the first month, more often is better. Make sure to brush the entire plaster surface. Brush from the top of the walls down and from the shallow to the deep end to knock off any loose plaster dust.

    •Do not shock the pool during the first 30 days.

    •If you have a SWG, do NOT add salt, or turn on the SWG, until 30 days after the plaster was applied.

    •Do not use any automated cleaning system, buit-in or robotic, during the first three weeks.

    •Did I mention, NO SWIMMING DURING THE BREAK IN PERIOD!


    For the remaining rules, you need to know which start-up method your builder is using: acid, traditional, or bicarbonate. The procedures for each are different. Your builder might use a variation of these procedures so be sure to follow their instructions if they differ from these.

    Acid Start-up
    This is a very common start-up procedure, especially for exposed aggregate finishes. Your builder usually does this whole procedure.

    •Leave the pump off at first.

    •Add 3 1/2 gallons muriatic acid per 10,000 gallons and then brush the entire pool. The acid will help dissolve the plaster dust so you don't need to vacuum.

    •Brush twice daily but don't vacuum or add chlorine until plaster dust is gone. For dark plaster only brush lighter colored or white areas.

    •When all plaster dust is gone, neutralize the acid with soda ash/washing soda by using a base demand test, wait 24 hours and repeat if needed.

    •When the PH reaches 7.2 or higher, check all equipment and turn on the circulation system. Clean the filter when the pressure increases 10 psi. Add sanitizer in small amounts at first until the desired level is obtained.

    Your builder will normally take care of the first five steps and then turn it over to you.

    •Check all equipment and make sure it's functional.

    •Circulate the water, add sequestrant. Run pump 24 hours a day for first week.

    •Watch the filter pressure and clean the filter as soon as it rises 8-10 psi and right after vacuuming. The plaster dust might clog the filter quickly so keep an eye on it and clean the filter as needed.

    •After the first 48 hours vacuum daily before brushing using a vacuum head with brushes (such as used in vinyl pools) instead of wheels to prevent marring the plaster. Clean filter after vacuuming.

    •After 72 hours add the CYA and then the chlorine SLOWLY to gradually bring it to the desired level.

    •Continue to brush, vacuum, test water balance, and clean the filter for one to two weeks, or 3 days after you see no plaster dust coming off when you brush.


    ****Bicarbonate Start-up****

    The bicarbonate start-up is a relatively new approach, not as common as the two above. It is a rather technical process that requires some special equipment so we will only list the procedures from the point the pool owner might be expected to take over. It is especially useful with dark plaster.

    •Maintain TA between 100-350 ppm and pH below 8.2 for first month.

    •After 1 month slowly lower TA to desired level by adding acid in small amounts. This will gradually lower the TA over a period of time. Scale will not form as long as the pH is kept below 8.2. Once TA is at desired range adjust pH to 7.6.

    No matter what start-up procedure is used, your pool will consume a lot of acid during the first 6-12 months as the plaster finish continues to cure. It is important to test your pH daily and do not let it climb above 7.8. Be sure to continue to brush the pool at least weekly during this period.
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I replastered with a sparkle quartz finish three years ago (not a pebble-tec fan, and this seemed a little jazzier than straight plaster).

    I do remember as soon as the the water was filling, being disappointed in the finish. It was VERY mottled and blotchy for the first few weeks, and I was very panicked. Did your builder explain the mottling and creaming process to you? I'm sure he did. Maybe not. lol

    I imagine you're doing these acid washes to accelerate the curing process, but that wasn't the route I took, nor would recommend to a neighbor. I'd really caution you away from that, actually, as an acid wash can never be uniform, and eventually, years later, you'll see the results from an uneven acid wash from the staining in certain spots, and I think you'll be more annoyed by this than some minimal finish mottling) . I did an acid start-up, which took longer, and took a lot more personal effort and diligence with the brushing schedule (I think it was 3-4 times a day), but it was worth it to me. Slow and steady, as I'm not a fan of shortcuts when it comes to the finish of anything.

    Three years later, and the finish is pretty darn spiffy (er, SPARKLY). I don't see any blotchy spots at all, and the finish is super smooth under your feet. Yes, if you were to look really closely on the steps, you might see a little more sparkle than plaster in spots, but it's overall totally imperceptible.

    Your builder is right in that the pool will eat more acid for a while. Mine also ate a lot of salt the first two years.
    12K play pool, sparkle quartz finish, Compupool salt system, PVC2000 infloor system, Emerson 3/4 filter motor, and AO Smith 1 HP infloor motor, PacFab Challenger Pumps

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Thanks for the great info

    Frankly, I'm burned out on my Pool builder's BS, like they say "if I never have to deal with these people again, it will be to soon" !!!

    I was wondering if anyone has ever done a 2nd start-up procedure after a 1st failed attempt like mine, or the bi-carb procedure, I mentioned in a earlier post???

    I'm sending a few pics of the pool and the blotches,now that I figured out how to resize pixs from my I-Phone

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    It's hard to tell from your photos, but it's always a possibility that your builder didn't mix or spray the plaster properly to begin with. If it were me, I'd have another builder (whom you trust from recommendations, etc.) come out to give you a second opinion. If it turns out your builder just did a horrible job, you could be in line to push for them to do a chip out, and a total redo (of regular white, to ensure the uniformity).

    Ultimately, I'm not sure you're going to see much of a difference from doing another start-up or more acid washes. What you're seeing on the surface isn't going to be too terribly different from what's underneath (I believe), so it's not like etching off a few layers is going to reveal a perfectly uniform finish.

    I'd go the second opinion route before trying anything else on your own.
    12K play pool, sparkle quartz finish, Compupool salt system, PVC2000 infloor system, Emerson 3/4 filter motor, and AO Smith 1 HP infloor motor, PacFab Challenger Pumps

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Thanks Jaime

    I appreciate your advise and that of others on the board. I'm continuing with the brushing of the surface and keeping the water chemistry in check. I've had more than my share of issues with certain aspects of the pool build, with this builder. So at least for the next few months, I'm going with my gut feeling plus the advise I've received for all the wonderful contributors here.



    Thanks again all
    Kirk
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Very cool. Definitely keep us posted - I want to hear how things develop.

    FWIW, I love the shape of your pool, the decking, the backyard...really looks awesome.
    12K play pool, sparkle quartz finish, Compupool salt system, PVC2000 infloor system, Emerson 3/4 filter motor, and AO Smith 1 HP infloor motor, PacFab Challenger Pumps

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I will keep ya'll posted
    Thanks for the compliments, I'll tell my better half as she chose the design

    Later Kirk
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I have the quartzscape pool plaster also, barbados blue. Our pool was finished last Sept and the uneveness in the color has been dissappointing seeing we paid a lot for it. They did acid washes several times after it was filled with water. One thing that Im very unhappy with is the roughness in many places, like the plaster was washed away leaving the quartz at the surface. Im still complaining to the builder but they havent done anything yet. What can they they do with the rough areas?

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Hey jmdsurf45
    Look at my photo above of my Tahoe Blue Quarztscape job it's about one month old, increase the size with Zoom to see blotches/ Plaster worker spikes marks. I did extensive research (Google) to insure a good job was preformed. I send this to the Builder.
    ____________________________________________________________ ____
    My E-mail: My concerns on QuartzScape Dated April 15 2013

    I know you have 35+ years at this, that's the reason we signed your contract, that being said. what's the plan for a none issue plaster job? Call me after you read this info no need waste time with an e-mail......TIA

    What's method is used by your company for applying NPT Quartzscape.
    Acid washing is clearly shown in NPT Guidelines link below.
    NOTE: IF THE GUIDELINES HAVE CHANGED let me know........TIA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqBlnD4OJ1g

    What procedure is used by your Company for start-up,Acid start-up,Traditional , or Bicarbonate

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...start-up<br />
    quartzscapes-i-added-some-pics-t28252.html

    Those who have had bad experiences with ANY quartz finish is usually due to poor workmanship, bad start-up and bad after care.

    QuartzScapes is a very good product, however it is only as good as the team applying it from the mixing to the final acid "rinse" not wash to expose the quartz aggregate. Followed by probably the just as important Start-Up procedure and finally the after care.

    I just completed the start-up on a QuartzScapes Blue finish that is absolutely impeccable and as the builder as well as the owner of the plaster company have both stated, it is the most uniform quartz job they have seen after the start-up was completed compared to other start-up methods.

    The key to this is of course the application process but also "The Start-Up Procedure" itself which is the Bicarb Method. Usually with a traditional it takes months for the surface to even out or to look uniform, but this is not the case if you perform a well timed Bicarb Method start-up. And by well timed I mean working with the plasterer and allowing a minimum of 6 hours between the final acid rinse and commencing the filling process. Acid start-ups are simply bad for any pool surface period!

    Those that have trouble applying the quartz product or doing the start-ups don't know how to do them properly in the first place and will usually talk negative about the finish.

    And a properly done QuartzScapes is in the middle of the road between plaster and pebble but as long as the plaster company does not overdo the exposing process you will be very happy I am sure.
    ____________________________________________________________ _____

    Find a plaster company who has good experience and reputation with Quartz finishes and then insist on a Bicarb Start-Up and if you are doing it yourself make sure you add 50 ppm Boron (borates) during the start-up period as soon as the pool is filled, this helps in the maintaining your pH below the necessary 8.2 mark as well as the many other benefits following your start-up


    So jmdsurf45
    With all this done prior to plaster (and sent to the Builder to review) what else is humanly possible for a pool owner to do? His verbal response was "he has an excellent plaster sub" !!!!

    I have a background in Oilfield down hole RT drilling R&D/General Contracting/electrical-mechanical.... I'm retired and was the unpaid supervisor for my PB excuse of a supervisor. I brought up many issue which I e-mailed, plus I had a meeting with them at the house about this non supervised sub driven fiasco (and 15 other issues). Subcontractors are not anything new. But it's also normal and customary for most projects to employ Time Tested Supervision.It's paramount to a good job not just cosmetically but mechanical. Digging up concrete covered pipe for repair/leaks years/months/weeks down the line confiscatory plus unnecessary if supervised correctly.

    So jmdsurf45 IMHO
    My advise to you would be have another pool company/plaster company advise you on what sounds to me like too many acid washes to the point of destruction/FUBAR almost. Research what's needed before a second opinion or ask a moderator here on what you need to do before you trust your Builder to do the right thing. >Sound like a chip-out and re-plaster job< Hope you don't need a Lawyer, but a letter from one to the builder may speed things along. Maybe there's one(a lawyer) on the thread that would offer one Pro Bono.

    Good Luck
    Kirk Texas
    Pool IG, 20'x30'x5', 15,000 gals, QuartzScapes NPT Tahoe Blue, Sundek Classic Texture, DE Hayward Pro-grid DE7220 , Pentair erosion auto CH, Main PMP Century 1.5hp , Polaris 280, booster PMP Century 3/4hp, Electronics PNL timer/light Pro Logic Model AQL2-SS-RF w/Remote CNTL

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Wow, thanks for all of that! Im a home builder and that would never fly with me. I have called the pool builded, family run in a small city for 25 years, I dont think they want an upset customer, which I am. Thanks!

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    Quote Originally Posted by ktc211 View Post
    I just filled my new pool up 2 weeks ago. ... I can't believe how blotchy/splotchy this finish is any suggestions. TIA Kirk In Texas
    Has the mottled plaster gotten any better with time?

    Same thing happened to me. The light blue blotch the PB calls "cream" and is supposed to scrub off over time. Mine hasn't. They are going to drain the pool and power wash the plaster to try to get rid of the blotch, but I'm concerned they are going to weaken the grip of the plaster to the Gunite in places.

    I have been extremely disappointed in the Tahoe Blue plaster. The sample did not at all end up looking like what was applied. It looks like a darker version of concrete grey. The light cream blotch is closer to the sample color than the color they say the pebble is supposed to look like.

    My steps are grey and the deeper part of the pool looks bluish.

    I am completely disappointed. The PB is paid to have the experience to anticipate bad outcomes and avoid them. If the Tahoe Blue has a problem with apparent color in shallow depths, the PB should have advised me against using Tahoe Blue.

    Now I have a grey pool at one end and on steps, and a grey-blue pool in deeper parts. Blotchy mottled is just one more problem. The PB hasn't stopped trying to make me happy, but he's also not having any success.

    Has the mottled color evened out?

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    We plastered our pool with Tahoe Blue from NPT this summer. I ended up with the same thing. I had a rep from NPT (Plaster (quartz) supplier) come out to look at the finish. They told me that it was not a good job but within industry standards. Then turned around and told the plaster contractor that "the job is fine". I have seen many quartz finishes and none have had a blotchy finish because of cream not removed like mine.
    I feel the company is protecting the plaster contractor. There is no way they would be proud to say this is one of their products.
    Only recommendation I have is do not use NPT products.

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I plastered with Tahoe Blue quartzscape reflections version as well... My color is completely consistent throughout. The plaster has some unevenness, and some areas where the acid wash was not completely rinsed and caused some more revealed areas than others.. I actually like the way it turned out, as to me it adds a bit of character. But everyone is different and mine is not so horrible that anyone notices but me. My plasterer says it will even out over the next year or two... As long as the warranty is good, I'm good. No one probably complains about white because under the white is white...
    Cement Pond <--- build - 15K gal, 16 x 34 Rectangle, All Pentair - 520 Filter, 2 Intelliflo 2VST pumps (3hp) - 1 filter/1 water features, EasyTouch 8, Screen Logic, IC60 SWG,
    Pop-up Cleaners (Wet Deck and steps), 2 LED Bubblers, 3 LED 24" waterfalls, 5G LED Pool Light, Quartscapes Reflections Tahoe Blue plaster, Real Coral coping/deck, TF-100 Test Kit, 1766 Salt test kit.

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I have the Quartzscapes Aruba Sky. I am new to this forum as I am having the start up begin tomorrow morning and am trying to see what pitfalls I might encounter. The day after application, the contractor "polished" the application and then did the acid wash. It didn't come out looking like the sample, but overall it looks pretty uniform and feels smooth. Perhaps the polishing step was skipped in your case?

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I just had mine done by Pinch A Penny and the job looks horrible. Has yours gotten any better since your last post?

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I am having issue also with my 8 months old quartz pool finish. It is changing for the worse. Dark spots, bright blue spots, I actually can see bootprints on the bottom. Not looking good at all.

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    Re: New pool quartzscape pool finish problems

    I do not remember any "polishing finish" done on mine??? Maybe but I did not see it done.

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