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Thread: Removing old plaster

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    Removing old plaster

    This is our first pool and when we bought the house a couple of years ago we knew the it needed new plaster but thought we could live with it for a while since he only noticeable problems were some fairly minor cracks. Unfortunately the plaster started delaminating in quite a few spots ostensibly because when we had our new patio and cantilevered coping poured they left the pool dry too long.

    We have been getting bids on new plaster and tile for several weeks now and I am hearing conflicting opinions on whether or not we should insist on having all the old plaster removed.

    It looks to me like it's been redone several times and most of the contractors who have looked at it agree. There are several places, especially around the returns and spa fittings where it is built up probably an inch or more and there are noticeable humps where he plaster has been feathered in.

    I believe the best way to do anything like this would be to remove all he old plaster, get a good bond coat on and have a brand new coat of plaster. But several contractors say that they would just tap on the plaster to find the hollow spots and remove only what was loose then plaster over the existing surface.

    Between what has already delaminated and what you can hear when you tap on the surface the pool is looking somewhat like the surface of he moon. I have made it clear that I am more than willing to pay extra to have the old plaster completely removed but I am meeting a lot of resistance from two of the remodelers who otherwise seem like good choices.

    The bottom line: am I wrong to think it would be best to remove all of the old plaster or should I stick to my guns and insist on it in spite of the extra cost?

    I really would appreciate all the feedback I can get!

    By he way, the pool is obviously an inground gunite that's 18' x 36' with a 6' x 6' spa in one corner.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Removing old plaster

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Not knowing the history of the pool, personally I would want it all chipped out and start fresh. That is what we did when we have out 35+ year old pool redone a few years ago. I am not sure anyone actually suggested only removing it in spots. I mean if those spots delaminated, what is stopping more places in the future?

    If that is what you want, then eliminate the contractors offering resistance (not worth the effort to argue with them) ... although realize that the costs will be higher to remove it all.

    What surface are you putting back in?
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    Re: Removing old plaster

    I think that I would probably want to go down to the gunite. Are there any structural cracks?

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    Re: Removing old plaster

    Not that I'm aware of. And none of the damage to the plaster seems to indicate problems with the structure. I think I'm going to insist that they remove all of the old plaster. I guarantee you at least 30 to 40 percent has delaminated anyway. I'll attach an example.

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    Re: Removing old plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Not knowing the history of the pool, personally I would want it all chipped out and start fresh. That is what we did when we have out 35+ year old pool redone a few years ago. I am not sure anyone actually suggested only removing it in spots. I mean if those spots delaminated, what is stopping more places in the future?

    If that is what you want, then eliminate the contractors offering resistance (not worth the effort to argue with them) ... although realize that the costs will be higher to remove it all.

    What surface are you putting back in?
    That was another decision we struggled with. I saw posts and heard advice that basically ended up being about fifty-fifty on whether quartz was really that much more durable. In the end, it wasn't so much the cost as it was looking at other people's pools and we are going with a number two light gray plaster. Hopefully we won't regret not doing quartz.

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    MiaOKC's Avatar
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    Re: Removing old plaster

    DGBOKC - do you happen to be in OKC? We are, and had run into the same issue with our remodel. No one wanted to chip it out, only sandblast - it seems to be a regional thing. What is acceptable in some places is not acceptable in others, and with no clear guideline as to the best practice, we have gone with sandblast and spot-repair. One remodeler told me they did chip outs in summer and sandblast in winter, but I haven't been able to cross-check that or figure out the reasoning.

    We're in week 18 of our 12 week remodel, so the plaster isn't done yet for me to know if the sandblast we had will actually be sufficient.
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Removing old plaster

    Quote Originally Posted by MiaOKC View Post
    DGBOKC - do you happen to be in OKC? We are, and had run into the same issue with our remodel. No one wanted to chip it out, only sandblast - it seems to be a regional thing. What is acceptable in some places is not acceptable in others, and with no clear guideline as to the best practice, we have gone with sandblast and spot-repair. One remodeler told me they did chip outs in summer and sandblast in winter, but I haven't been able to cross-check that or figure out the reasoning.

    We're in week 18 of our 12 week remodel, so the plaster isn't done yet for me to know if the sandblast we had will actually be sufficient.
    I am in Oklahoma Ciy Mia. I would definitely like sharing our experiences. I can't believe how difficult it is to find good people to work on our pool at a decent price.

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    MiaOKC's Avatar
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    Re: Removing old plaster

    I sent you a message, DGB.
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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