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Thread: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

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    Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    My new-to-me pool is apparently a poured concrete bowl with a fiberglass top trim. The paint has worn off most areas and has been allowed to stain an ugly tan/orange color. Ascorbic acid will slowly remove it but the AA treatment isn't strong enough (despite tripling the AA).

    I guess I could just leave it as-is until I can afford to fix it properly (plaster) which would be years. I don't want to paint it.

    My other option is to drain and acid wash it. The staining is removed with 50/50 water and Muriatic acid based on my test area. I was then thinking of removing the rest of the paint and smoothing the whole surface with wet-grinding using diamond abrasive disks. In a small test area this alone made a dramatic improvement from orange and rough to pristine white, polished-concrete-like smoothness - as seen here:

    Large pic, click to view
    http://i.imgur.com/bRdT7bX.jpg
    (note: it's so rough that only a small portion of the "peaks" were worn down to reveal a smooth white surface)

    What would likely happen to exposed, polished concrete, provided the water chemistry is kept in check? What would happen to the water with exposure to concrete?

    It may not be ideal but it's practically free for me to try ($50 in acid, $50 in abrasives and $150 to refill). Is it a foolish plan? It certainly can't end up looking worse... lol

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    Re: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    After 30 plus years in the pool business I have seen many of these types of pools. You will most likely never be able to get the pool water to balance with the exposed concrete. If you are grinding to expose the concrete just get a high quality epoxy paint and follow the directions for preparation and application. That is just my experience and opinion.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    +1 what swimcmp said in both threads!
    Dave S.
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    Re: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp View Post
    After 30 plus years in the pool business I have seen many of these types of pools. You will most likely never be able to get the pool water to balance with the exposed concrete. If you are grinding to expose the concrete just get a high quality epoxy paint and follow the directions for preparation and application. That is just my experience and opinion.
    Thanks again for the response. So far you are the only one to weigh in.

    It seems like there is a coating over the concrete though. I know there is on the stairs because there are parts chipped away exposing the typical grey/brown concrete we are all used to seeing. I'll go get a picture!





    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    +1 what swimcmp said in both threads!
    Thanks!

    I guess I just want to make sure when we are saying "concrete" we are thinking of the same thing. As far as the water chemistry is concerned, I have at least 50-75% exposed "concrete" already - and I'm having absolutely no problems with water chemistry. (Aside from the massive amount of AA eating up my chlorine every day... lol)

    EDIT: To be clear, I'm not wanting to grind through the white layer to reach the brown layer underneath. Just take the rough surface down to something more smooth and pleasant underfoot - and mostly just in the "high traffic" areas. I'm just not sure if this white coating is really meant to have paint on it or if the previous owners just painted it sometime since 1965.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    I don't think you are saying the same thing. Those pictures make it obvious you are not talking about bare concrete. There is some form of plaster coating over the concrete that was apparently also painted. Painting is a short term solution and starts to fade/flake within a few years. Getting the bottom replastered is the ideal solution.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I don't think you are saying the same thing. Those pictures make it obvious you are not talking about bare concrete. There is some form of plaster coating over the concrete that was apparently also painted. Painting is a short term solution and starts to fade/flake within a few years. Getting the bottom replastered is the ideal solution.
    Well I know jack about pool construction... I thought it was a vinyl liner at first, then learned it was fiberglass. Then I thought the bottom half was plaster, then swmcmp said it was fiberglass and concrete. But now it seems it is fiberglass and concrete with a plaster coating.

    So I guess the question is (since re-plastering is out of the question) do I acid wash and try to remove what is left of the paint, smooth the surface a bit (it feels like coral!) and enjoy it until I can afford a re-plaster?

    Or should it really be painted... again?

    Thanks!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    Paint is not really going to make it feel smoother ... just will make the color more uniform.

    I think I would just try to smooth it a bit and start saving pennies.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Potential problems with bare, unpainted concrete?

    Sounds like I have a weekend project!

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