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Thread: Cracked / Delaminated plaster pool steps a DIY job?

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    Cracked / Delaminated plaster pool steps a DIY job?

    I was cleaning and planing to fill the pool this weekend (along with replacing the pump) and noticed some air bubbles coming up from a crack in the steps. The plan was to open up the cracks, use repair plaster to fill, and consider a complete re-plastering in the fall. Unfortunately, as I started taping and exploring the size of the delaminination it became apparent that the edges of the steps are in pretty bad shape, and when I started to chisel away at them large chunks came off - basically bridging the cracks on the top of the steps and the cracks on the front of the steps.

    This leaves me with a few questions:

    1. The inside of the steps seems to be a sand-mix type concrete, rather than gunite. It's brown, not grey. Does that make sense? Is the shell of the pool blown in and then the steps formed, and then everything plastered?

    2. The white plaster layer is amazingly thin - perhaps 1/16 - 1/32 of an inch. Is that normal? Is the white part the only plaster, and the grey gunite?

    3. Has this become outside the scope of a do it yourself-er? I'm reasonably well skilled, although I'm unclear as to the right way to fix the steps. Could I do a rough coat of bonding cement, and then a skim coat of white plaster and have something that won't leak? Is the fact that I'm asking this question proof I should just write a check?



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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Cracked / Delaminated plaster pool steps a DIY job?

    Plaster should be roughly 1/2 inch thick. Over time acid washes might thin this down a little, but it shouldn't get as thin as what you describe.

    Steps can be formed in various ways. Most commonly they are done at the same time as the rest of the shell as part of the gunite spraying, but sometimes they are added afterwards. The specific kind of concrete used for the stairs can be almost anything, since the stairs are not structural. That said, it is normally the same as the structural area because they are normally done at the same time.

    At this point, it is going to be very difficult to get a good seal to the old plaster around the edge of the repair.
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