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Thread: DIY Pool restoration project

  1. Back To Top    #1

    DIY Pool restoration project

    Keep all postings on your pool and any renovations in one thread as it makes it easier to follow. Casey~

    Hey Guys, this is my first post on the forum but I've been lurking awhile and looking up information for awhile now. Its a great community and I'm excited to share my project. I wish I'd started this thread sooner, because now I feel like I've got a long story to share. I'll break it up into a longer post eventually, Fortunately I've documented it all and taken lots of pictures

    But first a question; I've read a lot online and here about the 'right' mix for plaster; using white quartz sand or marble and portland cement. I'm doing the replastering myself and want to do it in a darker tone. My goal is to have it a dark grey/black, I feel like it'll help warm the pool a lot. I was wondering if anyone knew reasons not to use plain portland cement, and an aggregate like silica or play sand, and possible a cement tinting agent, like the quickrete liquid dye.

    The other thing is that while i've removed the bad/delaminated plaster, I haven't removed *all* the old plaster, so I'll be completely patching the spots that need it, but also doing a 'skim' coat of about 1/8 to 1/4inch over the old and want to be sure the new coat adheres. I've read about acid washing and wetting the surrounding cement to prevent it drying unevenly, but other pointers and advice is appreciated.

    I'm unsure about the dye/tint since I may have to mix it in multiple batches and getting the ratio to match may be tricky, and I'm unsure how the dye will last long-term etc. So I'm very on the fence about it, and the samples I've mixed of sand/portland look like they might be grey enough for my taste.

    Anyone know a reason I shouldn't use sand and plain portland, any experience with tint/dye, anyone done 'skim' coat over old plaster, any other advice?


    thanks,
    -brad

  2. Back To Top    #2

    DIY Pool restoration project

    When I bought my house back in March, I knew it was a foreclosed fixer-upper and there were a lot of things that had deteriorated after years of neglect, but I'm a sculptor at heart, have worked in construction before, and love getting my hands dirty.

    I wanted to give the long version of the story and perhaps make this a project blog, but I didn't want my current questions to get buried and skipped, so I also also started another thread with some specific current questions here,http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ration-project


    In the listings the pool looked like this;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    either the previous owner started, or the leak drained it partway, because when I got to it it looked like this;
    GOPR1748 by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Note the giant tree, which I suspect was the cause of the cracks;

    GOPR1595 by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    That and years of bad chemestry had left the plaster in pretty bad shape, a lot of bad staining, and softened corroded areas, especially around the cracks. The areas of blue/green aren't paint, it was just eaten from the old/bad chemestry I think. That discolored plaster was softer and crumbly.;

    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    So the first thing was the tree, it had to come out;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Sad to see such a cool old tree go, but there was no point to restoring the pool if the tree was just going to continue breaking it up.

    I drained it, knocked out the old tiles, and got a better look at the damage. About half the coping had seperated from the bond beam, and some of the cracks went pretty deep, through the gunnite,

    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    Then a couple rounds of pressure washing, my fiance got in on the action as well;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    I'd started by hand, but got an air-chisel to chip out the old/bad/delaminated plaster, and open the areas around the cracks;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr




    It took a few solid days to chip out;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    After the worst of the plaster was removed and a couple rounds of pressure washing it looked like this;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    But I could see that simple patching wasn't going to cut it, a couple of the crack were pretty bad;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    I'd come up with a plan to fix the cracks, but first I needed to finish preparing the rest.
    (to be continued)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Here I've started the acid wash, using a spray bottle and scrub-broom, this was after the first gallon;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    halfway done;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    after etching through the dark/black stains I could see more to do, and I found the Anthony Pools tile;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    It was in doing the second half that I figured out a better way of applying the acid; using a super soaker!
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    After acid washing the whole thing, and continuing to remove old/bad/delaminated plaster, basically anything that sounded hollow, was stained/softer than the rest;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    (continued)

  4. Back To Top    #4
    jjwalker's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    lol w/ the super soaker...nice project! keep the pics coming!
    18x36 vinyl / sport pool 5.5' deep / 1.5hp Tri-Star 2spd / Hayward c3030 325 sqft cartridge / ~15k gal / TF100

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Re-Plastering for DIY Pool restoration project

    Welcome to TFP Brad!

    I can not help you with your questions but I am requesting that you provide us with a boatload of pics!

    P.S. I combined your threads to make it easier to follow.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    wait!!!!!!!!! Where did the story go?????????? I was having fun reading and looking at the pics!

    More please!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Thanks guys, glad to know others are interested in my project

    More updates are coming shortly, the next part is a big one...

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Now that the plaster was clean, the weak parts removed and cracks exposed I was ready to deal with them. I ordered a few different kits of materials; staples and epoxy.

    I went with two kinds of staples, basically to reinforce the areas that I was worried may be weak and eventually crack again.

    Carbon fiber from Leaktools
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Steel from Torquelock - these ones interest me the most since they are engineered to apply pressure to the crack in addition to holding it.
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    I planned these out where I thought they could do the most good;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    Masonry cutting disks in my angle grinder worked well for the countersink, but after drilling for a solid day and having my hands go numb I realized why a regular drill even with a good masonry bit is not the best way,
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    So I ran to Harbor freight and picked up a rotary hammer drill, which was AMAZING, so much better! Made the rest of the drilling a breeze in comparison. It was like the difference between when I was chiseling by hand vs when I got the air chisel.

    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    A lot of staples... just cutting, drilling, and plotting them all out first;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Might have been overkill for some places, but figured its better that way, than not doing a spot and having that be where it re-cracks;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    The staples were set with a special epoxy;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Starting with all the carbon fiber ones;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Then the steel ones, the epoxy is harder to see since its just on the inside, but it was applied to the posts and face surface, then pressed into place. After that I twisted the cam to apply more pressure by drawing the posts closer together;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    (continued)

  9. Back To Top    #9


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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    If you are interested in seeing the plaster mix that was used in our pool you can find it in our build thread. I give the number of bags of each per batch in there somewhere. They used Diamond Brite Onyx to tint it.

    Do keep in mind that colored plaster will not be a uniform color. It will be mottled, from some to a lot depending on the pool. The darker the color the more obvious the variance.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    That staple work looks really cool and professional. I hope that it does the trick. Certainly seems it is all you could do to give it a go.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    The next step was the epoxy injection.

    Basically this is a two part foam which needed to be injected into the cracks, where it would expand into there to fill any deep spaces and fill/prevent any leaks.

    The way it works is you cover the surface with a surface seal epoxy, and attach injection ports every so often;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    These are the places to inject the foam, so its important to block/seal the rest of the crack and be sure the foam will fill/flow inside.
    Also interesting to note how the stale's epoxy has changed color over the last week as it cured;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Lots of ports mounted, I did this for all the cracks in the pool surface as well as the split at the bondbeam;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    Then I injected the foam itself,
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    I used three kits and did it in several passes,
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    WOW! That looks great! That pics are awesome! Thanks for letting us watch!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Im excited to see how this goes. Really interesting.
    Intex UltraFrame 14'x48in - 3,900 gallons. Intex 1600 GPH combo Sand Filter/SWG Hard Plumbed w/Hayward skimmer, suction & return. Borates.
    And... 15k gallon kidney shaped gunite 1975 vintage. Hayward DE3620 filter + Hayward 750 pump.
    TF100 Test Kit | Pool School | Pool Math

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Thanks guys, I'm hoping the next two posts will bring this build thread up to speed, I can get more pics up now, but I've got some work to do today too!

    bmoreswim - Thanks I *love* your pool! The Deck and retaining wall, all of it, looks fantastic! I'll ask around for that Diamond Brite Onyx, checked two materials yards so far but hopefully it isn't limited in it's distribution.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    The foam/epoxy made a big mess, but I think it got everywhere it needed to be (and then some)
    This was in the middle of applications, as you can see the top near the bondbeam needed a bit of patching;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    More injections!
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    I also started doing some testing with hydraulic cement; patching over the exterior of minor cosmetic scratches, in gaps near the bond beam, and on exposed gunnite.


    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    After the foam had cured for a week or so, I started removign the ports as well as the surface seal;, first pulling the ports and chipping away large chunks;
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    This is what I wore while doing that, feeling like a sci-fi character
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Then hitting it with the grinder to knock back more of it, and leave a sort of 'keystone' shape and roughed up surface so that the plaster/cement over top the epoxy wouldn't be able to pop/shear off.
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    It seems like everything near the pool has become covered in dust from the grinding, bit it was starting to look a lot better!
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    This took way longer than I expected/planned, I've now officially lost track of how many bucket loads of debris I've carried out of here
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    I knew better than to do too thick a coat of the hydraulic cement, its more there to provide a non-shrinking plug and seal, rather than structural strength, so I tried to keep it around 1/8 inch, and wet the surrounding area to prevent it drying unevenly
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    I couldn't stand thinking of looking at the epoxy for another week, so I worked well into the night, patching and coating it with hydraulic cement.
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr

    Ended up using three buckets, about 30lbs of hydraulic cement
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    Its come a long way!
    Untitled by bradisdrab, on Flickr


    Thanks for reading, there is plenty more on the way, but now I've got to run outside and get to work!

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    I am glad to see you have using a nose/mouth cover. Love the glasses as well! You will be finding dust from this for a LONG time!

    I can't wait to see more of the story.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    very cool thread indeed. keep us posted!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Great thread great work
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Thanks everyone, its coming along, I spent the whole day out there again today, and much more progress has been made. Pics soon.
    17000 gal IG, plaster/cement; SGM Diamond Brite(Onxy) Hayward DE, Pentair pump, 1965 Anthony pool, spring diving board, slide...

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: DIY Pool restoration project

    Nice project! Thanks


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    15x30 17k gal. gunite/plaster pool, 8X8 Spa, Pentair CCP520 Filter, Pentair WFE4 Filter Pump, Polaris 280 Vac Sweep, Polaris PB4 3/4hp pump, Laars EPC II 400 heater, Intermatic T30404R time clock, Anzen 1hp Air blower.

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