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Thread: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

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    Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    Hello to All,

    They finished the gunite on the pool & spa last thursday, and I watered 4 times per day for 7 days....

    We have 2 benches in the pool, and I noticed that when I watered heavily on the tops, bubbles were coming up in 2-3 places. Also, on top of the column and wall section, no matter how much water I applied, it just sucked it up dry. It seems that the porosity of some areas is so much greater than others.

    Next, most of the areas they used a trowel to smooth out the finish [steps, benches, etc], but the walls are generally pretty rough. From many of the pic's I have seen on the forum here, everything looks to be smoothed. It is common practice for the walls to be rougher, as in mine? We are having a pebble-tec finish, so if the sides are rough, does this give the p-tec more of a substrate to bite, or does it matter.

    Finally, are gunite shells themselves supposed hold water w out leaking at all, or is it the plaster/pebble tec/etc that is the materila that prevents any water leakage?

    Thank you very much,
    tstex

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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    TSTEX, What you are seeing in the bubbling is evidence of a poorly consolidated mass of concrete which unfortunately means reduced durability. That can be attributed to many things but most likely poor workmanship on the part of the nozzleman. I have only been active on this forum for a short period of time. I really just wanted to get a picture of what folks are dealing with on a day to day basis with construction issues in the pool & spa industry. Most of what I do is major structural failure analysis and forensic evaluations on 100K+ inground concrete pool structures. Concrete can't tell weather it's in a 500K structure or a 50K structure, it will experience the same pattern of failure for the same reasons.

    Let's be practical about looking at this issue. You pool shell is intact, it's hard, it's gray and there are no alarming cracks anywhere so thats good. The porosity of the structure is a cause for concern but not a deal breaker. Yes, the pebbletec plaster will render some water tightness (but it is nonetheless semi-permeable) to the structure and that will go along way to slowing down the inevitable, rusting reinforcements. There are thousands of pools going into the ground in Texas this year and many of them are no different than yours in terms of their porosity. Roughly 7-10% of these structures will succumb to early failure from nothing more than poor workmanship be it poor concrete quality, lack of coverage over reinforcements, etc.

    If the porosity keeps you up at night then request from your builder the application of a product that can help to dramatically reduce if not completely eliminate this issue prior to plaster. Do a google search for "pool shell protection", read the literature and if you are convinced that you need that product applied to the pool shell then request its application from your builder.

    I will say that if you are doing any glass tile on your pool then your really want the pool shell protection in addition to getting detailed information on the installation of the glass tile in your pool as the procedure for proper glass tile installation is quite complex.

    Best of luck.

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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    Thanks for the info - what does something like the pool pool shell protection cost? Is this something that I can get the PB to pay for or is it on my dime? Furthermore, I have a lifetime warranty on the gunite shell from the gunite company and a 1 time trasnsferable warranty. the gunite company has been in busines for 55 yrs. Also, the gunite mix was also supposed to have fiber added to it as well.


    PS - is the gunite job something I should deal w my pool builder or the gunite company? I have the ph number and email address of the gunite company. I do not want to go around the PB, but does it make sense to cut to the chase and get the gunite folks out to see the issues?

    again, thanks for your insignt and information - regards, tstex

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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    I would go through the pb since he is the one that contracted them for the job.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    Rough walls in the gunite is a good thing, not bad. It gives the plaster some "tooth" to help it adhere better.
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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    Firstly, PSP applied to a pool by a certified applicator is around $1000-1500. The pb will make you pay for it if you want it and yes you should go through your pb. Your lifetime warranty is only for the shell to hold water. So when it cracks they will pay someone $150 to apply a seal underwater and send you on your way, the gunite co. is no different. Also, many of these warranties exclude damage to the structure caused by expansive soil or acts of God. Remember, the pb and gunite co hold all the cards. They know how the whole industry handles this stuff on all levels, lots of $$$. I can go on and probably write a thesis on this but nobody is really listening in Texas. By the way, How long do you think a lifetime is for your in-ground concrete water retaining structure? Well, in the state of Texas, case law only supports 10 years for in-ground concrete structures. Do you think pb's and gunite co's know this?

    There is a company that has built close to 500,000 in-ground concrete pools in the USA since its inception, find out who that company is and then find out how many of those structures were removed and rebuilt as a result of failure of the pool shell and then you will know the true value of the warranty. That's why for the past few weeks I've been making comments about safeguarding the pool structure among other things. Eventually, my comments will get lost in the annals of this forum but for those few that heed my recommendations, maybe you will have better outcomes with longer lasting structures.

    Gunite is concrete, and yes it is rough like a broom finished sidewalk but roughness can also be the presence of rebound at the surface, especially in dry-mix shotcrete structures. Only an experienced professional can make that determination, most homeowners won't know what they are looking at other than it's rough, hard and gray. So, roughness can be good but it can also be bad.

    Best of luck.
    Thank you.

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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    I will ask my PB to cover the area in question when they fill-in the holes they created to prevent the shell from floating. He will be here tomorrow or Tues morning and I will show him what is happening...if he does not want to do it, then I will contact the gunite company.

    Finally, no glass on the bottom, just pebbletec finish.

    Thanks for the feedback,
    tstex

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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    Thank you Poolcritic~ Information you provided is well noted and apprecited as I venture into subcontracting out my own pool build out here in Texas.

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    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    I am going to take a close-up video of the bubbles coming up after I pour water in the bench...if the PB/Gunite company do not poby-up to do the right thing, I will file a complaint w the BBB and tell them I am sending the video to all of the other gunite companies and pool builders in a 50 mile radius.

    Of course I will try the honey/diplomatic approach first, but the vinegar will be loaded and ready to go just in case....tstex

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Gunite shell texture and integrity question

    The video and pictures would help with suggestions.
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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