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Thread: efflorescence?

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    Hi all,

    This is likely a difficult question to answer, but given all the expertise on this board I thought I would throw this out there in case anyone has some insight. I have a house under contract to purchase right now, which has an existing pool that was built in 1983. The pool is concrete, though as it is built on a hillside, half the pool is in ground, half the pool shell is exposed under the deck that wraps around it. Anyway, we had a house inspector take a look at the pool and he found a number of small issues, most of which do not overly concern me, though one does, since I am not sure precisely what it means. The inspection report says he found some efflorescence on a portion of the exposed concrete shell. I have no clue what the implication of this is and the inspector merely advises me to have a pool company take a look, which I am unable to do until after the option period ends. I am including the pic I have of the situation, which is not the largest or the best quality, but hopefully helps illustrate the issue. My hunch is that the pool may need to be replastered, though I am hoping that's wrong. Any thoughts?
    18k gallon, plaster, Hayward DE6020 filter, 2.0 HP Hayward pump, H Series Hayward heater, inline chlorinator (that I no longer use as I have switched to BBB)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: efflorescence?

    The efflorescence is probably not a big deal, though it might be a hint of a more serious problem. Efflorescence means water is moving through the concrete and carrying minerals from somewhere to the outside surface, which leaves mineral stains on the concrete. In most cases this is only a cosmetic issue. Concrete is slightly porous, so you expect some water to move through it. And the mineral stains don't cause any problems other than visually. However, in some cases this can be a sign of a leak somewhere that should be fixed. Figuring out what is really going on can be tricky, basically you need to figure out where the water is coming from, which could be nearby or far away, and decide if that source is a problem or not. Chances are it is ground water from somewhere higher up, but as I said, it could also be coming from a leak in the pool plaster.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: efflorescence?

    What information can you provide about the current plaster? Information such as age, cracks, calcium nodules, scale, paint etc. would be helpful.

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    Re: efflorescence?

    Thanks for the responses guys. I do not have much info on the pool unfortunately so cannot add much. The specs in my sig are for the pool at my current house, not at this new place. For this new pool, the plaster looks to be in decent shape with no significant cracks, though it is a gray plaster so the cracks may just be difficult to see. There certainly could be groundwater in the area, though the portion of the pool where you can see these stains is the portion of the gunite that is mostly just sitting on the ground and isn't really in the ground by much. Maybe then a crack is more likely? At this point my wife is so in love with this house I don't think there's is any turning back for me, but I sure would like to figure out what I am getting in to before I am in it if possible.

    Probably not helpful,but just in case here are a couple pics of the pool itself.
    18k gallon, plaster, Hayward DE6020 filter, 2.0 HP Hayward pump, H Series Hayward heater, inline chlorinator (that I no longer use as I have switched to BBB)

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