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Thread: Baffled by peeling plaster- what to do???

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    Baffled by peeling plaster- what to do???

    Hi all!
    Love this forum! So much good information!!!
    I have a question... I need to apologize in advance as this may sound bonkers and naive! Here is my situation... I let my water level in my pool drop over these last 5 months ... As the water level dropped, the thin (maybe 1/8") layer of white plaster dried up and started to completely peel off exposing a gray aggregate which I assumed was the gunite. I had a contractor come out to have a look and give me an estimate for a replaster. He took one look at my pool and said " I have never seen anything like this before!" He was referring to the paper thin white plaster. He said the newly exposed gray aggregate underneath is not gunite, but also plaster (which other than being a bit of a rough texture appears to be in good condition). I then asked him if I could just peel off the rest of this white plaster (which comes off effortlessly) , clean it up and fill the pool back up, as the gray "plaster" underneath appears to be in good condition. At this point he said no, it is shot. But why? The rough texture? Can it be sanded smooth? Of course this gentleman is the expert, not me... but I do realized he would like to sell me the plaster job. I would not mind saving the $7500 if it would be possible to just save the gray plaster underneath.
    I am not really sure what to make of this ... Attached is a photo. Can anyone offer any of your insight? Thanks!!!
    photo(33).jpg

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    Re: Baffled by peeling plaster- what to do???

    I would suspect that the grey is scratch kote, which is a bonding agent that can be used to help new plaster adhere properly when replastering. In this case, it looks like the replaster was poorly done. I think that stripping off all of the old plaster and tile and redoing the tile and plaster might be the best solution.

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    Re: Baffled by peeling plaster- what to do???

    Thank you James! I was wondering the same thing... that it could be a scratch coat!!! I am guessing maybe I should look for a different contractor if he did not recognize this?
    Too bad... I was already thinking about all the things I could do with that extra $$$ not having to replaster the pool, haha.
    What would happen if I just filled it up after stripping the old white plaster?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Baffled by peeling plaster- what to do???

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The plaster is what makes your pool sealed to water. If you do not have plaster, then you may have leaks out through the shell.

    You might be able to get by keeping the tile, but certainly should to have all the plaster and scratch coat chipped out down to the shell and start over.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Baffled by peeling plaster- what to do???

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    The plaster is what makes your pool sealed to water. If you do not have plaster, then you may have leaks out through the shell.

    You might be able to get by keeping the tile, but certainly should to have all the plaster and scratch coat chipped out down to the shell and start over.
    Thank you!!! Next question.. plaster or pebble? And if pebble, is the Stonescapes mini pebble comparable to pebble sheen? it is about $1500 less for my pool. I just want something that is durable and will last. I was told the pebble lasts much longer than a re-plaster.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Baffled by peeling plaster- what to do???

    You kind of get what you pay for. Pebble should last longer than plain plaster. But plaster should last for a very long time given proper chemistry and maintenance.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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