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  1. M

    raising deck level around IG pool - building up bond beam?

    I'm going to echo what Brian and Jimmy have already said. You'd want to chip out existing bond beam to expose rebar to tie into the bonding grid (preferably in a few places), lots of rebar dowels epoxied into the existing bond beam, and a high strength concrete pour to raise it. And as Jimmy...
  2. M

    Shell All 1 Pour or 2 Stages??

    As Brian said, no cold joint if done properly. Not sure how doing it multiple stages would "get rid of rebound", but it shouldn't have any negative impact. Cold joints in shotcrete (gunite) are in some ways a myth. Laboratory testing has shown that multiple layer shotcrete has no anisotropic...
  3. M

    Confused by "gravel" types

    Because it has both AASHTO size #5 & size #7 rocks. Probably doesn't help explain it much, but trying to understand or explain the naming conventions for AASHTO aggregate sizing is an exercise in frustration.
  4. M

    Start Watering New Gunite Right Away, or Wait?

    It likely means the top layer of the shotcrete is relatively porous, so water is both getting sucked into the interior faster when you water it, and evaporating from near the surface faster after you're done watering. Could also mean that ambient conditions are promoting fast evaporation...
  5. M

    Start Watering New Gunite Right Away, or Wait?

    I wouldn't worry about it too much. The primary purpose of watering is to increase the strength of the final product, but even if you didn't water it at all it should be more than strong enough for the intended purpose (assuming proper mix and placement). You also live in a very humid climate...
  6. M

    Skimmer Replacement

    You could, but you'll need to add a plasticizer to get it to flow into a space that small with the proper water to cement ratio. Even then I'd be worried about voids.
  7. M

    Is this something I can do? Tile my whole pool that is.

    The mixer is the easy part. You also need a crew of several skilled plasterers because it all has to be applied nearly simultaneously or it will develop cracks where fresh plaster meets partially cured plaster. You're really better off hiring it out. Tiling is an option, but requires...
  8. M

    DIY Pool Rehab

    Shortly after getting the pool up and running a small wet spot developed in the decking above the water line for the autofill pot. It's been attracting tons of bees, and a kid got stung during a pool party on Sat, so yesterday I finally got around to chipping out some concrete to investigate...
  9. M

    fixing underside of pool deck

    The flexible sealant recommendation was in response to issue #2, the section of decking that's lifted due to earthquake/settling. You're not going to fix the issue with even the best adhesive/sealant, I was merely making a recommendation for something to help prevent water infiltration until...
  10. M

    Skimmer Replacement

    Go back and read the article in post #12 of this thread. There's an expansion joint between the decking and the skimmer pour. You sort of have the right idea, but it'll be a lot easier to do in one pour making the separation/expansion joints vertical rather than horizontal as you're...
  11. M

    fixing underside of pool deck

    Any of them. The 2nd one is specifically designed for use with concrete and the one I'd likely opt for, but all will work. The only difference between the other two is color.
  12. M

    fixing underside of pool deck

    Issue 1 is a tough one. I think hydraulic cement would work well for this if you can get the cracks cleaned out well enough, and try to only apply in the crack rather than overlapping the paint at all, but that is a big if. It doesn't expand enough to cause issues unless a piece is barely...
  13. M

    Yet another "how do I" thread (but at least I am a supporter now :))

    1) You should really try to do the pour in as few pours as possible Doesn't look like much volume, so depending on the volume of your mixer maybe you could get it with a single batch. 2) Why are you replacing all the water with bonding adhesive? That may not be a great idea in conjunction...
  14. M

    Skimmer Replacement

    Not sure who you talked to at Custom Building Products, but they have two thinsets that are rated for submerged applications, both of which are carried by most Home Depot's. As mentioned in my PM a waterproofing agent on the bond beam beneath the tile is a good idea, and I like to use...
  15. M

    Suggestions for repair of limestone coping

    Either one will work. Sanded will be more textured and won't fill in the really small holes and crevices. Non-sanded will be smoother and fill in every little hole. I'd probably use sanded to maintain a little more of the natural stone texture, but it's really personal preference. Looks to...
  16. M

    Suggestions for repair of limestone coping

    Best fix for holes in travertine/limestone/marble IMO is a grout that matches the color of the stone somewhat closely. Mix it up, squeeze it in with a rubber grout float, let it cure for a few minutes, wipe the excess off with a damp sponge. There are also epoxies used for this, but they're...
  17. M

    Replaster progress pics

    Looking great! Yep, plaster prices here are pretty affordable comparatively. About $2-3/sq ft for white plaster, $3-4 for quartz, and $4-5 for pebble. This!
  18. M

    Settlement and drainage issue with cement pool deck

    I agree with Jimmy, option one with an overlay if you don't like looking at the plugs. Poly foam is better for some applications, but for something like this I'd go with standard mud. Find a local company that specializes in mudjacking / slab jacking and let them determine the size and spacing...
  19. M

    Weird cement leaking into pool - Is it dangerous to swim?

    Yes, very unlikely there's anything dangerous to your pool in whatever that was, particularly in the small quantities that got into the water.
  20. M

    Weird cement leaking into pool - Is it dangerous to swim?

    Cement is an ingredient in mortar and concrete, and whatever was used there was not just cement, though it may have had a small amount of cement in it. Since you state that they didn't add anything unusual to it, I'm guessing it was some sort of pre-blended bagged product that was mixed with...
  21. M

    First Build. Am I crazy?

    Looking great! If you want to try the surface bonded concrete in place of plaster, but are worried about how waterproof it is, you could apply a waterproofing product beforehand. I'm a usually a big fan of cementitious waterproofing agents, like Merlex super blockade, but they don't tolerate...
  22. M

    Mortar / Grout / Cement / ?? - Need to fill joints Flagstone coping

    Assuming first pic is existing mortar? In the second pic, the left is obviously a test with the mix you bought, but is the right side of that photo also a test with that mix, or the previous/existing mortar? The first thing that jumps out about the textures is that the previous mortar used a...
  23. M

    Install Tile on Perimeter of Steps

    If your PB is experiencing tiles set in the plaster coming loose, or not being flush with the plaster surface, then his tile guy and his plaster crew don't know what they're doing. That's sadly more common than it should be though. Your PB is correct that darker finishes have a tendency to be...
  24. M

    New plaster on renovated pool- when to refill?

    Without misting it's just a continuous plastic shrinkage (contraction) happening. Misting will stop the shrinkage, or at the very least pause it each time it's done if it's not done continuously. Shouldn't be much expansion going on when it's misted. The real reasons to do it though are to...
  25. M

    New plaster on renovated pool- when to refill?

    I'm pretty familiar with the ACI literature, as well as most ASTM standards relating to curing and testing of cementitious products, and was a bit shocked when I started researching the NPC's stance on some things. Many of the defects they imply are caused by aggressive water chemistry are...
  26. M

    New plaster on renovated pool- when to refill?

    I'm somewhat clueless when it comes to pools and pool construction, but I do design, quality control, and strength testing of cementitious products as part of my job. For these reasons, I know a lot ways to make sure cementitious products like plaster end up as strong as possible, and a lot of...
  27. M

    Time for a replaster and minor modifications.

    You're unlikely to get much if any cost savings based on the time of year, but if you do it in the slow season you're more likely to have a more communicative contractor and lower likelihood of delays. Yes, a pool builder will subcontract to a plaster company. Costs vary wildly by region as...
  28. M

    Skimmer Replacement

    I don't think NJ is much different than anywhere else in regards to pool construction supplies, there are plenty of places that sell them but they only sell to pool builders and plaster contractors who have accounts with them. Plaster isn't something you buy, it's something you buy the...
  29. M

    Square footage of tile needed for negative edge spa

    So with an estimate of the slope on top from the photos, and now having a pretty good idea of where the waterline is in relation to it, the minimum tile you'd need is approximately 65 square feet (assuming 10% waste). Tiling the outside wall to the bottom of the basin would add about another 16...
  30. M

    Square footage of tile needed for negative edge spa

    That's enough of a slant that you shouldn't need waterline tile on the interior if you don't want it. It also means it'll take slightly more tile for that section. The waterline should fall pretty close to 3" below the outer basin wall. If you want to save on tile you could only tile the outer...