ecoFINISH aquaBRIGHT longterm review

JayK

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2019
96
St. Louis
If they did a gunite floor they will have a plaster coat between gunite and ecofinish, unless they troweled gunite smooth. If they did a straight poured concrete they can apply ecofinish direct to it as long as it is smooth like a basement floor.
It is smooth, but I cannot say.. It will be interesting to see what they do. I'll let you know.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
4,912
San Clemente, CA
As long as it's smooth then it's fine. The only reason pools are plastered prior to Aquabright is to give the material a smooth base which is hard to do with gunite/shotcrete alone.

It would be ideal to apply the aquabright directly to the gunite since it takes the possibility of the plaster delamination out of the equation.

I tried several times but could never get the shotcrete troweled smooth enough to leave an acceptable Aquabright finish.
 

JayK

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2019
96
St. Louis
Ok so I have some answers about the application: Plaster is for GUNITE pools. Mine is a concrete bottom and it is smooth. So they acid wash, fix cracks and seams and then epoxy to seal then spray. They were supposed to EPOXY today, but there is a tiny bit of ground water seeping in, so they chose not too. Prep on this process is METICULOUS. Cutting corners in any way, shape for form results in problems. It's quite something to watch. So Epoxy tomorrow and spray on Saturday. RIGHT NOW there is no rain in forecast for next two days. From what I am understanding the prep takes all the time. The actual application of Ecofinish is rather fast. Here's hoping we don't get any bad luck.
 

JayK

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2019
96
St. Louis
So the prep work for my pool is done. They will be spraying the Ecofinish on today. I cannot stress enough the complexity and detail needed to apply this finish. It's a PAIN. IN. THE. Rear. Every crack, every bump must be perfect before application. cleaning, scraping, cleaning, crack being filled. in my case Epoxy, lots of it. Now comes 3 coats of this stuff. And I have a NEW pool. I cannot imagine applying this to a pre damaged surface. My advice to those who would be interested in this process: Pay attention to the company, the people doing the application, do not concern yourself with the best deal. Go for reputation, reputation, reputation. Ecofinish is a finish. It is not GREAT or BAD. It's a result of the people who prep the surface before applying it. If the surface has any issues, then it's not going to work. If the surface is in fine condition, then you will love the **** out of it. Look for the guys who will WALK AWAY if they are not comfortable with putting it on should the surface prep not meet their expectations. TALK TO THEM: So how does this look to you? Are you completely happy with how the surface is? Are you confident it will hold? Now there are those companies that are just not cool, and will say whatever to get the job/money. It's a risk we all take, and a couple people on here have been burned, all you can do in the end is your best. I've attached a photo of my pool right before Ecofinish.
 

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STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
I just received a call from my new plaster contractor and they will be coming over on June 5th to water blast the EcoFinish off of the fiberglass walls and the plaster floor. It may take a day or two to get it off since no one has any experience on removing EcoFinish off of fiberglass. Removing the EcoFinish off of the plaster floor should be easy since they will blast away most of the plaster down to the gunite and then re-plaster over the gunite later. Stay tune and I will post pictures of how the pool looks after they blast the EcoFinish off.
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Well, just like life, the life of a pool has many twists and turns that you don't always expect. The day before the blasting of the EcoFinish off of the pool, the contractor that I chose last fall got cold feet about using their big water blaster on the fiberglass walls and their concerns about making the walls into Swiss cheese when they take off the EcoFinish. So we agreed to cancel the contract and I began the search over again to find someone to blast my pool.

Yesterday, I had three contractors over to look over the pool and to give me an estimate for getting the EcoFinish off of the fiberglass walls and the gunite/plaster flooring. Two of the contractors had stories about EcoFinish and Pool Pros of St. Louis that were less than flattery. Anyway, I was very encouraged with what I heard from all three contractor about getting the EcoFinish off of my pool surface. In fact, one of the contractors brought his truck with his diesel blaster and did a test blast on the fiberglass walls and the gunite/plaster flooring. (Please note: Before anyone comments about what the contractor was wearing, this was a small test and he did not have all of his safety equipment on that he did have in his truck).

There were 3 tests to see what removed the EcoFinish the best. The first was blasting just glass without water on the fiberglass walls. This worked well and it did get the EcoFinish off and some of the epoxy patches off that Pool Pros of St. Louis put on when they cut into my fiberglass walls to "smooth" out the bumps that my pool had. The glass media did cut into the EcoFinish on the gunite/plaster floor but it was slower. We believe that the EcoFinish was put on a little thicker on the floor vs. the fiberglass walls. The second test was with some slag media that the contractor had that also cut the EcoFinish from the fiberglass walls and maybe did a little better on the plaster floor. Finally, the third test was with the slag media AND water running with the slag. This test certainly kept the dust down better and seems to do about the same in cutting the EcoFinish from the walls and floor.

I still have to wait for the other two contractors estimates but I feel a whole lot better about seeing how the EcoFinish comes off of fiberglass wall and plaster floors. During all my time on the Trouble Free Pool website I hadn't heard from anyone that had to remove the EcoFinish off of their pool so I was very concern and now pleased that we have a solution.

When I really get started on my new pool work with new fiberglass walls and a new plaster floor I will start a new thread but in the meantime I will finish this thread with some additional pictures and comments on the final removal of the EcoFinish and maybe the outcome of my lawsuit against the original pool contractors that put me into this whole mess for the past (now almost) 3 years.

20190612_090213.jpg
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,755
Tucson, AZ
Wait, are you getting new walls or do you mean “new” walls and floor, as in, “like new” after blasting???

I’m glad you found some contractors willing to try to remove the A/B from your pool. This could help out future pool owners that might find themselves in a similar situation. A rough estimate of the costs for removal would also be helpful if you’re willing to share that detail. Costs for contractor work are regional at best but even rough estimates help people out.
 

JayK

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2019
96
St. Louis
Because I worry about first time owners who may get scared off by some of this, I’d like to point out that my pool is 1 week old with ecofinish and so far we could not be happier with the results. Our builder did a fantastic job with the pool and the application. Of course every pool is different. my mom had a fiberglass wall pool. It was so bad she filled the dang thing in. IMHO ecofinish done correctly is a wonderful thing.
Jay
 

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STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Wait, are you getting new walls or do you mean “new” walls and floor, as in, “like new” after blasting???

I’m glad you found some contractors willing to try to remove the A/B from your pool. This could help out future pool owners that might find themselves in a similar situation. A rough estimate of the costs for removal would also be helpful if you’re willing to share that detail. Costs for contractor work are regional at best but even rough estimates help people out.
The "New" pool is that I have a fiberglass contractor that seems to really knows what he is doing that will re-fiberglass the walls to look new and then I am going back to a plaster floor like pebble sheen or something like that. I will post pictures of those finishes when they are done. i will also post the costs of blasting and the new work once they are done.
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Because I worry about first time owners who may get scared off by some of this, I’d like to point out that my pool is 1 week old with ecofinish and so far we could not be happier with the results. Our builder did a fantastic job with the pool and the application. Of course every pool is different. my mom had a fiberglass wall pool. It was so bad she filled the dang thing in. IMHO ecofinish done correctly is a wonderful thing.
Jay
As you can tell, I am pretty turned off of Ecofinish because of too many variables that didn't work for me and others that I heard from during all of these posting. I also did hear from someone that had a new pool that it didn't work for them, but you are right that the BEST situation would be a new pool with a new surface to put the EcoFinish on. And I should note that there are restored pools that have EcoFinish that have worked well for them. The purpose of this thread was and is to enlighten folks that like anything else, EcoFinish is not perfect and not right for EVERY situation.
 

JayK

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2019
96
St. Louis
Agreed, for some (such as yourself) it's not the right product. For other's (Such as myself) It's amazing!

Jay
 

Waterfan

Bronze Supporter
Apr 30, 2018
51
Chattanooga, TN
We are one of those with a nightmare from ecofinish on a brand new pool. We found another ecofinish installer to come and try and make our pool usable again since the ecofinish was peeling off and the skim coat under it breaking up. They came out on Monday to begin to work and stopped abruptly to tell us "it was worse than they thought". We then had to have the finish sand-blasted off Thursday and Friday. We are now waiting for word on when a plaster crew can come up to plaster before the ecofinish crew can come back. At a minimum, we are out over $20k due to the ecofinish mess. I say minimum because the sandblast was supposed to be about $6k if it went smoothly. Since it went 2 days, I presume the bill will be much higher. I have asked econfinish to help foot this bill since their original installer did such a poor job, but all that remains to be seen. We are now at 1 year and 7 months since we broke ground on this new pool.
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
We are one of those with a nightmare from ecofinish on a brand new pool. We found another ecofinish installer to come and try and make our pool usable again since the ecofinish was peeling off and the skim coat under it breaking up. They came out on Monday to begin to work and stopped abruptly to tell us "it was worse than they thought". We then had to have the finish sand-blasted off Thursday and Friday. We are now waiting for word on when a plaster crew can come up to plaster before the ecofinish crew can come back. At a minimum, we are out over $20k due to the ecofinish mess. I say minimum because the sandblast was supposed to be about $6k if it went smoothly. Since it went 2 days, I presume the bill will be much higher. I have asked econfinish to help foot this bill since their original installer did such a poor job, but all that remains to be seen. We are now at 1 year and 7 months since we broke ground on this new pool.
I am very sorry to hear about your troubles. My "EcoFinish" contractor shut his doors just a month ago but not before I filed a lawsuit against him and the sub-contractor that was the actual EcoFinish authorized installer. The insurance companies from both of those contractors are now involved and I look forward to getting a settlement soon or we will be in court.

As to what I decided to do over a year ago was to find a company(s) to blast the EcoFinish stuff off of my fiberglass walls and plaster flooring. After many blasting contractors came by I finally found ONE company that took a chance on blasting my fiberglass walls and he was very successful with glass bead media with water at 120 PSI to blast the EcoFinish off of the fiberglass walls (10 hours) but was not able to effectively do the same for the plaster flooring. (it was thicker on the flooring). BUT, the company I found to do the re-plastering of the floor, also had a water blaster that could blast at 40,000 PSI and they were able to remove the EcoFinish. We have just now this past weekend finished with the fiberglass contractor that re-did the walls and they are beautiful. Now a week from this Monday we will finally get the plaster flooring done and the water-level tile back on and hopefully be done.

I will post some pictures of the fiberglass blasting, plaster floor blasting, the re-fiberglassing walls and the new floor plaster soon.
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
Well, there is Life after EcoFinish......FINALLY. If you have read this thread going all the way back to 2017 you know that we chose to have EcoFinish put on our pool in Nov 2017. After MANY trails and tribulations with the initial Pool contractor (which closed its doors earlier this year) and the sub-contractor (THE authorized EcoFinish installer for the Greater St. Louis area) I decided to move on with getting the pool restored AGAIN in the summer of 2018. Thus I began the search for not only a quality pool restoration contractor BUT also contractor(s) that could get that EcoFinish mess off of my fiberglass walls and plaster pool floor. Many contractors could blast the plaster floor but only one would even attempt to blast the fiberglass walls and try to blast the EcoFinish material off.

Here is where we are as of today as we are heading to the home stretch and should have the pool floor in later next week.

Pictured here is the contractor that used glass media and some "black magic" media to remove the EcoFinish off of the fiberglass walls.
This was the scariest part because of the possibility of blasting through the fiberglass and doing more damage. This contractor did a fantastic job. It took him also 10 hours to just do the fiberglass walls. Notice the seams and the patches. Those are the "repairs" that the original pool contractor did in epoxy, which EVERY contractor that I talked to since then has said was totally the wrong thing to do. The seems were not leaking and the bumps in the walls were there for years without hurting anything.

112747


In the next picture you can already see the new fiberglass walls done and the new tile work that was put on the fiberglass walls on Friday. This next week the plaster company will put "Pebble Sheen" on the plaster floor and we should be filling the pool by the end of next week. Watch for the FINAL pictures later next week. I only hope that the pool equipment that was installed in 2017 (but hasn't been running since then) will work again without problems.

112748
 

STLPool2017

Bronze Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
71
Saint Louis, Missouri
I had the fiberglass guy talk to the Plaster company and it was determined that the fiberglass walls needed to be done first after the floor was blasted and then the new plaster floor would be laid in. The plaster company is rated the best in the St. Louis area for redoing pool plastering and they are the ones that just put in the tile at the top of the fiberglass walls. Everything was sealed between the top of the fiberglass walls and the coping. I was very impressed.
112801
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,092
Evans, Georgia
It looks beautiful and you deserve it after all this time and trouble.

I think hybrid pools (two different surfaces in one pool like yours) are a bad idea on the whole. Your woes have just cemented that idea in my head more. I would and will forever more encourage folks to avoid them.

I'm just soooo glad you're getting yours fixed :)

Maddie :flower:
 

AmyJo

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2015
683
Atlanta, GA
STLPool2017 - so sorry for all of the problems you’ve had! But hope you’re finally able to enjoy your pool.

We’ve had a really tough time with our pool renovation too - but the ONE bright spot is the new plaster with new EcoFinish. THE best decision ever for us. If anyone is in the Atlanta area or the Southeast region - we can recommend our EcoFinish contractor with no reservations. Our finish is gorgeous and stays remarkably clean.