Need a quick answer - is my contractor doing this right?

mchimes

Silver Supporter
May 22, 2016
27
Orlando, FL
Hello,

We are in the middle of our long-awaited resurface job and I'm seeing some concerning things. Our old plaster required a total chip out, but the sub contractor did leave what seemed to me like around a 15% coverage of old plaster on the final chipped out surface. Today, the subs cleaned up the debris, rinsed the surface down with water from a hose and applied a dark grey bonding agent called Permakote. As you can see though, they left significant portions of the old plaster unbonded, particularly around the tile line. Based on a video I saw from the National Plaster Council, I think this area is an ITZ prone to etching, so one would think that should definitely get the bonding agent.

I am going to send these pics to the contractor tonight and ask him, but I wanted to get your opinions. This morning when I called him to review what the work would be, he was pretty peeved that I had looked up the application spec sheet on the finish (PMM Marquis Quartz) and questioned that the subs would apply the product to spec. The contract (and the spec sheet) said that they would acid wash before applying the bonding agent, but they did not. The workers said that they do not need to acid wash on a chipped out surface.

So, questions:
1) Should they have chipped out all the old plaster (see pics of the job)
2) Should they have acid washed before applying the bonding agent?
3) Should they have applied the bonding agent in a uniform coat across the entire surface? (the pic with the grey splatters shows the bonding agent application)
4) If those answers are yes, how should I proceed to remedy?

On portions of the old white plaster near the tiles, I can brush off chalky material with my fingers and even find small chunks of plaster that flake off. I'm thinking that is not ideal.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,853
Tallahassee, FL
My guess is he go upset you were smart enough to look up that spec sheet and he KNOWS it was done wrong and know YOU know it as well.

Full stop and redo. Do not allow any more work to be done until this work is redone the correct way.
 

mchimes

Silver Supporter
May 22, 2016
27
Orlando, FL
Thanks for the prompt reply. This morning he appealed to authority and told me in 30 years he's never had a customer ask him these things- all I was doing was reading from the spec sheet. So, he will question on what authority I'm making the demands. Based on the pictures, should all the white plaster from the chip out be removed- it should be all grey? This is not going to be an easy conversation.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,680
San Clemente, CA
Your suspicions are correct, there should be no lose material and the bond coat should have covered the entire surface. Old plaster still in place is not an issue so long as its firmly attached to the shell.

They should have pressure washed at the least.
 

mchimes

Silver Supporter
May 22, 2016
27
Orlando, FL
Thank you! Good news- I texted the contractor pics along with the Permakote spec sheet and asked him to please make sure the entire surface is bonded and he said they would do it Monday. Apparently, this plaster sub contractor is the self-described "best crew in Orlando". . . I'm thinking that is not true when someone with a spec sheet can find mistakes so easily. Both the contractor and sub have 4-5 star reviews online. Unfortunately, I think the bar is low for pool people in our area.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
11,573
Houston, Texas
Spec sheets are written for a reason. Just because he has been ignoring industry standard for 30 years and no one has called him on it doesn't make him right. If he is not directing his subs to follow the specifications written in the contract then he is not acting in good faith. I'm assuming the contract is his form, he gave it to you and not the other way around. Why would he give you a contract if he planned to ignore parts of it? If he comes around asking for his money for the work is he going to accept an answer from you that states, " In 30 years of paying for services I have never paid full price as specified in the contract. I always pay when I feel like it and I pay as much as I feel like paying" ? Of course not! He's going to want every penny stated in that contract.

Your authority is you are the customer and you have done your research. He can't make as big a profit off of you because you are not going to allow him to cut corners. You are not going to be his favorite customer.
 

mchimes

Silver Supporter
May 22, 2016
27
Orlando, FL
Alright- you guys have pumped me up. I'm ready to go to war with my spec sheets (and google translate for the workers). I've only paid for half the job- haha. I have him in writing telling me that he skipped the acid wash step on his own contract so I think I'm in a good position. Based on his last amiable text, I think he realizes he would lose this in arbitration for the lack of care in the work.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,853
Tallahassee, FL
Your suspicions are correct, there should be no lose material and the bond coat should have covered the entire surface. Old plaster still in place is not an issue so long as its firmly attached to the shell.

They should have pressure washed at the least.
mchimes, The above quote is from a Master Pool Builder that is now retired from pool building. You can take his words to the bank. Back this with the spec sheet and you are well armed.

Is there ANY way you can be there when they do the work? You can sweeten the pot for the workers with a cooler full of Gatorade and water. Maybe a tray to yummies as well. Happy tummy=happy workers=good work in my life.

Kim:kim:
 

mchimes

Silver Supporter
May 22, 2016
27
Orlando, FL
So, I have a lot to update, but first, please help me figure out what is staining the new surface. The pool is not even done filling up and these small spots have begun forming in various places. They may be related to an oak tree nearby. I scratched in with my finger and there is nothing that came off, definitely something that seems to have dissolved and immediately left a stain :(
 

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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,153
Chapel Hill, NC
Put a chlorine tablet on it - if it's organic (oak tree) it should disappear. If it doesn't, put an ascorbic acid tablet on it - if it disappears, it's metal (most likely iron from rebar too close to the plaster surface).