There are two times when you are ready to replaster your pool:
1). When your pool doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing anymore – a cosmetic problem
2). When your pool has a structural reason causing the plaster surface to look “wrong”
Ultimately, your pool surface should feel smooth and look great in both daylight and at night time with the pool lights on.
The Look and Feel of Plaster
Pool plaster is a natural product that looks and feels smooth. To keep plaster looking clean you can acid wash most common pool stains. However, after a few acid washes you may start to compromise the integrity of the plaster. If your pool stains are from minerals like copper or iron leaking through, be sure to investigate the source of these stains. It would be a shame to replaster the pool, only to discover the stains have returned because a mineral problem or a piping problem was not addressed.
Some “stains” are not actually stains at all but rather a “color shift” caused by the mix and application of the plaster surface. Pool plaster is a mixture of white portland cement and marble dust – and natural variations in mix, temperature, speed and application can affect the final appearance. “White lightning” or “ghosting” marks – variations in hue or shading – can result from slightly inconsistent mixing or troweling methods.
The “feel” of the plaster is also an important consideration. Strong water chemistry or intense or too frequent acid washing can “pit” the plaster surface which is supposed to be smooth and soft. Commonly called “etching”, pitted plaster feels rough to the skin, and gives dirt and algae a surface to cling to. Etching can also be caused by poor plastering methods, especially using too “hot” of a mix, or too much calcium during cold weather. Sometimes rough plaster can be sanded with rotary sanders to smooth small patches of etching, however if widespread etching occurs it may be necessary to replaster the entire pool.
Complete Pool Restoration recognizes how important the look and feel of your pool surface is and we take many precautions to ensure a polished and professional appearance. We have earned a reputation for extreme attention to detail that our past clients absolutely love.
The Function of Plaster
Pool plaster is not “structural”, but functions as the waterproof layer between the water and the outer shell of the pool. Plaster is the waterproofing layer that is extremely important to the integrity of an in-ground pool structure. Most plastered pools are made of Gunite, or Shotcrete compounds, but older pools were sometimes made with poured concrete walls or even cinder blocks. All of these materials are porous and will allow water to seep through. Applying a plaster coat on the inner surface of the pool keeps the cement, and other structural elements, like steel rebar, protected from the effects of water.
You should be concerned if you have bare or thin spots where the Gunite beneath the plaster is starting to show through. Plaster is translucent when thin, so if you see dark areas in your plaster, this could be the Gunite, indicating your pool may have a structural instability and should be patched as soon as possible. Complete Pool Restoration can easily patch small areas such as an underwater thin spot, sections of the tile line, or inside the skimmer with simple plaster repair to protect the concrete beneath the plaster. However, plaster patching will always look “patched”. You will never match the original color so if you do have many thin or bare spots in your pool, replastering the entire pool is the proper method to ensure an overall uniform look and function.
Other Pool Surfaces
There are a variety of other pool surfaces and variations of plaster that will dramatically change the look and feel of your pool. Options range from white plaster to colored plaster to quartz pebble to glass bead (Beadcrete) and many more.