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New Pool Finish Care

New Pool Finish Care

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Published by mozzy72
For anything to do with pools, pool equipment, swimming for fun or fitness goto http://www.abercrombie1.com
For anything to do with pools, pool equipment, swimming for fun or fitness goto http://www.abercrombie1.com

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Published by: mozzy72 on Feb 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====Anything & everything to do with Swimming Pools, clothes, equipment & toys. Check this site out!http://www.abercrombie1.com ==== ====Ok, so you passed on the new big screen TV, gave in on the weekend fishing trip with your bestbuddies and worked some extra hard hours so that you could get the pool resurfaced. After all youmust put into priority what really counts most, right? Well never the less your pool has a new coatof plaster weather it's a Quartz Finish, a Stone Finish or Conventional Marcite (is that stuff stillaround?) makes no difference. Hopefully you found the right contractor to do the job andeverything went smoothly? Let's leave that for another article. So your pool is filling and what youdo next could absolutely decide how long your new plaster will look new and how long it will last. Ikid you not, start-up, aka fire-up of the new finish is one of the most important parts of the re-plastering process. I have found that although you may have used a reputable pool contractor to do a superb job ofthe actual re-finishing does not necessarily mean they will do a proper fire-up once the pool isfilled. Might be that plastering is their forte and only offer the fire-up as a courtesy because therecompetition does, or they may not offer it all due to the liability of damaging the new finish. So itwould certainly behoove you to know exactly what is necessary to safeguard the integrity andwarranty of your pool finish. After all, that weekend fishing trip would look pretty good after havingyour pool refinished only to be stained, streaked and discolored. The consensus has been: once the pool is filled you need to get the water cleared and balancedas soon as possible (contractor needs that check) That usually meant shocking the pool heavily,balancing the alkalinity, PH and vacuuming the pool to remove the plaster dust and any debris thatmight have entered the pool during the refill. All done in one day and usually on the day the poolwas finished filling. BIG MISTAKE! Back in the 70's & 80's the plaster of choice (only choice) was conventional Marcite and arecurring problem builders were having with the plaster was a condition known as spot etching.Some other conditions that were prevalent in these same pools were streaking, grey swirls andyellowing of the finish. Everyone in the industry had their own opinion or expert advice as to whythis was happening, the only problem was that the industry as a whole could not agree on the"why". The National Spa & Pool Industry (NSPI) as it was known back then, in conjunctionwith several pool builders conducted several tests on demo pools to try to come up with a commondenominator that could explain the ongoing conditions affecting pool finishes. Some of the first finger pointing was at the fact that Marcite used to contain Asbestos as part ofthe plaster mix, for OBVIOUS reasons the EPA had the Manufactures of Marcite remove theAsbestos and low and behold every old-timer in the industry blamed the removal off the Asbestosas the source of all plaster related problems. We know better today that was not true but
unfortunately those old-school plasterers are not around anymore, huh? wonder why? So thesedemo pools were plastered, filled and monitored for about a year. After all the hoopla, all the fingerpointing and all the data was in, guess what, the NSPI and the industry determined the commondenominator was human error, labor defects, defects in the actual mixing of the plaster on the job-site, defects in the actual application of the plaster, defects in the hand troweling of the plaster aswell as the condition of the trowels themselves. Last but not least and most prevalent was thestart-up procedure done by most companies. Houston we have a problem! How can this be? Was echoed throughout the industry. We are the experts, we've been doing thisfor years and years without these problems, how could all of a sudden our time and testedtechniques be the blame for all of our woes? Well like all trades that have have well skilledcraftsmen they all had their industry specific niche. Pool plasterers were not born from the industrybut transferred from the masonry, concrete and stucco finishing trades. After all swimming poolsreally did not have their own industry classification until the late 50's, 60's and 70's. Pools werebeing built by home builders who employed skilled craftsmen, skilled in block laying, carpentry,form work, concrete finishing and plastering. As the pool industry grew and the industry was able to support the full time employment of poolplasters. Those plasterers came from skilled backgrounds and as the industry continued to grow itattracted all sorts of people trying to get their slice of pool pie. Well unfortunately with all bigbusiness comes competition and competition can be a good thing if we all play fair like good littleboys and girls. New pool companies were popping up everywhere and everywhere a new poolcompany started they needed laborers. Notice I said laborers not craftsmen, yes the competitionwas not playing fair by hiring unskilled labor to reduce the overall cost of the pool. Forcing thecraftsmen still left in the industry in keep taking pay cuts until they were finally forced out of theindustry by the newbie's. Ok maybe not forced so much as they were ready for retirement anyway. They sure don't build them like they used too Remember that old saying? "they don't build them like they used too" well the transfer from oldschool craftsmen to then new pool laborers must have missed quite a few important trade secretsand techniques. Pool plaster "101" is apparently where all the freshmen left, dropped out went towork thinking they knew all there was to know. Here is what unfortunately not passed down tothem from the very wise old guys: 1) Thou shall not apply plaster unless the plaster was mixed for "x" amounts of minutes.2) Thou shall not use well water or unfiltered water for mixing of the plaster.3) Thou shall not use dirty trowels, worn trowels or poor quality steel trowels.4) Thou shall not over-trowel the pool plaster.5) Thou shall not add calcium to the plaster mix.6) Thou shall not walk bare-foot on finished pool plaster.7) Thou shall fill pool starting the water in the deep end only.8) Thou shall not interrupt the filling process until the water reaches the tile line.9) Thou shall not try to chemically balance the pool all in one day.10) Thou shall brush, brush and brush the pool for at least 10 days. 
I promise you it really was just a coincidence that there are "10" commandments, I mean RULES! Now let me explain why it took years and years of crying foul and caused an industry to cometogether to solve the obvious that was not so obvious at the time. Here is what was determined tobe the cause of spot etching, grey streaks or swirls, aka mottling and yellowing of the pool plaster: 1) Add plaster and water to a powered mixer, mix until it looks like pancake batter and apply topool, sounds ok but not true. Turns out that the dry plaster and water need to be mixed for aspecific amount of time (5-6min.) before they are considered married (feels like a lifetime!) alsoplaster that is under-mix can and does false set which requires additional mixing and addition ofwater to complete the process. The mixing from batch to batch needs to be as consistent aspossible to ensure uniform texture and curing all around. 2) The source of the water could be high in metals, low in hardness or vice versa. Tap water orwell water could have adverse effects on the plaster's outcome. Causing staining and streaking. 3) Dirty trowels are dirty trowels no need to say more, but worn trowels have a direct affect on howhard a finisher has to apply pressure to the plaster to get it smooth. The harder the pressureapplied to the trowel the more likely the trowel will transfer heat from the friction caused from theexerted pressure and burn the finish, commonly known as "trowel burns". Trowel burns are whatcause the finish to have grayish swirls throughout the pool finish 4) Over-troweling the pool has the same effect on the pool finish even if the tools are clean, ingood shape and of good quality. Over troweling usually becomes necessary when the plaster falsesets on the finishers and there was a mad frenzy of troweling to try to get the plaster smoothed outbefore it got too hard. 5) Calcium is well known as an accelerator of cement products, that being said on cooler days,colder climates or day's with rain in the forecast plasterers found by adding calcium to the plastermix they could accelerate the set-up time of the plaster therefore in theory finish a pool quickerwithout having to wait for the plaster to set at its own pace. This practice became more and morecommon as plaster crews were now able to get 2 and even 3 pools plastered in one day. MorePIE! (more like humble pie) 6) Walking barefoot on a freshly plastered pool seemed harmless enough; certainly better thenwalking on the finish with work boots, shoes or sneakers. The plaster is hard at this point but by nomeans cured. In-fact it takes about 28 days for plaster to fully cure. The finished plaster acts like asponge absorbing everything that comes in contact with it. The perfect outline of a foot printusually revealed itself about a month after the pool was completed. The foot print was a result ofthe natural oil in a person's skin being absorbed into the plaster, that oil was retained by theplaster as it cured causing the finish to dry darker in the outline of a foot print, pinky toe included. 7) "Hey honey look the pool is filling, sure is filling slow, let's get another hose in there so it will fillfaster!" Run a second hose out to the pool to speed up the filling process also seemed harmlessenough so long as the second water hose was added to the deep-end where there already is agrowing body of water. When a hose is added, water must hit water and not run down the plasterfrom the wall or the shallow end as the very absorbent plaster will pull the minerals and impurities'out of the water flowing down the plaster thus causing a stain/streak.

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