Your pool has become a gathering place where friends and family enjoy spending time together. You have invested time and energy over the years to maintain your own personal swimming hole. Over time, however, you have noticed that the walls and bottom of your pool have become rough, bumpy and even sharp in places.
Something needs to be done, but what? As pools get older, the plaster originally used tends to get rough and make them unsightly and potentially dangerous. How do you fix the problem? By replastering.
In a nutshell, replastering a pool means putting a new layer of plaster on the walls and bottom. What does plaster do?
First, it serves to make your pool waterproof. Kind of important, right?
When you had your pool installed, the people who did it likely used either concrete or gunite to form the “shell” of the pool. The problem with both of these substances is that they’re porous. That means that they don’t hold water over time.
If they simply left your pool as a concrete or gunite shell, it would periodically empty out on its own and you’d have to keep refilling it.
To avoid this problem, installers typically add a ½ inch-thick layer of plaster. Not only does plaster keep the water from draining out, it also makes the surfaces of the pool look and feel nice. A newly-plastered pool will be smooth, shiny and blue.
Unfortunately, plaster doesn’t last forever. Depending on how much you use your pool and how well you clean and maintain it, pool plaster can remain viable for anywhere from 7 to 20 years.
If you’re approaching that “danger” range and the pool is starting to look and feel a bit rough, it’s probably time to replaster.
Why RePlastering is the Best Option?
If replastering your pool sounds like a big project, you might be wondering if there is a way to avoid doing it. The short answer is that you have several other options. Unfortunately, most are temporary fixes or even more expensive. Let’s go over each one.
Patching. As mentioned above, you could patch your pool when you notice rough areas or places where the plaster has worn through. However, this is not only a very temporary solution, it’s downright unsightly, because the patch materials will never match the plaster.
Acid wash. This is a quick fix that works for stains, but not so much for plaster that’s wearing away. In fact, it actually makes your plaster wear away faster because it essentially takes off the top, stained layer. Use an acid wash only if aesthetics are really that important to you.
Tile. Want a solution that’s incredibly durable and striking in appearance? Not worried about cost?
Tiling a pool can be a great decision. Compared to the other choices, tile basically lasts forever, as long as you maintain it. Even better, it looks absolutely gorgeous, and you can create pretty much any design that you imagine.
The downside is that tile is really, really expensive. How much are we talking about? Typically anywhere from $75-$100 per square foot. If you wanted to tile your entire pool surface, that would get very expensive very quickly.
Paint. That’s right–paint. Years ago pools didn’t use plaster at all. Pool builders used paint that was specially designed to stand up to the rigors of being underwater, the various chemicals that tend to be present in swimming pools and the extremes of temperature.
Even better, the average cost to repaint a pool is about $5,000. It’s significantly less expensive to paint a pool, a lot easier to apply than plaster and typically it looks just as good.
So why don’t more people use paint today?
The main reason pool owners choose to replaster is that it can last up to 20 years. Pool paint jobs, in contrast, have far less longevity. In the absolute best situation, pool paint might hold up for
seven years, but two or three is far more common, and pools that are used very frequently need to be repainted annually.
When you break down the numbers and the number of times you would likely need to paint your pool versus replastering it, the cost starts to look a lot more even.
Moreover, a thin layer of paint simply can’t compare with a half-inch thick layer of plaster in terms of durability. It will chip and wear away more easily, and when it does, you will need to repair it.
If there’s a reason to use paint over plaster, it’s that the application process really is a lot easier. While you could paint on your own, replastering is something that only the most industrious homeowners take on. You’ll see why in a moment.
STEPS TO REPLASTER A POOL
- Use the sump pump to get out any remaining water.Remove any loose debris like leaves or trash.
- Roto Hammer Prep- We undercut the tile, and roto hammer holes every 6 inches to ensure the new plaster sticks well and lasts
- Full Chip Out Prep- If the pool has been plastered multiple times or has been painted we will have to do a full chip out in which we remove the entire layer of plaster down to the gunite ths ensure the new plaster will last
- Once the prep is done we can complete any repairs that may be needed this included; adding a New Autofill, New Skimmer, New Equipment, New Return Line, Cleaner Lines,Plumbing Repairs, or anything else the pool may need
- Pressure Test:
- One thing we do that other companies don’t do is pressure test the pool prior to plastering. This ensures the
- We can clean the tile to make it look new again which is the more cost effective way to go
- We can also add new tile that with give you pool a new look and have a large selection to choose from at our shop
- Other options include trim tile or sporter tile which go along the edge of the pool steps and benches
- Once everything is completed the plaster is ready to be applied you can choose from multiple plaster finishes and colors. There is standard White Plaster, Colored Plaster, Sparkle Quartz Plaster, Radiant Fusion Pebble.
- Once the pool is completed it is very important that it is filled up immediately and the water not to be stopped at any time
- Start Up:
- Once filled the main objective in a pool start-up is to clear or get rid of the plaster dust, and to balance and stabilize the water chemistry in the pool as soon as possible. The first 30 days of plaster curing are the most critical. The need for proper water chemistry and maintenance continues for the life of the pool.
- This is a crucial part of the process and we recommend letting a professional handle it.
Progress payments are due upon completion of each step, the next step cannot be scheduled without it.
How you can Help:
- Ensure the pool fille to middle of tile without any interruptions
- Call us or a local pool company to begging the start up asap after the pool is filled
- Brush pool down 2-3 daily with nylon brush
- Do not swim for 28 day or otherwise instructed by a professional