Common Mistakes That Occur in Pool Maintenance


We all make mistakes when it comes to maintaining our homes and our pools are not exempt.  When caring for your pool a simple mistake while adding chemicals can take the pool out of commission for weeks.  Unfortunatly however, mistakes in maintaining your pool occur both big and small.

Large mistakes in caring for your swimming pool turn into valuable lessons to learn.  Pool maintenance education is imperative to prevent mistakes and in turn your pool is safer, cleaner, and more efficient without extra frustration on your end.

One of the biggest mistakes pool owners make is with the addition of a chemical commonly referred to as pool shock, a large dosage of chlorine. When dosages of chlorine are too high your pool water will essentially bleach out the color of your clothing.  Although you technically can’t over-shock the pool it can cause issues with more than your clothing.  Too much chlorine can lead to pitted plaster, vinyl liner discoloration, or brittle tile pieces breaking off.

One way to ensure this doesn’t occur is to dissolve the shock chemicals in a bucket of water prior to shocking the pool.  This allows the shock chemical to disperse more evenly throughout the water and in turn protects the pools finish.  As a norm, in pool maintenance a good rule to follow is to dissolve chemicals thoroughly before adding it to the pools water.

Another common mistake when owning a pool that homeowners make is that they don’t take the necessary time or care when brushing and vacuuming your pool.   A good brushing pushes the build up out into the water and settles on the bottom of the pool and then can be vacuumed up. Take the time to brush behind all those hard to reach places like pool ladders, steps, and stairs.  Corners, crevices, and water lines especially in plaster pools should be scrubbed really well.

Pool chemicals are a huge source of the mistakes made by homeowners when caring for their pool.  Your pools plaster can literally be destroyed if the chemicals in the water are not properly balanced.  Don’t ignore your pools pH and alkalinity levels.  A low pH indicates acidity and a high pH indicates alkalinity, too much of either one is bad for your pools plaster. Too low of a pH can damage the equipment used in the pool such as a pool pump and filter, plaster or vinyl linings, heaters, automatic pool cleaners and more.  Proper water chemical balance in a pool is easily accomplished by testing your pools water on a regular basis and making adjustments as needed.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Finishes for a Gunite Pool: Plaster, Pebble, and Tile


Pound Pool Plastering cares a great deal about our clients and their concrete pools.  We want to ensure that your plaster pool is finished with the utmost of care.  Standard white plaster is a classic, timeless, look that many homeowners still choose today however, there are other options available that may change your mind. 

Standard White Plaster Pool Finish

Plaster is made of a combination of white cement, white sand or a marble aggregate, and water.  Professional pool builders use a flat, rounded trowel to apply the plaster to the concrete (Gunite) base structure.  White plaster can be dyed different colors during the combination process if the homeowner desires. 

Advantages of Plaster

Plaster is a well-known material that has been used in pool design since the beginning of pool construction.  As a pool finish, plaster is an inexpensive option that provides a simple, classic look to your in-ground swimming pool. 

Disadvantages of Plaster

The main disadvantage of plaster is that it can feel rough to the touch.  As with any pool finish, plaster required regular surface maintenance to prevent algae build up.  Once every three to five years plaster requires acid washing which removes staining.  If a plaster pool is not maintained correctly it is prone to cracking however this is the same of many pool finishes.  Plaster, if well maintained is durable, and can lasts upwards of ten years.

Aggregate Pool Finish

An upgrade from a plaster finish is an aggregate which is a combination of pebbles instead of sand to cement, water mixture.  Once the pebbles, concrete, and water are combined it is applied to the pool.  The top later of plaster will be wiped away to reveal the pebbles.  Although pebbles are a common aggregate material other material such as glass beads and quartz can be used.  Aggregate finishes can be exposed or polished.  An exposed aggregate reveals the whole pebble which provides a bumpy texture.  A polished aggregate is polished flat and provides a smooth texture. 

                Advantages of Aggregate

Aggregate pool finishes, when maintained, can last longer than standard plaster finishes.  Quartz finishes can last twelve plus years while pebbles can last some twenty plus years.  Glass beads are small and soft on feet.

                Disadvantage of Aggregate

The larger the aggregate material, the less comfortable it can be to walk on.  Consider the last time you have walked into a rocky Great Lake; large rocks make navigation tricky to the feet.  Smaller aggregate materials are less of an issue.  If glass beads are used in creating the aggregate, it is common to experience some fading and discoloration.

Tile Pool Finish

Pool tiles are created from several different materials including standard porcelain, stone, and glass.  Some homeowners choose a combination of the three to create a unique pool design.  Porcelain pool tiles can be glazed, textured, or hand painted.  Porcelain tile is usually used around the waterline of the pool. 

                Advantages of Tile

Tile is the longest lasting material that can be used as an interior pool finish on concrete pool foundations.   Tile is easier to maintain as well.

                Disadvantage of Tile

Tile is costlier than plaster or aggregate which can add thousands of dollars to finishing your pool.  Another disadvantage is that tiles chip and crack easy and if installed incorrectly can have sharp edges. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Properly Opening a Freshly Plastered Pool


The first 30 days after a swimming pool has been plastered are the most important.  It is critical that the plaster is properly cured.  This is done by maintaining a proper balance in the pool waters chemistry and maintaining it throughout the life of the pool.  When starting up the pool the main objective will be to clean and get rid of the dust left over from the plaster while stabilizing and balancing the water that is in the pool.  This article will give you a few things to consider if you are contemplating having the plaster on your swimming pool re-done or a new plaster pool installed.

The Quality of the Water You Are Adding to the Pool

Before you begin to add water to a freshly plastered pool it is important to know the quality of the water.  Believe it or not all water is not the same.   The quality of the water in your home may not be the same as the quality of the water in the water spout outside of the home.  The local source that you have for filling the pool may not be suitable.  It is important to take a sample of the pools water to a pool retailer to have it analyzed.  Write down the water’s chemistry for reference at a later date.

Determine How Much Water Is Needed for The Pool

If you determine that your water source is appropriate for filling your swimming pool the next step is to take a meter reading to make sure the source is adequate to fill the pool without issues.  To measure the amount of water needed to fill a swimming pool use the following measurements:

Oval – Length x Width x Average Depth x 5.9

Round – Diameter x Diameter x Average Depth x 5.9

Square/Rectangle – Length x Width x Average Depth x 5.9

Irregular Shapes – Divide the pool into geometric shapes and add the gallon amounts together

Starting the Pool Filling Process

After the pool has been plastered, the water has been tested, and the amount of water needed to fill it is determined it is time to fill the swimming pool.  When filling the pool use a clean hose with a soft cloth tied to the end to diffuse the water so that it does not whip about and mar the freshly plastered surface.  It will also catch debris coming out of the hose.

If you are bringing water in via a truck note that a cushion of two feet is needed in the bottom of the pool.  Water should be added quickly but in a manner that does not harm the plaster.  If a pool fills too slowly cracks may appear.  In order to avoid this the plaster should be added in as quickly as possible.

Tips:

  • Do not let the hose flip and flail around the pool
  • Put the fill hose in at the deep end of the pool
  • Do not allow the hose to rest on the fresh plaster
  • Do not add anything to the pool until it has finished filling including clarifiers
  • Do not stop the water until the pool is completely filled
  • Do not walk on the freshly plastered pool

Test the Water After It Has Finished Filling

The water may test substantially different once the pool has been filled.  It is important to test the water and write the current water chemistry down.  The pools water must have the correct chemistry to prevent staining or pitting.  Calcium is especially important to the pools water chemistry.  If the calcium is not maintained, it will pull calcium from the plaster which could cause issues to the plaster surface

In our next installment on pool plaster we will continue to discuss the steps involved in properly opening a newly plastered pool including: starting the equipment, adding in chemicals, and maintenance. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



Procrastinating On Closing Your Pool For The Winter


By now, most of us Northerners have shut down our pools in preparation for the winter season.  Let’s face it, unless you are a polar bear and enjoy frigid cold-water temps you aren’t going to be swimming after November. However, there may still be a few of you out there that have delayed the inevitable and need some quick tips to get your pool safely closed now that autumn has faded, and winter mayhem is knocking at the door.

In order to prepare your pool for winter, it is crucial to complete some very basic maintenance. The first and most important step in shutting down your pool involves balancing the water that will be left in the pool.  Not only is balancing the pH of the pool critical for the pools water clarity it is also crucial in increasing the longevity of the pool equipment.  A pH level of between 7.2 and 7.6 is suggested in order to keep the water sanitized throughout the winter months.

Another vital step is to finish the season with a clean pool.  Cleaning the surface of your pool will help to prevent permanent damage and surface stains on the pools plaster while the pool sits stagnant in the coming winter months.  All leaves and debris should be removed before the pool is closed to prevent difficulties removing them in the spring.Along with cleaning the pools water the pools filter should also be removed and fully cleaned.  This will help the filter in the spring to operate properly and avoid complications opening the pool.

When closing your pool for the winter it is also important to protect the pools plaster from the growth of algae.  Algae can quickly turn the cleanest of pools into a murky mess. There are a number of chemicals that can be added to the water to maintain an algae proof environment. 

If you haven’t figured it out by now, it is important to leave the water in the pool.  DO NOT EMPTY THE POOL! The water should be left above the skimmer box.  Keeping the water in the pool prevents putting a strain on the structure which could cause extensive, not to mention expensive, damage.

Once these steps have been completed it is important to further protect the pool from falling debris by placing a cover over the top of the pool.  This also will help to keep the water balanced.

Now if you haven’t, go close that pool!  Winterizing your pool makes opening the pool in the spring 100 times easier.  If this all sounds like too much to you it give us a call and we can help!

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks,plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



How Will I Know If It’s Time To Redo My Pools Plaster Finish?

There is one question we are asked more than any other.  Can you guess what it is? If you guessed, “When will I know it is time to re-plaster my pool?” you were right!

Unfortunately there isn’t one simple answer we can give you except that trust us, you will know when it’s time.  There is a great deal of difference between when a commercial pools plaster needs to be re-done verse a residential pool.  Most often commercial pools can expect to be re-plastered once every ten years.  However, when evaluating if a residential pool needs to be re-plastered a number of factors, not just time go into determining if a pool needs to be re-plastered.

When determining when a residential pool is ready to have its plaster replaced comes down to the aesthetics and structural integrity.

Aesthetics

Most often phone calls from residential pool owners start out with a long explanation on how the pool doesn’t look or feel right.  If a homeowner’s plaster has light staining it is possible that instead of fresh plastering that the stains can be removed through acid washing. Since pool plaster is a natural product it is impossible to prevent staining from occurring.  If the pool is white and the noticeable stains bother homeowners, we will most often recommend a colored plaster be used when the plaster needs to be refinished.

Some stains are from the minerals that are found in your water.  If this is the case homeowners will want to take care of the mineral problem in the water before re-plastering the pool.  Remember that minerals not only affect the homes water but can also leave build up in pipes and plumbing.  The issue must be addressed throughout the source of the water to prevent staining issues in the future.

Some stains on a pools plaster aren’t stains at all and are in fact from the combination of plaster and application of white coating.  There are variations that occur from a combination of things: variation in the mixture, the temperature at which it is applied, and the method of application.  Slight variations in the plaster should be considered normal.

The Touch of Plaster

The feel of the plaster is just as important as the look.  The pools plaster is supposed to be soft and smooth.  Pits and pockets can occur from improper water chemistry or from acid washing too frequently.  If etching occurs on your pools plaster the surface can feel rough, snag swimsuits and can give algae and dirt a place to hold onto. Another common reason for etching is a poor plastering technique or plaster that is too hot or includes too much calcium in cold water. If rough plaster occurs in a small, localized area, it can be sanded smooth, however if it is wide spread it is recommended to re-plaster the pool.

Structural Issues

Structural issues are another reason that residential pool owners need to consider re-plastering their pools.  “Structural” may be an improper term because as you know the structure of a pool is created from steel webbing and sprayed in concrete and the plaster is the outer, waterproof coating on top.  If a pool was left without the addition of a plaster shell the water would slowly seep through to the ground.  If homeowners start to see bare spots coming through the concrete it is time to have the plaster evaluated.  Large cracks in pools plaster can also be an issue structurally and should be addressed as soon as they are spotted.  Waiting gives the crack time to expand and larger issues to occur.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Winter is Right Around the Corner

When it comes to closing your plaster pool for the winter there are three goals for most homeowners:

  • Preserve the quality of pool water
  • Secure all pool equipment
  • Protect the pools plaster surface

Water freezes, it’s pretty simple.  When the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit the water in your pool will begin to freeze.  When the water freezes it will expand.  Water that is allowed to freeze and expand without any special treatment given to it can cause homeowners a lot of grief in the from of busted plumbing, plaster cracks, and more.  The best way to prevent these issues is to follow a precise closing method when the season ends that includes draining the excess water from the pools plumbing.

When winterizing your plaster swimming pool one key element that must be taken into consideration is the need for chemically balanced water.  If the water is not balanced when you close your pool for the season there are a few issues that could arise including: build up and corrosion.  If water issues exist when you close the pool they will still be there when the pool is opened next spring which can make the opening process more difficult.  Stagnant pool water often “attracts” the growth of algae.  Chemicals also help to eliminate issues with pool staining from dissolving metals that are not being filtered.

Before the pool is closed down for the winter is crucial that homeowners not only take time to balance the chemicals in the pools water and include additives to prevent algae growth and staining.  Not only is balanced water important but also clean water.  The pool should be thoroughly cleaned and free of leaves, dirt, outside debris.  Any outside material left within the pools water has the ability to leave unsightly markings on the pools plaster surface.

Another step that is super important when closing your pool is the water level.  The pools water level should be lowered below the skimmer and all plumbing, drains, and pool equipment should be drained.  Once the pipes are drained it is important to use drain plugs to prevent the water from seeping back into the plumbing.  DO NOT completely drain the water in your pool.  This is especially true when it comes to plaster pools.  Water needs to be kept in the pool to avoid under ground water from putting pressure on the plaster which would cause it to crack.  Although having a pool re-plastered is common, it is not practical every year and is not financially cost effective to have done on a regular basis.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

The Perfect Backyard Enhancement: A Gunite Swimming Pool

Gunite swimming pools are one of the most popular options for homeowners.  Building a Gunite pool requires a crew to dig a hole in the desired shape, the installation of plumbing, and a rebar grid that is the framework of the structure.  The steel rebar frame is secured in place using wire.  Once this has been done a heavy coat of Gunite, a mixture of concrete and sand, is sprayed in between the rebar.

The unit that is used to spray in the Gunite mixes it with water just before it is sprayed which produces a wet concrete material.  It is then smoothed out and left to dry.  The Gunite drying process can take upwards of two weeks.  When the mixture dries it will be rough.  The smooth finish that we are used to comes from plaster that is installed over the rough concrete.  Although plaster is the most popular option in pool finishes, some homeowners choose to use tile, exposed aggregate, and pebble applications.

There are many advantages that come with having a concrete pool installed over other options available to homeowners.  It is not only an incredibly durable method of constructing a pool, it is also respected as one of the highest quality swimming pool construction materials.

Gunite is used more than any other material in both residential and commercial pools.  One reason that the combination of Gunite and plaster is so popular is because of its durability.  It is a material that hold up well in a number of different environments and is able to withstand high usage.

There are endless design options when you are using Gunite and plaster in creating a new pool, unlike fiberglass pools which are prefabricated.  The sturdiness of these pools comes not only from the concrete base and plaster coating but also the usage of rebar in the base structure.  Gunite pools are meant to last forever even if the plaster layer may need to be redone overtime.

There are many options to choose from when picking out plaster for your pool from traditional white plaster to quartz aggregate, there is a finish that will enhance your pool landscape.  Choose a plaster for your pool that takes your ordinary backyard pool and transforms it into something spectacular.  Colored plaster is a perfect option especially when the features surrounding the pool are not able to be updated and you need the pool to be the focal point.

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at www.pound-pool-plastering.com.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.

Available Options in Pool Plaster

If you are one of the people that has managed to install a swimming pool in your backyard, you are living the dream of thousands upon thousands of people everywhere.  After all, who doesn’t love jumping into the water of a pool on a hot and sunny day?

While your pool may currently be in excellent shape, there will be a day when you need to do some pool renovations, especially with the pool plastering.  There are many options available to you when it comes to the pool plaster that can be installed during a pool renovation and you can choose the one that fits your needs the best.

Here are your available options in pool plaster:

Classic White

Classic white pool plaster is basically a mixture of cement, water, and white marble aggregate, and it is going to be your cheapest pool plastering option.  That cheaper price though is due to the fact that this pool plastering will deteriorate quicker from all the chemicals and means that you will need to have it replaced again sooner than later.

Include a Silicone Shield

You may want to have a silicone shield added to your pool plaster, as it creates a barrier between your pool plaster and the chemicals that you use.  That will make your pool plastering more durable and extend the time in between replacements.

Colored Quartz

Any concrete plaster mix can have colored ceramic coated sand added to it, and this colored quartz will not only increase the life expectancy of your pool, but make it look even nicer as well.  This option is more expensive than the classic white option as well as the option with the silicone shield, but the length of time in between pool plastering replacements can make the higher price tag worthwhile.

Pebbled

A pebbled pool plaster has had little pieces of round polished aggregates added to the plaster mix, and since those little pieces of aggregate is available in numerous colors, your color choices are greatly increased with this option.  This is one of the most durable pool plasters available on the market, and if you choose to have this pool plastering completed, it should be quite some time before you need to have it replaced.

No one really enjoys having pool renovations completed on their pool, because it means that it cannot be in use during that time.  However, once your new pool plastering has been put in place, you will be so happy with how your pool looks as you are swimming in it or simply sitting next to it.

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at www.pound-pool-plastering.com.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.

Is Your Pool ‘s Plaster Ready for Summer Fun?

Owning a home with an inground pool presents a unique challenge in itself in that you are responsible for all of its upkeep. It is far different from any other type of backyard pool that you might have had in the past. Unlike an above ground pool which has a plastic liner that actually holds the water inside, an in-ground pool is made of plaster, concrete or one-piece fiberglass.

 

The plaster surface is prepared is for the water to be added and the chemicals are added to be sure that it is ready to be opened up for the summers use. Even if the installation job was done perfectly there is always going to be a chance that damage will occur and there are several ways to determine if there is, in fact, a leak or superficial damage to the plaster on your pool.

 

What to look for when inspecting your pool?

 

There is actually a debate going on among pool owners regarding whether or not you should even have to regularly inspect the plaster or concrete surfaces of the inside of their pool. However, if you are one of those pool owners who regularly check your pool, do you know what you are looking for? Here are some things that you should consider paying close attention to:

 

Signs of delamination: Delamination is when layers of a composite material begin to separate which can cause a number of issues including water leaking out of your pool and looks terrible. Depending on where on the walls of the pool that you find them will depend on how much water you will have to drain.

 

Plaster Blisters: Finding bubbles or blisters in the plaster surface usually means that water got underneath the plaster layer that is applied over the concrete shell. These more than likely superficial and not a huge problem.

 

Deep cracks in the walls: Superficial cracks that only appear to be in the plaster can easily be covered over and water can be added back into the pool after letting it dry. However, if the cracks are deep enough and end up into the concrete shell underneath you will need to call in local professional.

 

Water seeping around the pool area: If you constantly are finding water in the area around the pool you might want to consult a pool professional.

 

How often should you inspect the pool?

 

There really is not any set in the stone schedule for how and when you should inspect all of the surfaces of your pool and all of the pool equipment. However, you should consider that your pool is a huge investment and major repairs and be extremely costly. So, if you were to set aside a few hours every year to give your pool an extensive look over in hopes to catch anything that is potentially problematic.

 

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at www.pound-pool-plastering.com.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.

 

 

Pool Renovation Ideas That Impress

Having an inground pool in your backyard is an exciting upgrade that many homeowners choose.  Overtime however, the area surrounding the swimming pool can begin to feel drab, the aesthetics wear out and the initial installation and style of the pool becomes outdated.  Another issue that often occurs is that the amenities you want have changed and it is time to renovate and upgrade the pool area.  Don’t think that the only way to go is to demolish the exiting plaster pool and start fresh.  That in fact is costly and unnecessary when you can easily get a new look and features added that will bring your pool space back to an area you thoroughly enjoy.

Landscaping

The addition of landscape adds greenery and color to a space that is often skewed with tints of blue. Adding landscaping materials to the space can add to the aesthetics of the area and can take a bland space into a beautiful backdrop for fun in the sun.  When choosing materials to install within the landscaping search for plants and trees that can be controlled by proper trimming.  Find trees that do not drop leaves or pine needles into the pool.  Consider the amount of shade and privacy you desire as well as this should play a role in the selection of the landscape materials that you will choose.

Pool House/Cabana

The addition of a pool house or poolside cabana are both popular options.  Both options give families a place to stay out of the sun while enjoying the pool.  A pool house can also give extra storage for pool toys, chemicals, and necessary elements for maintaining the pool and the surrounding area.  A pool house can include a space for showering and changing as well which is perfect when you entertain a lot and don’t always want people trouncing through your home.

Hot Tub/Spa

An easy addition to the pool area is a hot tub or spa.  It can be easily added to the side of the Gunite pool There are a number of innovative styles to consider attached and detached.

Waterfalls

If you want to add a visual affect that will really wow your company the installation of a waterfall cascading into your pool is the way to go.  With the addition of natural materials such as rocks and boulders or ready-made waterfalls your pool area can go from plain and simple to majestic and visually spectacular.

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at www.pound-pool-plastering.com.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.