Does Your Pool Need Resurfacing?
If you’re like many clients and pool owners we talk to, you may be wondering if your pool is due for a resurface and about how often it’s needed. We set out to answer that today on the Beyond Blue Pools blog.
For starters, “resurfacing”, “replastering” and even “pool remodeling” are the same thing and the terms can be used interchangeably.
Even if you’ve always been careful with your swimming pool maintenance, the plaster will eventually start to show its age due to constant use, wear and tear, and changes in climate. If you think about it, the plaster is submerged in chemicals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and regularly brushed to prevent algae, this alone creates quite a bit of wear over time.
On average, pool plaster lasts 10-12 years, but this can vary dramatically (for better or worse) depending on how well it was installed originally, and how well your pool chemistry was kept in check over the life of the plaster. It’s best to resurface your swimming pool before any major issues such as cracks or filtration problems make the replaster so pressing that you have no other choice.
Here’s you’ll find the what, why and how of resurfacing as well as your options when the time comes.
Reasons to Resurface:
1. Dingy Appearance – Have you ever seen a really rundown-looking swimming pool? As your pool plaster gets older, the cement begins to erode and exposes the rough surface of the original plaster structure. It also traps dirt and makes the pool look discolored and unhygienic.
In addition, most plastered pools are made of Gunite, or Shotcrete. All of these materials are porous and will “weep” water through them. The plaster coating is meant to keep the cement and any reinforcement steel (rebar) protected from the effects of water. Plaster is the waterproofing layer that is important to the integrity of an inground pool structure. If you have bare spots where the gunite beneath is showing through, this is of concern. Plaster is fairly translucent in thin layers, so if you see dark areas in your plaster, this could be the gunite showing through, giving an indication that it’s time to resurface.
2. Uncomfortable – Owning a pool is supposed to be a luxury, but there is nothing decadent about scratching your feet against the aforementioned rough surface. It could even cut your skin and possibly cause an infection, especially if dirt gets into the wound.
3. Avoid Damage – A pool with old plaster is difficult to clean, and this only increases the wear and tear on the plaster. As we brush your pool every week, if the plaster is in need of replacing, the plaster itself comes off the steps and walls and collects at the bottom of the pool. The rough surface remaining hides algae in the nooks and crannies. Beyond this, the pieces of plaster that come off collect in your filter, creating the need for more frequent filter cleans, and potentially tearing through the grids or cartridges which can also be costly to replace. If the plaster continues to deteriorate, cracks will appear in the structure of the pool and repairing this will cost far more than a mere resurfacing as they often go down to the gunite and pool structure beneath the plaster layer.
Pool Resurfacing Options and Benefits:
1. Plaster – Plaster is the least expensive and most common option. An experienced professional can remove the old plaster via chipping or sandblasting to leave the original concrete shell. They will then apply a bond coat and top with one or two coats of plaster in the color of your choice. Plaster reacts well with water over time, so you can safely use chemicals to maintain water balance without worrying about eroding plaster. The biggest downside of white plaster is that due to changes over time in the mixtures of white plaster, they tend to not last as long or be as durable as other options.
2. Pebble Finish – While certainly not new, pebble finish pools have been growing in popularity for a decade or so, and in the Woodlands they’re nearly as common as plaster pools. There are a number of brand names (StoneScapes® and Pebble Tec® being the most common) and they offer a more natural and distinctive look than just plaster alone and also outperform plaster in strength, scratch resistance, thermal resistance, durability, and care and maintenance. In addition, pebble finishes often come with superior warranties than plaster alone (10 years versus 1 year or less in most cases).
If after reading this article you think it’s time to consider resurfacing, just give us a call at the office to schedule a planning and design consultation. We’ll send out someone to measure your pool, ask questions to learn what look and feel you’re looking for, and give you the best options available for your backyard and budget. Just call 281-404-7578.
Check out some examples and recent projects here: