If your pool is starting to look a little ratty, it may be time to give it an acid wash. On the other hand, it may be time to remove the old plaster and replace it completely. Here is how you can tell the difference.
When To Replaster
Many older pools are made of Gunite, which is a mixture of cement, sand, and water that is sprayed over metal bars. Plaster was then slapped over the top of this. The average life expectancy for these types of pools is 10 or so years, and commercial pools often have to be replastered once every 10 years. The plaster can last longer in pools that are well maintained, but, after a while, chunks of it fall away from the Gunite and metal substructure. At that point, the pool needs resurfacing, period, or water will start leaking into the Gunite.
Even if the plaster doesn’t start coming off in chunks, it starts wearing thin. This looks bad as dirt collects in the cracks, and it feels bad as the roughened surfaces catch on your skin. Extremely deep stains also require a full replastering. If your pool matches any of these criteria, the old plaster needs to come off and make way for new.
When To Acid Wash
A number of things can cause the plaster to develop localized stains or a general discoloration. Plant matter, especially foliage with a lot of tannins such as oak leaves, can settle in the bottom of the pool and leave marks on the surface. Iron from fertilizer can blow in from the surrounding landscape and speckle the plaster with rust stains. Old pools can develop rust stains from where the metal rail or hose nozzle touches the pool interior. Pool chemistry getting out of balance from rain or hose water can cause discoloration. Light stains can be scrubbed out, but deep stains will require a professional acid wash or bead blasting. Be sure to pinpoint what caused the discoloration in the first place and remove the source before the pool people come in.
Aquanomics Pools provides a full service when it comes to pools, so whether you need a replastering or a regularly scheduled maintenance check to prevent staining, contact us. We will keep your pool sparkling.