caring for your plaster
Your pool has been plastered by top quality plaster artisans. The plaster is a special waterproof marble-dust mixture of cement designed to do three things:
1. The plaster keeps the water from leaking through the Gunite shell (which is not waterproof by itself).
2. The plaster is decorative, and when properly maintained, gives a clean white interior finish to your pool.
3. The plaster has a particular non-slip texture designed to be smooth, yet secure and safe for underwater traction.
With proper care and attention, your pool's new plaster should give you many years of pleasure and trouble-free enjoyment.
I. FILLING THE POOL THE FIRST TIME
Once the Plaster Crew has started the water flowing into your new pool, DON'T STOP THE WATER FOR ANY REASON! The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. If the water is stopped, your plaster could develop a permanent ring at the level where the water stopped, or it could allow the exposed plaster to dry too quickly, and cause chips or cracks. Plaster is especially formulated to stay underwater at all times. So the faster your pool fills, the happier we all will be!
NEVER USE SOFT WATER TO FILL YOUR NEW POOL! IT COULD DISSOLVE THE PLASTER!
II. AFTER YOUR POOL IS FILLED
When the water reaches the midpoint on the tile, please call us to schedule the Start-up. We will ask you to brush down the pool interior several times a day for a week or two. The reason for this is to help dislodge and remove "plaster dust", or the residue left from the Plaster. The sooner this is removed, the sooner your pool will turn clear and sparkling.
Please do not allow anyone into the pool until the Start-up Instructions have been given. The plaster is still too soft for normal use, and it could easily get scratched or gouged. Also, since the water has not been chemically treated, it could be unsanitary and unhealthy.
After you receive the Start-up instructions, please make a special point to check and balance the chemicals in your pool daily. This will assure clear, sanitary water -- and it will help protect the plaster from discoloration or damage caused by chemical imbalances.
III. SOME CHARACTERISTICS COMMON TO SWIMMING POOL PLASTER
A. Plaster is not a slick tile-like finish. It is "eggshell" in texture, and is hand-trowled to be smooth, but slip-resistant underwater.
B. Plaster is neither perfect nor flawless. The Plaster Finishers are true artists, and will do all that can be done to leave a uniform, attractive finish. Please remember that this is all hand-trowled, and it is entirely possible that some minor cosmetic imperfections will appear. This is not unusual, it will not affect your use and enjoyment of your pool, and it is nothing to be concerned about.
C. Plastering is one of the most difficult parts of pool construction, and it is one of the most visible, too.
D. The cement used to make plaster is made with raw mined marble dust, and is not completely, perfectly, uniformly white.
E. Due to the irregular nature of the plaster cement, your pool may look blotchy and/or streaked for a fairly long time. This appearance is due to drying and curing of the plaster at different rates. It is normal, and not cause for concern.
F. You may see a certain amount of small cracks, called "checks." These are normal in all plastered pools. These minor checks are not a defect, and they cause no problems.
G. The underwater light and the water in your pool will magnify small objects and minor imperfections in the plaster, and may make them look many times larger than they actually are.
H. After a pool has been plastered and is full of water, it is best not to drain the pool for at least two years. This allows proper curing and aging of the plaster.
I. If the pool ever needs to be drained to replace the water or to maintain the plaster, it should never be left empty for more than eight to ten days at the most. More than this may cause the plaster to dry out and crack. Keep your pool full for best results.
IV. WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT STAINS OR CALCIUM DEPOSITS ON THE PLASTER?
When stains or calcium deposits occur on the surface of your plaster, your pool can be briefly drained and lightly acid washed and/or sanded. This will restore the beautiful white finish. And it may make the plaster even smoother than the day it was first plastered. This is because sanding can leave a smoother finish than hand trowling. Most plaster companies do this work with "high-rpm" sanders and special sanding disks.
The best "cure", however, is prevention. Keep track of your chemical balances, and maintain the pH. And don't forget to stay on top of the situation even in the winter. We've noticed that winter, when the water is cold and you don't want to check the pool, is when most problems happen. So keep the water maintained and balanced all year round.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call! Good Luck and Good Swimming!