Repairing Cracks In and/or Refinishing A Plaster Pool

by Matthew

Robert, I've watched a bunch of YouTube pool videos, but I must say yours come across the most genuine and helpful to me. I don't know if you answer non-chemical questions, or not. If after reading this you'd care to discuss it, I'm more than happy to purchase one of your consults. I consider that a worthwhile investment given what I'm up against. Please read on... I have an 11K gal inground plaster pool which I *think* is around 25 years old. It is more or less rectangular, with a connected spa with spillover into the main pool. During this winter, a small crack began to appear on the main pool side of the spa spillover wall--that portion separating the two.

This fine crack is spreading (maybe 15" long now) and a portion (4") is showing rust. I had a pool contractor here last week and he said the separating wall needs rebuilt, or they could just do the crack repair for about $700. That led to further conversation about the overall condition of the plaster throughout the pool. I've noticed since purchasing this house in 2013 that the plaster has areas of discoloration (faint yellowing) and "splotchy" areas rather than a consistent ordinary white. The contractor said this is because the plaster over the gunnite has worn off in spots (not unlikely, given age) and ideally it is time to resurface the pool. I don't doubt he is correct, but before I proceed I wanted to research what a pool owner needs to know before undertaking such a serious commitment--estimated at $7K.

If I do go to this trouble and expense, I also figure I'd like to go back with a darker blue finish to attract more heat given my pool is situated on a somewhat shaded northern exposure, and I would like to both extend the swim season and reduce utility use for gas heat. Are there must-know details about going to a darker finish? Would you have advice about finding the right contractor to perform my work? Note: this guy is polite and seems knowledgeable, but he also is a couple hours away and misplaced my business card after coming here last week, so I have some concerns about how well the execute if even the quoting phase of the "project" has already been awkward. Would hate to get into this and wind up with prolonged schedules, or change orders. Is there a right time or wrong time to do this, and am I taking a risk if I delay? We are in a massive drought here in CA. Any thoughts about storing the pool water in a temporary tank while the work is being done?

Hi Matthew. I received your consult request and thank you for your trust. I read over your question. Given the age of the pool it is likely that it needs to be resurfaced. The largest component is mixing the plaster and allowing it to cure correctly. My expertise is more along the lines of filtration systems and pool chemistry. There are many categories of "pool business" and that is just one of them. Building and resurfacing is another one. I've been on sites and have assisted in resurfacing but are unsure as to the extent of the expertise you need. I can offer general advice, but if you need specific details to specific questions, I think you'd be better served by asking someone who is in the field of your questions.

That being said, I'll leave it up to you if you wish to proceed with a consult. If you prefer to not move forward with it, I'll will immediately refund your fee and also give you my eBook "Solutions to Common Pool Water Problems".

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.


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