Glossary

Strip plaster to gunite

To prepare a surface for re-plaster requires taking the existing plaster surface off, and exposing most of the underlying gunite. It leaves a very uneven sub-surface that will give the final re-surface varying areas of thickness. The stripping process may also expose “rebound” conditions that may not be detectable at the time of the pool estimate.

Undercut waterline tile

This is a necessary process unless the swimming pool will be re-tiled and the plaster stripped to gunite. A saw is used to cut the surface directly under the waterline tile, and the existing plaster is chipped out and feathered down about 1-2 feet below the cut. This process is used to give a uniform appearance up the wall of the pool if the sandblast/Multicoat preparation will be used, or if the waterline tile is to be saved.

Apply 2 coats of finish plaster

The first coat is the scratch coat providing adhesion to the substrate and leveling of the surface. The second coat, or finish coat, provides a consistent thickness and look to your pool. The combined thickness of the two coats should range from ½ to ¾ inches.

Rebound in steps, benches and pool floors

Rebound gunite as defined by the National Plasterers Council Technician Manual is “the portion of material that is deflected and does not adhere to the shell of the pool or spa during the application of gunite or shotcrete…This material is considered “dead” or no longer usable, and should be removed from the pool and spa shell”. Unfortunately, rather than discarding this material, many pool builders and gunite contractors re-use “Rebound” material to form steps, spa benches and occasionally pool floors in the construction of swimming pools and spas. If this substandard construction practice was used on your swimming pool and/or spa at the time of construction, this may cause delamination, hollow spots, and pool surface cracking in the future, even after replastering. As a result, if “Rebound” material is identified when your swimming pool and spa is stripped for replastering, additional work will be required for removal and replacement of this substandard gunite material.

Code compliant main drain covers

The Virginia Graeme Baker law makes it necessary to replace all drain covers and their frames during the re-surfacing of a pool. A part of the code compliant cover is set in the new plaster surface, and cannot be saved during the preparation process. Since there is an expiration date stamped into every compliant cover, the date of the pool renovation will mark the beginning of the new period before the covers will need to be replaced (usually 5 years).

Wallsteps

These are set in the plaster, and found in the deep end of the pool. There is a set of grab rails attached to the deck above them, with three plastic insert steps to a set. These always have to be replaced during a re-surface, as they will be broken during the preparation process. In cases where there is a stainless steel ladder secured in the deck, this will only apply if it is to be replaced.

100% White Quartz finish

Essentially, this is a change to the line item above “Apply 2-3 coats of finish plaster.” Traditional plaster uses marble sand mixed with cement. Marble sand is brilliant white, yet relatively soft sand that is more susceptible to degradation from pool water chemistry than the much harder quartz sand. It is important to note that if quartz is chosen, it is crucial to make sure it is a 100% quartz mixture. It is a common practice to use a 30% – 60% marble to quartz ratio. Although this presents a cost savings, the weaker marble sand will be at risk in the mix, and will not perform up to the quartz standard. In our experience a 100% quartz finish, along with plaster matrix, will last about 100% longer than the marble finish.

Mix plaster matrix into plaster

This is an additive to the cement portion of the plaster that along with the 100% quartz, will increase the life of the plaster finish up to 100%. The 100% quartz gives the mix a stronger, more chemical resistant sand, and the plaster matrix does the same for the cement portion of the mix. Additives in cementitious products are not new or uncommon, as they have been used for years in mortars and grouts. The 20% – 25% increase in the plaster cost by adding 100% quartz and plaster matrix becomes of great value when considering the savings that will come with the surface lasting twice as long.

Waterline tile

Alan Smith Pools offers this option to replace the tile all around the pool/spa at the waterline. The price includes all tiles between groups 1-4. Groups 1-4 will include 90% of the pool tile selection. Glass tile, and custom tiles can be used, but are outside the 1-4 groups, and will be priced higher.

Non-slip trim tile on steps and seats

The trim is a small line of non-slip tile at the outside edge of steps and seats that help bathers see their depths. This option also adds a decorative detail to the pool/spa.

Re-set loose coping around pool/spa

This is necessary if the coping has become loose or hollow caused by pressure from the deck due to its expansion or movement. This procedure includes lifting the loose coping off of the bond beam, cleaning up the top of the bond beam and bottom of the coping, re-adhering the coping, and providing a proper expansion joint between the coping and deck. If the coping is loose or hollow, this option is very important to keep water from entering the cracks and creating further, and more costly damage to the bond beam and deck. Please note that replacing the mastic in the expansion joint will then become necessary.

Deck mastic

We offer this as an option to prevent your pool area from having to go through expensive repairs in the future. This is the rubber-like material that fills in the expansion gap between the pool/spa coping and the deck. If there are cracks in this material, or it is missing, water will seep into the gap and will cause soil expansion or erosion that could lead to deck lifting, or pool cracking.

Flush mount eyeball fittings

If your pool/spa currently has directional eyeball fittings on the returns or jets, the renovation will make it necessary to replace them, as they have to be removed during demolition. If your pool/spa does not currently have the directional eyeball fittings, it would be your choice to add them. If you do not have the fittings, the returns/jets would simply be flush pipes.

Install new light

Even if your pool or spa light works prior to the renovation, it does not necessarily mean that it will function after the work is completed. The light is a watertight housing that has rubber gaskets. The lens connects to the housing with an O-ring between them and is fairly easily replaced if damaged. The cord, however, runs through the housing, and is watertight due to a rubber grommet that cannot be replaced. Any rubber material that is in contact with the harsh pool/spa environment for an extended period will become brittle.  This brittle rubber will then tend to crack, when it is moved and dried during remodeling. A cracked grommet will allow water to enter the housing, and will short out the light. It is not a guarantee that this will happen, but depending on the age of the light, it is fairly common.

Stain inhibitor

This is an additive to the water that is necessary when filling a pool or spa, especially with new plaster. This additive binds the metals that come with the tap water, and keeps them from staining the fresh plaster.

Initial water treatment

Professionally speaking, this is an important step in re-surfacing the pool. The first week of a plasters life is the most important. It is crucial that certain steps be taken to allow the plaster to “cure” properly. This process can be done by a qualified pool service company, or by a plastering company that offers this service. It is common practice to clean the filter within the first month after the re-surfacing. This service is not included in our initial water treatment, but should be completed by the company that services the pool and its equipment.