A new pool has a smooth, satiny wall that invites swimmers to touch it. Often this wall is made of pool plaster, a material consisting of a 1-2 ratio of white portland cement that may be an aggregate of marble dust, limestone, or quartz sand. The plaster may come in a variety of tints as well. If you are thinking about installing an in-ground pool, you might be wondering about this material and how it will affect your pool experience. There are a couple of points you might want to take into consideration.
Pool plaster can last 15 to 20 years, provided it is cured, maintained, and installed correctly. This is an area where having experts do the work ensures that you have a pool that lasts a long time, though. Plaster can go wrong by developing pits and having large sections fall off of the substrate. Most of the time, it can last if it is well taken care of.
When the plaster is first applied it can develop sand-like precipitation of calcium on the bottom. If you brush the sides of the pool with a nylon brush for the first week, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Beyond that, the important thing to remember when taking care of your plaster is to watch your water chemistry. The pH level of your water shouldn’t be lower than 7 or it will erode the patina. It also can’t be higher than 8, or you’ll find scale developing on the surface.
Calcium levels should be below 250 ppm so that you avoid scale build-up. Other metals such as copper or iron can stain plaster, so you want to keep items made of metal out of the pool. Acorns and other organic matter that falls into the pool might stain it too, so it is a good idea to remove debris from the water. The pool wall may occasionally need bead-blasting or acid washing if it develops calcium scale, but keeping the pool water properly maintained should minimize that.
Fortunately, Alan Jackson Pools specialize in making and servicing custom designed in-ground pools and has the expertise to answer any other questions that you might have about plaster. If you want to know more or are interested in either setting up a pool service schedule or installing a new pool, contact us.