Pool plaster is essentially the glue that holds your pool together. After the general construction of your inground pool takes place – the drains, the return lines, the in-floor cleaning system – then the pool is shot with gunite. From there, the tiling and stones are placed in the lining of your pool. Finally, it is troweled with plaster. Pool plaster holds together all of these parts and also acts as a watertight sealant so your pool does not leak and waste water. Just because plaster is the main ingredient in an inground pool that ties everything together does not mean that it takes care of itself, however. This article will explain 4 ways that you should care for, and ultimately extend the life of your pool plaster.
Maintain A Steady pH Balance
Every pool owner knows that your pool's pH balance should be heavily and frequently monitored. There are several reasons for this phenomenon, and paramount among them is making sure that the pH balance doesn't get out of whack and cause your plaster to crack and crumble.
A pH balance should be maintained between 7.4 – 7.8. Your swimming pool's alkalinity should be kept between 80 – 120 ppm. A low alkalinity will lead to etching within your pool's plaster. These are tiny, hairline cracks that give the illusion that the plaster has been etched on. This can cause leaks and, far worse, it can lead to great damage and crumbling to your plaster.
Maintain Calcium Hardness Levels
In addition to watching and maintaining your pool's pH balance, the other level you should be diligent about maintaining is your pool's calcium hardness. Calcium levels should be maintained between 200 – 400 ppm. Anything less than 200 will allow your water to become soft. This can lead to the decay and crumbling of your pool's beautiful plaster, which can occasionally be costly to fix, depending on the extent of the damage. Calcium levels that are too high are far less damaging to your pool, but can still cause of a number of problems that you may want rectified. For example, calcium levels that are too high tend to cause magnesium stains on the plaster, which again, are quite difficult to remove.
Cleaning Your Pool Regularly
Cleaning your pool regularly is advantageous for your pool's plaster. Dirty pools can cause numerous problems for your pool's plaster. Unclean water levels can permanently stain your pool's beautiful plaster facade or, at the very least, cause stains that are very difficult to remove. Dirt that is allowed to sit in empty pools can begin to tear at the seams of the pool's plaster, removing it from the tile that surrounds it. Maintaining the integrity of your pool will cause fewer problems for you in the future.
Fix Cracks ASAP
If you happen to see a crack in your pool's plaster, it is highly recommended that you fix the problem as soon as possible. Although other forms of pool lining, such as vinyl lining, can be incredibly expensive to replace, plaster pool cracks can easily be fixed if they are caught on time. Small cracks can generally be fixed with just a bit of elbow grease and a DIY patching kit. Allow these cracks to spread and extend their web, however, and you could be dealing with spending a pretty penny on replacing or re-plastering your whole pool
When it comes to lining, nothing really beats plaster lining. It is solid, efficient, and easily fixable if you're able to catch problems on time. Having said this, you will still have to maintain upkeep of the plaster's integrity! You can click here for more information on proper pool maintenance.