Crack in New Gunite

felkerdJanuary 29, 2011

So the gunite was shot yesterday. They finished up late in the evening. I woke up this morning and went out to take a look and my heart sank when I saw this crack. Is this normal? Is this a sign of serious problems? Please help. I called the PB this morning but I would like to hear from the group here.

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golfgeek

RollTideTX,
Looks like a crack caused by over tooling a wet surface. Easy to fill. I don't think it's anything to worry about.
The only thing I worry about when I see broomed finished gunite is how much rebound is covered up.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 10:25AM
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renovxpt

Looks like a slump crack from too wet of a mix. Are you sure this isn't shotcrete?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:37AM
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felkerd

It is supposed to be gunite. I will ask the question today when the PB comes out to look at it. What is rebound? Should I be worried about that?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:51AM
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poolguynj

Rebound is the material that bounces off when shot. It should be discarded as the cement is generally knocked off.

Did the cement come in a regular cement truck or a dry mix truck?

In any event, hose the shell down thoroughly. This helps the shell cure evenly. If the surface cement looses too much moisture to evaporation, it will draw it from within, weakening the shell and creating surface cracking.

As renovxpt suggests, I also suspect that that crack was a slump crack and should be easy to fill/patch without a substantial loss of strength.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 12:58PM
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felkerd

It came in a dry mix. Mixed with water as it was sprayed.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 1:04PM
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felkerd

The gunite company is coming out today to fix that section. The PB said what you guys said on here so at least I am getting similar information. Told me not to lose sleep over it. I won't sleep well until it is fixed and doesn't happen again.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 5:08PM
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felkerd

It came in a dry mix. Mixed with water as it was sprayed.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 12:50PM
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huskyridor

This is nothing to worry about.
It pulled away from the steel down the wall slightly above the transition from over troweling the wetflash they place over the preshot material. It grows in weight down there as the material gets thicker in the cove. You don't want to work the wetflash to much before brooming as it pushes the excess water back deeper into the matrix as it's already flowing down through the cream.
Look at the last picture and you can really see the wet flashing well. This area was most likely the last section of wall thay shot prior to flashing.
golfgeek was correct.

See ya,
Kelly

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 11:47PM
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felkerd

They came out today and chiseled the section with the crack out - it was about 3 1/2 inches deep or so. They said that the gunite in that section was about 14 inches thick and trying to patch it with gunite would not really work well. They told me that it would be better to just fill it with plaster and assured me it represented no compromise to the pool structure. What say you experts? Is the solution they propose okay?

Here are some pictures of the section after it was chiseled out.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 3:45PM
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poolguynj

No, filling with plaster is not how it's fixed. Some hydraulic cement will fill it quite nicely.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 5:54PM
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huskyridor

Follow Scott's directive, ask them to come out with some hydraulic cement and some sand. Mixing a half and half cement/sand ration will make a good workable paste. They can also do it with 2/3rd sackcrete to hydraulic ratio too.
This is a simple repair for the gunite company.

See ya,
Kelly

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 7:44PM
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felkerd

I told my PB today that I wanted them to fix it with hydraulic cement instead of plaster. He said he typically only uses that on pools with structural issues but would talk to the gunite company about doing that as a repair. Why wouldn't they just do that the first time. It is a little frustrating that I have to be the one to make these recommendations.... anyway, thank you all for your input on this. It is greatly appreciated and helpful so I can get this resolved and moving forward.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 9:00PM
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just-a-pb

"He said he typically only uses that on pools with structural issues"

That statement would scare the hell out of me as a future customer.

I would have asked how often do you "typically" have structural issues on your pools.

Make him fix it right, plaster is not structural and will more easily crack when that thick.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 10:49PM
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huskyridor

quote" I would have asked how often do you "typically" have structural issues on your pools.
Make him fix it right, plaster is not structural and will more easily crack when that thick. "quote

I'm LMAO at the first sentence, and just-a-pb is correct except he should have removed the words "more easily" and inserted "plaster will crack when that thick"
It won't be a leaker but it will be a cracker.
I truly feel for you as a buyer. I don't even call the guniter back on little deals like this. I'd of gone over there personally with a $3.50 bag of sackcrete and a 14 ounce coffee can of hydraulic cement, mixed the cement into water into a very liquidy mix in a 5 gallon bucket and slowly plopped in about a 1/4 bag of sackcrete and worked it into a workable paste, lightly dampened the gunite inside the cave by touching the areas with a damp sponge and packed it in and sponged it smooth. It doesn't even take 30 minutes to handle this even with the chipping.
He makes a walk in the park seem like a trip to the moon, LOL!!!

I'm curious, what part of Texas are you in?

See ya,
Kelly

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 11:18PM
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felkerd

I am just about 15 minutes west of Fort Worth. I am pretty disappointed that my PB would propose to use plaster when that is not the appropriate solution. I am with you guys. He should actually treat it like a structural issue because to me it IS a structural issue and we are talking about little to no cost to fix it the right way. They even went to the effort of having someone come out and chip it from the gunite company. Grrrr.... the more I talk about this the angrier I get.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 10:43AM
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huskyridor

There's no need to be angry.
Your builder simply falls into the category of most builders. This would be the category of the inability to personally perform any aspect of the actual physical work necessary to construct a pool.
Note, his and my most important job as owners is really the ability to pay the subs with the money we collected from buyers to move forward on their jobs.
He did nothing wrong and most likely thought that filling it with plaster was the appropriate thing to do. This really stems from not actually doing the work and from paying others to handle it.
If your going to be upset I'd suggest venting it to the gunite company who sent men out there to perform half of a repair. They know what they needed to bring with them just by a verbal description over the phone.

Congrats on the pool purchase!!!
I can tell you this as fact "Nothing beats a backyard pool at home, especially in Texas. Everything from having a cup of coffee in the morning, to reading a book in the afternoon, to socializing with friends while taking dinner and an adult beverage after dark is always 100% better when conducted poolside."
I don't offer this 'cause I'm a pool guy, I'm actually a pool kind of guy. Everything involved with raising our 4 kids has always revolved around our pools and it's backyard. I've missed every one when we've moved even though we built new pools at the new homes. It's funny, because like a pet, they become family too!!!

See ya,
Kelly

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 9:01PM
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felkerd

Kelly - Thanks for putting it into perspective. I really like my PB. I know he will do what it takes to make it right and I am happy about that. When the gunite guy came out, he seemed uninterested and only wanted to describe "why" it happened instead of "what" needed to be done to fix it. When my PB suggested we just fill it with plaster, the guy quickly agreed, jumped in his truck, and left. My only disappointment is that having built so many pools, maybe my PB would have lobbied for a better solution but its water under the bridge at this point.

I am excited about having a pool and I can't wait to experience all the fun that it is going to provide our family. This has been an enjoyable process so far (with the exception of this minor hiccup) and I can't wait until the next phase is completed.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 10:30PM
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gws58

RollTide, How did your new pool do in all of this cold weather? Hope you do not have any more cracks..

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 8:17AM
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felkerd

No other cracks. Just that one. The rest of the shell looks great. The pool had snow for the past several days so hopefully it will start to thaw out today since we are finally getting above freezing. Gunite company is supposed to patch it with hydraulic cement mixture once the freezing temperatures and snow are gone.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 9:17AM
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