Make builder replaster new pool?

denvermitchOctober 12, 2008


Help! Should I ask the pool builder to replaster my new pool. Is that reasonable?

Pool was plastered last Monday. Here are the current problems:

-2" rust stain in wall

-Brown streaks in several areas from rain water dripping down from the stones. These stains are in about 4-5 spots and go down the walls and to part of the floor.

-Plaster around step and bench tiles seems messy and not even

-Circular trowel marks in plaster in some spots

-2 divots in the plaster. ?? Is the plaster coming up?

-Water stains in spa seats from water that dripped out of the spa jet area. Happened within first 2 hours after the finish & before I got there. It dried and left stains.

-Plaster seems extra rough around the tile line in some spots. Rough and with little holes?

Thoughts? They seem to be working with me so far but there are too many things needing fixed and I certainly don't want to see a patch job in my new plaster!


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It is really hard to tell from your description whether you just have expectations that are too high or whether you really do have a bad plaster job. The rust stain and the streaks definitely need to be addressed. Typically streaks can be acid washed out. The rust stain is indicative of something in the plaster that shouldn't be there, it needs to be removed and the plaster patched. As far as the areas that you describe as messy and uneven, it would be helpful if you could post some pictures. Plaster is not a glass-like finish, so it may be within "normal" tolerances. Rough spots can be smoothed out with diligent brushing. Plaster is rough when it first goes in and smooths out a lot after a couple of weeks of brushing while retaining a low PH.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 2:16PM
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Acid washing with pull rust right up like magic...most of the stuff coming from the rocks will pull off with acid as well. Divots can be spot repaired.

Need pictures....

Gonna be tough trying to get a pool would have to be obvious with pictures or your going to be pulling a truck by hand up hill with a rope.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 7:22PM
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Rust spot may be structural steel rebar that didn't have shotcrete/gunite applied over it properly.

Or,it could be an iron contaminant in the plaster.There is a local supplier of plaster that doesn't use magnets at his plant to pull out iron.

trowel marks are generally OK.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 9:13AM
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I'll include pictures below. Any additional input would be appreciated.

Here is a picture I took of the first spa step tonight. I partially drained the spa so I could get a better picture. Notice all of the pitting that dirt is already settling into? The pool was just plastered last Monday. No idea what that blue marking is.

Closeup picture of a tile on the spa step. Notice the pitting. Do they acid wash the extra plaster off of these tiles?

Picture of the rust stain as the pool was filling. I can't believe how quickly it started showing rust.

Picture of the stains my builder said was caused by rainwater hitting the stone:

I have multiple stains like this in the spa. These stains were there within 2 hours of the plastering being done and well before the rain. These stains feel rough to the touch, almost like acid etched the plaster away. The builder seems to think it was just water that came out of the spa jet plumbing. I'm not so sure...

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 8:58PM
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From the pictures - if that was my brand new pool - I'd be very unhappy to say the least.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 7:36AM
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I agree with flchad, I don't think that looks normal or tolerable -- especially if I were paying for it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 2:18PM
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It looks bad. The rust down on the bottom of the pool looks like it could be rebar showing through. They were suppose to "tape" the tile so that the plaster is not "on top" of it. Some of those other stains will come out with an acid wash.

I would worry most about the long rust stain at the bottom of the pool.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 2:46PM
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Looks like somebody was in a hurry on that plaster job. Bummer.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 12:29PM
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What a ride this process has been.

To update everyone, my pool is being refinished tomorrow. I'm going with a Sunstone Pearl finish this time so hopefully things will turn out better.

I originally paid for plaster but since I'm upgrading I'll be paying an additional $3000 for the Sunstone Pearl finish. The pool builder and the plaster company are splitting the $2000 that it costs to prepare for the new finish and what would have been the plaster.

Interesting to note the markup here. $2000 to refinish a 600+ square foot pool and spa in TX.

I'll post pictures of my entire build when things are finished.

Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:32PM
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Glad they're working with you. Did you get any explanation as to what happened? Also, what is causing the rust stain? I would make sure that is remedied before they simply replaster over it! Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 11:16AM
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The rust stain ended up being caused by a piece of thin metal wire in the gunite. I can't remember what it was used for but it wasn't a wire tie. It did have something to do with when they did the gunite.

It's all gone now. The pool builder and plaster company got into a disagreement over who caused it so the pool foreman chipped it out right on the spot.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:41PM
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Rack Etear

"The pool builder and plaster company got into a disagreement over who caused it so the pool foreman chipped it out right on the spot."

Thats crazy it takes 5 minutes to solve the problem. Is it even worth them discussion?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Okay - I need oppinions from those in the know and of course from anyone else that wants to chime in.

My pool was replastered, this time I went with a pebble type finish. Well, wouldn't you know it, I have several large streaks and blobs of mismatched plaster that is making the finish look like crap. They sent a diver out and he determined that it was mismatched dyes and nothing could be done except for a complete replaster.

Assuming they refinish the pool again I will have:

A plaster layer
A scratch coat layer
A pebble layer
Another scratch coat layer?
Another pebble layer?

Does that sound right? Can anyone comment on the longevitity?

Thanks for any input and when this is all over with I will post complete pictures of the entire project so everyone can learn from the things I've dealth with.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 7:35PM
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While it's unusual to plaster a pool 3 times, there are probably a lot of pools that have been remodeled and replastered a third time. There will be greater risk of bond coat failure because of the multiple coats. I would estimate that bond coat failure takes place less than 5% of the time.
I would suggest that you ask the PB to chip off all the old plaster before they re plaster for, hopefully, the last time. Chip-outs are very common and eliminate any future bonding issues. If your PB hired a sub-contractor to do the work then he can pressure them to do it. He should be in your corner on this. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Wondering how this replastering ended up. I wouldn't have been happy with the original job based on those pics.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:26PM
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Why would you dig up an almost 7 year old post.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:37PM
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