Most pool plaster finishes last up to 10 years, but that’s not a guarantee. Obviously, you want to ensure you plaster lasts as long as possible.
However, improper maintenance often causes discoloration and damage well before 10 years. You’re left either trying to patch the damage or completely refinishing your pool.
Save time and money by maintaining the plaster in your pool. The good news is these are maintenance steps that should be part of your regular routine versus adding in extra work.
New Pool Plaster Maintenance
If you’ve just gotten a new pool or had your pool re-plastered, you’ll have to spend a little extra time on care for the first week. Some companies will actually include this maintenance as part of their package, but if not, you’ll need to do it yourself.
As the plaster encounters your pool chemicals for the first time, it can be more susceptible to buildup. Brushing the plaster with a nylon brush one to two times per day for the two weeks helps strengthen the plaster. This aids in the curing process and removes loose plaster dust.
You only need to brush your pool this often when you have new plaster. After all, you probably don’t want to brush your pool twice a day every day.
Maintain Pool Chemistry
This is the single most important part of making your pool plaster last longer. An imbalance can cause staining, erosion and cracks. Please note that some fine cracks do appear naturally over time as the plaster shrinks.
Proper pool chemistry is vital to having clean, safe water. It also helps your plaster last longer. For example, if your pH drops below 7.0, your water may start to erode the plaster. If your pH level is too high, you’ll notice more staining and scale buildup.
For new plaster, you should test the water daily as the plaster is much more susceptible to chemistry changes. After the initial few weeks have passed, check the pool chemistry at least once per week, but a few times per week is better.
Brush The Plaster
Even after the new has worn off, you still have to clean your pool plaster regularly. Over time, deposits and films build up on the surface of the plaster. These lead to stains.
While stains might not sound that bad, stains make your pool look nasty. Plus, they also become a breeding ground for bacteria and algae.
Another problem is stains are difficult to remove. Severe stains may require acid washing. When done too often, this erodes your plaster, drastically shortening its lifespan.
Regular brushing prevents all of this. It breaks up the beginnings of any buildup and helps your plaster stay smoother and safer. You should brush your pool at least once per week or after any major use or storms.
Handling Minor Damage
From problems with the initial plaster mixture and installation to general wear and tear, you’ll likely need to deal with minor damage over time. If larger cracks or holes are left untreated, the rest of your plaster will erode faster. Plus, this leaves rough spots that can scratch your skin.
You can buy plaster repair kits to repair different types of damage. Pay close attention to the type of kit you buy. Some require you to remove all remaining plaster in that spot to reach the original pool wall. While this will give you a stronger overall bond, it’s a much more time consuming process.
Other kits bond directly to the remaining plaster. While the repair won’t last quite as long, it is easier to do if you’re doing it yourself.
Acid washing provides the ultimate clean, but it’s also hard on your plaster. Usually, you should only do this every three years at most, though if you can wait five years, that’s even better. Also do a light wash to avoid damaging the plaster.
This process removes stubborn buildup, especially crystallization that can scratch or cut your skin. By using regular brushing on a weekly basis, you won’t need to acid wash your pool more than recommended.
Want to make your pool plaster last longer? Bring in the pool professionals at Koko Head Pool Service to help clean and maintain your pool for clean, safe water and longer-lasting plaster.