Pool plaster or concrete repair need not be a job that you have to outsource to some handyman, if the scale of damage is small. Small cracks and patches can be easily repaired by anybody, with the patience that is required to undertake such jobs.
It is an integral part of swimming pool maintenance. Old ones are prone to cracks and damage. This is because water has a way of weathering every surface, that it comes in contact, for a long time. Old plastered pool surfaces are prone to damage due to this relentless weathering, caused by water exposure.
When the pool gets damaged like this, the debris can dissolve in water over time and create health problems. Over time, a small patch may widen, if not fixed in time and necessitate a complete re-plastering of the pool insides. Hence, it is a good practice to go for repair, as soon as possible.
Pool plaster problems can be taken care of, by some good old masonry work. This job is quite time-consuming and might take up a whole day. So, plan the repair job on a weekend.
Things You Will Need
Before we begin, let me list out the tools you'll need, to get the job done. The list is quite long and you may have to shop around a lot, in the hardware store before you start. Here are the things you'll need:
- Stainless steel trowel
- Plaster mix
- Power mixer along with paddle
- Notched trowel
- Acrylic bonder
- Angle grinder
- Grinding disc
- Pump sprayer
- Soda ash
- Acid wash
- Acid brush
- Big bucket
- Extendable ladder
- Putty knife
That is quite an exhaustive list, but then you will have to buy it all only once. Repair kits are also available, which provide you with most of the materials, that are required for the job, besides tools.
Repair Patch Clearing and Preparation
Before you begin, you must drain out the whole pool. That will make the repair easier and prevent any hazards, caused by electrical tools. The main challenge is to patch up the damaged plaster and make it blend with the old one.
The first part is cleaning up the repair patch and preparing it for repair. Using the age-old masonry tools, which are hammer and chisel, clear out all the loose plaster material that is hanging around and inside the damaged patch. Scrape off any part that is hard stuck, using a putty knife.
Bevel in the area encircling the repair patch, using the disc and angle grinder and make sure that you go about ¼ inch deep. You could do the same using a hammer and chisel, around the repair patch and create a depression, which is ¼ inch deep. Also, make sure that you clear out the plaster.
Next, you must subject the whole repair patch to a thorough acid wash, using a pump sprayer. Clean it out with an acid brush. Then, spread soda ash in the area to neutralize the acid wash remnants. Make sure that all the acid has been cleared out by the soda ash and wash it all with water.
Patching with Plaster
After you have prepared the damaged area for patching, you can begin mixing the pool plaster, in a big bucket. Make sure that the color matches with the surrounding old plaster.
Start filling in the prepared patch, with finished plaster mix. Using a notched trowel, spread the plaster evenly inside and around edges of the patch. Use a stainless steel trowel to finely finish the patch-up job. Leave the patch to dry out for some hours.
Then, use the grinding disc again, to even out the whole area and match its finishing, with the plaster around. You could alternatively use a diamond polishing pad to do the job. With that, your job is done. After the whole patch has sufficiently dried out, you can clear out all the debris and fill the water back.
So, these were some simple and straightforward repair instructions, which you can follow, to fix your damaged swimming pool walls. After all, it's summer and you are going to need your pool, more than ever.