I haven’t posted recently on Project #6. The work there is done…well, for this year anyway, and I’d like to show you one of the last steps to completing this project.
Plastering The Pool
This was a special day – certainly for the homeowner, but for all of us involved with the project. No matter how many pools you’ve seen installed, the day they do the pool plaster is just…well, special.
The pool construction process can be a lengthy one, especially when custom features are involved such as waterfalls, slide and raised spa. Throw in some rainy weather, muddy conditions and difficult access and, let’s just say this pool didn’t get “banged out”.
The pool plaster crew arrived early in the morning with clouds overhead. The decision was made to “go for it”. Rain delays already disrupted this project too many times.
The crew was a good 2 hours into the operation when my phone rang; it was the pool contractor Barry Marson. He was about 5 miles west of us and was driving into rain. He suggested the plaster crew set up the tarps. We were lucky to get the warning. Within a half hour it started coming down, but the crew continued to work under the tarps.
Sounds funny, right? But that is the case when the plaster work is being done. The pool plaster is mixed on a truck and then pumped through a hose onto the gunite (concrete) surface. The crew guys are amazing to watch as they trowel the slurry to a smooth surface.
The new plaster is troweled over several times as it is drying. This process is critical and rain would wreak havoc with unacceptable results.
Fortunately the rain eventually stopped and the tarp could be removed.
Did you ever wonder how they worked in the pool with wet plaster all around them? Check out whats on their feet. They’re wearing metal plates with spikes which let them walk around with little disturbance to the plaster. In the end they literally trowel their way out to leave a perfect finish.
Barry Marson arrived later on to oversee the last steps of the plastering process. Below you see one of the “mini-pools” to the waterfall feature being troweled off. We like the idea that you can interact with the feature and actually go into these “mini-pools”. Therefore, we finish them with the same details as the main pool.As soon as the crew is finished they begin to fill the pool with water. That’s right. The pool plaster has “set” and now must be covered with water asap so that it can go through a further curing process. Multiple hoses are fed into the skimmer boxes so that the water enters the pool from the bottom main drain.
Once the water rises to cover a large enough area, water can be shot into the pool directly as long as it hits the reservoir already in the pool. This insures that the uncured plaster is not affected by the force of the hose water.
So you see, the plaster work is a monumental step. In a relatively short period of time (24 – 48 hrs.), the unfinished, bare concrete pool gets this beautiful plaster surface and is filled with water.
It’s the same sort of effect with sod on a new landscape. You work sometimes for weeks grading, building, planting – but on the day you roll out the sod…wow, now you’re getting somewhere.