Vibrant Hues: Working with Pigmented Interior Finishes for Pools and Spas

Plasterer advice and an NPC technical bulletin on handling colored interior finishes.

Colored interior finish materials have come a long way.

In the past, working with the materials could prove challenging for plaster and pebble applicators, who would have to determine their own ratios to create colors. Several years ago, finish suppliers began including pre-mixed pigments with their materials. In addition, some plasterers say, more of the pigments themselves have become higher-quality in the last few years.

“I think you’ll see that the quality has improved because you’ve had some major companies that have bought into our industry, acquiring smaller pigment manufacturers,” says Greg Garrett, director of technical services for the National Plasterers Council and owner of Applied Materials Technology in Chandler, Ariz. “So I see that as a very positive move.”

Still, care must be taken, both during application of colored materials and in their long-term care to ensure that the colors remain intact. Following are some recommendations from plasterers, including information from a new technical bulletin released by the National Plasterers Council.

NPC’s Top 3

Recently, the National Plasterers Council has begun to increase its production of technical bulletins to provide the industry and the public with information regarding the installation and care of plaster, pebble and other pool/spa interior materials.

May saw the release of its most recent bulletin, which addresses colored finishes. “NPC Technical Bulletin #4: The Most Common Reasons for Loss of Color” contains what it has found to be the three greatest causes of color problems in pigmented cementitious interior finishes.

1. Calcium salt migration due to cement hydration (pigment masking)

The most frequent cause of color loss takes place during hydration, that period during which the wet mixture converts into a rigid material. Most of this occurs in the first four weeks after the material is mixed — 70% in the first seven days; 85% in 28 days. After that, hydration continues for years.

The pigments, however, are locked into place when the cement reaches final set, so it cannot move or disperse during the remainder of the hydration process. But calcium hydroxide, a type of salt and a byproduct of cement hydration, is free to migrate. When calcium hydroxide ions settle out, they can form a white crystalline deposit that masks the color of the finish.

According to the NPC, this is most likely to occur within the first three days after the pool is filled with water. This makes proper start-up crucial. Calcium hydroxide that migrates to the surface, or plaster dust, should be removed and filtered out within three to five days after filling. Otherwise, it may carbonate and stick to the finish, becoming difficult and expensive to remove.

2. Precipitation of minerals or metals (surface scaling)

When just about any material comes in frequent contact with water, NPC says, it becomes vulnerable to mineral scale and metal staining, which occurs when metals or minerals such as salt precipitate from the water. The white or light-colored film resulting from scale mutes or even masks the cement color. This can have a particularly adverse effect on blacks, which often become gray if covered with scale.

Metal precipitation, on the other hand, can stain the finish. Staining from copper and manganese can cause a blue, green or black tint, while iron creates reds, oranges or blacks.

To prevent this problem, the NPC advises testing the water for metals and hardness, and treating it to prevent high concentrations of metal and mineral salts.

Sequestering or chelating chemicals would provide another option. “However, once started, their continued usage becomes necessary as long as significant amounts of mineral or metal remain in the water, or precipitation of that mineral or metal is likely,” the bulletin says.

3. Dissolution of cement compounds (pigment loss)

Here, aggressive water chemistry leads to dissolving or leaching of certain material components, including the pigment.

Organic pigments are more susceptible to this problem, NPC states, because their smaller particle size makes it easier for them to be released from the plaster or cement binder. The color appears to fade, or white areas form. This can go as deep as ⅛ inch into the material, the organization says.

To protect the color, NPC advises the use of inorganic pigments. Once the pool is filled, chemical balance becomes crucial, it says, to prevent water from becoming aggressive. Conditions that contribute to this problem include low calcium hardness, low pH, low carbonate alkalinity, or any combination.

Application basics

From the applicator’s standpoint, the process of ensuring color longevity begins with the choice of the pigments.

Start with a reputable pigment producer. If you can, veer toward inorganic pigments, which are mostly metal-based. To get some of the vibrant blues or deepest blacks, some manufacturers may mix in small portions of organic pigments.

Consult with the manufacturer to make sure the product is compatible with all the components in your mix. “Talk to them and say, ‘I use calcium chloride with my pigments. Is that okay? I use polymers. I use pozzolans. Is there any negative?’” Garrett says.

Finally, the NPC recommends that plasterers verify that a product has a track record of at least two years.

When mixing the material, do it in a way that ensures the pigment will thoroughly mix and dissolve into the material. This can particularly become a problem with liquid pigments, which can be thicker in spots. If not dissolved completely, it can clump and form what applicators call “chocolate chips,” where you see small spots or streaks of darker color.

To avoid this problem, be sure to shake the bottle of liquid pigment so any solids or thicker portions mix thoroughly with the rest, says Alan Smith, president of Alan Smith Pools in Orange, Calif.

When creating the mix, Smith and his crews put the pigment in first, add a bag or two of sand,then run the mixer a bit to help grind up and dissolve the pigments. Then he adds cement and the rest of the aggregate.

During application, certain steps take on even more significance than normal. For instance, pozzolans become more important, as they will convert soluble calcium hydroxide into calcium silicate, helping to increase the material’s durability. “Colored finishes seem to show degradation much quicker,” Smith says. “So anything you can do on the colored finishes to help them [last]…”

When applying pigmented materials, he also tries to work in shaded or cloudy environments if possible. If direct sun hits certain areas of the pool, that area may hydrate a little differently, which could show in the color’s consistency and intensity.

When finished, fill the pool as quickly as possible to prevent shrinkage or check cracking. This should be done on any plaster job, but it takes on more importance with color, which can show cracking more.

Precise patches

Down the road, when trying to patch colored concrete, applicators need to show precision.

Though patch kits are available, they can’t account for the conditions of the original application — weather and time of day, amount of calcium chloride added, among others. In addition, it’s difficult to calculate and replicate exact proportions of the pigment and other materials when going from a 1,000-pound batch down to a 10-lb. bucket, says Shawn Still, president and owner of Olympic Pool Plastering in Norcross, Ga.

To get the closest match possible, his crews clean the area with a 25% acid solution before patching. “We want to get a small area near the patch as clean as possible — etch it a little bit and get down to the original color, to see where it’s at,” Still says.

They find out as much information as they can about the original application, including components such as calcium chloride, and their proportions. If possible, they learn the time of day and environmental conditions during original application.

Then, his most meticulous craftsman will fine-tune the color, adding small amounts at a time until it gets as close as possible to the original. Still calls it a recipe approach: If the material becomes too dark, his specialist will lighten it by adding cement; too light and he’ll add more pigment. “He mixes it, looks; mixes it, looks,” Still says. “So even though you’re comparing wet to dry, cured versus new, you’re still able to get a lot closer to it, so you’re not just blindly taking a pigment pack and throwing it in.”

Finally, he takes meticulous notes about the amounts he used to guide him moving forward.

Original Source: http://www.poolspanews.com/how-to/design-construction/vibrant-hues-working-with-pigmented-interior-finishes-for-pools-and-spas_o

Original Author: Rebecca Robledo

Original Date: May 9 2018

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National Pool Opening Day signals summertime swimming

(KGTV) – In San Diego, it always seems like swimming pool season, but on April 28, pool owners across the nation will officially remove their pool covers for National Pool Opening Day.

According to NationalDayCalendar.com, National Pool Opening Day is celebrated on the last Saturday in April every year. The special day is a time for pool owners to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming summer.

The day was placed on the National Day Calendar in 2016 after it was submitted for consideration by Arizona-based Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies.

On this day, owners do things such as clean their pools, test the water quality and make sure they have the right equipment and accessories to help maintain pool perfection through the summer months.

Click here for a checklist of things to look out for as you prepare your swimming pool.

Additionally, numerous swimming pool retailers across the country offer National Pool Opening Day deals for owners.

How Can Homeowners Preserve Their Pool’s Plaster When the Pool Is Not In Use?

You’ve gone to the great expense of building a pool in your backyard and now you must do your best to maintain it. Often the first signs of aging in a gunite pool occur in the pool plastering. This can slowly wear away over time, until it reaches a point that your pool may suffer cracks or chips that can eventually lead to leaking. To avoid this, your pool plaster needs to be inspected monthly. But there are other ways that you can protect your pool plaster too.

Consider Climate and Weather Conditions

First, you need to consider erosion of the pool plastering. Many people with pools live in mild climates where they can have a heated pool twelve month of the year. Other homeowners live in regions that suffer harsh winters. Weather and its elements are perhaps one of the main factors in wearing away at plaster. Wind, rain, and snow can all erode that plaster away.  Think about the climate where you live, the types of extreme weather, if your pool is used year-round, and other conditions that might affect the erosion of the pool plaster.

 

The next culprit could be animals. Dogs or cats can play around your pool. Wildlife may be your worst culprit though. Rodents and birds can peck away at that plaster, making a few minor cracks and chips much worse by the end of the season. One of the best ways to protect a pool in the cooler fall months that lead into winter and through into spring, is a pool cover or pool tarp.

Install Pool Cover For Protection

A pool cover completely covers the entire structure of a pool. This helps to ensure that when the pool is not in use that animals do not have access to the plaster.  You know when it’s time to install a pool cover for winter when you no longer swim in it.  If the pool is in season year-round you may use a roller cover that is less permanent but that can help keep animals at bay as well.

 

Another benefit of a pool tarp is that it helps you to avoid that winter maintenance where you must skim the debris from the pool, or vacuum it out if there is no water in it. It’s not fun having to clean the pool when there is snow or ice outdoors.

 

You want to purchase the best pool cover or tarp you can afford. Many people put a small layer of water on top of the cover. This is to prevent large ice buildups in the winter. You’ll also need to ensure your cover stays secure from wind, and check it at least every few weeks during those inclement winter months.

Inspect Your Pool Before Opening Day

Once spring arrives, you’ll want to remove your pool cover and clean your pool. This is the perfect time to inspect pool plaster. Should you see any damage, such as chips or cracks, this is the perfect time to fix and repair any damage. Get this done before you fill up the pool for summer, as the easiest time to fix the pool is when there is little or no water in it.  Fixing a few chips and cracks in the pool plastering now will prevent you from having to do major repairs by the end of the year.

 

Pool plaster repair can be an inexpensive way to fix minor issues that come along with the surface, but not if you wait too long.  Waiting to fix repairs can lead to the entire pools plaster surface needing to be resurfaced, which can is obviously a larger job than minor patches.

 

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com./residential.php.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.

 

Designing a Pool Oasis

Seeking to create a tropical oasis in her backyard, Gwelup homeowner Kristin Stevens enlisted The Concrete Building Company to establish a small plunge pool to relax in and around.

Ms Stevens was after a modest-sized pool to keep maintenance costs and efforts to a minimum.

“I have always enjoyed the water and wanted my own little place to relax in, so when I originally set the plan in motion to upgrade my home six years ago I decided it was a must-have item,” she said.

“I wanted tropical plants surrounding the pool for a real oasis feel. Due to the climate it was hard to achieve such a look, but I found a happy medium.”

Because the location of the pool was going to be close to the block’s boundary, its concrete shell went in prior to the home’s slab going down.

This meant it sat empty for a year before the team at The Concrete Building Company could return to complete the build.

The Concrete Building Company Sales and Marketing Director Helen McGowan said the team provided Ms Stevens with guidance on pool equipment choices and design to suit the space.

“The design of the pool was altered, with our suggestion to fit a bench seat with planters either side to make it a more decorative finish,” she said.

“The Concrete Pool Company did all the paving around the pool and property, as well as the stone cladding on the front of the property, so it was great to see the whole transformation from empty plot to completed house.”

The pool was rendered in Duraquartz plaster, with travertine headers and paving.

Avoiding The 3 Most Common Gunite Pool Problems

Spring is in the air!  Now is the time that Michigan pool owners start to consider the shape of their Gunite swimming pools.  Depending on the age of your pool it is possible that after a long winter the concrete surface of your families in-ground swimming pool may need to be re-plastered.   It might be time to call in the professional pool plaster contractors at Pound Pool Plastering if you find any of these common problems for older concrete swimming pools:

  1. Extreme Surface Roughness

Concrete pool surfaces can become rough after time.  It’s time to re-plaster your Gunite pool when you feel like you need to start wearing pool shoes when you swim.  Rough plaster can come about because of age, increased pH, delamination, small cracks, or even climate conditions.  Any of these can begin to create pits and calcium nodules.  If a homeowner is experiencing any of these symptoms it is important not to put off re-surfacing the pools surface.

  1. Cracks from The Structure

There are two types of cracks that can occur on Gunite; one signals normal wear and tear while the other can mean it is time to have a pool plaster repair consultation.  A basic surface crack is not anything to worry about however a structural crack, a crack in the concrete shell itself, need to be repaired immediately.  Sometimes a structural crack requires the pool to be engineered properly before repair.  The swimming pool needs to be modified to withstand unstable or expansive soil conditions.  Once the structural issues are contained then the pools plaster can be re-surfaced, and cracks repaired.

  1. Discoloration

Pool plaster is very porous and is stained without much difficulty.  This occurs due to a variety of reasons including: a water-tile line not being installed, pauses in the water as the pool is being filled, improperly troweled plaster, or imbalanced water chemistry.  To avoid some of these issues remember to test the chemical consistency weekly and adjust as needed, make sure a water-tile line is installed and that when the water is filling the pool that there is never a pause in filling.  There are some stains and discoloration that can be removed through acid washing but sooner or later it will return, and the pool will need to be re-plastered.

The most common type of pool material found in the backyards of Michigan homeowners is Gunite that is plastered over to create a smooth, highly durable surface.  Plaster pools easily can go fifteen to twenty years before needing to be re-plastered, especially when cared for carefully.  For more information on new Gunite pool installation, pool plaster repair, or re-plastering contact the professionals at Pound Pool Plastering today at 248.476.4544.

 

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Challenges in Plastering Gunite Swimming Pools

A Gunite swimming pool uses a rebar framework installed underground. It is then sprayed over with a concrete and sand mixture that renders it 100% waterproof. Often this method is preferred over your traditional poured concrete pool that has a wooden framework to hold the basin.

Gunite is generally chosen over concrete as it’s much more durable and built to last. However, Gunite won’t last forever. It can also be subject to shoddy installation that can cause cracks or chips, so there are challenges in plastering Gunite swimming pools. If your pool needs repairs, don’t attempt them yourself. Hire a fully qualified pool plastering company to tackle your pool issues.

Your pool’s interior finish is essential for not only the beauty of your pool but to keep the exterior from leaking moisture that can cause heavy damage to your home or garden if not detected early. Gunite is one of the best plaster coatings as it keeps water from penetrating the concrete or other building materials of your pool.

Pool plaster comes in many forms to fit the aesthetics of the pool owner. It can be pure white or different colors. It may have quartz or pebbles blended in or have tiled surfaces. It’s the plaster that makes your pool visually appealing and is the first thing people will notice about your pool. It can also affect the appearance of your water, by making it appear bluer, and even how the water can glisten in the sunlight.

You should have your pool inspected at least once a year by a pool plastering company. It’s important to do this before you open your pool for the summer. Even a well-maintained pool will eventually show signs of aging and degradation. It’s a normal part of the outdoor weathering process. Generally, the average lifespan of a Gunite pool is about 7 to 10 years. If your Gunite pool also has a quartz aggregate blend, your pool may have another five years of lifespan.

Plastering Gunite swimming pools needs to be applied in the proper manner. Often complications can arise only a few months later if it’s not done right. You may see some issues such as stains, streaks, pits, erosion, cracks, and more. Another challenge in plastering Gunite pools is that if it’s not done properly it can also cause improper pool-water chemistry. This may occur from the first point when a pool is filled after having Gunite plastering done.

There may also be external factors that can impact your Gunite swimming pool that have nothing to do with how it was installed. Foreign objects can enter the pool and cause rusty spots. Garden hoses, children’s toys, and garden tools can cause rust erosion. Algae can also take hold within chips and cracks.

If you’re seeking plastering Gunite swimming pool services, contact a fully qualified pool plastering company so it’s done right. The last thing you need is a damaged or cracked Gunite pool before you’ve even had a chance to hop in and enjoy a swim.

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at www.pound-pool-plastering.com.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.

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Inground Pool Costs and 4 Ways to Save

The cost of an inground pool doesn’t end with installation. Homeowners insurance, energy bills and property taxes might all be more expensive for a pool owner.
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Inground Pool Costs and 4 Ways to Save

Nothing beats a cool swimming pool on a hot summer day. Even better if it’s right outside your door. But is the convenience of an inground pool worth the cost?

The average price for an inground, residential swimming pool was about $40,060 nationally in 2016, Bil Kennedy, president of market research and consulting firm P.K. Data in Alpharetta, Georgia, said via email. Of course, building a backyard oasis could cost even more, or a lot less, depending on where you live, the size and type of pool, and how you maintain it.

Here’s what’s behind inground pool costs and some tips for keeping those costs under control.

Cost to install an inground pool

Inground pool costs vary depending on how complex design choices are, says Tom Casey, vice president of sales at Anthony & Sylvan Pools, based in the Philadelphia area. But other factors have an impact as well, such as:

Location. The cost of living in your city affects labor and material prices. Building an inground pool in a dense, high-cost metropolitan area is typically more expensive than doing so in a suburban or rural area.

Pool site. Does your yard have room for excavating equipment? Is the area flat or will it have to be leveled? Is the soil sandy or rocky? Soil issues and limited access can easily increase the cost of a pool, Bart Jacobs, owner of La Jolla Pools in San Diego, said via email.

Soil issues and limited access can easily increase the cost of a pool.

Size. Large pools require more labor and materials than small inground pools. The same goes for deep vs. shallow pools.

Pool Type. Vinyl-lined, fiberglass, concrete and gunite — a type of concrete —  pools often have different installation and maintenance costs.

Shape and features. Custom shapes, and special features like a hot tub or diving board, can add thousands of dollars to the pool’s price tag and installation cost, depending on the type.

Permits. Like other permanent home additions, inground pools require a permit from the local building authority. You may also have to pay an inspector to locate potential sewer or utility lines before digging.

Deck. Inground pools must be surrounded by a concrete sidewalk, or deck. The more elaborate your deck, the more it costs.

Fencing. A pool fence is an expense people tend to overlook when budgeting for a pool, though most local laws require one for safety, Mat Jobe, founder of PoolPricer.com, said via email. A swimming pool fence can cost up to $19 per linear foot while gates cost around $300, according to Home Advisor.

Cost to own an inground pool

Did your wallet just do a belly flop? Well, grab a floaty, because those are just installation costs. Once the pool is built, you’ll pay ongoing costs such as:

Insurance. Insurers call pools an “attractive nuisance,” which means they’re desirable but dangerous. Because a pool increases the chance of someone getting hurt on your property, it will also increase the price of your homeowners insurance.

Because a pool increases the chance of someone getting hurt on your property, it will also increase the price of your homeowners insurance.

Taxes. Inground pools sometimes bump up property value; when it goes up, property taxes tend to follow suit.

Maintenance. After installation, someone will need to clean the pool, balance chemicals and make repairs. Do-it-yourself maintenance can cost around $250 a month during the swimming season, while hiring a professional can cost around $500 per month, according to Fixr, a site that publishes cost and hiring advice for home remodeling projects.

Utilities. “The average customer may spend $30 to $50 a month on their electric bill to operate a pool,” Casey says. Add a heater, spa or waterfall and energy costs may climb even higher.

How to plan your inground pool installation

Determine the goal. When considering a pool, set your sights on comfort and convenience, not resale value. Although an inground pool can enhance property value, especially in warmer climates or neighborhoods where everyone has one, that’s usually outweighed by the cost of upkeep. A pool may actually decrease a home’s value in the eyes of buyers who don’t want the extra responsibility.

» MORE: 4 home improvement projects that don’t pay

Set a budget. “A good approach is to figure your pool installation budget as some percentage of your home’s value — perhaps 10% to 20% for a standard-sized pool,” Jobe says. “You want to be able to make your pool payments without settling for something that detracts from your property.”

Do your homework. Inground pools are a major construction project involving excavation, cement work, plumbing, electrical wiring and more. Get estimates from at least three experienced swimming pool installation contractors and verify:

  • Quality of past work: Ask about previous projects that were similar to yours, including any issues that arose and final cost
  • Reviews and references: Read reviews and ask the contractor to supply references
  • License, bond, insurance and warranty: Contractors, and any subcontractors they use, should have adequate insurance and guarantee their work. Your local building department or state consumer protection agency can help you investigate.

Tips for reducing the cost of an inground pool

When researching contractors and shopping design options, the following tips will help keep costs in check:

  1. Choose a simple deck: You might envision a gorgeous mosaic of paving stones that wraps around the pool and leads to your back door, but that will cost you. Save money by choosing a basic concrete deck now and adding the fancy patio later.
  2. Avoid the deep end: “Smaller pools are all the rage these days, not only because they save space but because they’re cheaper to install and maintain,” Jobe says. “Keeping the dimensions as modest as possible will save you a lot of money.”
  3. Skip the bells and whistles: Water features, spas, slides and color-changing lights are in vogue, but tend to ratchet up the price.
  4. Do the upkeep yourself: Pool drains, filters and skim baskets should be cleaned once a week. Checking the pool’s chemistry — water pH and chlorine levels — is also a weekly chore. For big savings, DIY these tasks instead of hiring a maintenance crew.

Original Source: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/inground-pool-cost/

Original Date: December 15, 2017

Pool Remodeling Ideas That Will Impress

Giving your pool that much-needed facelift has never been easy. Not only have swimming pool finishes undergone a massive remodel in recent years, modern pools have given new meaning to alfresco dining and a view to “die for.” Drab-looking pools are a thing of the past, and a swimming pool is not complete without the following embellishments:

Pool Plasters

The choices of residential pool plastering are now offering homeowner modern, reliable and beautiful swimming pool finish options that would put the standard white plaster to shame. While it has been around for as long as people have been building swimming pools and it arguably remains a popular and cost-effective choice, it is, however, susceptible to all weather conditions, especially for those of improperly maintained or fluctuating chemical conditions and will dissipate in appearances after a few years.

New generation aggregate pool finishes such as diamond Brite come in an array of colors and textures such as Aqua, Onyx, Pearl, Blue, Mohave, etc. that blend well with the environment to give any pool a luxurious surface that is resistant to chemicals and staining. The flex and colors of polished aggregates such as granite and quartz will give your pool a consistent, even luster that is durable and both etch and stain resistant. This type of finish also improves bonding and creates a smooth non-skid surface with less water penetration.

Options For Commercial Pools

Commercial pool plasters also offer tile band and coping finish options for areas on the top edge of the swimming pool with the most popular being pavers, tiles, natural stones like travertine and granite. Depending on personal preference, mosaic or ceramic tile band will add color, texture, and class to a pool and protect the waterline from fading and staining from the constant exposure to the sun and outside elements.

A pool is not complete without a finished pool deck, which can be achieved with different variations of ornate tiling patterns such as Mediterranean motifs, French patterns, or classical bonds. Glass tiles have been gaining popularity due to their aesthetics and resilience qualities. Not only do they not erode or stain, but glass tiles are non-porous and are resistant to moisture.

Adding Your Landscaping To Surround Your Pool

Having a water feature does add a touch of elegance and ambiance to your swimming pool area. Depending on what you have in mind, your pool and the surrounding landscape should have a luxurious air about it where you and your loved ones can enjoy and relax in. A great way to achieve this is by making use of flowers and foliage to create a variety looks and while at it, bring a little color, add texture and if needed, create privacy.

Bamboo trees and palm trees are ideal for creating natural enclosures and for providing shade. Using ornamental flowering plants, grasses or cactuses can really transform a poolside into an oasis. Adding Downlights under miniature spillways will bring a soothing and spa-like atmosphere to your pool for those nights when you have friends over.

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at www.pound-pool-plastering.com.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.

 

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How Can Homeowners Preserve Their Pool’s Plaster When the Pool Is Not In Use?

You’ve gone to the great expense of building a pool in your backyard and now you must do your best to maintain it. Often the first signs of aging in a gunite pool occur in the pool plastering. This can slowly wear away over time, until it reaches a point that your pool may suffer cracks or chips that can eventually lead to leaking. To avoid this, your pool plaster needs to be inspected monthly. But there are other ways that you can protect your pool plaster too.

Consider Climate and Weather Conditions

First, you need to consider erosion of the pool plastering. Many people with pools live in mild climates where they can have a heated pool twelve month of the year. Other homeowners live in regions that suffer harsh winters. Weather and its elements are perhaps one of the main factors in wearing away at plaster. Wind, rain, and snow can all erode that plaster away.  Think about the climate where you live, the types of extreme weather, if your pool is used year-round, and other conditions that might affect the erosion of the pool plaster.

 

The next culprit could be animals. Dogs or cats can play around your pool. Wildlife may be your worst culprit though. Rodents and birds can peck away at that plaster, making a few minor cracks and chips much worse by the end of the season. One of the best ways to protect a pool in the cooler fall months that lead into winter and through into spring, is a pool cover or pool tarp.

Install Pool Cover For Protection

A pool cover completely covers the entire structure of a pool. This helps to ensure that when the pool is not in use that animals do not have access to the plaster.  You know when it’s time to install a pool cover for winter when you no longer swim in it.  If the pool is in season year-round you may use a roller cover that is less permanent but that can help keep animals at bay as well.

 

Another benefit of a pool tarp is that it helps you to avoid that winter maintenance where you must skim the debris from the pool, or vacuum it out if there is no water in it. It’s not fun having to clean the pool when there is snow or ice outdoors.

 

You want to purchase the best pool cover or tarp you can afford. Many people put a small layer of water on top of the cover. This is to prevent large ice buildups in the winter. You’ll also need to ensure your cover stays secure from wind, and check it at least every few weeks during those inclement winter months.

Inspect Your Pool Before Opening Day

Once spring arrives, you’ll want to remove your pool cover and clean your pool. This is the perfect time to inspect pool plaster. Should you see any damage, such as chips or cracks, this is the perfect time to fix and repair any damage. Get this done before you fill up the pool for summer, as the easiest time to fix the pool is when there is little or no water in it.  Fixing a few chips and cracks in the pool plastering now will prevent you from having to do major repairs by the end of the year.

 

Pool plaster repair can be an inexpensive way to fix minor issues that come along with the surface, but not if you wait too long.  Waiting to fix repairs can lead to the entire pools plaster surface needing to be resurfaced, which can is obviously a larger job than minor patches.

 

Learn more about Pound Pool Plastering and their numerous pool plastering options including: pool resurfacing, plaster surfacing, commercial pool plaster, residential pool plaster, plastering swimming pools, tiling swimming pools, coping swimming pools, and more at http://www.pound-pool-plastering.com./residential.php.  To contact our pool plastering specialists call 248.476.4544 today.

 

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Survey Reveals Shifting Preferences in Pool Chemicals and Sanitation Systems Maintenance

As professionals navigate an expanding market with more products, our survey finds out which methods are gaining widespread use and which are nearly obsolete.

The way we sanitize pools has become, in a word, sophisticated.

With so many chemical solutions and sanitation systems on the market, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to gauge which methods are gaining traction and which are slouching toward obscurity.

PSN conducted a wide-ranging survey to determine which among the myriad hardware products — salt chlorine generators, ultraviolet systems, ozone, advanced oxidation processes (AOP) — were gaining steam. We also wanted to learn how dealers navigate an increasingly complex market, not only competing against the internet, but also other dealers setting up shop down the street.

The results bring clarity to a somewhat chaotic field — further muddied by an abundance of sales channels and shifting consumer attitudes — so you can operate your business more profitably.

CHEMICAL IMBALANCE

The days when chemical brands guaranteed dealers an exclusive sales territory have, by and large, gone the way of the phone booth.

Chemical Survey Charts

These charts illustrate what’s trending in chemical and sanitation systems. Results came from an online survey of pool and spa industry professionals, representing builders, retailers and service technicians, throughout the U.S. and Canada.

 

That’s still a source of frustration among 45% of respondents, who would like to be the only dealer on the block. E-commerce competition represents another sore spot. Nearly 60% would like more support from manufacturers in curbing online sales at lower prices.

The encroachment of internet competition has become so fierce that 30% of respondents say that providing exclusive, in-store products was the No. 1 factor that would determine their loyalty to a brand. This far surpassed an exclusive dealership territory and dealer rewards programs.

Despite these obstacles, the majority of dealers — nearly 75% — say they stand by their brands.

Debbi Leclerc is one of them. She’s been committed to her supplier for more than 20 years. “There’s a family culture that’s very comfortable to work with, even though you’re dealing with a corporation,” says Leclerc, co-owner of the Pool Doctor of Rhode Island, in Coventry, R.I.

She recalls investing $15,000 into her first inventory. That amount has increased incrementally over the years as her business steadily grew. Had it not been for her supplier’s ongoing support, in terms of technical training and marketing, she says, “we wouldn’t be at the level we’re at.”

For her part, Leclerc isn’t as concerned about internet pricing and dealers encroaching on her turf. She commends her supplier for enforcing minimum advertised prices online, and says the vendor is cautious not to create competition too geographically close to her business.

“Because of the relationship we have with [them], they wouldn’t open anyone right down the street,” Leclerc says. “And if there was interest in an area, they’ll talk to me and ask ‘How is that going to impact your business?’”

THE LOYALTY PARADOX

The perception that consumers care about nothing but cost is challenged by this statistic: Respondents say that nearly 60% of customers buy products that have earned their trust.

That means customers are nearly as loyal to chemical brands as the dealers who sell them.

This points out something of a paradox: Helping foster this loyalty among consumers, ironically, is the very thing that keeps retailers up at night — the internet and big-box operations that offer lower-grade products at bargain-basement prices.

That’s been Ralph Hartsing’s experience. The store manager at B&L Pool Supplies in Phoenix says customers often come to him for advice after being burned by low-cost, low-quality products. He’ll gladly put his copper-based algaecide up against any similar product sold by a competing department store. His preferred brand contains 7% copper and sells for $19.99. Compare that to the generic brand, which contains only 2%. Though Brand X is cheaper, the customer isn’t saving any money at the end of the day.

“You’d have to spend $46.62 on their product to equal what we have,” Hartsing says.

Customers also complain about cheap chlorine tablets that leave film of scum on their waterlines — the result of sub-quality tablets that use animal fat instead of borax as a binding agent. It’s a not-too rare occurrence that has homeowners running to their nearest pool store for professional advice. Hartsing is happy to turn them on to a superior product that only his store can sell.

“Pool stores live and die by the quality of their products,” he says, “but big box stores live and die by price.”

SPECIALISTS AND ALTERNATIVES

There’s something to be said of the dizzying number of water-treatment products on the market.

As far as dealers are concerned, the more the merrier, so long as they work. According to the survey, most of these products — stain removers, conditioners, scale control, enzymes, etc. — perform as advertised, which helps solve perplexing pool problems and adds to dealers’ bottom lines.

Nearly 86% of respondents say sales in this category are up.

Algaecides, water conditioners and stain removers particularly fared well, with 85%, 84% and 75% or respondents, respectively, saying they sell or use these products.

In the ever-expanding category of secondary sanitation systems, it seems there is only one that has truly become mainstream.

No surprise here: Salt chlorine generators lead the pack among UV, ozone and AOP. Sixty-four percent of respondents say sales of salt-gen systems have increased over the past three years.

According to the survey, three top reasons explain this upward trend: Customers request them; dealers urge homeowners to buy them; and many builders include them as part of their new-pool packages.

However, the technology has its detractors. Almost 19% of respondents discourage consumers from purchasing the product.

Hartsing sells quite a few of the units, but acknowledges that salt isn’t for everyone. He equates investing in a salt-chlorine generator to belonging to a golf or tennis club: It’s only something you’d do if you plan to participate in that activity every day.

“If you’re not swimming a lot, you’re not going to get the enjoyment out of it to make it worth the investment,” he says.

Plus, there is the added cost of replacing the salt cells, which is a deal breaker for some.

As more and more salt-gen systems are installed, other methodologies are losing market share. Most respondents say sales for in- and off-line chlorination systems are down.

Likewise, more than half the respondents say that sales of UV, ozone and AOP systems for residential pools have decreased over the past three years. Some chalk this up to cost, saying the units are still too pricey for many homeowners. Others say the technology is overkill for small backyard pools, as the units were initially designed for commercial pools to meet strict health codes and kill bacteria amid high bather loads.

From where Bill Kent stands, salt-gen has come to dominate the market so much that other secondary sanitation systems do not stand much of a chance. The CEO of Team Horner, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based pool supply distributor, hasn’t seen the UV, ozone or AOP technologies make inroads into the residential market. That isn’t to say these systems have no buyers.

“There are high-end, niche people who buy things just because they like the idea,” Kent says, “but it’s not a necessity for sure.”

As Leclerc puts it: “When it comes to ozone and UV, people say if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Original Source: http://www.poolspanews.com/how-to/maintenance/survey-reveals-shifting-preferences-in-pool-chemicals-and-sanitation-systems_o