Daniel Yalacki, the owner of Malibu Pools and Concrete Restoration Systems LLC, has been rebuilding and renovating pools for 45 years and began when he was as young as 15 years old. The pool and spa featured in this article presented some interesting challenges that called upon all 45 years of experience and then some in order to rebuild this pool and spa.
This pool and spa were painted several times over the last few years with first white epoxy paint and then blue epoxy paint as you can see in the photographs. The trouble here is that when the pool and spa began showing signs of deterioration, staining and roughness, the owners decided to paint the pool and spa to cover up this damage.
The plaster in this pool and spa were already showing signs of failure as the plaster surface was rough, stained and falling apart. To cover up this soft, deteriorated surface with paint would only temporarily hide the damage and perhaps even help sell a distressed property. The issue is that the failing plaster will eventually fall off, taking whatever is attached to it– such as the epoxy – down as well.
To make matters worse, they used metal slag to blast off the layers of paint instead of grinding the paint off. The metal slag hit the paint and ripped it off along with the soft plaster below, leaving the plaster surface chewed up and distorted. This made it a real challenge to level the surface and make it structurally sound while also being smooth. The pool and spa were located at a resort just outside of Vail, Colorado, so we took every tool and patching system we had with us to face the challenge we knew we had ahead of us.
The pool and spa surface was very rough and we cannot patch over spots of paint with mortar, because it will not bond well when submerged in water. So, all of the paint had to go. When the slag hit the surface of a combination of paint and the underlying soft and deteriorated plaster, it caused a lot of damage. We needed to find the best way to get rid of the paint and level the plaster under the paint that was seriously deteriorated and distorted.
We found that a combination of 7” and 4 1/2” diamond cutter cups on a right angle grinder provided an excellent way to remove the paint but also removed the loose and deteriorated plaster below. Once the pool and spa were completely ground down, we basically just re-plastered the pool and spa with a submersible mortar and then sanded the mortar smooth with 40 grit sanding pads on palm sanders.
This worked great and provided the perfect solid and smooth substrate for re-surfacing. We can now install two applications of 100% Solid High Build Epoxy over the prepared surface, with 30 mesh silica sand broadcasted into the step area to prevent slipping, between the first and second applications.
This pool and spa were indoors so even though epoxies can yellow in the sun, placing epoxy on indoor pools and spas is okay! However, on outdoor pools and spas, I would recommend applying a polyurethane application for UV protection.
Below I have provided photographs depicting this process in sequence. This is the way to properly renovate a pool or spa.
Article Provide by Daniel L. Yalacki
Malibu Pools and Concrete Restoration Systems LLC
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