I deleted the other answers here as none were by contractors that do this for a living and were full of misinformation. Having done this for 36 years and 15,000 resurfaces with zero bond failures has me thoroughly convinced I am doing this the best way possible. Out here in the west most contractors chip, strip, jackhammer the old plaster from the gunite shell. Unfortunately this seems to do a lot of damage and compromises the integrity of the shell. Having seen many pools that were structurally sound for 20,30,40 years, after being stripped they cracked within 1-2 years. Pools are built like retaining walls designed to hold the dirt back. Separating the plaster from the gunite typically means breaking the gunite to get the plaster off thereby weakening the shell. I have seen many pools that this method actually exposed the rebar in the gunite. This is completely unneccessary. The plaster is usually not shot all the way through but only the top 10-25% is deteriorated. This soft top layer can be scraped or shaved off with air scrapers thereby doing no damage to the gunite itself. The plaster underneath is as hard as the day it was applied. Follow the scraping with a min. 4000 psi pressure washer and then shoot on a polymer cement bond coat. It can also be rolled on but shooting gives a much rougher surface for a better bond to the new plaster. Exposed aggregate surfaces wash off the protective cream coat to expose the aggregate and have a shorter useful life. Try to find a contractor that uses a cement specifically designed for pools which means it will probably be an American made product with polymer and pozzolan additives which densify the matrix of the plaster and are much more resistant to chemical attack. Marble sand was the aggregate of choice for many years but many mineral suppliers substituted limestone sand over 20 years ago. Marble is 100 times harder than limestone. Ask your contractor what type of cement and sand they use and where it comes from. Beware of cement from Asian countries as it is substandard and fails rapidly. Do not assume that all plaster is created equal because it is NOT. Painting is not a long term solution and is used mostly by house flippers to conceal plaster that needs to be replaced. There are no fiberglassers left out here as that proved to be a misapplication of a material to a purpose. IT seems that good old plaster has withstood the test of time and remains the surface of choice of most pool owners. Pebble surfaces are rarely done a second time by the original owner as they are quite rough and not very user friendly. Quartz or silica based surfaces can be subject to ASR or alkali silica reactivity. Do your own research and protect your investment. Come from a position of knowledge when interviewing contractors. Keep in mind that better products and methodology cost more initially but provide many more years of service life making them significantly more cost effective.
How to resurface a gunite (or concrete) pool with fiberglass is explained in "Pool Resurfacing Made Easy" written in 1999 by Bill Nash, CEO of UGlassIt Pool Resurfacing, Inc. It can be ordered online at uglassit.com/order_book.htm. The company provides all the material and supplies necessary for the resurfacing of all kinds of swimming pools, plus telephone help is available 7 days weekly.
No. An older (possibly better) type of Fiberglass pool was constructed in this manner, with a concrete/Gunnite/Marcite trowled bottom and Fiberglass panels at the side of the pool. Panels are caulked together along vertical joints. Actually not a bad deal, but caulked joints must be maintained. Once the concrete starts showing through at the bottom of the pool, its time to drain and resurface. Bottom of pool should be acid washed every 3-5 years to keep it sparkling and remove mold, mildew, stains. If bottom surface is chipping off, its getting close to time to resurface bottom of pool. Bottom is treated just like any concrete/gunite/Marcite pool surface. Sides are simply brushed, caulked in timely manner.
The gunite pool is basically what most people refer to as the in-ground concrete pool. Because this pool will shape to the contours of your yard, it is a great choice for those who want something more unique than the typical vinyl lined pools. The tile on the gunite pool can be cleaned with household tile cleaner when you are doing your deep cleaning of your pool. This requires that the pool be drained and rinsed thoroughly.
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