Pool restoration pt6

continued from Pool restoration pt5

Where do I begin?

I picked up the mixer and was lucky enough to have my friend Kyle come by to help the first day
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He helped to figure it all out and with the scratch-coat. Basically the scratch coat is a thin and rough cement mix that adheres to the existing cement/plaster and created some more absorbant texture for the new plaster to bont to.

We started with mixing the measured water and SC powder in the new mixer, but it was pretty lumpy so I set up a drill-mixer as well
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The SC is a pretty thin consistancy and I read some where rollers were the best way to apply, so thats what we did; set up a tray and got a pair of rollers;
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Tiring, thankless work, but I was glad for the extra hands,
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The two bags just barely covered it all, and took most of the day
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Pretty dirty work, or so I thought, until I got to the next step…
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The next day was another solid one, and time to begin the cement for real. I took what we’d figured out about mixing cement, but just me this time. deep breath, ok go.

Set up to mix the first bag near where the pile of bags was, using a bucked to support the 80lb bag while i fed it into the mixer, and preparing to split the mixed cement into the two buckets for ease of carrying…
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but quickly realized the problems with carrying mixed cement all the way to the shallow end. I also noticed how much of a problem any spillage would be there, so after that batch I moved my mixing station to the other side
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Had to start somewhere, so I picked a spot in the shade, and in the deep end. That way it might not have problems drying too fast and I could get the harder parts done first.

This was the first batch troweled up
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I troweled with a 1/2in notched trowel to try and ensure that I had thick/even coverage.
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One bag didn’t go very far, and took about an hour… one down 44 to go
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Basically I’d do a first coat with the notched side, then let it set a bit while I did the next batch,
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When the rough trowled sets up, I’d smooth trowel another layer over top… spraying the other parts to slow the drying process… here are two more batches
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I even got a couple work-lights to let me work into part of the night,
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and I thought I was dirty before
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Even with gloves I managed to wear the skin off my finger, beware of little bits of quartz getting inside gloves, the lye from the cement might not help either…
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Overall, not a bad start for Day 1, I wish it’d have been possible to do it all in one day, but it just was not.
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The next day went much the same, more batches, applied, more area covered
As it dried and I rinsed/scrubbed away what was on the tile, and tht left some streaking in the dry cement, but it tended to vanish when it was wet, so I didn’t worry
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The instructions from SGM about the Diamond brite had a detailed section about exposing the sgregate while it was wet, but since I didn’t have the time/skill to backtrack I opted not to worry about it and just plan to use the acid exposure process instead, and hope that helped with the tile cleaning and streaking as well…

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Getting edges to match presented some challenge, but that was just further reason to go as quickly as I could

I knew it’d be a risk, with it drying as I work, but still scary to see small cracks hit, I found around 5 like this, around a couple inches in length. I could stress and obsessively fix each one as I go, but then I’d never finish. The plan had to be to just fix them all when I was done with the rest of the main application .
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By the end of the second day I’d gotten the deep end’s walls done;
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I also felt like I was getting the hang of the application;
http://instagram.com/p/sF67GePfSq/

This was the most tired I can remember ever being. Fuel…
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Hands swollen and sore. Wearing the skin off my hands and arm where it rubs the bucket when I scooped. Mental note – make an armband.
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This became my 2nd skin, doubled up work gloves with vinyl kitchen gloves and a cut-off sock arm band;
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More progress;
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I almost stopped there but I was determined to do as much as I could. I had stayed home from work, using up a vacation day on my birthday, so I HAD to do as much as I could, so with the work lights out again I managed to finish the stairs;

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The following weekend and just the floor remaining, this all seemed well within reason;
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A lot more surface area to cover, but not having to sling it against the wall I could cover more faster;
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I never did make spiked shoes, but I found that by setting sponges strategically I would have places to step
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You can see that I’ve also been chiseling out the cracks a bit too

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The last night’s work, filling the last corner of the floor.
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Touchups and covering up any thin spots, by this point I was in my socks, hopping from sponge to sponge
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The last day!
I started with a full acid wash;
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The cement was looking good at this point, and I was feeling pretty good abput it again, but it revealed a couple more thin spots,
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So I chiseled them down to make sure the patches would stick, I also took a wirebrush on an angle grinder to some of the rough patches.
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While I was doing that the guys came by and installed my new filter grids, timers, and pump. One of the few things I wasn’t sure I could do myself.

Just the last patches to do here;
Just finished the last of the patching, plastering and acid washing, by bradisdrab, on Flickr

Six solid days, thirty-two batches, over a TON; (2500lbs) of cement mixed and plastered by hand.
I did the last patches then had to walk away. It has to be done eventually and knew I could keep chipping out bits, looking for cracks, tapping to find hollow spots and just drive myself crazy.
It took me a few days to talk myself into calling it finished.

I started the water on thur night, Fri morning it was still going;
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Friday night;
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And filled!
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We got our first swim in on Labor day!
After all that work, its pretty amazing to finally go for a swim. by bradisdrab, on Flickr
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Filter running now, and I’m just learning how to ballance the chemistry, still some things to do, like sealing the expansion joints around the coping, but its close enough to call it done!
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And we had the retaining wall put in as well, I think the stone ended up matching the tile pretty well after all;
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Thank you all for reading along and encouraging my progress!

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About brad isdrab

Artist and world maker View all posts by brad isdrab

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