Surface Failures---"Spot Etching"

Spot etching is a condition of a pool finish that shows coin-sized erosion areas that range in size on the walls and floor. These etch spots are a very common sight in plastered pools, but also can be seen recently in some   aggregate finishes. Speculation usually concluded that it was the pool water that caused this and the pool owner or service company was to blame. Naturally, the finish contractors agreed. But, a recent study has concluded  that certain application techniques are the cause. The use of calcium chloride is one of them. It is added directly to the water that will be used to mix the bagged finish material on the job site. A small amount of calcium, used as an accelerator, can be a benefit to finishers for a variety of reasons that cannot be considered abusive. The study concluded that the addition of calcium chloride must not exceed a certain amount, and this amount is huge.  In all my experience, the only time that amount was ever used was a day about 20 years ago or so when I was working for “The Company” up north. I was an employee and the decision wasn’t mine, so that’s my disclaimer. The total time it took to get out of the truck, plaster the pool, and start the fill water was 1 hour and 50 minutes! Yikes. However damaging calcium chloride may be considered, the most likely cause of spot etching occurs when excessive water is used while finishing the hardening material. At times of high temperature and fast drying conditions, the finisher may splash a small amount of water directly onto the material just before he applies the trowel. Using a little water can make the work easier and the surface smoother. A lot of water can help bring prematurely hardened surfaces back to workable and “acceptable” product again. This addition of excessive water does the most harm as it seriously weakens the integrity of the cement at the surface. Everybody knows that overly wet cement and concrete doesn’t cure as hard as properly mixed material, right? Wrong! Although the average thickness of applied pool finishes is about 1/2 of an inch, the only part the customer sees is the outside. Unfortunately, most pool guys are unaware of certain dynamics of their medium, and you can bet warranty spans don’t keep them awake at night. Ever heard of the “taillight guarantee”?

Pro-Cite is located in southern Brevard County Florida which includes the communities of Melbourne, Palm Bay, Viera, Suntree, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Eau Gallie, West Melbourne, Malabar, and most of the Space Coast.

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Pro-Cite, Inc.
P.O. Box 372457
Satellite Beach, FL 32937