An astonishing 90% of in-ground swimming pools are not waterproofed. A surprising number of Pool builders / Pool contractors believe that a concrete shell or pool structure is waterproof or at least watertight. This common misconception is reinforced by many plaster companies who state that their pool plaster is “water resistant “. The combination of a water-resistant pool finish and a concrete structure must be waterproof; Right?

Unfortunately, the reality is that unless a swimming pool is waterproofed using a specific type of waterproofing product then that pool will be slowly leaking water out through the concrete structure.

Efflorescence, stains or discolorations of the pool plaster, delamination, and cracking of pool plasters, cracking and spalling of the pool shell are but some of the most common symptoms of pools that have not been waterproofed. In addition, there is an environmental cost of the billions upon billions of gallons of pool water leaching into our environment.

Efflorescence is probably the most common and widespread symptom of what happens when you leave out the waterproofing. As concrete travels or migrates through concrete it dissolves lime and other elements that make up the concrete. These elements are then deposited on the surface of the concrete as the water evaporates from the surface of the concrete. This phenomenon is typically seen on raised spas and overflow walls.

Stains or discoloration of pool plaster occur when water travels through the concrete structure from the outside (only when the pool is empty obviously). Again, trace deposits of dissolved elements left behind by the passage of water is the culprit. Delamination and or cracking of pool plaster shortly after its application can frequently be attributed to the lack of waterproofing between the plaster and

the pool shell. Plaster as it is being applied consists of one third water. This water evaporates or dissipates rapidly as the plaster is curing. Too rapid curing of the plaster is what leads to cracking and delamination. By applying plaster onto a waterproofed surface, you control or slow down the hydration of the plaster as the water can only dissipate outwards towards the pool. The water is no longer being sucked out of the plaster by the concrete.

Choosing the right waterproofing product isn’t very hard. Look for ease of application, adhesion, and compatibility with the final finish. Look for products that are specifically engineered for use in swimming pools and that are rated waterproof in conditions of high hydrostatic pressure from both the positive and Negative side. Depending on the specific application, flexibility of the waterproofing may also be an important criterion. Flexibility of the waterproofing is more of an issue in suspended pools rather than in-ground pools.

Basecrete waterproofing is probably the only waterproofing product on the market today that meets all of these criteria. Basecrete is an all in one cementitious waterproofing and bondcoat. It is the easiest product to apply, two coats and you’re done. Better yet when you apply Basecrete waterproofing you are applying your bondcoat at the same time. You can apply your plaster directly onto Basecrete, no other bondcoat needed. Basecrete is strong ( 7000+ psi ), flexible and incredibly adhesive. There is just no other product on the market that meets these performance characteristics.

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