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Quality Gunite and Shotcrete Application for a Successful Pool Project

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Quality Gunite and Shotcrete Application for a Successful Pool Project

When constructing a gunite pool, many factors contribute to the success of the project. Shotcrete application often influences the appearance of the plaster surface. Therefore, shotcrete and gunite pool builders should use the right construction equipment, shotcrete mix, and application technique for the concrete pool to achieve high bondability and durability.

Quality Gunite and Shotcrete Application for a Successful Pool Project

Keep in mind that a poor concrete job adversely affects the whole construction project. One mistake during shotcrete application can cost you thousands of dollars. Before plastering a pool, contractors should carefully examine the concrete surface. If they identify any surface or structural problems, they should fix them immediately. But how will you know that the pool shell has issues?

Pool shell issues

Evaluating the pool shell requires you to pay attention to the below.

Check the texture of the pool’s surface

The first thing to do would be to examine the texture of the surface of the pool. Is it loose, uneven, or sandy? Also, is it possible to rub off the surface material with your hand? If you notice any of these signs, then the pool shell has a problem. It could be that the shotcrete was not mixed properly or that you didn’t give the pool enough time to cure. Moreover, these signs may indicate that the contractor used a rebound during application. Uneven surfaces on the pool shell prevent the plaster from setting, curing, and bonding uniformly.

Examine the porosity and permeability of the pool shell

Normally, the entire pool shell should absorb water at the same rate. In case some sections of the pool shell take longer to absorb water, it means that the pool surface does not have uniform levels of porosity and permeability. This problem is mostly caused by the techniques used during shotcrete application.

In areas of high porosity, shotcrete builders must have used the hand packing technique during application. On the other hand, builders hydraulically placed shotcrete in areas of low porosity. At times, concrete builders have to pause when applying shotcrete to pool steps or walls. And this leads to inconsistencies in the pool shell.

Are there any pool cracks?

Another issue to look out for when examining the pool shell is cracks. Concrete is popularly known to crack during the hydration process. Some cracks are completely normal, while some may indicate a serious issue. So, how do you differentiate normal cracking from abnormal cracking?

Normal pool shell cracks resemble a smashed eggshell. This cracking results from the drying of concrete. And these cracks should not raise a cause for concern since they are not structural. Also, concrete pools experience shrinkage cracks when the concrete begins to set. Such cracks tend to widen and extend into the pool wall and floor. But you need not worry about these cracks; they are not structural.

On the flip side, seeing many extensive cracks may indicate a problem with the pool shell. The pool shell can have a structural crack that interferes with the pool’s foundation and the appearance of the finish material. Moreover, structural cracks affect the durability of the pool. You can notice a structural crack when you notice a leak point or rust around a specific area. It would be best to fix structural cracks immediately before proceeding to the next step. Failure to do so would cause the crack to widen even more.

Check whether the pool shell is experiencing calcium leaching

Never forget to check for any signs of leaching. You can spot calcium leaching through numerous colored spots surrounding the pool. Calcium leaching is a sign of structural cracks. Once you notice this problem, fix it first before you proceed to the next step. Calcium leaching affects the strength and bondability of the plaster.

Examine hidden corners and penetrations

Before plastering the pool, ensure you check the situation around penetrations. Most pools have hidden corners and penetrations that are hard to access during shotcrete application. So, check all these areas to ensure they are consistent with the rest of the pool surface. Only an expert concrete pool builder can reach these areas and apply concrete accordingly. Additionally, ensure that the porosity levels of these sections match with the rest of the pool.

Evaluate areas with flash coats and even out all sections of the pool

Ensure that the whole pool shell is uniform in terms of thickness. Occasionally, pool builders use a flash coat to make the entire pool surface level. If you choose to do this, make sure the flash is firmly attached to the pool’s surface. Also, some builders use plaster to even out the entire surface.

The concrete application plays a huge role in determining the success of the project. Therefore, pool experts advise hiring an experienced and expert gunite pool builder when constructing a gunite pool. Remember, you want to avoid all common mistakes during gunite pool construction. Ultimately, employing a reputable company helps you create a strong foundation for your pool.

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Scott Walk is one of the Top Pool Designers / Pool Builders in Georgia

Chatting with Scott Walk, one of the leading pool designers in Georgia today.

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Scott Walk - Premier Pools - Pool Kings - Top Pool Designers

We got the chance to catch up with one of the leading pool builders in the state of Georgia today. Scott Walk of Scott Walk’s Premier Pools & Spas in Alpharetta, GA has made a name for himself. The last few years, Walk has worked to become one of the top rated pool builders in the local area.

A member of the Premier Pools & Spas franchise, the Walk family actually independently owns and operates two locations – one in North Georgia, and the other in Chattanooga, TN. Their family business has been one of the cornerstones that model and define the successful formula Premier Pools has been able to reiterate throughout the country.

Building Pools is a Family Business

Scott Walk who comes from a previous background in construction and home remodeling, first got his start in the pool industry approximately ten years ago. Together, he and his wife Kim Walk have established one of the largest pool construction operations in the state of Georgia. Their son Ashton also works for the family’s thriving business and has been closely learning the industry side by side with his father over the past five years.

The Walk Family owns & operates two Premier Pools & Spas franchises, one in North Georgia and another in Chattanooga, TN.
The Walk Family owns & operates two Premier Pools & Spas franchises, one in North Georgia and another in Chattanooga, TN.

Walk attended the prestigious Genesis program. He says he’s focused now on becoming one of the top pool builders in the country. SWD registered with Genesis, less than fifty individuals nationwide have achieved the certification level he has.

Pool Kings Project: Georgia Peach Pool Paradise

Walk has had one of his projects showcased nationally on the DIY Network hit TV show Pool Kings. Consequently, the episode helped draw mass attention to his work. The reality home improvement show is quite popular. Each episode has been watched by millions of television viewers and is closely followed in the pool industry.

We asked Walk what it was like working on such a high end project, and what gave him the skillset to start building luxury inground pools.

“Working on the Pool Kings show was a unique opportunity. It is a rare privilege to be able to showcase your work to such a diverse audience. The feedback we’ve received has been incredible.”

Scott Walk – Owner of Scott Walk’s Premier Pools & Spas

“Initially we went through several changes in the design process, but ultimately wound up with a concept that delivered on all of the clients wishlist items.” said Walk. “This particular project was difficult. We faced some challenges with excavation and the weather.”

Walk's work was showcased on the hit TV show Pool Kings. His lazy river pool was featured in Season 7.
Walk’s work was showcased on the hit TV show Pool Kings. His lazy river pool was featured in Season 7.

Walk said that his two main concerns throughout the project were being able to deliver a premium product to the homeowner while meeting filming and scheduling deadlines. “You know, they make it look so easy on TV. Trust me it is alot harder than it looks.” said Walk.

Walk’s prior experience in building luxury pools assisted him heavily on this particular project. Since attending the Genesis program, Walk says he has been consistently increasing the level of difficulty and complexity in the projects he has undertaken.

“They were looking for over the top pool designs for the show. We had to deliver!” said Walk. “We were able to showcase the range of our abilities and included some phenomenal pool features not found in your typical build.”

Luxury Pools - Pool Kings - Scott Walk - Premier Pools & Spas
Walk sets the standard for luxury pool builders in Georgia with over the top designs like this one.

Luxury Pool Features

Scott guided us through some of the remarkable amenities in this resort style luxury pool. “There’s really so much we built into this backyard. We’ve got the beach entry pool with bubblers. A lazy river with a bridge to an island that has a super sized spa.” said Walk. “We’ve also incorporated a slide and two waterfalls in this pool. Not to mention the work that went into building this incredible outdoor kitchen area.”

From start to finish this particular project was over 5 months in the making said Walk. In the end, he and his crew worked nearly round the clock. It was necessary in order to meet the deadlines for the episode to run in time. Ultimately, his team delivered and in magnificent fashion. The completed pool and backyard is nothing short of breathtaking.

Walk and his team worked hard and the effort shows. Consequently, the end result is a truly unique and one of a kind luxury pool design. This is a five star resort style backyard that any homeowner would envy. We asked Walk where his inspiration comes from on these projects and what the design process is like for him.

“I really learned so much from the Genesis program that guides me in my design process today. I also find tremendous inspiration from the other builders in my organization. These are people who are really pushing the envelope today in pool engineering.”

Scott Walk – Owner of Scott Walk’s PremIer Pools & Spas

Scott Walk on Pool Design

“I always start my designs in Structure Studios first. We will create a walk through of the entire pool area in 3D for the homeowner. This helps them visualize the design concept, features and amenities.” said Walk. “I find that this adds value to the process. It truly immerses the client into giving us the feedback necessary to design them their dream backyard,” continued Walk.

Walk’s experience in building luxury inground pools has led to a long list of satisfied customers. It has also helped make his firm one of the top rated builders in the state. He attributes much of his success to his organization. “We are firm believers in the Premier formula.” said Walk. “That has really been what has helped us become so successful.”

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California Pools Opens Philadelphia Location

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California Pools Opens Philadelphia Location

Mar. 29, 2021 / PRZen / PHILADELPHIA — California Pools, America’s most recognized builder of swimming pools and everything outdoors, announces the addition of its 32nd independently-owned and operated U.S. location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. California Pools has received more awards for its custom pool designs from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals than any other pool builder in the world and is consistently named among the Top 5 Pool Builders for its customer service.

California Pools has built more than 70,000 pools since its inception in 1952, setting the foundation for the new Philadelphia location that will leverage that experience to serve surrounding Philadelphia areas, including Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. The company offers a full range of creative design and build services for new custom residential swimming pools and spas, residential swimming pool and spa remodeling, and custom outdoor living.

California Pools adds their 32nd independely owned and operated franchise location.

“California Pools is unique in that we have been designing and building custom pools and backyards for nearly 50 years,” says Steve Terry, President at California Pools Franchise, Inc. “We are excited to have a new franchise location to partner with homeowners in the Philadelphia area to transform their outdoor spaces into dream backyards they can enjoy year-round.”

California Pools is known for working closely with each client to develop innovative ideas that fit their lifestyles and budgets and keeping them informed every step of the way. Using its extensive experience to hone best practices, the company is able to finish 98 percent of its projects on time and within budget, a rare industry achievement. California Pools provides virtual and/or in-home consultations, 3D designs, detailed pricing, vast project material choices, and a proven process.

“We treat every client like family and want them to have the most positive experience possible from start to finish,” says Andrew McFarlane, owner and operator of California Pools Philadelphia. “One of the most fun parts of my job is showing clients all of the options they have to take their outdoor space from typical to extraordinary while keeping it easy to maintain. From water and fire features to innovative lighting and automation, our team is ready to bring California Pools to the Philadelphia area.”

McFarlane will lead the California Pools Philadelphia team, bringing with him construction and design experience dating back to his teenage years. He believes that helping design and build backyard dreams and family memories is a privilege. Mcfarlane has experience in virtually all facets of construction.

About California Pools

California Pools is a national pool building company with dozens of local offices throughout the country that are led by a team of professionals with decades of experience. The company was founded in 1952 and has since built more than 70,000 pools, earning multiple national awards for design and customer service. Beyond custom pools and spas, California Pools designs and builds outdoor kitchens and bars, fire pits and fireplaces, fountains, outdoor sitting and dining areas, and other outdoor entertaining areas equipped with audio-visual technology, automation and innovative lighting.

Read more: https://przen.com/pr/california-pools-opens-philadelphia-location-to-bring-residents-renown-design-and-construction-expertise-przen-33393381

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Industry News

Pool Waterproofing Products

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Pool Waterproofing Products

Typically, coming up with solutions to various problems entails evaluating the problem at an in-depth level. As you do this, you will be able to see things from an entirely different perspective. Genesis, the design/construction education group, hopes that analyzing the waterproof equation in detail will help pool designers and contractors. The director, David Peterson, says, “Over the years, there has been many pool waterproofing product failures; thus, something has to be done. Up to now, the pool industry has not yet come up with a particular product to solve the waterproofing issue.” We cannot deny that contractors are doing their best to install quality pools and tiles to prevent water from seeping in where it’s not supposed to. However, more research should be done on this area.

Pool Waterproofing Products

The primary objective of the research problem

The main objective for solving this problem is to guarantee a successful construction process. Therefore, pool industry experts should look for all information on waterproofing systems. It will help if they collect information regarding how different waterproofing systems work. Fortunately, many documents have this source of information. From there, they can select the best pool waterproofing products and systems for various projects. This will, in turn, foster a successful construction project. Moreover, getting a detailed understanding of the different waterproofing systems available helps you know incompatible waterproof systems. Genesis group will also collect information from waterproof product manufacturers to see what works best.

Indisputably, waterproofing systems contribute to the success or failure of a construction project. Genesis group seeks to find more information on waterproofing systems. This is to provide detailed guidance on the best products to use and how to use them. Even so, the committee will not come up with a solution for all construction projects, especially those involving certain spas and pool types.

Additional information on pool waterproofing

As of now, the construction industry needs more waterproofing systems alternatives. Peterson says, “It would help if we get supporting documents from the industry.” This way, we can gather and analyze all information with the hopes of solving one or two problems.”

Occasionally, it’s all about figuring things out of your own experience. For example, one manufacturer on the Orlando presentations panelist learned some practices that led to several issues with his own products. Consequently, this information can help him to revise the specifications and instructions on the product manual.

The committee is still not sure how they will present the research results. But hopefully, they will provide detailed guidance and an in-depth explanation of different waterproofing systems. Also, they seek to place more emphasis on citations when presenting the results.

What are the challenges that lie ahead?

The pool industry is ever-growing; thus, pool contractors and designers require as much information as possible. Peterson says, “Let’s not forget that pool projects are becoming more complex as each day passes. And products are also changing.” Not to mention, the majority of pool builders have not yet embraced the current waterproofing systems in the market. Peterson proceeds to say, “Many pool builders have gotten injured when plastering pools. Even though the pool builders did their best to handle the waterproofing products with care, the product was very harmful to them.” Ultimately, we need as much information as possible to find a solution to this problem.

Some say that most waterproof product manufacturers began selling their products without evaluating the performance of their products. Additionally, many manufacturers don’t take the time to understand how their products react with various pool finish materials. So, manufacturers are partly to blame.

Genesis group hopes to find the correct information that will enable them to remove careless manufacturers from the industry. Moreover, pool builders and designers should be extra cautious before they buy any pool waterproofing products. They should speak up whenever a product doesn’t sit right with them. Subsequently, manufacturers venturing into the market will be careful enough not to sell untested waterproofing products.

As much as most waterproofing products are not safe, mistakes during installation also happen. And this can cause serious repercussions to the builder. So, pool contractors should follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines before using pool waterproofing products. The manufacturer cannot take the blame in the case of ignorance.

Nonetheless, manufacturers should take the responsibility of explaining how their waterproofing products work. Pool designers and builders should also be open to listening to all the waterproofing manufacturer has to say. Both parties should sit down and discuss everything together. Besides, most contractors are often clueless about using the product, no matter their level of experience.

Conclusion: Pool waterproofing

Ultimately, the Genesis group hopes to be able to address all waterproofing problems presented in the industry. This way, they can help most pool contractors to settle for the best pool waterproofing products. Additionally, pool builders will be able to know how different waterproofing systems work. The committee expects to complete the research as soon as possible. Although it’ll take some time before they make recommendations, they hope to speed up the process.

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