A basic epoxy pool paint system consists of two main elements namely an EPOXY RESIN and a CATALYST (HARDENER). The two elements are chemically balanced so that when they are combined, a chemical reaction will take place where the molecules of the two main elements will combine to form a new structure that will become hard and solid after a period of time.
Each of these two basic elements is further complimented with additional additives depending on the final purpose of the epoxy system.
Our own epoxy pool paint consists of no less that 12 different ingredients. These ingredients enhance qualities like UV protection, color stability, anti-sagging, self-leveling, gloss enhancing and abrasive resistance qualities. The large amounts of silica quartz offer gloss and abrasive resistance resulting in a very tough and robust product.
Normal paint products, although also consisting of many different ingredients, do not have a catalyst part and relies mainly on the evaporation of solvents to air-dry. This process leaves the binder elements that keep the solids and pigments together as a coloured layer on the surface.
In an epoxy system, the chemical binding of the Catalyst molecules exactly weighted to match the molecular mass of the Resin part, causes a chemical reaction which forms microscopic circular structures almost like a honeycomb structure. This circular formation is thousands of times stronger and thus less prone to penetration by water, chemicals and in our case, 100% immune to algae infestation.>
For more information on formulations and important and interesting aspects about epoxies, click here.
Normal paint products, although also consisting of many different ingredients, do not have a catalyst part and relies mainly on the evaporation of solvents to air-dry. This process leaves the binder elements that keep the solids and pigments together as a coloured layer on the surface.
The inherent bonding qualities of a two-part epoxy system offers far more bonding strength to the substrate it was designed for. The circular molecular structure that is formed by the chemical reaction between resin and hardener components offers many times more protection against chemicals and other substances. This is crucial concerning submerged underground structures like swimming pools where moisture is constantly in contact with the coated layers.
No matter how good a so-called one-system "pool paint" is rated to be, a well developed and specialized two-part epoxy system offers far more durable qualities. Epoxy pool paints are used in harsh industrial environments where the robust nature and qualities of an epoxy resin and hardener system ensures a longer life span. Epoxy coatings are also used to protect the hulls of ships.
A durable epoxy for swimming
pools, just like epoxies for ships' hulls, are in constant contact with
water, chemicals and algae, for this reason the molecular bonding and
structure offer far more an impenetrable layer.
Lower quality epoxies as well as normal paints, are prone to absorbing
chemicals and water into the structure, this will result in the
internal breakdown of the binder elements and pigments, resulting in
peeling, blistering and chalking of the coating. Paints, as well as
certain epoxies are not at all suitable for constant contact with
acid or chlorine. Be careful what you buy. See our product
page for tests done and a few comparisons with other available swimming
all epoxies tend to chalk due to ultra-violet radiation from sunlight and possible effects from aggressive water conditions,
lower quality epoxies will chalk much faster resulting in a thinning of
the epoxy layer and limiting the lifespan to 2-3 years (regardless of
the guarantee offered, see guarantee issues lower down).
Our swimming pool pool paint epoxy utilizes the latest in high-quality industrial-rated curing agents and additives with UV-resistant qualities. Our thick topcoat formulation ensures a thick coating that will last for many years. We also apply the only 4-layer epoxy system available consisting of a high-bond, penetrating primer and no less than three topcoat layers to ensure a long lifespan. Our first test-pool was coated in 1997 and was still in service after 10 years with it's original epoxy coat. (Can be seen at the top of our photo-page.) As can be seen on our home page, we have testimonies dating back as far as 15 years of lifespan.
The porous qualities of marblite, concrete and cement type surfaces offer microscopic holes and cavities that are penetrated by algae and other substances. Algae will grow into these cavities forming even more algae and better bonding qualities for new algae. Shock-treating with acids and other strong chemicals, especially acid-washing your pool, causes the marblite to further become rough, softer and more porous, accelerating the subsequent formation of algae. The reasons your swimming pool got stained and infested in the first place is not going to disappear by applying new marblite again. The whole process will only be delayed for a few months.
Applying a well developed epoxy coat will cover and seal the underlying marblite structure to offer a gloss-like solid layer which is impenetrable by algae. A well developed epoxy coat also offers exceptional resistance against staining by chemicals.
Definitely not. We have found that some of the epoxies we've tried in the past, in fact all three of the other suppliers we bought epoxies from a few years ago, were probably derived from older floor-coating formulations. All of these epoxies that we have tried did not offer suitable qualities for permanently submerged conditions and suffer from yellowing, chemical staining, colour loss and severe chalking.
Some suppliers do not offer a specially developed primer to seal the swimming pool. These epoxies will be prone to easy blistering due to reverse osmoses (water pressure penetrating from the outside of the pool walls). Without a penetrating primer the topcoat is depended upon to just stick to the substrate and unification with the top layer substrate cannot be achieved. Given the various substrates and varying densities encountered with swimming pool finishes, we have seen 50% or more failures with so-called self-priming Top coats.
Top-coat epoxy paint should be formulated to offer proper top-coat layer thickness to ensure a long service lifespan, but this means it will not offer deep penetration and bond-strength to the level a dedicated Primer epoxy can offer. Self-priming top-coat epoxies are compromised between coating thickness and pentration ability and cannot perform up to par in both worlds. A specialized top coat epoxy and an industrial grade primer epoxy offers the best of both worlds.
Chalking is also a serious problem. This means that if the epoxy coat is not well-developed to offer UV and chlorine resistance, the top layer of the coat is slowly broken down, releasing pigment particles into the water. This is normally visible as a milky cloud when wiped hard by hand or when using the swimming pool. This also means that the layer is fast wearing thinner and thinner.
Products with large percentages of solvent content (25%-50%) will adversely affect qualities like bonding capability, color stability, UV-resistance and penetration resistance against water and chemicals, (just to name a few). Many epoxies are "thinned" down with cheaper ingredients to increase profits and reduce manufacturing cost. We also found that some of these epoxies supplied uses general curing agents normally associated with the floor industry. Considering that 80% of a combined epoxy system's qualities are determined by the quality of the curing agent, makes this a main factor and can explain why many pool paint products don't live up to expectations.
Using the highest grade resin and only the best available in the latest curing agents developed for the industrial concrete coating environment, we improved on all the qualities we found to be of concern in certain bought-out products. We constantly develop and upgrade our products to offer the qualities available from the latest developments in epoxy resin and curing agents. We have reduced the solvent content in our Primer epoxy to 0%. To maintain easier roller application our top-coat has only 6% solvents which is exceptionally low compared to industry standards. Many lower-grade epoxy coat products and paints have up to 40-60% solvent content.
In general, the thicker the epoxy layer, the longer the lifespan of the coating. The higher viscosity of a thick topcoat product offers less penetration capability into the substrate. A thick topcoat epoxy paint just doesn't offer deep penetration into any substrate. The better the penetration strength of the epoxy into the substrate, the less chance of de-lamination.
Top-coat epoxy paint should be formulated to offer proper top-coat layer thickness to ensure a long service lifespan. Due to the higher viscosity rating to achieve these qualities also means it will not offer deep penetration and bond-strength to the same bond-strength level a dedicated Primer epoxy can offer. Self-priming top-coat epoxies are a compromise between coating thickness and pentration ability and cannot perform up to par in both worlds. A specialized top coat epoxy and an industrial grade primer epoxy offers the best of both worlds.
Penetration and bonding strength is the main factors for a primer coat. This can only be achieved utilizing a lower viscosity and specialized epoxy concrete/cement primer. Following this, the primer should also chemically match the Topcoat layers to create a "chemically fused" bond with the thicker topcoat epoxy layers, not to suffer inter-layer de-lamination; makes sense, doesn't it?
Our epoxy system consisting of a specialized industrial primer epoxy, combined with the three topcoat layers was tested to offer up to 400Psi (Pounds per square inch) or 2.8Mpa (Nm per square millimeter) bond strength to marblite, concrete, cement and fiberglass surfaces without inter-layer de-lamination - we rest our case!
Because of our tested epoxy system and methods we can offer a full product replacement guarantee, even to DIY customers, (10 year old references available, not just cheap warranty talk) should the product de-laminates. We have been doing swimming pool epoxies from 1998, registered under the same company name.
Fiberglass offers a very strong, thick and tough lining and will also not be prone to algae infestation. The draw-backs are:
Spot-repair is possible with epoxy coatings. Should the layer need to be refurbished due to thinning after many years, applying another top coat is easy and cost-effective.
Fiberglass does not "bond" or penetrate the substrate and is more like a shell in your existing pool. This means that should water accumulate between the lining and the concrete or cement substrate, problems may occur with large bubbles forming. Cracking may occur and your pool might start leaking.
Repairs to fiberglass linings are normally very costly.
Fiberglass is twice or even three times more expensive than an epoxy coat.
Expert knowledge is normally required to repair or install fiberglass whilst epoxy can easily be applied by any handyman following the instructions.
Fiberglass is slippery when its wet. Our epoxy offers a tough gloss finish but is not as slippery as it provides grip to wet skin.
Due to the inherent bonding qualities of our specialised primer layer epoxy, application on fiberglass is very successful. Our product has even been proven on plastic moulded surfaces. Fiberglass linings only need to be scourged with heavy grade sandpaper to provide a good mechanical bond. Our oldest epoxy-coated fiberglass pool was coated in 1997 and was still in excellent condition when we visited the swimming pool again in 2008.
Yes, our epoxy is compatible with salt chlorinators when the salt addition is kept within recommended limits.
We have found that in certain cases, people have used a very high dosage of salt. Over-usage of salt can reduce the life-span of the product and thin it out quicker.
Due to the low level of algae growth and the low level of chemicals needed with an epoxy-coated pool, the minimum setting must be used on automated chlorinators. On normal chlorinated pools, we recommend using normal HTH chlorine products, or even Blue52 and drifter packs which are quite capable of maintaining an epoxy-coated pool.
When it comes to the lifespan of the epoxy coating or any other pool lining, the Calcium Hardness (or Total Hardness) level in conjunction with other chemical requirements like pH and Alkalinity is of utmost importance, although most pool owners are unaware of this aggressive condition that can deteriorate marblite, fiberglass or epoxy-coated swimming pools.
The following information is important to keep in mind:
1. There is a direct relationship between Alkalinity, pH and Calcium Hardness (Total Hardness)
2. The lower the Alkalinity, the higher the demand for Calcium to prevent aggressive water conditions
3. The lower the Calcium Hardness, the higher the demand for Alkalinity
4. If a straight-line graph is drawn between two outer conditions namely Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness, pH lies in the middle and the line crosses through the pH level as the swivel point. This means that too low pH will lower the effectiveness of both Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness levels.
5. Because Calcium Hardness is not a regular fluctuating condition we recommend high Calcium levels (400ppm-500ppm) to help compensate for possible lower and more fluctuating Alkalinity levels.
6. Low calcium levels will cause the water to extract minerals from the sides and even the marblite or cement layer underneath resulting in brittleness and pitting of the substrate and fast deterioration of the paint layer.
7. If a swimming pool is constantly kept within a too high, shock-level of chlorine, this will also contribute towards increased chalking and bleaching.
The following diagram illustrates the relationship between Alkalinity, pH and Calcium Hardness
Also see this link about Calcuim Hardness and how to rectify this condition: Click Here
Total hardness or Calcium Hardness in the context of pool water refers to the total level of dissolved minerals in the water. This is made up of calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and other elements. These elements are present in the water used to fill the pool.
For epoxy-coated swimming pools, calcium hardness must be between 400-500 ppm to prevent extensive chalking that may cause premature thinning of the paint layer. Low calcium levels will cause an aggressive water condition that will extract calcium and minerals from the paint layer and even the underlying plastered surface. Constant thinning of the coating through extensive chalking, water will reach the plastered surface. This may cause a gradual extracting of minerals and subsequent brittleness in the underlying plaster. When a hollow spot as big as a large coin is created behind the coating, pieces of the coating can be plucked from the sides.
If the calcium hardness is too low, paints will chalk (giving off a powder residue), marblite will become brittle and pitted, metals corrode - and this includes pool equipment, pipe fittings and pump connections. Discoloring and fading will also be visible.
This photo was taken 9 months after filling an epoxy-coated pool with fresh water and the calcium (and/or other conditions like pH and Alkalinity) was left unchecked below 300ppm. Small cracks appeared as minerals were extracted from the sides and the coating becomes brittle:
Stage 1: Extensive chalking will occur, colour fading and possible discoloring
Stage 2: "Spider-web" cracks appears in the coating:
Stage 3: Small de-laminations:
Low calcium hardness can easily be increased using calcium chloride sometimes marketed by swimming pool shops under different brand names, or can be obtained from Pool Solutions. The amount needed can be calculated using the calcium chloride calculator. Alkalinity which should be balanced as well should be lifted to 120ppm by adding a product like HTH Alkalinity-up per manufacturer's recommendation.
NOTE: divide the required amount of calcium chloride into 3 parts. Add the first part and circulate the water for at least 4 hours. Test the water again and repeat the process until the desired level is reached.
For guarantee purposes we require a water test report to be submitted within 30 days after filling the pool that includes a test result for Calcium Hardness or Total Hardness.
An easy way to keep an eye on your swimming pool water is to use these type of water test strips that include a test for "Total Hardness" (also available from Pool Solutions):
For more info on Water Balance: Click Here
Download our Pool & Spa Water Treatment eBook: Login here to visit our download page
Two-10-Blue can be used after filling the pool to quickly get the water clear and blue again.
HTH dry chlorine, HTH 4in1 drifter packs or the weekly program HTH Clear4Weeks can be used to maintain chlorine levels. Blue52 has also been tested successfully. Strap drifter packs to the pool cleaner pipe one pipe length away from pool side to prevent parking floaters creating yellow streaks on the side of the swimming pool.
Swimming pool acid will not stain our product.
Two-10-Concentrated algaecide works well to get algae growth under control.
HTH extreme flocc can be used as a flocculant to settle organic materials to the bottom. See the next section on how to get your green pool blue again for more info.
BioGuard or PoolBrite dry chlorine could be used but should be added through the weir while the pump is running for another 4 hours as per manufacturers instructions. Direct concentration on the paint layer might cause yellow/brown staining. Bioguard drifter-packs may be used, but strap to the pool cleaner pipe one pipe length away from pool side.
HTH Alkalinity-up can be used to raise alkalinity levels and PH. Do not use Soda Ash to raise pH.
Blue52 and HTH Clear 4 Weeks has been tested successfully and may be used. PLease note the Blue52 manufacturer's booklet stating that a de-metalzing treatment should be done every 6-12 months due to the copper sulphate content of these products.
All of the above can be used according to dosage specifications without the danger of staining.
The following products have been reported to have stained the epoxy paint (due to high metal and copper sulphate content):
First of all you will need to systematically eliminate chemical problems in the pool water.
Don't be anxious. Don't follow everyone's expert advice. Do not buy everything the Pool Shop is trying to sell after testing the water. Be careful not to stain your pool with the wrong chemicals. Don't expect the swimming pool to become clear and blue overnight.
Be patient and follow the steps listed below. I will show you the steps I have followed many times, and it worked every time!
First have the water tested at a reputable pool water test facility. They must be able to test for the following conditions (ideal readings indicated):
You will need to verify the results after each step before going on to the next step. You can buy an Insta Test 6 Plus test strip kit from Pool Solutions to test the water condition during the process. Do not look at the green pool during the process, you are going to follow and trust the readings obtained with the test kit.
The test strips are very easy to use and will give an indication of chemical levels within 15 seconds. Alternatively have the water tested for above conditions and especially also Calcium Hardness at a pool shop with a test facility. (Please adhere to our specification of 400-500ppm for Total Hardness and not the recommended levels reported by most pool shops and test reports).
Now, lets start to get your water sparkling blue again:
Step 1 - Backwash the sand filter. Switch off the pool pump. Adjust the multi valve lever to "Backwash". Switch the pump on and watch the glass indicator. The water flowing through the glass indicator will become milky as the debris that have settled in the in the sand filter is rinsed out. Let the pump run until the glass indicator becomes clear again. Leave for 30 seconds and repeat the procedure.
Step 2 - Always test and correct the alkalinity as this reading may influence other reading if out of range. If alkalinity is too low, use HTH Alkalinity-up or Two10-Alkalinity-up. Add 2kg at a time and allow filter to run for a few hours. Add more alkalinity up after 6 hours if still too low (1 or 2 kg at a time).
Step 3 - Adjust the PH (7.2-7.8). If the PH is too high, add Pool Acid in small dosages, not more than 0.5 liter at a time. Allow the filter to run for a few hours and test again.
If the PH is too low, add HTH-Ph-Up or Two-10-Ph-Up. Test again the next day and repeat the dosage if necessary. Also compare the acid level test and do not overdose with too much acid. Your pool will not yet become clear and blue, trust the readings.
Step 4 - Test the Chlorine level and adjust if too low. Do not overdose thinking a lot of chlorine will make the swimming pool water blue again. Add 2 or 3 cups of HTH dry chlorine. Follow the instructions on the bottle for your size swimming pool, let the filter pump run and test again after 4-6 hours. You may add a product like Two10Blue to help getting the water blue.
Step 5 - The following readings should be within range by now: Alkalinity, Acid, PH and Chlorine. If this is the case, set the timer switch to control the filter pump (10 hours during the summer and 4-6 hours during winter times should be sufficient). Now go to sleep and give the process some time. The water should normally become a bit lighter in colour within a day and complete water clarity should should be restored within 2-3 days.
See how easy it was? You just needed some patience. 3 days and the water is clear and blue again!
Step 6 - The water is still as green as the first day, or even worse?
Hmm... Don't worry, at least we know it is not a chemical problem causing the green water. It's probably that time of the year during which every leave and organic matter is dumped right into your pool by the neighbor's nuisance tree.
We have one more weapon in the arsenal and this one is a real nuke, it is called flocculant. Buy HTH-Extreme Flocc. Switch off the pool pump. Add 1 bottle of HTH-Extreme Flocc (for 50000L pool size) around the sides of the pool. Switch the multi valve to "Bypass". Switch on the pool pump to run continuously. Leave the pump to run for 6 hours. Switch the pump off and leave overnight. The next morning you will see something amazing:
All the bad, green stuff has accumulated at the bottom!
So, how do we get it out of there?
With a 8-wheel cleaner attachment:
Remove the pool cleaner from the piping and attached the 8-wheeler in its place. Use a long telescopic extension pole and attach it to the the top of the 8-wheeler.
Switch the multi valve to "Waste". Switch on the pump and "vacuum-clean" the bottom of the pool. Remember that you have to work slow not to disturb all that debris again, keep in mind that in the mean time the water is not pumped back into the pool, but is actually drained.
The stirring of the water might cause some of the debris to be distributed again throughout the pool and the water might become cloudy again. Switch off the pump. Re-attach the pool cleaner. Re-fill the pool to normal level. Switch the multi valve to "Bypass" and leave the pump to run again for 4-6 hours. Switch the pump off and leave overnight. The bad stuff will be at the bottom again. Repeat the "vacuum-cleaning" procedure the next morning.
Now leave the pool cleaner to do the rest of the job. Switch the multi valve to its normal "Filter" position and let the pump run for 6-12 hours every day. Backwash the pool filter every second day until you have a blue, clear pool again. Top-up the water if necessary. Test the normal chemical balance of the water every week.
First determine that you are dealing with a pool paint supplier that has a track record and have been operating under the same name for many years. As you know, many will offer you ridiculous guarantees, but in three years time, they might have have changed their name and you have no guarantee.
Here is a little insider tip on how to do an easy check on anyone:
In a new window (or tab) in your browser, enter this URL or click on this link for .co.za websites: http://co.za/whois.shtml.
Enter the name of the website e.g. "poolsolutions" (the .co.za part will automatically be added, don not enter "www" at the front of the name).
Now look at the top-left under the heading "Accounting info". The first date listed is when they have first registered their website and domain name for Internet marketing purposes.
For international websites (.com), visit this URL: http://whois.net. Type in the domain name and look at the "Creation date".
Over the years, many have come and go. You will note that due to the success of this website and it's top rating in the first position on a Google search (which by the way is very much due to being on the web for many years), many have arranged their presentation, warranties or content reflecting in some way or other the info you will find on this website. If they are new on the web and making exuberant claims, they are out to make a quick profit with lots of promises. Don't expect to see them for after-sale service, that is if they are still around in a few years time.
Oh yes, do they offer testimonials on their website and can they provide you with references dating back at least 5 years? You may also visit http://www.hellopeter.com to check out their reputation and responses to after-sale requests.
In a small percentage of swimming pools, the enemy of fiberglass linings or epoxy pool paint layers is when the structure of the existing swimming pool is porous to the extend that under-ground water can easily penetrate and cause pressure underneath the coating or lining. This may cause bubbles forming (blistering) or even de-lamination. On fiberglass lining this may cause bubbles and/or pulling-away of a fiberglass lining from the base structure. After a while this may result in the total loss of the lining.
In 90% of cases, the problem can be overcome by proper pre-inspection for the presence of water behind the marblite plaster and the implementation of a water barrier treatment if necessary. Reverse osmotic pressure is a condition that can occur on underground structures due to underground water tables and water accumulation against the pool sides. Water may penetrate through the concrete layer from the outside of the pool. On most older marblite plastered pools this is not a common problem except where the pool is situated against a hill side, flower boxes against and around the pool and or heavily soaked garden soil due to heavy irrigation. Evaluation of the surroundings and pre-inspection as described in our installation instructions is a must on all swimming pools.
On newly built structures we strongly recommend the use of a proper bonding liquid in the plaster cement (for cement plastered swimming pools) as well as the use of a water barrier treatment (PCT56) as a precaution against moist from the outside. See our installation instructions and DIY videos for more details regarding pre-inspection and the use of PCT56 Water Barrier where reverse osmotic water flow might poses a risk.
On 1% to 2% of swimming pools coated, we have experienced reverse osmosis problems after a few weeks or months. In 99% of the reported cases this does not pose a serious problem regarding the integrity of the coating as the small bubbles, only visible by close inspection in certain areas will not break and the coating is very tough to maintain integrity. For the perfectionist however, this might be a visible irritation. In 99% of cases, the pressure caused from underneath the coating will not cause breaking of the bubbles and the coating will stay solid and intact for many years, still offering an esthetically pleasant appearance. This occurrence will be visible only by relatively nearby inspection by an informed person, normally occurring on the steps and along the top 200mm of the pool walls where sunlight is heating the surface.
In case of limited small-bubble, reverse osmotic blistering occurrence, the existing surface can be sanded down to remove the bubbles and two new top layers on top of the previously applied layers will further strengthen the coating's resistance against reverse osmosis and the problem may totally disappear. In severe cases where large blistering or de-lamination did occur, the pool should be grinded down to substrate level. The water table should be allowed to drain into the pool by opening holes through the structure, left to dry completely, apply PCT56 and re-coat the swimming pool. If the water table does not reside and a constant water flow cannot be stopped, it is advisable not to use our product or fiberglass, but rather settle for "breathable" plastered pool finish (marblite).
Our 4-layer epoxy pool paint system offers the highest resistance against reverse osmosis and the integrity of the coating will not easily be compromised, even should these small bubbles be present. Should this condition however deteriorate over time, the existing surface can be sanded down to remove the bubbles and two new top layers on top of the previously applied layers will further strengthen the coating's resistance against reverse osmosis and the problem may totally disappear.
The best precaution when moist is detected by pre-inspection is to open the plasterwork by grinding grooves or drilling holes through the structure to release outside water into pool until the water table has lowered and the pool became dry. Then to fill these areas again and apply the PCT56 water barrier treatment.
In terms of our guarantee, should reverse osmosis cause bubbles and the customer can't live with it, we offer our topcoat epoxy pool paint at cost within the first three-year period as a DIY kit to existing customers (no profit intentions). We can also refer an experienced worker that may be contracted privately to sand the surface to remove the problem and re-apply the PCT56 treatment and apply two additional top-coats to further strengthen the coating and restore it again to that perfect appearance.
In cases where companies offer a 100% guarantee against reverse osmosis, the client should take not of the conditions of the guarantee that may state that they do not guarantee any problems related to structural integrity problems. This normally voids their guarantee against reverse osmosis. Our three year input cost level material replacement guarantee is valid in all cases of reverse osmotic related problems without exception.
you store the swimming pool water in
containers for re-use to save me money?
Yes, we have a 10 x 20Kl bladder tanks available for hire at the lowest price available in the Guateng region. Due to the limited number of tanks available and the demand, this service is exclusively avaialble to our clients who also ordered a pool paint kit from us.
Please visit this page for more information: waterstorage tanks
Due to UV radiation and the constant submerged conditions in a chemical rich environment, there will be a measure of colour depth reduction especially with the darker colours over a period of 2-3 years. This effect is normally accepted on black-coated pools as natural "Charcoal" appearance.
The most stable colour is our white which is a Rutile Titanium UV-treated pigment. The natural blue colour of a filled swimming pool with balanced water quality will still offer that pleasant and inviting blue appearance.
The light-blue is our most popular colour and is proven to be a good performer. The light-blue will also become lighter over a period of 5-7 years. The bleaching of the blue cannot be totally eliminated. We have found that this is however not very noticeable and visitors to your premises will still compliment you on the appearance of your gloss and sparkling swimming pool. The natural blue of a filled swimming pool with clean sides and sparkling clean water still offers an excellent-looking pool.
Please note our section on Calcium Hardness and water balance that can influence the lifespan of the coating.
If you ask us if an epoxy coat is a sealer, the answer is yes and no, as the it depends on the user's specific expectations.
Our epoxy coating is by nature a solid, watertight product and has as such sealing qualities. It will effectively cover hairline cracks quite well and form a hard, solid, porcelain-like finish when cured. However, we do not recommend it as a sealer. The main function of the epoxy coat is rather a decorative one to enhance the appearance of your pool and reduce the maintenance effort required to fight staining by algae. Due to the vast range of possible causes for leaks on a swimming pool (structural movement, filter system, weir and light housing sealing etc.), we do not guarantee that leak problems will be resolved by the application of the epoxy paint.
Due to the fact that it is rolled-on like a paint, it is a relatively thin layer that is dependent on the stability and solidness of the underlying shell or substrate, the epoxy coat will not prevent cracking of underlying structures or strengthen the swimming pool structure as such. Seams in the structure might expand under water pressure and this might cause the paint layer to crack as well. It is best to test the structure against leaking before embarking on the epoxy paint upgrading of the swimming pool.
Fill up larger cracks and loose marblite before painting with recommended products. The epoxy paint process is not to strengthen the structure and the re-appearance of cracks cannot be guaranteed as the underlying structure shifts or form cracks. The most knowledgeable person is the owner who knows the history of his/her swimming pool. If you are not sure that the structural integrity will support the paint layer, do not paint with the expectations that your pool will never crack or leak again. If epoxy coat applicators try to talk you into a deal with these problems present, be aware of their real intentions.
If air bubbles are coming from the outflow jets, you might have a leak in the filter system. Check the rubber ring seal inside the cover of the filter basket at the pump, Ensure that this seal and its seating is clear of debris and dirt.
Also investigated the areas inside the light-housing and inside the weir. The sealing of these housings along the seems where it interfaces with the plastered surface might also be a cause for leaking. Leaks can sometimes be found by using the purple chemical liquid supplied as part of the HTH water test kit. Dripping this all around the sides, near the light-housing and inside the weir and check to see if it streaks towards a certain point while the filter pump is switched off. If the cause for leaking is inside the pipes, check for streaking into the outflow jets and inside the weir.
We use Two-10-Blue to quickly get the water clear and blue again. We have tested our product using HTH dry chlorine and HTH 4in1 drifter packs. Normal swimming pool acid will not stain our product. All of the above can be used according to dosage specifications without the danger of staining. Only use HTH Alkalinity-up to raise alkalinity levels.
The following products have been reported to have stained the epoxy paint (possibly due to high copper sulphate content):
A previous Pool paint applied became thin and worn-out, in spite the 30 year guarantee given. The company is now out of business. What would make your product any different to other epoxy solutions and why should we consider that instead of the normal cement based pool refurbishment treatment?
No epoxy pool paint will last 30 years, except according to aging lab tests that we also had performed by the SABS years ago. (The UV and Salt Spray aging test results predicted a lifespan of 25-30 years, this is why we do not boast with these ridiculous SABSA results).
In the real imperfect world, the normal expected lifespan on a normally HTH chlorine-treated pool is 8- 10 years. This lifespan can come down to 6 years if a salt chlorinator is used on high dosage settings, as they normally are. Epoxy coatings age due to UV and chemical breakdown over time in the form of a slow chalking released into the water. The effect is less rapid on good high-solid epoxy formulations than on older Polyamide floor epoxy formulations or compromised water-thinned, or high solvent content formulations, but they do thin out over time nevertheless.
At the end of the day this is only a decorative finish that reduces maintenance and algae infestation and offers a very nice finish. After aging and thinning of the product, it can be refurbished quite easily by slight sanding and rolling on two new top-layers. (At 50% or less than original cost, especially in DIY applications the refurbishment cost is very low.)
If staining, dullness and higher maintenance efforts are not the concern, a well-built marble-plastered pool is still a suitable solution. If you want easier maintenance and are willing to spend less than 50% (even much less if DIY) of the original application cost to refurbish the coating every 6-8 years (some pools have reached 10 years), an epoxy coat is the solution. If you want a longer lifespan (not guaranteed and very dependent on the expertise of the applicator) and are willing to take the higher financial risk associated with failure of the lining, are willing to pay the much higher initial installation cost, the same level of easy maintenance can be achieved with a stronger, thicker and supposedly longer-lasting fiberglass lining. Unfortunately we have found that swimming pools refurbished with fiberglass linings tend to give problems sooner than later due to the loose binding to the substrate and water seeping in between layers from the top edges causing bubbles, flexible areas and later causing cracking.
The natural aging process of paints and epoxy pool paints subjected to UV radiation and submerged, chlorine-rich conditions is a process called "chalking". With our product this should not be excessive and water should not turn milky because of this. Our epoxy coatings have a lifespan of 8-10 years under controlled conditions. After this time the coating will start to wear thin and will need to be refurbished with new top-coat layers. We recommend using white (our UV-treated) epoxy colour, or a light-blue, which is less prone to chalking.
Another culprit that can accelerate the chalking process is over-dosage on salt-chlorinated pools. Always keep the to a minimum of salt dosage as an epoxy coat will reduce the accumulation of algae in the pool and less chlorine is needed to maintain the water clarity.
An even greater enemy is Calcium Hardness levels. If you are experiencing accelerated chalking, have the water tested for calcium hardness at a swimming pool shop that offers testing of the water for this condition. Calcium Hardness or Total Hardness should be between 300-500 ppm. Low Calcium Hardness levels will especially cause the pool water to become very corrosive as salts and minerals will be extracted from the pool walls or lining.
Do not add any type of advertised chemicals into the pool. Stick to the normal HTH chlorine, drifter packs and normal swimming pool acid in recommended dosages. Two10Blue clarifier is also a tested product. Low-alkalinity should also be checked but only use HTH alkalinity-up if you are experiencing low alkalinity levels. Calcium Chloride is available at most pool shops to increase the calcium level if required to between 300-500ppm.