The Latest Technology
Pool Solutions' four-layer epoxy pool paint system is offered in two-part epoxy resin and curing agents. The chemical reaction makes it much more effective, tougher and long-lasting than normal paint type products. The special qualities of a refined epoxy are developed by the chemical reaction during the curing stage and provide thickness, abrasive resistance, chemical resistance and a hard, solid, porcelain-like finish unequaled by any other product.
For these submerged and chemical-rich environments, normal pool paint products will not last very long due to the lack of bonding strength and rapid weakening due the penetration of chemicals and water into the layer structure. The chemical reaction of a two-part epoxy creates strong "honeycomb-type" molecular structures that cannot easily be penetrated and weakened by other substances. The special qualities of our epoxy swimming pool paint are achieved by the specially selected resin and pigment compounds, further strengthened by the latest technology available in curing agents.
With our latest developments we took the lead by offering a pool paint product that is immune to acid and chlorine staining.
We tested our product by spot-wetting with undiluted acid and chlorine on dry surface with no sign of staining, even after constant surface wetting over a period of 72 hours.
In submerged environments, any chemicals added to the swimming pool are further diluted and dispersed which further reduces the risk of staining.
Ask applicators whether acid and chlorine can be added directly into the swimming pool with their pool paints and you may find that many suppliers still rely on old, out-dated technology, adding chemicals directly normally voids their guarantee. Our latest technology takes the hassle out of pool maintenance and swimming pool repair has become a task that any handyman can undertake with our DIY Pool Paint option. Normal HTH chemicals and swimming pool acid can be added directly into the swimming pool with our specialised epoxy pool paint system.
Four Layers of Protection
Three highly resilient epoxy top layers will protect the underlying sealing primer layer. This means that the underlying bonding coat is not just a top-coat formulation diluted or weakened with the overuse of diluent and solvents as we have found to be the case with so many of the products on the market we have investigated. This ensures proper penetration of the surface to which it is applied and excellent adhesion to the surface, even penetration to a depth of 2-3 mm.
80% of the success of the product depends on the preparation of the pool surface and the bonding strength of our specialised pool paint primer.
This primer layer is left for 30min to an hour to become very sticky, literally a glue-like, substance. This is important for the application of the first top-coat, which will then chemically bind or "fuse" with the primer layer. This combination layer, over the next few hours, will form a solid, hard and glossy surface.
The final two top layers are applied over the next two days to provide that tough, gloss porcelain-like finish. This is unlike most other pool paints available, where the top layer is applied on a dry surface or on a dry primer to form a separate top layer, still leaving the risk of inter-layer lamination.
Bond-strength Test and Coating Thickness
Research on in-ground dams, reservoirs and pools has proven that the only way to overcome the risk of blistering due to reverse osmosis, is to ensure that the highest bonding strength is achieved and that the the complete coating itself is thick enough to withstand reverse pressure. For this reason we do not formulate our product with a high content of water dilution or solvent dilution. The problem with solvents is that it evaporates during the drying time, leaving only the pigment and binder elements of the paint behind. The more solvents are used in the formulation, the thinner the layer will be after drying. It is also a well-known fact in the coating industry that solvents reduce the inherent qualities of an epoxy e.g. hardness, bonding strength, chemical resistance, UV-resistance etc. In water-based epoxies the water is used as a solvent and will also evaporates.
Our swimming pool primer (first coat) epoxy is not diluted by any solvents. Our hig0-solids Topcoat utilizes a 10-15% solvent content for easier application. The product is rolled on by hand, using Mohair rollers, leaving a thick resilient epoxy layer that will last for many years.
Like the primer layer, the top-coat layers are also two-part resin and catalytic hardener combinations that are smooth, tough, resistant to UV radiation and stain- resistant. Algae cannot adhere to the glossy surface. The protective coating is available in white, shades of light blue, charcoal and black.
UV-Resistance and weather-ability
Our 2007 upgrade to the highest UV resistant Rutile Titanium Dioxide white base pigments and a specialised curing agent ensures that chalking of the swimming pool paint is reduced to the minimum. This will prolong the life-expectancy of the product more than three times compared to conventional pigments we have found in some (if not all) commercially available swimming pool paints. In fact, investigating the formulations of three different commercially available swimming pool epoxies, we have found them all to be using a common white base pigment intended for indoor use!
Chalking occurs on all paints and epoxies, especially on outside structures over long periods of time due to the combination of chlorine, and UV-radiation. Chalking is the process whereby the pigments in the coating will reflect the light rays into the adjacent binding elements of the layer. The heat and energy released into these particles will slowly break down the bonding structure, loosening the pigment particles which are then released into the water. This can be seen when the swimming pool has not been used for a long time and wiping with the hand on the surface, a milky substance is released. Chalking occurs mostly on the steps and the top 500mm area of the walls.
In this photo, the difference between the two top panels and the two bottom panels clearly shows the difference in colour stability performance between two different types of curing agents used in the same formulation. These results were obtained after these four panels were subjected to 250 hours of UV and moist simulation tests in a lab.
It is therefore essential that UV-absorbing pigments and UV-resistive ingredients be used in these type of swimming pool paint formulations. With our latest upgrade we have reduced the effect of UV radiation even further to the level where our white base pigment will not form visible chalking under normally maintained swimming pool conditions.
Our Primer formulation was specially developed for submerged concrete, marble plaster and cement type surfaces, but is also very effective on fiberglass and most other materials. Together with our chemical resistant top layer, the system consists of two different epoxy resin and hardener combinations. (Not like some applicators who are using thinned-down versions of their top-coat as a penetrating primer).
The primer was specially formulated using selected industrial-grade products that are specifically developed to offer maximum bonding strength and penetration into cement, concrete and marble plaster, as well as it's resistance to water (to be able to seal the pool from outside moist and prevent slow water absorption).
Our formulations are high-solid formulations that are not diluted by high percentages of solvents (which will reduce the special qualities of any epoxy).
The Top-coat epoxy provides qualities like chemical resistance, gloss, water resistance and colour stability. Of course there are several ingredients added to the basic resin and curing agent combinations to enhance or add certain qualities e.g. anti-sagging agents to prevent that the epoxy layer becomes thin at the top of the wall and thick at the bottom, also products that will enhance flexibility, self-leveling products for smoothness, enhancers for chemical resistance and a large quantity of quarts to provide abrasive resistance and long-lasting gloss etc.
Note that these Epoxy formulations are not the same as normal paint products which are single component systems (not resin and curing agent combinations). Normal paints rely on the evaporation of solvents into the air to dry. Normal paints does not offer the bonding, toughness, chemical resistance etc. to the level that epoxies offer.
Most of an epoxy's qualities (80%) are resident in the curing agent part being used. Our epoxies have a small percentage of solvents to improve viscosity and ease of application with rollers etc., but the main feature is that the curing process is a chemical-reaction-driven process where very strong and impenetrable honeycomb-type molecular structures are formed.
Algae resistant - no algae that can cause stains and pitting, will grow on the pool surface anymore.
Chemical resistant to acid, salts, chlorine and UV-radiation, your pool will look new and sparkling clean for many years to come.
Less maintenance due to the elimination of algae growing into the marble plaster, you don't need to scrub with strong chemicals anymore, also reducing the need for shock treatments. The application of an epoxy coat can reduced the use of chemicals by as much as 60%.
Less expensive than to re-marble plaster and much less expensive than fiberglass linings.
Excellent bonding to marble plaster, cement plaster and concrete. Our specially developed epoxy undercoat will penetrate the marble plaster or cement surface to a depth of up to 2 to 3 millimeters.
The combination of primer and topcoat will harden to a tough and durable gloss finish over the next 3 days. Further hardening occurs after water is added to the pool for a long-lasting, quality finish. The product can be used on fiberglass. In fact the swimming pool that we have coated in 1997 is a fiberglass pool and was still in use when we revisited in 2008 with the original epoxy coat.
Quality is one of the most important aspects in this market known for its pitfalls and fly-by-nights. We can reference you to our previous customers and show you pools that were coated in 1997 and still show no sign of discoloring or deterioration.
We have tested a number of available epoxies advertised for swimming pools, just to find that very few of these epoxies can survive the harsh chemical and damp conditions of submerged pool surfaces. Therefore we have developed product combinations and methods that are unique and specially designed for swimming pools.
The main problems we found with some epoxies are:
Weak bonding with and/or penetration into the base materials due to inferior primer coat qualities, resulting in peeling, blistering, cracks etc.
Discoloring (yellowing) due to pigment ionization, UV radiation or untested/inferior ingredients.
Blistering due to dampness from high water tables building up pressure from outside the pool and behind the coating.
Staining due to weak resistance to water and chemical penetration.
Contamination and damage due to long drying times and weak water-spot resistance especially during the rainy season.
How did we overcome these challenges?
First, we made sure our tough and durable primer is specially developed and can be applied under adverse conditions.
Secondly we ensured that this primer penetrates and bond to the substrate material up to a depth of 2 - 3mm. The result is a durable, tough, plastic-like bottom layer. 90% Of problems with paint or epoxy coatings are due to improper preparation of the surface and cheap (or no) primers.
We apply a strong epoxy concrete Primer and three Topcoat layers to strengthen the coating against reverse-osmotic pressure. 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 (PCT56) 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 advise 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 penetration 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 pose 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 blsitering occurence, 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 bulistering or delamination 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 fibreglass, but rather settle for "breathable" plastered pool finish (marblite).
We have also developed our epoxy products to offer as low as two hour water-spot resistance during summer time conditions. We have selected ingredients that improves water-spot resistance. Visit our section on tests to see how we tested our products against chemicals and also water-spot resistance.
Our epoxy primer coat has proven itself over the past years and was developed especially for swimming pools. What we advertise is what we can guarantee you will get.
Our tested, durable and tough top-coat epoxy comes in gloss white, light blue, charcoal or black mixed to customer specification. The topcoat is applied on the primer coat while the primer is still sticky, ensuring complete bonding and chemical reaction between the layers. A final decorative gloss top-coat is finally applied. Once set, this combined four-layer epoxy coat forms a solid and durable covering that has penetrated the pool surface and will never come loose again. In fact we have tried to remove it from pools with structural problems, the only way was to use heavy-duty grinders with very rough stone-filled disks to grind off the epoxy layers.
What about SABS tests?
Epoxies advertised to be SABS tested only means that a few initially developed samples
of the product were tested by the SABS to determine expected lifetime
and to certify that these samples offer resistance to chlorine, acid and offer other qualities like bonding and
flexibility. It does not imply that the product is SABS approved,
and there is no guarantee that the product the customer buy is still of
the same exact compound due to ongoing development to improve quality
(or diluted by some applicators to increase profit margins).
Although initial development samples of our epoxies were also SABS tested, we prefer the
test of time and references from satisfied customers. We are
constantly testing new technology in raw materials and will continually
replace older technology with newer technology as per manufacturer's
specifications and extensive test results. We will then test
new formulations by our own methods unique to this market with
sunlight, chlorine and acid to prove the higher expected
Ongoing quality is maintained throughout our manufacturing process to ensure that each batch conforms to our exact formulation standards. Our eldest reference pool was coated with an epoxy coat in 1997 and is still stain-free and free of any algae infestation. This initial already successful product was SABS tested. After this we have improved on many qualities.
We believe that every industry has its own professionalism and we can combine our strengths and experience with the technical developers and chemical engineers to provide you with the best quality product and service that can last a lifetime. In this environment where quality is critical, we prefer not compromise on quality. Our products, service and workmanship is our pride and we will constantly listen to our customers and try to improve our products and methods on an ongoing basis.
Today, we believe that we offer our clients one of the most durable and excellent swimming pool epoxy coatings available on the market, making use of the latest trends and developments available from the international chemical industry.
At Pool Solutions we are constantly developing and researching new technology. The chemical industry is constantly developing new and better epoxy resins, additives and curing agents. That is why during 2004 we have again upgraded and vigorously tested our formulations to profit form these latest developments. In Nov 2007 we have again upgraded our product to utilize the latest in UV-resistant Titanium Dioxide white pigment. Our main goals for improving our products were the following:
To develop a primer-coat that is capable to adhere better to new concrete and cement-plastered structures as well as existing marble plaster surfaces. We also tested its bonding on sanded fiberglass with excellent results.
To develop a top-coat epoxy that offers excellent waterspot resistance. This was necessary to overcome application problems during rainy seasons when rain could contaminate, discolor and ruin our final coat within three hours after application.
To develop a top-coat epoxy that is immune to acid and chlorine to the extend that normal swimming pool chemicals can be added directly to the pool without special precautions and without the risk of permanently discoloring the top layer. See our recommended chemicals on the FAQ page.
Newly developed additives in our primer formulations now offer up to 500 psi bonding strength to new and very damp surfaces which is more than double the bonding strength previously achievable. Our older trusted and proven primer coat for established pools have also been upgraded with the same additives to increase, even double, bonding to damp concrete or cement type surfaces. This will further prevent blistering due to water filtering through from the outside of older pool walls. Water penetrating from the outside of the pool (or from inside) is also the culprit for many failing fiberglass linings as fiberglass does not offer any bonding to the underlying substrate. Our primer coat penetrates the substrate and will form an excellent, tough, plastic type bonding layer that will never laminates from the surface, completely sealing the pool surface. To ensure the highest possible qualities, we have always followed the route of specially developed Primer and Top coats, each coat uniquely offering the best qualities for the specific application need
Our upgraded top-coat epoxy now offers better gloss and UV-resistance. It offers high colours stability and stain-resistance against water or chemicals. Excellent water-spot resistance offers applicators the ability to apply the top-coat with much less risk, even on rainy days. On warm days (25-30 deg C) water spot resistance is reached within 2-3 hours. Should it then rain, no damage to the gloss and/or color will occur. The pool in the photograph below was finished at 12H30 on a warm day in Nov 2004.
A thundershower started at 15H30 while the application team was still nearby. Due to past experiences with epoxies from other suppliers, they rushed back to the pool, expecting a ruined top-coat. They cleaned and dried the pool and found that there were no signs of damage to the gloss coat. It rained again heavily at 19H00 that evening, washing dirt and red garden soil into the pool during the night. The next day at 12H00 we arrived to have a look and was shocked by the red muddy pools of water, leaves and dirt that has accumulated in the deep end and on the steps.
Normally, this would have meant staining of the top-coat due to the red muddy water and residue from the leaves before final setting of the compound qualities. We expected ring-mark contamination because of the time the dirty water was left standing on the newly-applied top coat.
We cleaned and dried the pool. Our new topcoat formulation was a winner! We were pleasantly surprised to find that the pool was completely and beautifully protected by the new epoxy formulation. The photograph below shows the steps shortly after cleaning where pools of red muddy water and leaves accumulated overnight.
Some of the problems common to older or cheaper type epoxies are listed below: (please note that most of these problems will also be present if a normal paint product is used to coat submerged and chemically rich surfaces):
Poor water resistance
Long curing times
Very weak water spot resistance (when applying the product during rainy seasons or high humidity conditions that could cause staining, discoloring or loss of gloss)
Staining by chemicals (acids and chlorine) added directly to the pool
Chalking due to low UV resistance causing the breaking-up of the binder elements in the coating structure, causing slow disintegration of the layer
Fading and yellowing due to low UV resistance
Water absorption weakening the abrasive resistance and bonding strength of the layer, resulting in blistering and/or peeling etc.
The photographs below show four different epoxy coatings tested to determine it's resistance against staining by undiluted acid and chlorine. Undiluted Hydrochloric acid and HTH dry-chlorine were used to perform simultaneous tests on all four epoxy coatings as shown below. Cotton balls were used to keep the spots wet over a period of 72 hours. Separate cotton balls were saturated with acid and over-saturated water/chlorine mix.
Four panels were coated with different epoxy coatings according to the suppliers instructions and left for seven days to cure before testing.
The test panels were left under test for 72 hours. The photographs below show the results.
Product 1 & 2 (From Competitors)
After only 24 hours the products from two manufacturers seem to be stained by the undiluted acid and chlorine tests. The yellow-brown stains could not be removed without damaging the layer which indicates that the coatings have absorbed the chemicals into the layer itself. These products also lost it's gloss and yellowing appeared after a few months. Chlorine tests left a lighter yellow mark than the acid. The products were easily stained by acid and to some degree by chlorine.
Another observation was the high rate of chalking on pools previously coated with these products. We suspect both these manufacturers use the same basic formulation. Chalking is the release of high concentration of pigment into the water causing a milky appearance in the pool. This is especially visible during- or after winter months when the pool wasn't used for a period of time. The result is that the layer will thin-out very quickly.
The expected lifetime of these coatings are estimated between 18 months to 3 years. Adding chemicals directly into the pool will stain these layers over a short period of time. We have experience of this as we have tested it in our own experimental swimming pool. Both suppliers of these products does however specify in their instructions that chemicals should not be added directly to the pool but should first be diluted in water and then added through the weir while the pump is switched on. This is an essential factor concerning their guarantees.
These products are sold at the same price level as our own, but are definitely weakened by larger additions of solvents to the formula as well as lower priced additives, resins and curing agents that are used. See the tests below on our previous and latest products.
Our aim is not to discredited any opposition as we believe that there are good products like our own in this market, some which we haven't tested yet. But we must warn that clients should be careful and investigate the supplier or applicator's technical knowledge and the type of primer and at least the type of curing agents that are used in their formulations. Ask questions like: Do they have a specialized primer? Are they using the same type of basic epoxy resin and curing agent for both top coat and primer? This is not good. How do they protect the pool against reverse osmoses (water ciphering through from outside the pool)? How many layers do they apply? If this is done by one thin primer or no primer at all - you can expect problems. This is the one major problem coating underground structures. If dampness is allowed from outside to reach the top layer, blistering bubbles is normally the result. We apply one very saturated and specially developed epoxy primer coat to stop dampness from the outside. After the pool is properly sealed, we will apply 3 chemical-resistant top coats.
Test their knowledge about their products, ask them about their developments. A lack of technical knowledge normally indicates that no development has been done and they could be selling a standard formulation which is bought out from other applicators. It might proof to be very old technology or even diluted. These products does not offer much improvement above any normal paint product advertised for swimming pools, in which case the objective is not the long term satisfaction of their clients but rather fast profits.
Product 3 (Pool Solutions Product 1)
This older product (before Nov 2004) from Pool Solutions showed only slight discoloring from the direct acid tests and no staining by strong chlorine could be detected. Adding acid into the swimming pool while filled with water would not stain the product as this slight stain occurred after exposure to direct, undiluted acid over a period of 3 days. However, we have even further improved the formulation by using more expensive curing agents, additives and chemical resistant ingredients in our products.
Product 4 (Pool Solution's Latest Development)
This latest development from Pool Solutions could not be visibly stained by constant exposure to direct undiluted chemicals over a period of even 3 days. After three days the wet acid and chlorine residue spots could be wiped of with a cloth to leave a clean and shiny white surface. This latest development allows the user to add chemicals to the pool without special handling or special precaution when used according to manufacturers specification.
Please note that HTH-dry chlorine was used for these tests. Other products (e.g.Waterwell dry chlorine) might stain the paint.
The hard plastic-like gloss finish proofed to be impenetrable by the chemicals. Our latest development offers higher gloss and an impenetrable layer against approved chemicals. Chemicals can now be added directly to the pool even in undiluted form. Follow the manufacturers instructions regarding dosages.
We have achieved the following product quality through constant development and research:
Excellent water resistance with no absorption into our product. This means our product will not be weakened, softened, fading due to water absorption like normal paint products and cheaper and/or older technology epoxies.
We have shortened touch-dry curing times of our top-coat to 2 hours at 25deg Celsius. The advantage is that rain or other dirt will not damage or discolor the newly applied coat after 4 hours of drying time. Even should dirt be washed into the pool and left overnight it can be washed and cleaned the next day without staining or loss of gloss.
Exceptional water spot resistance means that even if it rains on our newly applied product, even when not fully cured, the product will not be discolored or damaged.
Chemical resistance. Undiluted hydrochloric acid and chlorine were tested directly on dry surface of our product for 72 hours with no staining or absorption. This means approved chemicals added directly into the pool will have no effect on the our epoxy coatings.
Starting out in 1997, QUALITY always was one of the most important aspects in this market known for
its pitfalls and fly-by-nights. We can reference you to our previous customers and show you pools that were coated in 1997
and still show no sign of discoloring or deterioration.
We have tested a number of available epoxies advertised for swimming pools, just to find that very few of these epoxies can survive the harsh chemical and damp conditions of some pool surfaces. Therefore we have developed product combinations and methods that are unique and specially designed for swimming pools.