What is your relationship with the pool builders, plasterers, and renovators in your area?
The first day of spring this year is March 20, and that generally marks the time when homeowners with expendable income start thinking about finally putting in that backyard pool. Do you have connections with pool builders and renovators to do the new plaster start-ups?
It’s common for pool builders to contract out the start-up work on a new pool once they’ve put away their trowels.
And pool builders will be sure to recommend service professionals who they believe will maximize the long-lasting beauty of their projects to showcase their work.
So new pool start-ups are a natural foot in the door for service firms looking to build up their business.
There’s a lot more to starting up a newly plastered pool then simply adding water. Indeed, there’s a lot more to starting up a pool then even balancing the water. Furthermore, there are several different start-up methods to choose from.
But if the service company is able to successfully manage the delicate chemistry involved in a new pool start-up, there’s a great chance that the same firm will be invited back for weekly maintenance.
Because after a solid month of providing the start-up service for a newly built pool, pool owners will begin to see you as indispensable.
In the case of newly plastered pools, the process of effectively treating the initial water chemistry is a crucial time that can determine not only the appearance, but also the longevity of the pool shell.
New plaster goes through a breakin period called hydration where the plaster cures underneath the water. Calcium carbonate, called plaster dust, is commonly released from the plaster, and if allowed to settle, will re-adhere to the surfaces as scale. But there may be start-up methods that eliminate, or at least reduce, this plaster dust from forming in the first place.
Experts say that it is essential to pay attention to the chemistry of the source water at this critical time. Total alkalinity and calcium hardness will play vital roles in the hydration process, and maintaining recommended levels does affect the longevity and aesthetics of the finish. It’s also crucial to pay attention to the source water’s metal content and to add a good sequestrant before fresh plaster succumbs to metal staining.
For the service tech responsible for a new pool start-up, it’s absolutely essential to ensure that the initial water chemistry is maintained at a level of near perfection. Surface problems like blemishes caused by poor cement mixtures or incorrect troweling procedures are easily blamed on bad water chemistry. And regardless of the cause, pool owners will not be happy about blemishes on a brand-new pool.
That’s why it is so important to both know and document that the water is in balance during the time in which the curing takes place.
In many cases, the new pool start-up is successful because the service company works closely with the plasterer. When the two are on the same page about how to treat a freshly plastered pool, it’s good protection for the service company if any problems develop down the road.
There are several different startup methods endorsed by pool professionals, and for a variety of reasons. In this issue of Service Industry News, we’ll take a look at a couple of these, with a keen eye on the logic behind the method.