Footprints & other marks appearing on bottom

Stains on the pool surfaces, pool equipment
or on the swimmers, or off-color swimming pool
water. Discolored but clear pool water.
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Joined: Thu 30 Jul, 2009 18:43
My Pool: 20 x 40 inground gunite with salt water system.
Location: West Virginia

Footprints & other marks appearing on bottom

Postby debbeeanne » Thu 30 Jul, 2009 18:59

We have a 2 year old inground gunite (Diamond Brite) salt water system pool. This spring we noticed stains on the pool bottom which are footprints and shoeprints, and the mark of a water hose, also some swirls like waves of water or other liquid. These are obviously very small indentions made when the pool was being built. I'm not sure at what stage this happened. The stains are getting darker and more noticable. We have tried brushing with a steel brush and our pool guys even tried a polishing machine, but nothing helps. The first year we added acid regularly as directed by our pool guys to keep the pH level corrected. The pool guy doesn't know much about plaster (they contract out the actual plaster work) but said maybe it should have been acid washed twice before we filled the pool. They are recommending that we drain and acid wash the pool at the end of the season. I don't understand a lot about the whole process. Did the plaster guys not put enough plaster on the concrete to cover up any footprints, etc? Did the acid we put in eat away more plaster in those areas so the color is showing through more? Will acid washing remove these stains? Will they come back since I am assuming the indentations are still there? It's not good to be acid washing a 2 year old pool; I know the more you acid wash the sooner you will have to resurface.

Any explanations to all of this would be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure my pool guys really know what to do.

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Footprints & other marks appearing on bottom

Postby geeman » Fri 31 Jul, 2009 06:52

Footprints can be caused by premature walking without sponges on a fresh surface especially if the plaster is overly thick in some areas. If you can see actual footprints (toes and all) or shoe prints, then they were not wearing sponges - not a good idea no matter what type of surface you have. Some guys will over shoot the floor with extra material instead of shooting the excess in buckets and throwing it away. Varying plaster thicknesses can cause hydration; trapped moisture creating an uneven cure. In this case, apply the acid and polishing to the prints. With an exposed aggregate finish like you have, sometimes over exposure may occur at the footprint areas. This may show up darker depending on the color of the aggregate. If this is the case, the additional acid exposure or polishing may need to be done to the surrounding areas as opposed to the actual print. Footprints usually show up after the pool is filled and within the 28 day initial cure. Well monitored, proper start-up procedures can usually overcome most hydration problems. Depending on the color of your plaster, the salt system may be exaggerating the situation if there is scale present. I would test separate small areas at a time with different methods. Try a little acid or some polishing and see what happens. Go with the best results. Good luck.

Re: Footprints & other marks appearing on bottom

Postby Paola » Tue 02 Aug, 2016 20:29

The same thing happened to the bottom of my pool (footsteps and semicircular lines), less than a year after the pool was re-plastered. The company that performed the work is telling me that the problem was not due to improper craftsmanship, but to improper conditioning/starting-procedure, which by the way was performed by the contractor recommended by the company who did the work. As such they tell me that the 5 year warranty included in my contract does not cover for the damage.
In your answer you seem to indicate that the problem is due to premature walking without sponges and material left at the bottom of the pool. But you also mention the importance of proper starting procedure, which is the reason my provider put forward. Which of the two is a more probable reason for what I see at the bottom of my pool?

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