Pocking on a pool: answers for short and long range

Q. Small holes from 1/4-inch to 1-inch deep have appeared in our 23-year-old , in-ground swimming pool, especially in the shallow end. The pool maintenance company suggests temporary filling of the holes, but says the problem would likely recur. What would you recommend?

Gail Michelson, Ridgefield, Conn.

A. One swimming-pool expert says that if the pool has a painted concrete surface, he would sandblast off the old paint. He would then fill the holes with an underwater hydraulic cement, such as Burke Plug, made by the Burke Company, P.O. Box 5818, San Mateo, Calif. 94402, or equal. The telephone number for Burke is: (415) 349-7600.

After the holes are filled, he would then repaint the pool surface, using a special swimming-pool paint. This method would be reasonably permanent, but he hedges on its long-term durability. If the pool has an unpainted white plastered finish, he would fill the holes with Pool Set, or equal. Pool Set is made by Kern Products, Inc., 2802 Dow Avenue, Tustin, Calif. 92680. Phone: (714) 731- 7901.

Another method, he adds, would be to score the surface and replaster the old pool. But this method would require an experienced mechanic following rigid procedures.

Probably the only permanent solution, though costly, would be to apply reinforcing wire mesh and gunite a couple of inches, plus or minus, of new concrete surface to the pool's bottom and sides.

To the properly cured gunite, apply a coat of traditional white swimming-pool plaster. Painting is then necessary.

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