Plaster Start-up Care and Maintenance

Plaster Start-up Care and Maintenance For All Marbilite, Aggregate, Pebble and Glass Interior Finishes

Important Information To Read…


  • Pool Water Filling Instructions
  • Water Testing, Balancing and Record Keeping
  • Regular Scheduled Maintenance
  • What You Should Know About Pool Interior Finishes
  • General Material Qualifications
  • Salt and Ultra-Violet Ozone Sanitizing Systems


Prior to plastering clean the decking around the pool, skimmers and the filter equipment. Be sure pets are kept away from the pool until it is full of water.

Whether by garden hose or tank truck, It’s best to not stop the water filling until the pool and spa is completely full for any reason. If the pool is filled by water delivery trucks, have your garden hose running while they’re refilling the truck for their return. If the water is stopped before the pool or spa is full, it is somewhat likely there will be a ring at the water line that could be difficult or impossible to remove.

Do not hose wash the pool or spa while water is filling. Accelerated filling with additional hoses or greater pressure is acceptable, even desirable, but should be directed into the accumulated water.

On occasion water delivered by tank truck may have algae in it causing the pool, when filled, to have a green tinge. This color will be eliminated after the water has been filtered and chemically treated. Certain colored plasters are intentionally designed to have an aqua marine color.


Cementitious residue accumulates in all newly finished concrete pools and produces a cloudy appearance until cleared by the filter system. This is normal but, if not removed, the residue could harden on the surface and remain rough.

Start the filter system as soon as as time allows when the pool is full and run continuously for a minimum of three days. We recommend running the filter system 24 hours per day always while in season. All pool surfaces including standard white plaster, Diamond Brite and River Rok should be brushed twice per day the first week and 2 times a week thereafter for two weeks with a stainless steel bristle pool brush attachment to a telescopic pole. Do not brush the pool until it is full of water (Brushing does not necessarily have to be performed with consecutive days).

Brushing all surfaces once a week throughout the pools life will assure the surface is clean, algae free and less susceptible to stains. Always use a quality algae inhibitor and stain and scale control (sequestering agent) on a regular regimen.

PLEASE NOTE: Diamond Brite and River Rok finishes will have little or no aggregate or pebbles and glass beads exposed on the surface until after the acid start-up procedure as listed in the these instructions is performed.

Glass, pebble and exposed aggregate-quartz finishes are a blend of quartz sand, pebble or glass often in a variety of colors, mixed together with a cementitious blend of materials and other additives, which is placed similarly to the hard-trowel plaster finish. Once the product has been placed, the surface is typically exposed, but can be left unexposed, or under-exposed, depending on the desired texture or aesthetic affect for that product.

Over time, these finishes may or may not be exposed. You may choose to speed the process immediately after the finish application by lowering the pH to an acidic level of 5.0 and brushing all areas three times a day for three days. There is no need to brush more often or longer than recommended. This process should be done without the filtration system running. A submersible circulation pump should be placed in the pool during the process. At times, the process may need to be repeated multiple times, lowering the pH to as low as 5.0 each time to achieve the desired exposure. As an alternative, the pool may be drained and the finish acid washed anytime later producing the exposed finish you may desire. We do offer this service as part of our loyalty discount program. Please ask us how you can save on all our maintenance services!

For pools equipped with a main drain and sand or diatomaceous earth (DE) filters, the main drain MUST be closed during backwashing. The laterals in the filter tanks will become clogged if the main drain valves are left open. In circumstances of extreme cloudiness due to white coat dust, an acid start-up could be recommended.

Do not use or run heaters, in-floor cleaning systems (turn off valves) automatic pool cleaners or return water through in-floor return nozzles for three weeks. In addition do not run pool heaters until all plaster dust is gone. It is ok to gently manually vacuum with a vacuum head equipped with an integral brush after three days. Do not lower the water level in the pool or spa for four weeks after interior finish is installed.

Immediately begin the chemical balance of the pool water and keep at proper levels at all times. Pool and spa water chemistry includes Total Alkalinity, pH, Calcium Hardness, Stabilizer and Total Dissolved Solids. All five must be in balance for the water to effectively utilize Chlorine, Shock and Algaecide (Three Step Program). Do not add stabilizer or chlorine for three days. Do not add salt for a minimum of four weeks after interior finish is applied.

The pH of a teardrop is 7.5 so keeping the pH in your pool at 7.4 – 7.6 range is critical for swimmer comfort. Also, sanitizer and shock are pH dependent. That means unless the pH is in the correct range, sanitizer and shock will not work effectively. A high pH will cause staining of the interior surface. For up to thirty days fresh plaster will have a tendency to raise pH. It’s recommended and important to have pH decreaser on hand to keep the pH in the correct range.

To be sure the surface of your pool will stay smooth one of the most important minerals to be certain is in the correct range is calcium hardness. In addition, be sure to use a stain and scale control on a regular basis as part of the pool care regimen.

Do not allow swimmers or bathers in the pool until it is balanced for swimming.

A three-step water care system along with stain and scale control inhibitors will ensure a beautiful finish for many years to come. Bring a pint-sized water sample to any professional computerized water analysis lab monthly for testing. In addition, perform testing at least twice a week with test strips or a quality testing kit. Adjust water balance as necessary.

Please ask our water chemistry experts any questions you may have. They can help to eliminate any chance of surface staining or roughness keeping your new pool finish beautiful for a lifetime. Be sure the calcium hardness is kept in the proper range assuring a smooth comfortable finish for many years.

Please visit our Water Chemistry Page found in Manuals, Warranty and Care located on our website. You’ll find water balance guidelines and our SUREtreat program; a handy place to safely store all your water analysis records. For salt water pools it includes the dosage required for your pools gallonage.

We offer a comprehensive water testing kit that will enable you to know the parameters required to balance the water perfectly. The Taylor TTK2005C test kit will perform the tests needed. We can deliver the kit next day. Please contact us to purchase for $199. (410) 668-1300 or email us at

Draining is not recommended for at least 1-½ years except for repair, and then only under professional supervision. Stains and calcium deposits do develop on pool surfaces and are normally removed professionally either under water or by draining and applying a light acid wash and/or sanding with high speed sanders and special sanding discs.


Plaster mixes are not perfect or flawless because they’re compounded from raw mined minerals and applied over other materials. They’re hard troweled by hand to add as smooth of a surface as possible. Underwater lights and pool water magnify small objects and give the appearance of a wavy surface.

White plaster is not completely white and you may notice small spots of various colors because of the inherent qualities of the materials themselves. Your pool may look blotchy and streaked for a long period of time due to curing and the chemicals in the water.

All types of finishes have inherent characteristics that make them appear somewhat different from the sample and from pool to pool. Some surfaces will have small cracks known as “checks” or “shrinkage”; this is normal in all finishes for pools. Our interiors utilize the best materials and craftsmanship that can be used in swimming pools. A long-life of around 15 years or more can be expected.

General Material Qualifications:

  • It is beautiful, durable and long lasting
  • It resists algae, bacteria, impact and abrasion
  • It is readily cleaned, maintained and easily cared for
  • It is repairable, most repairs can be performed even under water
  • It can be re-plastered to its original smooth and snow white appearance
  • Nothing is urgent but should be attended to as soon as possible for start-up or care


Since the cost of chlorine has risen so high, alternative sanitizing methods can save a lot of money. Since people are traveling so much more and with new pathogens emerging everyday as the world population increases, having the right sanitizing systems is crucial to your family’s safety.

The appearance of an ugly, difficult-to-remove waxy biofilm from the waterline of chlorine treated pools was once the norm, but this can now be eliminated thanks to ozone systems. Eliminate the ugly look of biofilm, the unnecessary scrubbing of the waterline, and the unhealthiness for bathers by using these systems.

Ozone is a considerably stronger and faster acting oxidizer than chlorine. Lower concentrations of ozone to do the same or better job than chlorine.

Using ozone in swimming pools and spa water treatments with chlorine as the primary disinfectant not only can eliminate waterline cleaning, but greatly improves how swimming pool water looks and feels. It reduces chloramines (chlorine smell) dissipating from the water, making it safer and more comfortable.

In a national survey, bathers admit some unhealthy swimming habits, including:

    • Most adults (75 per cent) never shower before swimming. Only 20 per cent shower for at least one minute, the length of time needed to remove most contaminants from a swimmer’s body.
    • One in four swimmers (27 per cent) admits they have peed in the pool as an adult.
    • The number of adults who said they would swim within one hour of having diarrhea (17 per cent) is also alarming. This is especially concerning because Cryptosporidium (Crypto), a microscopic parasite, is the most common cause of diarrheal illness linked to pools.

“Swimming is a right of summer, but swimmers’ unhealthy habits can make loved ones sick,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, Chair of the Water Quality & Health Council. “We all share the water we swim in. Although chlorine and other pool chemical disinfectants are effective at disinfecting pools, they might be used up by contaminants, such as urine, sweat, and dirt from bathers’ bodies.”

“Chlorine mixing with these contaminants is what makes swimmers’ eyes red, not chlorine in and of itself.”

Adding a Salt Generation system along with an Ultraviolet Ozone (UVO3) system will reduce chlorine expense to zero and keep everyone swimming safely and more comfortably. UVO3 can eliminate 99.9% of pathogens including the ones that chlorine does not kill. This means much safer water that’s incredibly easier to maintain! This equipment literally pays for itself!

Salt generation systems start at only $2,695. Our UVO3 systems are $3,795. We can design a cost effective system for your pool.

Salt Generation System (AQR 925):

*Hayward AquaRite 925 w/Extended Life Turbulent Flow Chamber- from $2,695.00

Hydra Pure Ultraviolet Ozone System:

*Hayward HydraPure – $3,795.00

Purchase both systems together for special price – *$6,390.00 (Save $100.00)