POOL CONSTRUCTION PROCESS – STEP 7
The shotcrete phase of the project is probably the most amount of work completed, and the biggest “change” in a single day! This is an amazing process that is really cool to watch (if you happen to be around…) It involves the application of the concrete shell over the re-bar shell & plumbing. Shotcrete gives the structural integrity of our pools. Unique uses an “upgraded” mix of concrete in our pools (which is over an above standard practices) – Our 3500 PSI mix actually contains small fibers that look like small hairs. These fibers (called FIBER-MESH), allow the concrete to hold together at a smaller level, whereas the re-bar allows the pool to withstand larger forces.
“SHOTCRETE” – BRIEF OVERVIEW : The inspection should have been passed for this phase of the project to be underway, but the shotcrete process takes only one day. It usually begins around 7AM, with a few trucks & crews, and then the concrete trucks start to show up. There is a huge rig outside your property that actually pumps the concrete through a hose, into your pool. The “nozzleman” handles the end of the hose and shoots a mix of concrete & high pressure air towards the sides & floor of your new pool. This application technique of “shooting” the concrete into the pool is where the terminology “SHOT – CRETE” comes into play – since it’s literally “shot” into the pool. It’s amazing to see these guys “carve” & “sculp” the walls & edges of your new pool. It’s over by the end of the day, and they do a light cleanup (we always wish it was more, but they are tired!)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
The shotcrete guys left a mess, is this normal? Well, as we mentioned above, they don’t do a major cleanup when they are done. It’s normal for them to leave clumps of concrete around the pool, and even a washout area of concrete somewhere. They don’t have the equipment to haul away wet concrete, so they let it harden – and it’s cleaned up later – near job completion.
I’ve heard talk of “overbreak”. What is this, and when do I know if it applies to me? “Overbreak” is a term used in the pool business that refers to additional shotcrete needed to complete a job. Every pool company bids a project & signs a contract based on 6″ of concrete in the walls & floor of the pool. If there are abnormal soil conditions, then there will be areas with more than 6″ of concrete, causing the need for additional concrete or “overbreak”. The “overbreak” is always an unknown, and charged as an additional in the pool industry – this is reflected in our pool construction agreements. Again, we can provide you with calculations on exact concrete specified, and then actual concrete supplied (by using the concrete mix tickets from the plant). These tickets are supplied to us by our shotcrete crews on EVERY job – for your records & review.
Should I be upgrading or doing a “stronger” concrete mix? Actually, we use one of the strongest mixes recommended for swimming pools. It’s actually 500 PSI stronger than the engineers requirements, and after a good “water-curing” process – it can harden to over 6000 PSI! On top of that, we integrate FIBERMESH in all of our pools, which help the concrete resist shrinkage cracks & hairline fractures, as well as major cracks too.