Our pools are shot at a minimum of 12” thick for the walls and floor, with a 14” thickened bond beam when required. Our concrete mix design has 756 pounds of Portland cement and is a 5,000 PSI mix, with a great, water-to-Portland-cement ratio and some great additives for pump ability and strength.
Our pools have a 6,000 PSI or greater strength at a 28-day cure. Most of our local competitors shoot a 4,000 PSI mix design that generally has to have water added so it pumps easier, thus weakening the mix design to far less than 4,000 PSI.
For our Midwestern temperature swings, and if you are doing a salt water pool, you need a minimum of 4,000-4,500 PSI. High-strength concrete and domestic rebar cost more money. But this is not an area to cut quality. We have no problem showing a client our delivery slips for the concrete that was actually delivered to the jobsite. Our shells are shot by highly-trained, experienced crews under our supervision for larger projects, and in-house for all the detail work, waterfalls and spas. Large scale projects require enough pumping power, air power and manpower. We shoot large scale projects with two nozzlemen, and plenty of air power to shoot a dense, solid, rebound-free shell.
We water cure and tank test our pools to hydrate the Portland cement particles in our pools shells for a minimum of 10 days after the pools shell is shot. A pool shell shot well will hold water with no plaster or waterproofing required for the life of the shell.
The photos below are Elite Landscaping’s examples of a nice, dense, clean concrete shoot.
Of note: You do not see a lot of rebound laying on the ground. There are nice straight, even walls, with no hand-stacked areas or areas of completely missing material. The steps are even, with level heights and level benches. There is no rebar or bonding wire sticking out of the shell that will rust or cause rust to come through the plaster finish. On the right is an example of a pool that we tank tested for 2 months.
Below are poorly-shot examples of what we like to call “lipstick on a pig!”
Safety issues in these pools include: Copper bonding wire actually sticking out into the infinity basin. Improper encapsulation, as well as rebar sticking out into the shell after the concrete has been shot. Parts of the shell are hand stacked or completely missing. Irregular step heights are a safety hazard, and the pillars are bowing out. There is also enough loose gravel to fill a sandbox.