What Happens If You Don’t Brush New Pool Plaster?

Written by Michael Dean
August 16, 2023

man brushing new pool plaster

Plastering a pool is a big undertaking and financial investment. Therefore, taking care of your new pool plaster is super important. The first two weeks are the most critical time after having your pool plastered, and brushing the new pool plaster is key to ensuring the plaster lasts and cures correctly.

In this article, I will explain why you should brush your pool plaster, when you should stop brushing, tips for caring for new plaster, and what happens if you don’t brush your pool plaster.

Main Takeaways

  • Not brushing your new pool plaster will increase potential algae growth and scale build-up, which is harmful to the curing process.
  • New pool plaster must be brushed to remove excess plaster dust and mineral build-up on the plaster surface.
  • New pool plaster must be brushed at least twice a day; there is no limit on how many times you want to brush it.
  • You can stop brushing your new pool plaster after two weeks or until the water is clear after brushing.

What Happens If You Don’t Brush New Pool Plaster?

After you have had your pool surface plastered, it is so important to brush the new pool plaster. If you don’t do this, two problems will arise algae growth and scale build-up.

Algae Growth

The first problem you will encounter is algae growth. When combined with new plaster, the algae growth period is accelerated. The plaster used in the swimming pool has many micropores on the surface where harmful bacteria and algae like to breed. If you don’t brush your new pool plaster, the algae will continue to grow inside and out of the plaster. Algae growth is not only unsightly but can be dangerous as well.

Scale Build-Up

The second problem caused by not brushing new pool plaster is scale build-up on the surface of your pool water. Scale build-up is typically made of different minerals, specifically calcium carbonate. This build-up can stick to walls and other pool surfaces, which can harden and stain the pool. Scale build-up results from water being added to the pool after being plastered, which can cause temporary fluctuations in your pool chemistry, specifically, your pH and alkalinity. These fluctuations happen because the materials in the plaster typically have high levels of calcium carbonate that are released into the pool water.

Why Should New Plaster Be Brushed?

You know what happens if you don’t brush your pool’s new plaster, but why should you brush the pool plaster in the first place?

There are several critical reasons you need to brush new pool plaster.

Remove Debris

The first reason you should brush new pool plaster is that regular brushing will remove any debris and keep the surface of the pool floor clear. New plaster usually has quite a bit of loose plaster dust left on the surface and within the micropores. This dust is not like what you get outside the pool; it is more of a build-up of calcium carbonate. Brushing out these pores will remove any excess dust, giving the plaster a chance to cure correctly and prevent algae buildup.

Because the pores in the plaster are open, you need to brush them regularly to keep them clean.

Properly Cure Plaster

The most important reason you should brush your new pool plaster is that it ensures that the plaster cures correctly and smoothly without any pitting, scaling, spotting, or gray streaks on the surface of the plaster. Correctly cured plaster will last a long-time and maintain its durability. You can read my article on common problems with new pool plaster for more details on these issues.

How Often Should You Brush Your New Pool Plaster?

You should begin brushing your new pool blaster the first day after it has been set. This will stop any bacteria growth immediately.

How often you brush your pool plaster is up to you, but as a general rule, you should brush at least twice daily. There is no maximum amount of times you can brush your pool as regular brushing is key to having pool plaster that cures properly.

To get the most out of your time spent brushing the new pool plaster, you should be brushing all the debris and plaster dust toward the main drain area of the pool. Be sure that you are brushing every inch of the newly plastered surface.

When Can You Stop Brushing Your New Pool Plaster?

There is no hard deadline when you should stop brushing the new plaster, but usually, this is around two weeks.

Another way of knowing when it is time to stop brushing is when the water becomes clear after brushing the plaster. When you first begin brushing your new pool plaster, you will notice that the pool water becomes very cloudy and white. This is caused by all the loose debris and plaster dust. However, after around two weeks, the water should remain clear even after brushing the plaster. This means the plaster has correctly set, and you can stop brushing daily.

However, remember that this does not mean you can stop brushing for good. On the contrary, you should continue to brush the pool at least once a week to practice good pool maintenance.

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Tips to Properly Care For New Pool Plaster

Caring for new pool plaster involves more than just regular brushing. Two other important parts of new plaster care are constant monitoring and pool water chemistry. Here are some additional tips on properly caring for your new pool plaster so that it cures correctly. Check out my pool startup process article for more information.

Use a Nylon Brush

I recommend using a nylon-bristle pool brush when brushing your new pool plaster. Avoid stainless steel brushes or others with sharp bristles as you risk scraping your new plaster. Remember to brush the entire surface, including the walls, floor, and steps towards the drain area and the pool’s filtration system. You can read my article on the best pool brushes for specific recommendations.

Monitor and Maintain

On top of brushing the pool at least twice a day, you should constantly monitor and maintain the pool. Keep an eye on the color of the water after brushing it. You should check the filters when the pool’s filtration system has drained most of the plaster dust and debris. Sometimes, the plaster dust can build up in the filter, causing unwanted problems, so always clean the filter after a heavy brushing.

Some people like to keep their filter running 24 hours a day for three days to prevent any of the dust and debris from resettling. If you want to do this, always clean the pool’s filter.

As a top tip, do not turn the pool heater on until the water is clear from plaster dust.

Maintain Good Water Chemistry

Uncured pool plaster can cause the chemistry of your pool water to become unbalanced, so you should be regularly testing the pool’s alkalinity and pH levels as well as calcium hardness and other metals. You can use a pool test strip or a liquid drop test to accurately test your pool water chemistry.

Typically, when you fill your pool with water after plastering, ensure the alkalinity level is sitting at 70 ppm, and your pH levels should be between 7.4 and 7.6. For pools with too high alkalinity levels, adjust with muriatic acid; for pools with low alkaline levels, adjust using baking soda.

Balanced pH and alkalinity levels allow pool plaster to cure correctly without harming the curing process, so always test and monitor the chemical levels in the pool.

A Note Regarding Chlorine

Many people feel they need to add chlorine to water immediately after refilling the pool but do not do this. Instead, wait 48 hours after the pool is filled to add chlorine. And when you do it, dilute the chlorine before putting it in the pool.

Questions? Let me know.

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