How to Treat and Prevent Pool Plaster Dust

Written by Michael Dean
July 5, 2023

pool plaster dust

Don’t panic if you notice dust collecting in your pool after plastering. While plaster dust is a common side effect of plastering a pool, it is not a significant issue. Removing and brushing plaster dust is a normal part of the plaster curing stage. Learning about plaster dust will aid your understanding of how to deal with this problem and how to prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Main Takeaways

  • Plaster dust is a fine material that sheds from your pool’s walls and appears as a cloudy substance in the water.
  • Treating plaster dust involves brushing your pool’s walls for a short time until your water is clear.
  • Preventing plaster dust can be accomplished by following good plastering practices and balancing water chemistry.
  • Plaster dust goes away after a couple of weeks of regular brushing with a standard nylon brush.
  • Brush twice a week and brush consistently from shallow to deep, in one direction, towards the filtration system for maximum efficiency.

How To Spot Pool Plaster Dust

Pool plaster dust is very easy to spot. Though the dust is incredibly small, you’ll see it as a cloud of fine silt-like dust when it mixes with pool water. Pool plaster dust in your water will make your pool appear cloudy and chalky. You can also spot it by stirring the water with a pole or stick and observing if the dust swirls in the direction of the disturbed water.

How To Treat Pool Plaster Dust

Plaster dust in your pool is easily treatable. You can hire a pool professional to take care of it, but you can also easily handle it yourself. To treat pool plaster dust, brush the walls, floor, and stairs of your pool to brush away the dust still on the surfaces. Plaster dust is a common side effect of new pool plaster, so it is important to brush your new plaster at least twice a day for two weeks or until the water is clear again.

Of course, brushing the pool’s walls will only make the cloudiness worse, but after brushing the plaster walls, your filtration system will work its magic in clearing up the water.

How To Prevent Pool Plaster Dust

While getting rid of plaster dust can be an annoying chore, it is possible to prevent it from forming in the first place. Follow these two key points during the early stages of your pool plaster curing.

Healthy Plastering Practices

If you can monitor or influence the plastering process, the following points will help to ensure low dust density:

  • Use a low water-to-cement ratio
  • Avoid trowelling water into the surface of the plaster
  • Do not add calcium chloride to the plaster mix
  • Do not delay trowelling and applying the plaster
  • Keep an eye on the temperature range while filling in the coat of fresh plaster, i.e., avoid extreme temperatures on either end.

Balanced Water Chemistry

If your pool’s pH levels dip either too high or too low, it’s bad news for everything related to your pool. Check your pool’s chemical and chlorine levels more often during the first few weeks after plastering using testing kits and adjust accordingly.

An excess of calcium or other metals could harm your plaster walls, causing dust to shed and making cracks appear in the cement.

Ideally, after your pool is filled, your alkalinity levels should be at 70 ppm, and the pH levels around 7.4 and 7.6. Maintain this balance to ensure your plaster cures correctly and avoid causing your plaster to shed dust. If your pool’s alkalinity is too low, you could adjust it using baking soda. If the alkalinity is too high, adjust it with muriatic acid. Before adding them to the pool, make sure to pre-dilute chemicals in a 5-gallon bucket. I go over these tips and more in my article on how to use muriatic acid in your pool.

By following these tips, you will significantly lower the chances of pool plaster dust forming in your pool, and you should have a stronger plaster to last you years to come.

When Will Plaster Dust Go Away?

Pool plaster dust should go away after two weeks of regular and thorough brushing. At around the two-week mark, you’ll notice your water becoming transparent. When the water is clear, stir the water with a stick or the pole end of your skimmer net. If the water remains clear, it’s a sign that the plaster has sufficiently cured, and you can dial back the number of times you have to brush your pool. Alternatively, if you can see dust still swirling around the pool when you stir the water, keep brushing religiously!

How To Properly Brush Plaster

Brushing a pool isn’t rocket science; the process is easy to learn. Keep the following points in mind to ensure you do a clean job of it, and you should be set!

Use A Nylon Brush

It’s ideal to use a brush with soft nylon bristles, especially when brushing a newly plastered pool. A standard brush is usually 18 inches wide, though you can get wider ones depending on the size of your pool. A good quality nylon brush should last you 5-6 years.

Stainless steel brushes might be longer-lasting, but they are abrasive and will scrape your plaster. So, avoid them at all costs!

Brush In One Direction

Be thorough and consistent, and brush in one direction toward your filter system. Cover all surfaces, including the walls, the floor, the platform, and the steps. Aim for long and steady strokes. Start with the shallow side first and slowly work your way toward the deep end.

Clean Your Filters (And Keep Them Clean)

Your pool’s filtration equipment is what keeps your swimming pool clean, nice, and sparkling. Maintain it and keep it clean and running without any hindrances. Check and clean your skimmers and filter, especially during the start-up procedure of the pool when there is a lot of debris and plaster dust to clear up. As a handy tip, use a netted pole to skim off any excess debris to keep the load light on your filter.

Avoid using an automatic cleaner for the first two or three weeks after plastering your pool, but after that period, you can use a robot cleaner to help you clear the dust if needed!

Bottom Line

Brushing a pool and treating plaster dust isn’t an overly complicated process. Even after your plaster is cured, brush your pool twice a week to help keep it clean, and remember to replace your brush if the bristles get too worn out.

If you have any further questions about brushing your pool, get in touch! I’ll be happy to help answer them.

Scroll to Top