How Soon Can You Swim After Plastering Your Pool?

Written by Michael Dean
July 5, 2023

swimming after pool plastering

Plastering a pool is a huge undertaking, and once it’s finally done, you may be ready to take a dip in your newly plastered pool. But doing so too early can damage your new pool plaster, so you’ll need to get your timing right.

In this article, I will explain how soon you can swim after plastering your pool and what happens if you swim too soon. I will also provide helpful pool plaster aftercare tips and answer common pool plastering questions.

Main Takeaways

  • The soonest you can swim in your pool is five days, but I recommend waiting a full two weeks to ensure proper plaster curing.
  • Swimming too soon after plastering a pool can result in damaged plaster and fluctuating pH levels that are dangerous to you and your family’s well-being.
  • Some good pool plaster aftercare tips include: brushing daily, running the pool filter for the first 72 hours, and adjusting the alkalinity levels of the pool water.
  • The pool can be refilled immediately after plastering as plaster cures underwater.

How Soon Can You Swim After Plastering Your Pool?

If all pool plastering professionals could agree on one thing, it would be that you cannot swim in your pool after it has just been plastered. What many pool experts disagree on is the length of time to wait.

While you may be excited to hop into your newly plastered pool, you should wait at least five days after the pool has been filled. But many experts believe that this is still too short of a wait. I recommend waiting to swim until two weeks after plastering your pool.

Pool plastering is labor-intensive and costly, so waiting a bit longer rather than rushing and damaging the plaster is a smart bet. Another excellent way to check if your pool is ready to be swum in is when the water is no longer cloudy with plaster dust.

What Happens If You Swim Too Soon After Plastering?

You do not want to swim too soon after having your pool plastered for several important reasons, the most important being that it can damage the curing process of the new plaster.

Read on below to learn what happens if you swim in your pool too soon after plastering. 

Damage The Plaster

One of the biggest reasons pool experts warn pool owners not to swim in their pool too soon after plastering is that you can damage the plaster itself.

Swimming too early after plastering can cause marks and scratches on the new pool plaster. And there is no way of fixing that without removing the water and replastering that section of the pool.

In particular, the first 24 hours after the pool plaster process is the most crucial healing time, and there should be absolutely no swimming during this period.

Fluctuating pH Levels

Not only can swimming too soon after plastering be harmful to your new plaster, but it can also be harmful to your skin and health.

During the pool plastering process, you must acid wash the plaster, and even though most of it is rinsed off before the pool is refilled, there will still be traces of the muriatic acid. The acid in the water can mess with the pH levels of the pool water. The new plaster in the pool can also mess with the pH levels of the water.

Fluctuating pH levels are dangerous to humans as pH levels that are too low can cause swimmers’ eyes to burn, while pH levels that are too high can result in more severe problems, like rashes and irritated skin.

It’s not worth risking the durability of the pool plaster and your health for a couple of hours of swimming. Instead, wait until the suggested time has passed.

Pool Plaster Aftercare Tips

Taking good care of your pool plaster during the curing process is vital to having pool plaster that lasts a long-time. Plus, proper curing will ensure that your pool plaster looks good – with no staining.

Here are some helpful pool plaster aftercare tips to ensure your pool plaster cures successfully. Check out my article on how to properly “start” a new pool for more tips.

Brush Daily

One of the most important things you need to do after having your pool plastered is to brush the new pool plaster daily, at least twice a day, for two weeks. You must religiously brush the new plaster to help the plaster cure faster and smoother. Not brushing properly can also lead to potential algae growth and scale build-up, which is the last thing you’ll want on your brand new pool plaster.

When brushing the plaster, do not use a metal bristle pool brush as this is too sharp for the new plaster, and you risk the metal digging into the pool plaster.

Always brush the walls and floors of the pool gently in a downward motion, pushing all the debris toward the bottom drain.

Adjust The Alkalinity Levels

A great way of caring for your new pool plaster is to adjust the alkalinity levels of the pool water. This is important as the pH levels of your pool water can affect the integrity of the new pool plaster.

For example, pool water with too high pH levels can lead to scale build-up, a stain caused by a build-up of minerals like calcium carbonate. This stain hardens on pool walls and is very difficult to remove once set.

High pH levels in the water can also stain the new pool plaster, and once the pool plaster has cured with the staining, the only way to remove it is with an acid wash or replastering.

If your pH levels are too low, you risk eroding the protective coating on the plaster, which will result in your pool plaster not curing correctly. Ultimately, low pH levels may shorten the lifespan of your pool plaster.

The first five days of aftercare are essential, and you should test the water every day during this time.

Run The Filtration System 

Run the pool filtration system for at least 72 hours straight after refilling the pool. Running the filtration system is key to preventing a build-up of scale from the loose pool plaster dust as well as the calcium hydroxide that leaks from the plaster into the pool water.

Aftercare Don’ts

You should avoid doing some things to ensure that your pool plaster heals in the best possible way.

  • Do not walk on the new pool plaster with any type of shoes for the first two weeks.
  • Do not run any pool cleaners for the first 28 days. You should only use a brush and a skimmer net to scoop the debris out.
  • Do not run the pool heater for the first 28 days after plastering your pool.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take For Pool Plaster To Cure?

Although the pool plaster will have cured enough for swimming pool owners to use the pool after two weeks, the entire plaster curing process is much longer. In fact, plaster can take up to 10 months to cure fully.

How Soon Can You Fill Your Pool After Plastering It?

I recommend you begin filling the pool immediately after plastering the pool. As plaster cures underwater, the faster you can fill the pool, the better. Try to fill the pool in one go, as stopping and refilling may cause stain rings along the pool walls.

How Soon Can You Heat Your Pool After Plastering?

You cannot heat your pool for at least 28 days after plastering. This is because heating a newly plastered pool can severely damage the plaster. By waiting these 28 days, you ensure that the pool plaster is cured before adding heat.

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