compare AquaBRIGHT vs Traditional Pool Finishes
Learn how aquaBRIGHT makes your life easier, your swimmers experience safer, and is more cost effective than more traditional pool finishes like plaster.
Plaster or other cementitious finish
The EcoFinish aquaBRIGHTTM Pool Finish warranty is unique to the industry. The aquaBRIGHTTM limited Warranty includes the following: Chemical resistance, Chalking resistance, Will inhibit the growth of mildew on the surface, Crack resistance, Spall and delamination resistance, Stain (organic) resistance.
Other pool finish warranties generally require the pool owner to maintain perfect water chemistry and be able to provide proof of that perfectly maintained water over the life of the finish, or the warranty is null and void.
The aquaBRIGHTTM is inert and does not react with the water chemistry. The aquaBRIGHTTM is a pH neutral surface that can handle the normal variations in pool chemistry without adverse affects to the finish.
Cementitious finishes will deteriorate from even mildly poor water chemistry, so it is crucial to maintain a balanced pH.
Since there is no chemical reaction between the water and the cementitious surfaces causing a constant shift in pH, a pool coated with aquaBRIGHTTM will use less chemicals.
Commercial pool owners have reported up to a 40% savings in annual chemical consumption for the same pool now finished with aquaBRIGHTTM.
“The deterioration of marcite (plaster) has been found to be chemically related and due primarily to leaching of Calcium hydroxide (portlandite) from localized areas of pool plaster. Acidic pool water (pH less than 7.0) can wreak havoc on marcite and pool plumbing, resulting in etching and staining." (School of Building Construction, University of Florida, 1991)
The target chemical balance for a pool finished in aquaBRIGHTTM is basically the same as a vinyl liner pool. Pool owners will find it very easy to maintain the proper pH and chlorine levels as the major cause of pH drift has been eliminated. Even the job of adding chemicals is easier, since now there is no reason to pre-dilute the acid by mixing with water prior to pouring into the pool.
aquaBRIGHTTM is manufactured from resin in the same base polymer family as the jugs storing pool chemicals. It is approved for installation in swimming pools and spas heated up to 104° F, and is resistant to blistering, chalking, peeling, cracking, and other of signs of deterioration in normal use. In fact, is so impervious to chemical attack that it is demonstrated by pouring straight Muriatic pool acid directly onto the finish and allowing it to remain for 10 minutes. After washing off there is no visible evidence of the acid having any effect on the surface.
aquaBRIGHTTM pool finish is an incredibly strong, yet very flexible polymeric material. The material will stretch 200% before it ruptures or tears. It remains flexible, although at a lesser degree, even at very cold temperatures. Results of testing conducted over a Canadian winter in Ontario, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees below zero showed no detrimental effects to the aquaBRIGHTTM finish applied to two steel pool wall panels that were bolted together. No cracking was observed, even over the joined seam of the panels.
The aquaBRIGHTTM installation process yields a very uniform color and pattern over the entire interior surface of the pool. The final appearance of the finish following installation is how is will look for many years to come. Even the darkest colors of aquaBRIGHTTM should not mottle or noticeably change color over time.
Dyes that give plaster and other cementious finishes their color are continuously exposed to pool water chemistry on and below the surface, and the result can be a non-uniform color change that appears as patches or blotches of bleached out color. This is called mottling, and usually occurs over time, but has also become apparent almost immediately following the new finish start-up process. It is generally more prevalent and easier to distinguish with the darker dyed finishes.
The aquaBRIGHTTM surface is neither chemically attractive to calcium, nor does it present a porous physical surface onto which calcium can adhere. Calcium that may have leached down onto the surface from a water feature is not well adhered, and can either be picked off, or removed using a “stain erasure” on the end of a brush handle.
Scale build-up on a pool’s surface is usually attributed to two factors; free calcium suspended in the water which attaches itself to the pool finish, or calcium leaching down onto the pool finish from water or rock features above the waterline. Water chemistry again plays a critical role in scaling due to free calcium, as a high pH will actually cause the free calcium to become chemically attracted to the cementitious finish. Regardless of the method of build-up, once deposited onto a cementitious finish the scale becomes chemically and physically bonded with the surface. Since the scale and the finish are both calcium based, they join and become one. Removal of the scale is only accomplished by acid washing the pool to chemically burn the calcium from the surface, which also removes some of the finish as well.
chip, flake, peel, chalk
aquaBRIGHTTM is manufactured using a polymeric resin that is engineered to withstand exterior exposure for many years without any breakdown in chemical structure.
Because it remains a soft, flexible material throughout is life, it is extremely resistant to chipping, flaking and peeling and should remain a single cohesive polymeric layer that remains well bonded to the pool surface.
Unlike vinyl and fiberglass materials, the base polymer family has been used for decades to provide outstanding performance in exterior applications where the other materials eventually show signs of degradation.
Soft and easy on the feet – aquaBRIGHTTM was intentionally engineered to be a soft feeling material. The surface can best be described as an “orange peel” texture, which provides for a pleasant feel for swimmer’s feet.
Cementitious finishes such as plaster and quartz may begin as smooth finishes, but will degrade over time into rough finishes that can be very abrasive on feet. Pebble finishes, even polished stone versions are never really easy on the feet due to their bumpy surface.
aquaBRIGHTTM pool finish, with its orange peel surface is inherently slip resistant as normally applied for pool surfaces. On step treads, bench tops, and beach entries the finish can be applied is such a way to increase that slip resistance to very safe levels.
All current use pool surfaces are naturally slip resistant, with the exception of fiberglass, which tends to feel very slippery, especially on sloped depth transitions.
aquaBRIGHTTM is an impermeable, waterproof surface and can provide the barrier required to protect the cementitious base material from degradation due to poor water chemistry. The bond strength of aquaBRIGHTTM to an existing plaster finish has been tested at over 800 psi. And when the surface finally did release, a cone-shaped plug of plaster an inch thick popped out with the aquaBRIGHTTM still attached.
Cementitious pool finishes do not provide an impermeable, waterproof surface, and for all the unbalanced water chemistry reasons previously discussed may degrade not only on the surface but also on its interior. Over time, delamination within a plaster surface can begin to form so that instead of one thick layer as it was originally applied, the layer has split into two layers one on the other. Water begins to fill this layer, and forms “hollow spots”. These may be seen as bulges in the pools surface as they begin, but left unrepaired, will eventually break out the top layer of plaster leaving a distinct missing plaster area on the pool surface. Pebble finishes have a much lower risk of this type of delamination, but as the pebbles are adhered to the surface in a cementitious mortar matrix, it too is subject to poor water chemistry degradation.
new finish start up
With a new aquaBRIGHTTM finish, there is literally nothing to do except “Balance and Swim”. Just fill the pool, balance the water chemistry, and swim in crystal clear water. Pools and spas may even be heated immediately after filling.
All other cementitious pool finishes require some type of start up process and wait to heat time period. These range from continuous brushing and backwashing to clear the suspended plaster chalk from the water, to “hot starts” requiring acid washing and chemical additives to expose aggregates and create the desired appearance of the finishes. These start up processes are absolutely critical to the final appearance and longevity of the cementitious finish, and may take a week or more to complete. If they are done improperly, or neglected even to a slight degree, the finish will be affected.
Damage happens. Whether it occurs from natural causes or human causes, damage to a pool’s surface can happen. These imperfections can range from minor craze cracking, chipping, and abrasions, to delamination, gouges, and structural cracks. Due to the difficulty of repairing a cementitious pool finish, these conditions usually remain unrepaired until it’s time for a complete remodel or resurfacing.
water slide finish
Although aquaBRIGHTTM in its standard application has a naturally slip resistant property which can be enhanced to provide outstanding slip resistance for steps, it can also be applied to concrete and fiberglass waterslides to create a slippery slide surface. Now waterslides can receive a finish that matches the interior of the pool.
aquaBRIGHTTM will retain its color and appearance for many years, and if it were to become less glossy and slippery from all the sliding wear, it can easily be re-glossed or even have additional material added without the need to remove the existing aquaBRIGHTTM.
Cement water slides require an acrylic sealer or paint to be applied to create the slippery surface which typically only last from one to two years. Fiberglass slides exposed to the sun begin to chalk and become less slippery.
use above waterline
Unlike cementitious pool finishes, aquaBRIGHTTM may be used on areas above the waterline and remain resistant to cracking or fading. aquaBRIGHTTM is suitable for always wet, sometimes wet, and never wet applications on the pool surfaces and its features.
Pool tile can now be eliminated by applying the aquaBRIGHTTM finish up to the coping. Vanishing edges and the backside of vanishing edges can now be finished with aquaBRIGHTTM to provide a matching finish throughout. Exposed bond beams that are never wet are also candidates for a matching aquaBRIGHTTM surface.
Cementitious pool finishes may be varied with dyes to change the entire surface color of the pool, for only that one color. Pebble finishes can utilize different naturally occurring colors of pebbles to create subtle, more subdued shade variations of the pool finish.