Company strives to improve quality and efficiency of plaster installation
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to look inside their own home for entertainment, Plaster Logic developed products and methods that get homeowners in their pools faster than ever.
Plaster Logic, based in Jacksonville, Florida, was founded in 2019 as a subsidiary to swimming pool plaster and remodeling company Tempool Inc., just before the pandemic shut down much of the U.S. This turned out to be fortuitous for a new company in the pool industry, as the demand for pools had skyrocketed.
As an educational buying group, Plaster Logic “provides hands-on, real-world training and education to plaster companies and pool builders around the world,” says Robert Abinuman, Plaster Logic operations director. The company also provides products to improve the pool preparation, plaster and startup processes.
Addressing common plaster problems
One of the company’s exclusive products is Pool Wash, an alternative to muriatic acid wash. According to Abinuman, Pool Wash cleanses the pool’s plaster surface of calcium and salt that are often the culprits behind plaster dust, scale and staining.
An acid wash is a common method of cleaning the plaster before filling the pool. However, acid is corrosive and seeps into the plaster and reactivates the calcium and salt buildup inside. This can lead to a dull, cloudy-looking finish. It can also delay startup, because pool builders can spend up to two weeks cleaning the pool and making sure the water is balanced and ready for swimming.
“Pool wash doesn’t have the same effect acid does,” Abinuman says. “It’s more biodegradable. It doesn’t penetrate plaster. It just cleans the surface. It helps you have balanced water from the first filling.”
Eric Knight, of pool chemistry company Orenda Technologies, says water balance is key to the life of the pool.
“Once that water turns on, we try to balance the water, and we train people all over the country on how to balance that water in a better way to reduce the water damage to that new cement that plasterers like Tempool put in,” Knight says.
Regardless of which wash method a builder uses, Abinuman says it is key for builders to wait at least 24 hours after completing the plaster to wash and fill with water. As plaster dries, the calcium and salt come to the surface of the plaster, making the pool appear dusty. When builders begin filling the pool before the plaster has a chance to dry, these minerals show up in the water, which complicates and delays the startup process. By letting the plaster dry first, builders can wash away these minerals and have more balanced water from the beginning.
“We at Plaster Logic have developed a step-by-step process for washing a pool that, when implemented correctly, produces a quality pool finish with no plaster dust, no scale issues and a hassle-free start up,” Abinuman says. “The homeowner can enjoy their pool the moment it is full of water, without having to wait an extended amount of time to swim.”
Abinuman says this practice alone can significantly reduce plaster warranty issues, and that Plaster Logic has five years of research with more than 15,000 pools to prove it.
Knight offers two additional tips for plaster professionals to further improve the startup process.
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Test tap water before applying plaster, as some metals commonly found in tap water can damage the plaster. For example, iron-rich water can stain plaster from within. In such cases, builders should use metal pre-filters.
Plaster companies should clearly communicate when they will complete the finish before filling the pool with water. “We want to balance the water from the first drop,” Knight says. “Communication is everything between these parties.”
The key to business growth
Plaster Logic focuses much of the company’s time and resources on training pool professionals on the industry’s top techniques, trends and products from around the world.
Jon Temple, Plaster Logic teacher and president of parent company Tempool Inc., eagerly passes on his knowledge from more than 23 years of experience in the pool plaster industry to Plaster Logic students and colleagues. Tips like how to winterize pools in the coldest climates, and how to plaster at night to avoid the heat of the day in hotter climates, can be vital to a project’s success.
Temple and the team at Plaster Logic have created a “big learning network” that combines the latest trends, and innovative techniques and technology from professionals in every facet of pool plaster, installation and repair. Temple says the key to a successful business in the pool industry is an open mind.
“I don’t know if it’s teaching or learning,” he says of his work with Plaster Logic. “That’s what I really enjoy about it. That’s what’s made it successful for us. Everybody who works with me keeps an open mind. We know we don’t know it all. We teach good stuff we know and learn from other people.”
Temple says each person he teaches also teaches him something, which he can then pass onto others in the industry: “We’re kind of a big database,” he adds.
While Temple says he used to train more professionals specifically in the plaster industry, he has noticed an influx of general pool contractors. After the pool industry experienced a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic, pool builders noticed a deficit in plaster subcontractors. As a result, many builders chose to bring the plaster process in-house for better quality control and called on Plaster Logic for training.
Today, Plaster Logic teaches an average of one to two companies per week via in-person and virtual classes on “every aspect of remodeling, plastering, exposure, chemistry and repair,” Temple says.
Temple hopes the Plaster Logic philosophy of open learning spreads throughout the pool industry.
“We’re making a program that will work for other people to train people like we’re doing,” he says. “It’s a growing educational program.”