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Thread: Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

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    Default Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

    Long story short I had a new liner put in and the pool was empty from fall to spring when the pool contractor finally installed the new liner. The bottom was very rough after setting empty with the old liner cut out of the deep end and they did not do any patching or repairs. They did sweep with a push broom but not good enough as there were many sharp gravel like places. I thought it would soon leak but I patched my first hole where one of the sharp places rubbed through after six years. Now I am wondering about when I replace the liner again about repairing the bottom. I know it needs swept better than they did it but what about all the rough divets, not just a small area but most of the bottom. I know it wont be perfect but it was much smoother before this . Can you apply a skim coat to smooth it? Is this DIY type work? Should this be no big deal for the pool guy? No way I would be using the same guy again. Well I guess it wasn't that short after all.

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    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Smile Re: Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

    You certainly can 'skim coat' the vermiculite. Depending on how well you can use a trowel, it is something that you can DIY. If you decide to go this route, let me know and I'll give you a few pointers on mixing and applying the vermiculite. Also be sure to take the patched floor into account when measuring for the new liner, you don't want to fix the bottom only to cause wrinkles in the new liner!

    I'm here almost every day, if you'd like a little more info or detail, just ask and I'll get back to you
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    Default Re: Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

    Thanks waste As long as my patch holds I am going to try and get a couple more seasons out of it, just thinking ahead about what I know is going to come. Look how long it took me to change that light. So yea when the time comes any tips would be great. Even it I don't do it myself I will know what to watch for.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

    I am replacing my ingound pool liner and need those tips you offered for mixing and applying vermiculite. This is our 3rd liner in 10 years. I believe the existing vermiculite bottom is much too rough and causing my liners to wear really quickly$$$
    Thanks! Alison

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    waste is offline PF Support Team Whizbang Spinner waste 3 stars waste 3 stars waste 3 stars
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    Smile Re: Patching Vermiculite Bottom ?

    Alison, welcome to the forum!

    Bad news first - if the floor is that bad, you might want to put a ~ 1/4 -1/2" 'skimcoat' on the entire floor (Please remember that this will raise the pool floor, so have the next liner cut to accommodate the shallower pool!)

    For area patching, I mix up 1/2 full 5 gallon buckets of the vermiculite. The mix is (by weight) 1 part vermiculite to 2 parts cement (Portland, type I or II). Premix the dry materials and then add water - go slow with the water and thoroughly mix, then add a little more water, mix and see what the consistency is. What you're looking for (for patching) is a little standing water after the 1/2 bucket is well mixed - a wet batch will feather in a lot better than a dry one! (TIP- use a 'margin trowel' to do the mixing, it gets into the corners at the bottom of the bucket and doesn't take as much muscle to move around) (TIP #2 - 'parfait' the vermiculite and cement - put some verm in the bucket, then a layer of cement, a layer of verm and then another layer of cement - it speeds the dry mixing, considerably!)

    If you have to do a large area or many smaller ones, you can mix 1 bag of vermiculite (16 - 20 lb) to 1/2 bag (92 - 94 lb) cement in a wheelbarrow - you'd need 10 - 14 gallons of water for a 'regular' mix (if you're doing large areas, keep the mix drier than for patching - what you want is a mix that, when you grab a handful and squeeze it - water trickles out of your closed fingers.

    For applying, have a wooden 'float' to do the rough finish/ put it where it needs to go, then a metal 'pool trowel' (it's oval shaped, regular rectangle 'mason's trowels' tend to dig in and mar the vermiculite surface). The pool trowel passes come out better with wider sweeps and slight! pressure on the back edge - the float has more pressure on it, when you're laying the verm down to pack the stuff in, but the trowel is only to ~ smooth the surface. (well finished vermiculite looks ~ like a corkboard - IT SHOULD NOT be be fully sealed - unlike concrete, we're looking to have a semi-porous surface.)

    If I went too fast or didn't correctly explain what I've tried to express here, or if there are any questions I failed to answer - just ask

    1 other thing, sweep the floor at least 3 times after the vermiculite has cured, before installing the liner!!!!!!!! (as you sweep, you'll also notice places that need a little more patching - patch it and sweep again)

    Good luck and well wishes to all the DIY vermiculiters!
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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