Saturday, May 14, 2011

PebbleTec!!!


Friday morning, and the PebbleTec guys show up at 6:45 and start setting up. (So much for that late 10am start.) This is really, really cool.
There are two guys on the truck mixing the stuff up. The white bags are Portland cement and the brown bags behind, where the second guy is leaning his elbow, are labeled "Blue Lagoon" (whew, they brought the right color). They set up the first slurry box in the front yard there where there's no grass anyway. I do actually notice a lot of 20oz plastic Coke bottles - there's one sitting in the back of the truck. They're scattered around. Hmmmm.
Here comes the blue goop! One guy is shooting the hose (more like dribbling) and six guys are troweling, mostly pushing the goop up the sides of the walls and some evening out the steps and benches. There is no sign of pebbles, other than that sort of crunching concrete sound as they scrape the trowels around.
This is an amazing procedure and all nine guys are really busy. I know of people who freaked out at this stage of the installation because they didn't realize that it looks like a very odd color of plaster when it is applied, but it will start looking like PebbleTec very soon, trust me. Anybody who's ever done grouting work will understand this. And you can definitely hear the pebble texture.
The guys on the truck are worried because they're already running out. This is a really big pool (for this area). So they're on their cell phones calling for a delivery of more ingredients.


When they start covering the bottom of the pool, they have to start wearing the funny shoes that have big spikes on the bottom that elevate them above the wet PebbleTec. And they're walking funny. Isn't that just a lovely color?

I notice one of the guys throwing stuff out of a baggie onto the surface, and I realize that it's the "Shimmering Sea" abalone shell. Not a very sophisticated application method, but I guess it works. That explains why it's very uneven, which is how it's supposed to look, I guess. The shell bits don't look very pearly or iridescent at this point.

The plastic Coke squirt bottles start to come into play as the guys are smoothing out the concrete. Now it's really starting to seem like grout work, where you're keeping it wet and pliable until you've got it where you want it. They just keep working it over until it's smooth and even.

Of course there's a nifty tool for getting the step and bench edges perfectly smooth and rounded. There's a similar one for the inside corners.

Next is the spraying and rolling. This is where they're using the slurry box in the front yard to dump all the waste. The second box is built after a very short time, and we end up with a third one half-full. The best thing is that the pebbles are starting to reveal themselves at last.
The last of the slurry heads down the drain...up the suction hose...and out to the slurry box in the front yard.


When the sun comes out, I can see some sparkle at the right angles. If you look closely at this picture, you can see reflective bits in the curve between the wall and the floor of the pool. You can see it better on that sunny spot on the right seat in the spa.

I'm starting to really like the color now. It's just gotta be blue. I am so ready to SWIM!
So apparently they leave the slurry boxes to rest so that the sediment all settles to the bottom. At some point, they're going to come back and drain off the water and drag the sludge at the bottom away. I notice that the third slurry box is sort of on the neighbors' property. I just hope they don't kill his grass or break any more of his sprinklers.

The rest of us are busy, but my mom will be home over the weekend. They expect the acid-wash guy to do his work on Saturday and then we get to start filling the pool...

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