Coloring Concrete at the waterline and under water in a pool

Ok didn't see this on the website so figured i'd ask.

When you put boulders under water in a pool. What is your process for coloring and sealing them so they don't bleach out?

What is the way to keep them water tight? Since most underwater surfaces are painted with rubberized paint.

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Do you mean the concrete water tight or the colors water tight....If it's the concrete there are many add mixtures that will keep water out ... and even more top coatings.... Chlorine is a big issue... It really bleaches out a lot.....I have seen better success with salt water pools. There are acrylic sealers and other "toppings" that will seal in colors....I have heard that a "graffiti guard" works well....if its underwater then the sheen will not matter. I have not tried a clear urethane seal coat. Maybe some of the others can weigh in on this one....
Richard Winget can offer a suggestion....So can Tim Sheldon...Both of these guys have done many pool environments.
LOL,

The additives to make concrete sealed? I've not seen any that work. And, if they worked why would people still deal with plaster. That stuff is a mess. Has to be redone and is expensive.

So, I was wondering what others use. Same with the colors.

What can be done. 5000psi concrete is pretty close to waterproof. But, that's not a bag mix. Straight from the truck at a 4 slump. Surface Hardner colors on a 3500psi pour when done like this will do the same thing. Brings surface to 5000psi. Hard or steel troweled. Not a good look for a boulder in a pool.

Neither of those work real well for carving or making stone fixtures into the pool.

I was wondering if anyone had come up with something to do to work well. I've seen some on the sight and figured I'd ask what others are using. Materials? Admixtures? They look great, just wondered if anyone had a reliable mix.

I can paint with multi color rubberized paints. But, it's not a good look and it's different then the surface rock look.

So, anybody got a mix they use? And what sealer has worked?

I'd prefer like everyone a concrete that can be stained and then a clear sealer that would work. Just don't know of any.
Hi Rick. I haven't been on this forum much but I just can't pass up your question. I think if you would have asked this on the Concrete Artists Network.com you would have gotten an answer right away! Just kidding! (Nathan!). I have done a number of pools and ponds that have underwater rocks and in nearly ten years never had a leak problem. I hesitate to answer this because I know there are guys doing this on this site but maybe they don't want to give out an answer. Not sure. Oh well, here goes. I teach this same method in my hands-on classes in California.

For starters, I always waterproof the gunite, shotcrete or whatever your base is. A mixture like Thoroseal or the like is a good start. I make my own mix. It's cheaper and I know how to make it work. Once your pool wall is waterproofed ( only do the area where the rock will be added),you can proceed to add your mud for your rock texture. I would let it dry overnight. Now you said in your thread that plaster is messy and expensive. Guess what ? Thats basically what you need to make your rock out of. If you want a carvable mix, add acrylic, a pozzolan, and a sand / cement mixture to make a creamy, carvable mix. With acrylic replacing most of the water, 3:1 acrylic to water or less, your mix will set quickly, so work with small batches. You can add an additve to slow down the set if you like.

As far as color goes, again I have my own color formula for making the color stay on the rock underwater. Chlorine or salt pool. I would like to get them on the market but with the economy, right now is not the time.A good acrylic sealer should work for a while but will probably have to be redone in a year or two.

Hope this helps and if you have any more questions come over to Concrete Artists Network.com and shoot me a line. I'll check back here on occasion but I don't seem to get recognized here much.

Jeff Datin
http://www.concreteartistsnetwork.com
I'm on an interior water feature and will post the system I use to all VA Members.
Jeff is right....and Thoroseal is a good product. I am water proofing right now on an interior water feature using a water proof system from Specco. It is similar to Thoroseal.

Now that I know exactly what your asking I will post some products and what they do.
Does the manufacturer state it's good for constant imersion in a clorine pool? With a warranty? or does it void the warranty with constant immersion?

Are you in a heavy freeze area?

Problems we've had in St. Louis area is stuff from California. They say it's water proof and it isn't. It allows water into the cement matrix and at the water line it cracks and pops during a freeze. It doesn't leak. But, it allows water into the matrix.

Throw in clorine and you have a funner time.

Been doing this in factories for a long time and we have never had an additive we could use for constant imersion. We always had to coat it with a sealer. And, that didn't always work with constant immersion.

Not trying to bash anyone. Just trying to find out if it will work for us.

I'd love to pour/ stamp/ carve out/ color with polymerized colored concrete/ antique/ and seal.

Just wondering if anyones done it in heavy freeze area's. Or, more like us, lots of heavy freeze's per year area.


VerticalArtisans.com said:
I'm on an interior water feature and will post the system I use to all VA Members.
Jeff is right....and Thoroseal is a good product. I am water proofing right now on an interior water feature using a water proof system from Specco. It is similar to Thoroseal.

Now that I know exactly what your asking I will post some products and what they do.
Rubberized paints are not so 80's. They are used still in large commercial pools. If your pool tends to spider crack a little, think freeze thaw, Rubberized paints can still take it. They are also used in older pools since the cost of paint every 4 years is cheaper then a sandblast, fill, and repaint with the epoxies. Which are great, but they do happen to have more problems at the waterline from etching since most homeowners can't keep the ph right. And if you have a surface crack it also cracks the paint meaning water can get in behind it. Use the fiberglass walls. Not a problem, unless your gelcoat is cracked. Concrete, there's a problem. Hydrostatic pressure along with wicking from surface tension will draw through the wall, and behind the paint.


And yes, i paid to join the sight. That means i'm going to ask hard questions. I didn't ask for freebies. I paid. I'm not here to just drink coffee and watch.

Yep, I'm standing on everyones shoulders. I went to school for Chemical Engineering and worked in Industry for 20 years. While running my business. Paid out of my own pocket. Bobcats, excavators, drop hammers, dumps, trailers, graders, stamps, mixers, saws, grinders, sprayers, cnc milling machines, lathes, they all must be off your shoulders too. Oh wait, the pools we've built have NO problems with cracking. Amazing... The homes and basements we've built have NO hydrostatic pressure on the walls. Yes, NO Hydrostatic Pressure. WOW... The Waterproofing we do is without equal. NOBODY does it. Because it isn't easy or cheap.

It's called engineering out the failures. I'm not going to build a $100,000 pool for someone that cracks up in 4 years. Do that and your business is junk. Maybe in warm climates it's easy. Here in midwest, it ain't.

Cali rarely freezes.. Neither do most of the southern climates that this is done in outside. Concrete curbing has the same problems. We even do that with the landscape division... But, It's understood. Concrete cracks. Alway's. Control it.

Popping off in the water because water got into the matrix is bad. Everyone knows rusting in rebar is bad.

What it seems most people don't know. 5000psi concrete, all by itself is damn near waterproof. Using colored hardners to get color into 3500psi concrete in warm area's works. In Freeze area's you use it and moisture comes from under the pad, gets to the surface, and pop because the Hardner is color, mortar, sand making the surface around 5000psi. Because it can't come out. Does it always happen? Nope. But why build a bad design when you can build a design it won't happen.

The Waterproofing agents that have been talked about are basicly a 50/50 mix of Cement and sands with a 2/1 polymer to water add. Basicly. Waterproofing a basement, you don't have to worry about a freeze. And, it's not under constant immersion.

You can also pour on dirt in warm climates. Here they still do it. But, clay expands when frozen and will crack a driveway. We have LOTS of clay. Pour on sand you say. Done it for 50 years you say. Gee, sand holds water.. What happens when it freezes? It expands. Sure it will flow through. But since water has a nice thing called surface tension it tends to leave a lot in the sand. Then a nice freeze comes and it expands.

I can go into the polymer science also and how's it's helped with our stamping jobs. Or how multi blend polymers help? And why they don't always combine well?

Do you know how to air entrain concrete? It's $1 from a dollar store for enough for 200 or so yards. Trick is getting your percentage right.

Worked in a plant that we only treated 1 milliion pds a day of rock lime. 5 railcars. So, i don't have much knowledge of that. Or what it does.

Worked with BX Sands. Ultra fine that rarely get's mentioned. Gotta know where to go to get it. Only a few places in the world. Worked at a place they were shipping out to barges to go to China. From the Midwest, with Sand, never could figure out why the chineese needed sand.

Have limestone rock all over. Use 3/4 clean for base on every driveway or walkway or basement or trench. It's the midwest. We don't have round rock. We have sharp edge rock that is great for concrete. For strengh it's wonderfull.

Our Prices,
3500psi concrete $86yd
And why is it that nobody knows the PSI. They always say, a 4, 5, 6 bag mix. Most of ours is 6bag for pads.
3/4 clean limestone rock $6-10yd. Depending where you get it.
Sand, $4 yd if that...
Cement, I buy the bag, $10
The adds, Well, Depends on how much you buy. And i'd rather buy dry in SuperSacks. Ain't found anyone yet I like.

First plant we processed around the same a day of BFS, and also had a lot of Fly ash. So, don't know much about what it does.

You tell me what concrete is...lol Come on. Tell me. lol...

This is starting to remind me of when i asked a pumper guy if he could pump a 5bag mix of 3/4 in a 4 slump and steel fiber. He wanted to tell me to use chip rock for stamping and fiberglass, just as good. Uh, your rock is your strength, wire is tension. How bout we pump what I need. If you can't pump it. Fine. I'll use the 3 buggies and 2 takeuchi's with buckets but the pump would really help. We're digging out under it and it needs the strength.

We have a lot of pools with the nice look of plaster. Guess what, they crack. It looks pretty but for us, the plaster isn't a great option. You need strength to keep it from cracking. Glass fiber has helped. But, that just stops the surface cracking.

Now, do we both understand concrete? LOL... I'm tired of salesmen. I need someone that's worked it to have something to discuss.

I paid, so yep, i'm gonna ask how things are done. And what people use. If these questions aren't willing to be answered why would I pay to join a training site on how these guy's do this.

Did that to a guy on ebay. Wanted to show how to pump a 6 slump mix with mostly sand on top of sand and color with sealers tinted with color on a driveway. Uh, sealers wear off on a driveway. 6 slump because of to much water is weak, and you shouldnt be pouring on dirt. He was nice enough to give my money back since all his techniques I completely dissagreed with. Even where he lived. But, he said he had done these around the world. Yea, ok....

Loved the video's. But it was supposed to include questions and answers. So, I got questions.

The work all looks great. We have done a lot with the acid stains. As I always worry about the surface stains wearing off. On driveway's I wont use acid at all though. Haven't run water over them yet, so, was wondering about anyone knowing of sealers that you could. And, with the immersion in water, was wondering what was used to keep it from cracking/and color intact. Bag mix/ Home made mix/ whatever.





Richard L. Winget said:
Heres a guy that wants to stand on the shoulders of the guys in the industry that have labored to find what works thru trial and error, That irritates me. The fact that your using rubberized pool paints suggests you live in the stone age no pun intended. Too bad St Louis doesn't have anything you can use that will work in the area you live in. Its a demographic problem for you. If your going to work there find products in that area, makes sense doesn't? California products are some of the best in the world your just not using them properly or have not bothered to read the instructions. Perhaps you should join an apprentice ship program or work with someone who knows what the heck their doing unlike yourself. There are many types of plaster Rick, Im refering to the one used to water proof the pool not the rockwork. I have never used rubber paint in a pool that is so 80's. An understanding of what concrete is might also be helpful!
I'm somewhat confused. I thought you wanted an answer on building rocks underwater and waterproofing and sealing? Yes I am from So Cal and I don't have a clue about freeze / thaw. But you didn't ask that. Sorry I didn't notice where you were from. I to have never used rubber paints. I did read somewhere that if you line your pool (between the gunite and dirt) with styrofoam insulation you can help the freeze / thaw problems. I hope you get your answers. Have you done pools before or just worked with concrete? Maybe check with some of the builders in your area what they use. Just a thought. Good luck.

Jeff
You've been great. And willing to help.

He was being a ass.

Yep, we build pools too. We have done some rock work. Above water. Done some on the coping. Seen yours under the waterline and like the look. Inside it would be great. Some people like them outside. So, i was asking about sealers for outside.

The Clear sealers I have never found to work under the waterline for very long. That's why we always paint under the waterline and we don't put any rock under the waterline unless it's natural..

Those Pretty Pools with the Plaster are fragile. Very touchy in any enviroment with the ph balance of the pool. Which means, none of them seal. This, is in all climates. Cause the ones here are inside. If they have them they usually have cracks and popping. Even inside and temp controlled.. Very touchy with ph balance. Gee, wonder why? Since they are on concrete. Get the ph off to far and what does muratic do to cement? And, after it does that, what happens to the cement? And when that happens, how does it effect the plaster coating? These are all very basic and known for years on the plaster coatings. Plaster coatings are so 50's. There are better way's... LOL...

So, I ask about what was used. I deem all information good.

When someone starts talking about me standing on his shoulders when I paid to come here. I get a little pissed. If you don't want to give information. Shut up. If it's part of the site with questions and answers like it should be. Then talk.

On a outside pool, the foam doesn't help unless you're heating it all year round. We get multiple day's in the teens in jan and feb and just had some this month in the single digits. It's gonna freeze outside no matter what you do.

The 2 big guy's who own YTB in the area have pools. One left his on last year till Jan1. 400,000 btu kept it at 92. But it was a easy early winter. It was also on full blast 24/7. He can afford the gas bill. Nobody else other then Augie Busch here can. He also has a Ford GT, Lambo, and a Ferrari. Lambo and Ferrari were bought new this year.

So, I paid to watch videos where nobody can tell me the colors, or the sealer, or the mixes they use? So, i can decifer if it will work here. And, what might work and what won't?

OK, What colors can I BUY that work underwater in a warm enviroment?

What Sealer can I BUY that will work underwater in a warm enviroment?

What Bag Mix can I BUY that will work underwater in a warm enviroment?

NAMES? I don't mind buying. But, I ain't getting any answers. Seems like everyone uses custom mixes and then isn't willing to talk about them.

That isn't training to do a job.

Example,
Here, see what I can do. Neat huh. Oh, I ain't gonna tell you anything on how to do it. Just pay to watch me do it in video's.

How dumb does that sound???

Some people have helped. You being one. Another guy was great too.

And, asking the builders in my area. Well, none of them do any of this. I'm always at the leading edge. It's why my concrete pads don't break. It's why my houses don't have problems with flooded basements. It's why homeowners come to talk to me instead of my crew.

So, I asked you what you're using underwater. If it don't work for me fine. If it's a custom mix you don't want to tell me about. Then don't. But, don't put it on the website and say it's training and then tell me you can't tell me how you do it because it's a secret.

Why is that guy here if it isn't to help? Just brag about what he's done and bitch? Or help? Cause bitching and crying I don't need.

Jeff Datin-Concrete Artists Network.com said:
I'm somewhat confused. I thought you wanted an answer on building rocks underwater and waterproofing and sealing? Yes I am from So Cal and I don't have a clue about freeze / thaw. But you didn't ask that. Sorry I didn't notice where you were from. I to have never used rubber paints. I did read somewhere that if you line your pool (between the gunite and dirt) with styrofoam insulation you can help the freeze / thaw problems. I hope you get your answers. Have you done pools before or just worked with concrete? Maybe check with some of the builders in your area what they use. Just a thought. Good luck.

Jeff
Just a reminder to all who read these posts.....we try to keep it helpful.... there are many professionals in their own right in a many different areas of the country and from around the world. The main Vertical Artisans site doesn't claim to cover every area of themed environments or artificial rock. We do try to cover as many areas as possible. As the director of the site I can assure you the main elements are interior stone facing. We are getting bigger and covering more ground every season.

I would ask that every one respect each other and glean info if you can from other peoples experiences... separate the rice from the mice turds so to speak. There are many factors in this line of work and what may work for one may not work for another.

In regards to your original questions:

OK, What colors can I BUY that work underwater in a warm environment?
I have found Butterfield, Speeco and Boulder Formations. Works great ...if you give me some time I will call around and and get more data.

What Sealer can I BUY that will work underwater in a warm environment?
This is a trick bag of sorts....but I am unaware of a manufacture that will guarantee the sealer to last more than three years under these terms. Once again I can talk to my chemist and see what has been developed or develop something that will endure the elements and harsh water environments.

What Bag Mix can I BUY that will work underwater in a warm environment?
Are you sculpting this mix? if so most "bag" mixes my need to be tweaked for under water sculpting, however it seems like your looking for a shot crete or gunite mix that will kill two birds with one stone. Give you the structure and sculpting ability. Sounds like a custom mix to me....But not a bag mix per say.

Either way I will get some advice from other professionals.....

Until then Rick, I hope we can offer you the tricks of the trade from an artists perspective and let the chemists duke it out.
Your two posts down below mine.

Who is the arrogant one?

Thanks to Nathan and Mr. Dantin. Two people who understand when you have a question to help. Not sit back and make excuses on why you don't want to help.

Once again, Why is this guy on the site if he doesn't want to help the paying members? He's not willing to answer simple questions. ie. how do you seal your rock underwater. He goes into a splurge about how sealing the surface of the concrete. Well, yea. Duh... And it has to be sealed around the plumbing. Duh again. What with? Couldn't answer that simple question. Makes me think he doesn't know. Just the crew does. Living off the backs of his workers. By the way. Sealing the surface of the concrete poors leads to a lesser bond of this sealer. So, seams sealing the surface isn't the way to go if you want the sealer to do it's job. If your top coat is as we called it, steel trowled, which is a way of saying sealing the surface. Your sealer has less to bite into to hold on.

And I've already found out the sealer coatings. Pretty simple. Whether it will work or not here don't know yet. Colors for it make it easy to use what we're using now but not the acid stains. Should work with them. Just don't trust them. I don't experiment on peoples jobs.

This was his 2 posts to me. What a wonderfull guy he is.. What a wealth of knowledge... Sparkling personality.... Keep patting yourself on the back buddy.


Heres a guy that wants to stand on the shoulders of the guys in the industry that have labored to find what works thru trial and error, That irritates me. The fact that your using rubberized pool paints suggests you live in the stone age no pun intended. Too bad St Louis doesn't have anything you can use that will work in the area you live in. Its a demographic problem for you. If your going to work there find products in that area, makes sense doesn't? California products are some of the best in the world your just not using them properly or have not bothered to read the instructions. Perhaps you should join an apprentice ship program or work with someone who knows what the heck their doing unlike yourself. There are many types of plaster Rick, Im refering to the one used to water proof the pool not the rockwork. I have never used rubber paint in a pool that is so 80's. An understanding of what concrete is might also be helpful!


Richard L. Winget said:
I find you arrogant Rick and will not divulge anything to you, you are your own worst enemy. By the way all of my projects are sealed underwater and do just fine even after a dozen years. No need to reappy or worry about fading. Go screw yourself!!!
As far as the under water sealers....

Try this company
Poly-Gem

and this product:
#1319 Clear Epoxy Coating provides a high-gloss and very durable finish that is UV stable and chemical resistant. #1319 is ideal for coating animal enclosures or for use underwater in marine environments. #1319 can be pigmented and is suitable for use as a clear casting resin.

I know of artist that has used this in under water marine habitats on coral and other various features. It is glossy though.

As far as sealing the concrete or water proofing there is also Specco

I like to use W-33
In the hard coat.
And for water proofing P-10

You may even want to call Jeff and have a product made just for your situation.
Hi Rick,
Try JPJ technologies for different mixes. I paid about $900.00 four years ago for the DVD's they offer. They also had classes , I do not know if they are still doing that. The classes then were $2600.00 for a week. It was well worth the price for the DVD's learning different mixes for pools. I have had lots of concrete experience in the past so the DVD's worked just fine for me and it sounds like they would work good for you. JPJ will also give you help by phone and e-mail if you need it. There is lots of info for freeze thaw mixes etc. Keith Tutor also has some excellent DVD's. Also try concrete network I also just started talking to crown polymers about waterproofing barrier coats on the opposite side of the hydrostatic pressure (I guess the negative side). There products and additive seem to be working very well for waterproofing or stopping hydrostatic pressure coming up through the floors. I live in western Washington where we get it all, freeze thaw, huge moisture issues etc.

Just to let you know Nathan has been really helpful and informative, at least for me. I do get a little frustrated about the lack of mixes that are made, however that being said I can understand people holding them tight if they have spent thousands of dollars and time developing them. I have floor skimcoat mix I would not give out for free. It is really to bad this has gotten so ugly. There are some really good people on this site.

Good luck Rick, let me know if this helps

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