River Rok® — Natural Pebble Pool Finish blends of selected natural aggregates and fortified Portland cement, ideal for new or refinished swimming pools. Available in a variety of colors, River Rok finishes are factory blended to provide the pool owner with an extremely durable and attractive alternative to traditional pool coatings.
Examine pool surfaces to identify conditions that might interfere with proper bonding of coating. Look for algae, mold, mildew, dirt, paint, mortar droppings, efflorescence, patching compounds, loose tile, cracked plaster, et cetera. Clean pool surfaces of all material that might interfere with proper bonding of coatings. Clean with high pressure water or by sand blasting. Wash with chlorine until algae, mold, and mildew are gone. Wash oil and grease spots using trisodium phosphate or equivalent and water soak if necessary. Remove all cleaning solutions via high pressure-washing. Identify hollow spots in plaster by sounding. Remove and repair all hollow and delaminated plaster. Saw cut an area three (3) inches around bad spots and remove plaster inside the saw cut. Undercut the edges of remaining plaster. Fill holes with specified patching cement (SGM Mortar Mix and Southcrete™ 25 Acrylic Admix) to level of existing plaster. Remove loose tile and fittings; undercut existing plaster two (2) inches below the tile line, and around return lines and fittings to a depth of ? inch. Stop water penetration from outside pool. Plug cracks and leaks around fittings using hydraulic cement (SGM Dynamite Pool Patch). Etch cleaned surface with muriatic acid solution. Use concentration necessary to clean and roughen surface; smooth surfaces may require higher concentration. Neutralize surface with solution of baking soda and water to neutralize acid, which can cause bond failure. Remove remaining acid solutions via high pressure-washing. Plug pool inlets and outlets to prevent clogging with expandable plugs or threaded caps. Mark location of fittings using tape on coping or on a measured drawing. Place sump pump at main drain to remove all running and standing water. Do not begin installation until concrete pool shell has cured at least twenty-eight (28) days. For renovation projects (plastering over an existing plaster pool finish) and poured or formed concrete shells apply BOND-KOTE® as directed. Each unit of BOND-KOTE® consists of one (1) five-gallon pail of BOND-KOTE® resin and two (2) 65 lbs. bags of BOND-KOTE® powder, and will cover approximately 500 square feet. Mix one (1) 65 lbs. bag of BOND-KOTE® powder to ½ pail of BOND-KOTE® resin. Coat existing plaster using a 1¼ inch nap paint roller; create a rough stippled texture by going over the area a second time with roller. Allow BOND-KOTE® to cure for at least six (6) hours before plastering. Plaster should be applied to BOND-KOTE® within three (3) to five (5) days. If left for a longer period before finish is applied, ensure BOND-KOTE® is clean and free of dirt, efflorescence, and other contaminants. If necessary, clean BOND-KOTE® by brushing vigorously while spraying with water; chlorine may be used as needed.
River Rok® is made in batches of 4,000 to 20,000 lbs. (1,800 to 9,000 kg) using natural ingredients. For this reason there will be variations in shade between batches. Batch numbers are printed on the ends of each individual bag. It is important the user follow these instructions carefully to ensure the most consistent color throughout the pool.
Although it is not necessary to use a plaster pump, many contractors do. Included here are some helpful hints for successful pumping. Increase the size of the pump manifold from three (3) inchees to four (4) inchdes. Change the valve ball from plastic to steel to improve longevity. Set plaster pump to the lowest gear by moving the belt. Always begin pumping with a full stroke on the main piston. This is accomplished by advancing the wheel until the cam is at its highest position. Prepare a slurry of cement and water or pump aid and run it through the pump first to prime the pump and lubricate the hoses. Pour the mixed plaster slowly into the pump hopper. Do not pour all the material in at once. Agitate the material in the hopper to prevent separation of the cement and aggregate. Avoid unnecessary stopping during the pumping process. River Rok aggregate will tend to settle in the pump manifold and hoses when the pump is stopped. Agitate the remaining material left in the hopper to reduce clogging. Do not try to clear a blockage using the pump. Disassemble and clean the manifold and hoses when clogged. Do not over-water mix. This will only cause the material to separate, clogging the pump and hoses.
Substrate should be cool and damp but not dripping wet. Mist the shell with cool, clean potable water. Non-absorbed water may be removed by using sponges and/ or air. Standing water will weaken River Rok® and may cause washouts.
The exposure time is limited to approximately one (1) hour but will vary according to local conditions. Beginning too early or too late will result in uneven exposure. Some areas may be ready for exposure while other areas are still being troweled. Constant inspection of the River Rok for readiness is imperative. There are several techniques commonly used to expose River Rok®. The following is a list of the most popular techniques.
When the River Rok® has lost its sheen or is no longer damp, it may be ready for exposure with soft bristle brushes and water. The material must be sufficiently set up to allow applicators to walk on the floor without leaving footprints. Wear white cotton socks or foam shoes when exposing River Rok®. Boots and bare feet are not recommended. Test the plaster for readiness by carefully washing a small area with a soft bristle brush. If the cream washes away without losing aggregate the exposure process may begin. Starting with sunny or fast setting areas begin washing away cement paste with water and brushes. Use a bucket first then progress to a soft flow of water from a garden hose as the material begins to harden. Begin using stiff bristle brushes as the set progresses. Examine the plaster for hot spots that may be setting quickly. Mist these areas with water to allow longer exposure time. Over-cured cement paste will not remove easily and may require stiff bristle brushes to remove. Avoid slow setting areas like shady walls and the bowl. Washing too soon in these areas will cause washouts. If an area washes out it must be re-troweled immediately. Keep some extra River Rok® mixed up for use in patching washout areas. Keep a sump pump running in the main drain at all times to discharge the wash solution. Dispose of wash as directed by local requirements. Avoid leaving hoses, buckets, or any other items on the plaster during exposure. Any object left on the plaster during this critical phase may leave a “shadow” on the surface. In the event of shadowing, heat may be carefully applied to remove the discoloration. When all of the cement paste has been removed from the surface uniformly, the brushing phase is complete. If done thoroughly, this will complete the exposure process. If desired, the water washing may be followed by a light acid-wash to further enhance exposure of the River Rok finish. This is preferably done the same day after allowing for additional drying time, or early the following day.
This technique is commonly used in cold climates or when the plasterers lack sufficient experience to undertake water washing. It is easier to do but can produce a less uniform finish. After troweling, allow the plaster to fully set up. This may take anywhere from one to a few hours or overnight, depending on local job site conditions. Begin acid washing by using a twenty-five (25) percent solution of muriatic acid (higher concentrations may be needed for stubborn areas) and water to remove the cement film that may remain on the surface. Increase the concentration of the acid solution as needed. Proper safety equipment must be worn at all times. Begin washing the bowl first and work up to the shallow end. Following this procedure will minimize “rivers” or streaks on the floor. Acid wash walls and steps last. Do not allow acid wash solution to puddle in the bowl area. Use a sump pump to constantly discard the run off after it is diluted and neutralized. The use of an acid wash additive to reduce fumes and ensure uniform coverage is highly recommended. Neutralize and discard the wash solution according to local requirements. Neutralize acid remaining on the River Rok® with “soda ash” and water to avoid discoloration.
This technique is sometimes used after water washing instead of a standard acid wash. It is also used in areas where the fill water is high in alkalinity and or hardness. When use alone without water washing this technique produces the least desirable results. It will not remove all of the cement paste evenly and my result in a streaked appearance. Remove all metal such as ladders and lights from the pool and turn off the circulation system. After filling the pool test the alkalinity to determine the amount of muriatic acid needed to lower the total alkalinity to zero. Distribute the acid evenly throughout the pool. Brush the pool thoroughly over the entire surface twice daily for three (3) days. Add a sequestering agent and raise the pH to the proper level with soda ash. Start the circulation system and follow the start-up instructions.
Hard trowel pool to uniform smooth finish. Let finish air dry for one (1) to three (3) hours after completion. This technique begins by filling the pool with eight (8) to ten (10) inches of water. This water will buffer the acid solution during the exposure process. Acid wash with 100 percent muriatic acid starting with walls working down to the bowl. Leave acid on for approximately one (1) to two (2) minutes before rinsing off with a hose. Keep constant water on the floor to diffuse acid solution avoiding streaks. Keep acid-washed areas wet through the entire process or cement paste will re-set. Complete acid wash on floor and bowl of the pool and finish by pumping out water. Begin the power washing phase with 2,500 PSI machine using a 45-degree nozzle. Keep the tip twelve (12) to eighteen (18) inches away from the surface perpendicular to the plaster finish. Power wash surface with approximately twenty (20) percent overlap to ensure complete exposure. Start power washing walls from tile line thru cove of the pool and finish with the floor. Pump out the remaining water, install main drain covers, lights, and fittings.
In accordance with the National Plasterers Council (NPC) standards, it is recommended that the following pool and spa water chemistry conditions be maintained on an ongoing basis for the longevity of River Rok® natural pebble interior pool and spa finish. These values are important to prevent corrosion, deterioration, discoloration, scaling, or other problems. For more information refer to your local agency having jurisdiction or NPC. Follow recommended fill and balancing procedures to ensure a successful start-up. Fill pool completely and without interruption with clean, potable water. The use of a filter during fill is strongly recommended. The initial fill water is the most important water that the pool will receive and must be tested, recorded and adjusted according to the following parameters by an experienced pool professional. For the first thirty days (30) the pH and alkalinity must be monitored and adjusted (if applicable) every three (3) to five (5) days. All other chemicals monitored and adjusted (if applicable) every seven (7) to ten (10) days. The pool water must be tested regularly and documented monthly by a reputable company using a computerized system. Monitoring the pool water regularly will not only affect the new finish but will keep the River Rok® finish looking new. Improper water chemistry will void the 10 year limited residential warranty or five (5) year limited commercial warranty. It is recommended that a quality sequestering agent be used in the initial start-up in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and then a recommended maintenance dosage per the sequestering agent’s manufacturer instructions.