how microglass works
To understand why MicroGlass makes plaster and aggregate finishes stronger, harder, and nearly impervious to water chemistry, it’s important to understand some basic fundamentals of pool plaster.
The Interior Finish
The interior pool finish is a thin layer (about 3/8th of an inch) of protective material.
This material is what swimmers feel under their feet, gives the pool it’s color, and protects the pool’s concrete shell (usually shotcrete, or gunite) from chemical wear.
When your pool is being built or resurfaced, these components are mixed in batches and applied to the pool interior
Pool Finish Components
The most common types of interior finish types are plaster (aka marcite), quartz or pebble.
These finishes are made by mixing batches of sand, water, cement (most commonly Portland cement), chemical additives, color pigment and various other aggregates (marble dust, quartz, pebble etc).
The Cement Matrix
These microscopic spaces are a result of water and other liquids exiting the pool finish during the curing process.
The tiny voids and capillaries within pool finishes are like highways, allowing your pool water and chemicals to interact with the finish. Over time, this interaction weakens the cement binder on the surface and within the voids and capillaries.
A particularly vulnerable element in pool finishes’ cement binder is Calcium Hydroxide. Calcium Hydroxide is a weak and soluble soft calcium (meaning it is easily dissolves in pool water).
Unfortunately, this soft calcium (Calcium Hydroxide) makes up 25% of the total cement matrix within all pool finishes!
That’s why a new pool that is not protected by MicroGlass will often have you chasing your tail trying to stabilize the pH and total alkalinity. The pool water is trying to reach equilibrium, and if it needs calcium, the water will steal it from your finish (causing strength decrease, color issues, and plaster dust).
This Soft Calcium (Calcium Hydroxide) breakdown leads to several cosmetic headaches. It’s important to note that most (if not all) of these issues below are not due to faulty workmanship but are a direct result of Soft Calcium breakdown.
Some of these problems include: Color loss, crazing (surface cracks), efflorescence, etching, calcium nodules, spalling, plaster dust and pebble loss. (Click here to better understand these issues and how to stop them).
Independent Third-Party Lab Tests shows that MicroGlass fully penetrates the complete depth of the plaster matrix, protecting your pool finish from the inside-out. This is significant because traditional densifiers may slightly enter the surface, but still allow pool water and chemicals access to the remainder of the finish.
The MicroGlass Solution
Pool finish breakdown is a scientific problem which requires a scientific solution.
MicroGlass is laboratory-engineered by Concrete Scientists and Pool Experts.
Unlike sealers or coatings that sit on the surface, MicroGlass protects your pool finish by infusing hard nano-particles within the microscopic voids and capillaries of the finish.
After entering the finish, MicroGlass then permanently converts the weak minerals (like Soft Calcium Hydroxide) into densified and chemically resistant compounds.
For new pools, MicroGlass also aids in the curing process of new finishes. Because MicroGlass penetrates the complete depth of the plaster, it also acts as a protective densifier for old finishes as well, extending the pool’s service lifecycle.
The MicroGlass Benefits
MicroGlass converts the soft calcium in your finish into a hardened compound. This conversion fortifies your pool’s Plaster, Quartz, or Pebble Finish– extending its lifespan and durability.
Pool chemicals make it safe for you and your family to swim. But did you know they also destroy your finish? MicroGlass minimizes chemical damage on and within your pool finish and reduces the natural degradation caused by salt, acid, and chlorine.
MicroGlass strengthens the pigmented cement within your pool finish. Strengthening your pigmented cement in your pool finish also safeguard from color loss– keeping your pool visually stunning and vibrant.
With MicroGlass protection, future surface stains become easier to clean with chemicals or brushing.
MicroGlass reduces calcium leaching, making the water environment easier to balance and maintain. It also strengthens the calcium in the finish, reducing damage caused by common.
MicroGlass hardens the cement that holds your pebble and quartz in place.
We recommend following the NPC startup guidelines. However, keep in mind, your calcium levels will balance much more quickly with MicroGlass.
BOTTOM LINE: MicroGlass is a breakthrough product and process that literally hardens both new and old plaster, extending the life of your plaster, and helping to protect it from etching, spalling, color-loss, nodules, and shortened lifetimes, while simplifying your water chemistry management. It’s unlike any other pool plaster product you’ve ever seen.