Cast-In-Place Vs. Shotcrete Concrete: Which Is Better For Pool Construction?

February 9, 2023


Today, a commercial swimming pool shell can be constructed in several ways. Two of the most commonly used methods are cast-in-place concrete and shotcrete. The significant difference between the two is the method of placement. With proper design and construction, both systems will provide a rock-solid pool shell that can last more than 40 years.

People unfamiliar with these building projects frequently need help choosing the optimal concrete application techniques. Shotcrete and cast-in are the two most often employed techniques, although it might be challenging to decide which is superior. Additionally, every contractor has a personal preference. Asking a professional concrete contractor can also be an option.

The manner of placement is the main distinction between the two. However, with the proper application of concrete, both techniques can ultimately provide excellent results. To assist you in making a wise choice, we’ve contrasted these two approaches in this blog post.

Cast-In-Place Concrete For Swimming Pools

Cast-in-place Concrete is a type of concrete created by creating a form, typically out of steel or wooden planks, and then pouring the wet, runny concrete mixture into the state. The surface is subsequently smoothed with tools. The concrete later dries and hardens into a solid structure due to water hydration.

Concrete construction in an aquatic facility often consists of floors, walls, and decks. Still, they can also include diving platforms, water slides, water play areas, or complex landscaping components near the swimming pools.

One of the most widely used techniques in the construction business, the “cast-in-place” method of installing concrete, is familiar to many designers and builders.

Why Is Cast-In-Place Not Desirable?

Cast-in-place can be less economical, even though it is better regulated and ideal for work requiring close tolerance.

One of the disadvantages is that the concrete mixture for cast-in-place must contain a significant amount of water to be put into different forms. To get the ideal concrete thickness everywhere and to be able to smooth out the concrete’s surface, it is essential to be able to “pour” the concrete.

The actual issue with adding a lot of water to concrete is that as the water combines with the cement to create hard concrete, it generates a lot of heat as it hydrates. As the concrete hardens, water evaporates from it due to the high heat, and the overall volume of the concrete decreases.

For various reasons, water loss around or beneath a pool could be better, including the expense of wasted water and chemicals and the formation of subsurface cavities beneath the pool’s construction when leaking water destroys the supporting soil. Pools can break apart due to voids in and around them, and these voids can also cause decks and piping to settle or break.

Cast-in-place construction is often the most expensive type of concrete construction for swimming pools. The leading cause is that cast-in-place demands more labour and materials throughout the shaping, pouring, and finishing stages.

Shotcrete Method For Swimming Pools

Shotcrete is an example of a “free form” concrete application. Concrete’s inherent ability to be formed into free-form shapes allows for the construction of extraordinarily durable and watertight structures with any geometry. The concrete can be poured horizontally, vertically, or even fired upward to cling to and take the shape of a ceiling’s underside.

Since the turn of the 20th century, shotcrete and gunite products have been employed in projects, including building tunnels through mountains for roads. You may have traveled through several interstate tunnels constructed with these types of concrete.

With shotcrete, the entire concrete mixture, including the water in the mix, is blended at the concrete factory before being delivered to the project in concrete trucks. Except for the shotcrete mixture’s decreased water content, this process is the same as that used for cast-in-place concrete.

Professional concrete contractors for structural shotcrete, such as pools, have properly mixed concrete available for use. Concrete contractors are also aware of the pitfalls to avoid with shotcrete.

Also read: Pitfalls To Avoid In The Shotcreting Process

Why Is Shotcrete More Desirable?

  • Shotcrete will produce the most robust and watertight concrete pools when correctly designed and built.
  • There are far fewer joints in the pool due to the decreased volume of water used in the concrete mixture, which causes less volume change from water hydration. Remember that “minimizing the number of pool seams between concrete sections in the pool” is the golden rule for good pool design and construction.
  • More significant compressive strengths than concrete placed in place. Shotcrete typically has compressive forces between 6,000 and 7,500 psi.

About SprayForce Concrete

SprayForce Concrete is a COR-certified and BBB – A+ accredited concrete contractor company. We have been in the industry for quite some time. We at SprayForce Concrete have a team of ACI-certified nozzlemen with more than ten years of experience in the shotcrete industry. Our experienced concrete contractors provide structural shotcrete, architectural, soil retention, and infrastructure services. Contact us today for more information.

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