Shotcrete Vs Gunite: The Pool Construction Process

January 20, 2023


Your swimming pool’s “shell” can be made of almost any durable material, but two particularly popular options stand out: gunite and shotcrete. Both are concrete, but their formation and, as a result, expected lifespan differ sufficiently. So the real question is, which is better gunite or shotcrete?

Gunite and shotcrete are shot at high velocity out of hoses during construction to cover the pool’s shell. The main difference is that shotcrete is applied premixed with water and hardens where it falls. On the other hand, gunite is applied as a dry plaster that mixes with water as it exits the hose.

Certified shotcrete services have proven to build beautiful and durable pools with shotcrete, so how does gunite work differently from shotcrete? This blog post discusses the differences between the two elements and which is superior.

The Difference Between Shotcrete And Gunite

Concrete is composed of three primary ingredients: sand, cement, and water. Water, sand, and cement are all precisely measured at the factory when using shotcrete and is watched as it’s poured into a truck. All concrete used to construct your pool will be the same mixture.

Gunite, on the other hand, is a different element. It is incorporated by hand on the spot. The sand-cement ratio is adjusted by whoever is driving the truck that day, and the water is controlled by someone who can’t see the truck.

Which Is Better: Shotcrete Or Gunite?

Shotcrete has several advantages as a concrete application process. Operators who use shotcrete must be skilled, but they do not need to be experts in mixing concrete as it is premixed and loaded into the hopper. Moreover:

  • Shotcrete is faster than pouring concrete and produces a more durable and consistent coating.
  • It is also a cheap way to apply concrete in curves and irregular shapes, which are often difficult to achieve with traditional concrete methods.
  • Shotcrete, unlike poured concrete, does not require a complex system of forms and typically requires only a one-sided form or no forms if the soil is compacted.
  • Finally, it does not necessitate vibration or compaction after installation.

In contrast, gunite is less difficult to clean than shotcrete. The hose is lighter and more convenient to use, and the concrete is fresh when sprayed as water is added to the nozzle. Moreover:

  • You can stop and restart the application with gunite without creating any weak points.
  • High strength and low shrinkage
  • You can walk on the wet concrete without causing any damage to it.

There is an issue with Gunite that Shotcrete does not have. It’s a concept known as “rebound.” The only “usable” gunite is the part that sticks to the frame as soon as it’s sprayed. “Rebound” refers to anything that falls and hits the ground. If you try to use this “rebound” material, you will form a “cold joint,” which has a much higher failure rate.

REBOUND concrete is considered SCRAP and should NEVER be used in a building. Unfortunately, rebounds should be eliminated, but not everyone understands this.

It also necessitates a skilled operator who understands how to achieve the proper ratios when mixing concrete. Otherwise, the quality of the concrete can be compromised. The dry mixture can also clog the hose pipe, causing issues at the construction site. Gunite is also prone to overspray (rebound), which is both messy and wasteful.

So What Should Be Opted?

Gunite and shotcrete both work by spraying wet cement onto the walls and floor of your pool. The difference is that gunite incorporates water into dry concrete as you spray it. Shotcrete starts with wet concrete, so no additional water is required.

The truth is that if the processes are followed correctly, both will result in a high-quality, watertight, and long-lasting swimming pool. Hiring certified nozzlemen to spray the shotcrete can help assure its quality.

Also read: How To Assure The Quality Of The Shotcrete Process

Shotcrete has NO REBOUND and is significantly harder than Gunite. Gunite is a simple material to drill through. Shotcrete is as solid as a rock.

Finally, the best method for applying concrete will be determined by the project’s specific requirements. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each process can help you make an informed decision as you proceed with your concrete construction project. However, according to literature, shotcrete has always proved to be a better option for swimming pool construction.

About SprayForce Concrete

SprayForce Concrete is an accredited concrete contractor company. Since 2010, we have been serving Calgary and the surrounding areas. Our dedication to providing the highest quality services distinguishes us from the competition. We offer shotcrete services ranging from structural shotcrete to infrastructure. Contact us today for more information.

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