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Plastering- Science vs. Pointing Fingers

February 5, 2011

Reprinted with permission from Kim Skinner of OnBalance:

If you aren’t aware, Mitch Brooks, the Executive Director of the National Plasterers Council (NPC), responded to our (onBalance) write-ups on “Gray Mottling Discoloration”by saying that the NPC disagrees with what we have written.  We responded by asking him to specifically identify what they disagree with, and to state the NPC’s official position on the causes of gray discoloration.  Mitch then responded by saying that the NPC would not publicly debate this issue, and those interested would have to contact him directly to learn what they (NPC) disagree with. Mitch also stated that “the NPC solves issues….not point fingers which is what you guys (onBalance) love to do!”

For those of you who have been on the short end of the NPC’s collective finger, or specifically the finger pointed by the NPC’s Technical Director, Greg Garrett, that comment by Mr. Brooks sound pretty incredible. For those of you who are unaware of the type of finger pointing Mr. Garret engages in consider the following:

In April of 2001 Greg Garrett associated what he called “spot etching” and “highlighting” with aggressive water chemistry (pool in Phoenix AZ – see oB-00004). He also specified that there as no responsibility on the plasterer involved. The professional laboratory analysis then showed that the real culprit was the plastering company and its workmanship.

In August of 2003 Greg Garrett associated mottled white discoloration of colored plaster with aggressive water chemistry (pool in Tracy CA – see oB-00005D). He also specified that there was no responsibility on the plasterer involved. The professional laboratory analysis then showed that the real culprit was the plastering company and its workmanship.

In August of 2003 Greg Garrett also associated patterned white spotting of colored plaster with aggressive water chemistry (pool in Tracy CA – see oB-00005M). He also specified that there was no responsibility on the plasterer involved. The professional laboratory analysis then showed that the real culprit was the plastering company and its workmanship.

In December of 1994 Greg Garrett associated spot etching with aggressive water chemistry (pool in Phoenix AZ – see oB-00019). He also specified that there was no responsibility on the plasterer involved. The professional laboratory analysis then showed that the real culprit was the plastering company and its workmanship.

In August of 2007 Greg Garrett associated “etching, highlighting, and associated discoloration” with aggressive water chemistry (pool in Highland CA – see oB-00040). He also specified that there was no evidence of improper workmanship on the part of the plasterer involved… even though the plaster had delamination and cracking though which the gunite could be seen beneath, and the plaster subsequently began to literally fall of the side of the pool! The professional laboratory analysis showed that there was no evidence of any etching. Of course the real problem – massive delamination – was indeed a result of substandard workmanship on the part of the plastering company.

In September of 2009 Greg Garrett associated mottling discoloration with aggressive water chemistry (pool in Tarzana CA – see oB-00044). He also specified that there was no responsibility on the plasterer involved. The professional laboratory analysis then showed that the real culprit was the plastering company and its workmanship.

Mr. Garrett is making a cottage industry of visiting pools and blaming water chemistry when the actual causes are known mixing, placement and curing defects documented in conventional cement/concrete science. We have many more reports written by Mr. Garrett that are along the same lines.

Keep in mind that this isn’t just a pattern of making incorrect assessments – these are real pools where real pool owners and/or service techs were put at risk for paying to replaster pools when the fault lay with the plastering contractor.

We understand that Mr. Garrett, as well as onBalance partners, specifically visit pools where the whole point is to make a determination as to causation and responsibility. But it has always been our understanding that such determinations should be based on fact and science, rather than apologetics.

Feel free to click on the links and see the comparison between onBalance determinations and Mr. Garrett’s. We hope these examples illustrate the absurdity of Mr. Brooks’ claim that it is onBalance that is “pointing fingers.”

onBalance October 2010

Mike the Poolman: 916-985-7665

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