These two words might not mean a great deal to the vast majority of the population, but to those in the pool building community or anyone researching Cypress pool construction, these are very commonplace. There are many misnomers and a lot misinformation regarding these materials, and the largest cause for this is a lack of knowledge about the materials. In an effort to help shed some light on this topic, we are going to give you a brief introduction to each of these.
Shotcrete is not a different building material, but instead a different variation of standard concrete. While traditionally-poured concrete is the most common form used in the pool building process, this is not always the best option. In many cases, shotcrete is a much better option simply because it cures into a harder final state and it forms a more water-tight base.
What is Shotcrete?
Shotcrete is concrete that has been mixed with much less water. Because of the lack of water, shotcrete is applied by spraying the material onto the surface. Due to it’s dry properties, shotcrete is better equipped to bond to a vertical surface such as a swimming pool wall.
Gunite is also a different variation of a standard concrete mixture. Much like shotcrete, gunite is a very dry mixture of concrete that must be applied with a spraying tool. However, unlike shotcrete, it is not mixed completely at the concrete facility. Gunite is actually mixed on the job site with the assistance of the special spray nozzle. Since the gunite is mixed inside the spray gun, it allows for the mixture to be very dry. This eliminates long curing periods and allows for the work to progress much more quickly.
Both shotcrete and gunite are great building materials, and each has a benefit over regular slab concrete when it comes to new pool construction. Perhaps the greatest benefit for each of these materials is the ability to avoid large expansion joints. While expansion joints will still be needed, the expansion joints that you see will be much smaller and less likely to leak water.