Hard to believe it’s been over a year since our last blog post! Things got so busy, we had to put everything on the back-burner just to keep up. That’s a good problem to have! Wanted to quickly provide an update on a recently completed project that we are very proud of. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville contacted us looking for a solution to the problems they were having with the plaster on their pool. Between the spalling, the pop-offs, and maintenance issues, they were hoping to find a an improved finish that they could rely on. We reviewed our specifications with the management of the winery, and provided them our list of commercial references. Once they saw the benefits of our Advanced-Glass finish, they were all in! We completed the project earlier this year, working with the winery and the Sonoma county health department to make all the required updates to the pool. We are so proud of the results and pleased that the Francis Ford Coppola Winery entrusted us with improving their beautiful property.
A few years ago I installed a salt chlorinating system in my pool. While I loved the softness of the pool water, I began to notice corrosion on my concrete pool deck and the cool-deck overlay I had installed on it. I could only conclude that even though the salt in my pool was relatively small, it was causing damage to my concrete deck. So I made the difficult decision to remove the salt system. But now I was stuck with salty pool water. I thought that the only way to get fresh water again was to completely drain my pool, and refill it with new, fresh water. Not only would that waste a lot of water, but it would also cost me extra from my water district. Also, my pool is 10 feet deep, and with the recent rains we've been getting, I was a little concerned about draining my pool with potential ground water underneath the pool.
Then, I discovered a remarkable service that can clean and purify your pool water in less than 24 hours without draining the water out, using the process of reverse osmosis. The Puripool system sounded too good to be true, but I talked to the folks at Swim Chem who explained the process to me, and assured me that it would work. Swim Chem has been servicing my pool for years, so I trusted them and ordered the service.
The next morning John arrived with the big trailer and hooked everything up. He took the time to show me how the system worked and let me go inside the rig to see the huge filters that would be cleaning my pool water. The whole unit even has it's own wifi router, so John can monitor the performance remotely! My pool is large (35,000 gallons!) and it cycled through even faster than John told me. It took approx. 15 hours for the process to complete. While the process is running, it does make noise like a motor running. It didn't really bother me, but John was concerned about it disturbing my neighbors, so he turned it off (by his smartphone!) around 9pm - nice touch! He even emailed me a report when he was finished showing me all the readings of my pool water before the service, and then once the water was purified.
I'm really pleased that I had Swim Chem purify my water using this system and recommend it to anyone who needs to change out their water. Don't drain it - purify it!
How do you startup a fiberglass pool? How is the startup of a fiberglass pool different than a plaster pool? These are some of the questions most frequently asked by our customers.
When resurfacing your swimming pool, "startup" refers to the procedures required to ensure that the plaster cures properly, and that the chemicals are properly balanced after the resurfacing is complete. The startup of a Plaster pool surface/finish is very sensitive and much more labor intensive than the startup of a pool resurfaced with our Advanced-Glass fiberglass system. Advance-Glass fiberglass is the EASIEST pool finish to startup and maintain!
Filling the Pool
Once our crew completes the resurfacing process, we will ask you to wait approximately 24 hours before filling the pool, to allow the finish coat to cure. Then, fill the pool as soon as possible with a continuous flow of water. Do not stop filling part-way through.
With Advanced-Glass, no brushing is required during startup! When you do brush the pool for regular ongoing maintenance, use only a plastic bristled brush. Do not use a metal brush. Compare this to starting up a Plaster pool. With a plaster finish, frequent brushing of the entire pool is critical (at least once a day for the first week and at least once a week for the rest of the first month, more often is better).
Initial chemical balancing is easy for your Advanced-Glass fiberglass finish. Work with your local pool store or pool service company to balance the chemicals. Here is our recommendation for chemical makeup of your pool water:
CHLORINE 1.0 – 1.5 parts per million
PH 7.2 – 7.4
TOTAL ALKALINITY 100-120 parts per million
CALCIUM (Hardness) 300 –350 parts per million
After filling the pool, you may have some dirt or debris that has accumulated in the water. You may use your pool sweep or vacuum to clean the pool.
As you consider options for your pool resurfacing project, remember to consider the time and effort you will spend on startup and ongoing maintenance. With our Advanced-Glass system, you will swim sooner (no need to wait several weeks to begin swimming); spend less time and energy brushing the pool; and spend more time enjoying your pool! Life is good with a fiberglass finish!
For over 20 years we have held a Christmas party each year for APC employees and their families. Each year the location changes, and this year we celebrated at Lucille's Roadhouse in Rocklin. We love the opportunity to come together, enjoy a great meal and spend time together relaxing. It's fun to see the kids and to express our appreciation to our employees' families for their support. Fiberglass swimming pool resurfacing is hard work, and our workers travel far to serve our customers- so we like to help the families know how much we appreciate their support. This year we brought photo albums including pictures from the last 20 years of Christmas parties. Kids who were infants 20 years ago are now off at college or doing volunteer service overseas. The kids who are young now were able to enjoy a special visit from Santa Claus this year! We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
It's no secret, California is in the fourth year of an historic drought. What does that mean for pool owners? Advanced Pool Coatings is working with the California Pool & Spa Association (CPSA) to promote sensible water conservation measures and to protect your rights as swimming pool owners.
- Residential swimming pools use up to 50% LESS water than the same square footage of lawn - that's right - with your pool you are already conserving water compared to a typical residential backyard uses. Add in the amount of pool deck area that would be grass, and you save even more water!
- Independent studies have shown that swimming pools use approximately .3 gallons per sq. ft. per day compared to .6 gallons per sq. ft. per day for lawn area.
What should you do?
- Check your pool for leaks. Either hire a qualified Leak Detection professional, or perform the "bucket test" yourself (google it) to see if you have a leak.
- Repair any plumbing leaks or structural cracks immediately! Contact us for more information about how we can help your leaking pool! Our Advanced-Glass fiberglass pool finish is especially effective against cracks and leaks!
- If you have a leak that requires draining the pool, we encourage you to contact your local water district to explain the situation. In every case we've seen, they encourage you to fix the leak correctly to prevent more ongoing water loss - even if that means draining the pool completely to do the repair!
When you need a job done right, you want a professional to trust with your vision and budget. Once you have a few leads and referrals, it’s time to narrow your choices. You know you should do some fact-checking but where to begin?
At Advanced Pool Coatings we encourage you take these steps when choosing a contractor:
- Check the company’s license with the Contractors State License Board.* Make sure the company is properly licensed for the type of work you need done and that the license is active with no complaints or suspensions. Proper licenses for your swimming pool work include C-53 for swimming pool contractors and D-12 for synthetic products (needed for fiberglass work).
Advanced Pool Coatings holds both licenses, so all work is done in-house. We don't rely on subcontractors!
- Check the sales rep’s license, again with the CSLB, to be sure they are registered. All home improvement sales reps must be registered with the CSLB.
- Confirm that the contractor has workers compensation and general liability insurance.
- Check references, including online reviews on sites like yelp and google+.
Advanced Pool Coatings is the only contractor who lets you talk to ANY of its customers. We are THAT confident in our work.
Once you're satisfied that a company is legitimately licensed, insured, and well recommended, you can begin to weed out potential contractors based on your personality, project, budget, and time constraints. Interview the company rep with these questions in mind:
- Can you see the unique nature of my project? (Does he or she listen? Can he articulate and accurately reproduce your ideas and vision? Most important, are you compatible with this person?)
- Do you use subcontractors or do your own employees do all the work?
Advanced Pool Coatings uses all its own employees. We do NOT use subcontractors!
- Do you have longevity in the industry? (If the contractor has been around for past customers, they will most likely be around for you. Ask about follow-up and warranty work references.)
Advanced Pool Coatings has been serving customers since 1993!
- What are the payment schedules? (If the contractor asks too much up front, that is a red flag.)
- Do I feel rushed to make a decision? (A good contractor doesn’t need to use high-pressure sales tactics. Make an informed decision based on your timeline.)
Follow these simple steps, and you are more likely to achieve a successful project!
*The Contractors State License Board is a great resource (we highly recommend their article on hiring a licensed professional). Hosted by the state Department of Consumer Affairs, this website defines industry terms and provides topical information and links, all in an effort to educate and protect homeowners.
After more than 20 years in Roseville, we’ve moved to a more versatile space in nearby Loomis.
A Key Location for Best Customer Service
When Paul and Dwight originally formed a pool resurfacing company in 1993, they knew a good location would be key to their success. The Roseville office put them close to pools in the Sacramento metropolitan area and provided easy access to surrounding communities like Davis and Vacaville, as well as all regions within the greater Bay Area. Thousands of those pools now boast a durable and beautiful Advanced-Glass fiberglass pool surface, with more completed each week.
After twenty years of successful residential and commercial projects, the Advanced Pool Coatings family had grown–a lot; we had added more fiberglass pool resurfacing crews and formed a decorative concrete coatings division. We’d begun bursting at the seams, so to speak. To best meet the needs of our increasing customer base, we knew we had to find a larger, more versatile facility.
A Large Facility to Meet Customer Needs
Not wanting to sacrifice the advantages of the original location, we limited our search area. The property we eventually found (just eight miles away) and the space we created indicate a leap forward in our customer service offerings. Our new facility provides everything potential clients need to know about our exclusive products and processes, with plenty of room to grow.
Let’s face it–a pool remodel project is a significant investment for most people. When you are trying to decide who to hire for your job, consider this: Do they have a real office, supported by real people, dedicated to your project’s success, who stand by their work and are ready to serve you throughout the life of your project? Our new office is not only designed to serve our customers better, it is also a direct commitment to build long-term roots in the community and the pool industry so we are available to provide great service for years to come. That’s the Advanced Pool Coatings difference!
Advanced Pool Coatings has always provided superior customer service. Now we can provide even more! Take a look at some of our office features that just might get you excited about using Advanced Pool Coatings to repair your pool surface and renovate your pool:
Our showroom features samples of our fiberglass pool coatings, pool tile and decorative concrete overlay products. Here you can get a better idea of what your pool renovation project can look like as you browse our selection of samples.
We resurfaced our shop’s concrete floors with our exclusive Sundek epoxy industrial floor coatings. Come take a look at the durability and beauty these floors offer.
Abundant Shop Space
With abundant space (6,000 square feet!) to store inventory and supplies, we can quickly and easily respond to increased demand from jobs large and small!
Our beautiful reception area will immediately help you feel right at home. Here you can see the many awards and plaques we've earned from some of our most unique projects.
See for yourself how Advanced Pool Coatings can turn your backyard vision into a reality.
Take a VIRTUAL TOUR
Take a Real Tour
We welcome you! Please call or email in advance.
Advanced Pool Coatings
6141 Angelo Court
Loomis, CA 95650
We are located less than two miles off I-80.
Take the Horseshoe Bar Road Exit.
Turn right on Horseshoe Bar Road
Turn left on King
Turn right on Swetzer Road
Turn right on Angelo Court
6141 Angelo Court, building on the left!
Cracks in your pool should be repaired in a timely manner. Do it the right way with Advanced-Glass fiberglass.
Why Do Cracks Form?
Cracks occur for a variety of reasons. The pools we service in the Bay Area occasionally have cracks resulting from seismic activity. Expansive soil is more often the culprit in Davis, Vacaville, Fairfield, Walnut Creek, Danville, Lafayette, El Dorado Hills, and other cities in the Greater Sacramento area. We’ve also seen cracks resulting from poor original construction and even from encroaching tree roots.
When these forces are applied to a pool surface, that surface reacts as it is engineered to do so. In the case of plaster (gunite with plaster overlay), extreme pressure instantly results in cracking due to the rigid nature of the material. The same is true with aggregate (Pebble-Tec), concrete, and prefabricated fiberglass pools. They will crack under pressure.
Solutions in Advanced-Glass Flexibility
Advanced-Glass fiberglass is different. Its unique properties allow it to flex and give. This more forgiving material holds up much better than plaster, even in formerly distressed pools.
Advanced-Glass fiberglass literally transforms your pool from an unyielding form to one with the strength and flexibility to meet many of the forces that nature will inevitably throw at it. The superior beauty, ideal orange-peel texture, and ease of maintenance of the Advanced-Glass fiberglass pool finish are added benefits. It is simply a superior pool finish on every level.
What’s the Harm in a Little Surface Crack?
Cracks resulting from the rigidity of traditional pool surface materials often have associated water leakage. Even a small leak can hit the pocketbook pretty hard and in these times of severe drought, it’s difficult to stomach that sort of water waste. Leaks don’t get any smaller–they can only get larger and more problematic. It’s best to address them sooner rather than later.
DIY Crack Repairs
Sometimes people will attempt to repair cracks in their plaster. We must advise pool owners that these do-it-yourself projects will frequently crack again, either in the same place or near the plaster repair. If you decide to perform your own crack repair, typically with A+B epoxy, consider it at best a temporary fix. It’s a good option only to “buy some time” until we can arrive to perform a more lasting, robust repair.
How to BEST Fix Cracks
While some contractors recommend using staples to perform repairs on plaster and gunite, we've found staples to be ineffective and simply an added cost. Some contractors also recommend performing epoxy injections or removing sections of gunite and re-installing rebar to reinforce the pool shell. In our experience, the Advanced-Glass fiberglass pool resurfacing system has resolved thousands of our customers’ cracked and leaking pool problems without the need for these other types of costly and invasive procedures.
The most effective way to treat your pool cracks are with Advanced Pool Coatings solutions. Our exclusive crack treatment for both prefab and resurfaced fiberglass pools will restore your pool surface to like-new condition.
If you don’t have a fiberglass pool, you'll find the best fix for cracks in Advanced-Glass fiberglass. With a full fiberglass conversion, in conjunction with crack repair, your pool will sport a more flexible, more durable, and more beautiful surface. It will much better withstand the structural pressures currently wreaking havoc on your existing pool.
Advanced Pool Coatings has provided THE BEST solution to thousands of distressed pools for more than 35 years. In fact, they can fix ANY pool. Contact us today.
After over 15 years, we just launched our brand-new website! Completely redesigned from scratch, our new site is loaded with pictures, images, videos and information about our services. It is also completely "responsive"–meaning you can easily view our site from your desktop, tablet or mobile phone - any screen!
Keep checking back for updates on completed projects and other exciting information.
Thanks for visiting!
When the swimming pool at Harrah's Reno was cracked and in need of repair, they called Advanced Pool Coatings to solve their dilemma. Located on the roof of the 5th floor of the casino's West Tower, this pool posed some logistical challenges. Because it was on the roof it was exposed to the outdoors, and the afternoon winds were quite strong. This required professionals who know how to work in these conditions. We resurfaced the swimming pool with our Advanced-Glass fiberglass sytem, which is especially effective against cracked and leaking pools. We also replaced their pool tile and coping and handrails.
Quality Pool Job Matches School's Vision
Reprinted from Splashlines
Instilling A Vision
Sometimes a swimming pool is just a pool - a recreation outlet or a venue for competition and aerobic exercise. Sometimes, though, a pool is a little bit more. At Echo Glen Children's Center, in Snoqualmie, Washington, the indoor pool is not only a recreational facility, but an integral part of a greater vision to promote the personal responsibility of its residents.
Echo Glen is Washington State's juvenile detention center. Its endeavors to create quality rehabilitative programs have resulted in an effective canine training program and multiple humanitarian efforts. Residents are encouraged to participate in these service activities that allow them to look within themselves and identify with others. The rewards of their work enable them to see a future outside the center.
The center's swimming pool, similarly, provides an on-site incentive and rewards program. Used strictly for recreational purposes, this indoor pool is an effective motivational tool. Residents look forward to earned opportunities to take part in swimming, playing and relaxing in the facility.
Restoring A Pool
Given the importance of the pool, when it began showing its age, the center looked for ways to fix it long term. The tile pool had been repeatedly repaired and was beginning to leak into an underground mechanical room. The state contacted Yi and Associates, a general contractor, and architect Jim Mortensen began working to find a solution.
As Jim began looking for an alternative to pricey and ultimately leak-prone tile, he consulted the State of Washington on past projects under its jurisdiction. He learned about Advanced Pool Coatings in Roseville, California, which specializes in the application of fiberglass pool surfaces. The state had used Advanced on other projects and had even completed a pool at the Bellevue Aquatics Center nearby.
After learning about Advanced Pool Coatings' reputation and job record with the state, Jim requested a bid. "When I compared the cost to repair the pool with ceramic tile versus fiberglass, I found the difference to be about $60,000. It was a major cost savings for the client." Advanced got the job.
Satisfying A Client
Echo Glen's swimming pool was put on Advanced's schedule and the work was completed at the end of January 2009. When asked about the crews of Advanced Pool Coatings, Jim said, "They were in and out faster than what they said." In fact, "the work was done faster than the client could fill the pool back up." The work and the pool surface have impressed all involved. "We don't have any complaints," said Jim.
Working with company president Paul Walter was a great experience, said Jim. Based in the Sacramento area, Advanced Pool Coatings is not limited to local jobs. In addition to several Washington state projects, the company has completed commercial and residential work throughout various western states. Distance does not hinder the work at all. "Paul and I did everything 100 percent through email, down to the contracts. It was that easy to work with them," said Jim.
Maintaining A Reputation
Advanced Pool Coatings was founded in 1993, when two veterans of fiberglass pool resurfacing combined their expertise to form a company that provided quality work, a guaranteed finish, honest salesmanship, and prompt, professional customer service. Throughout the last decade and a half, Paul and his co-worker Dwight Johnson have enjoyed a successful relationship, growing the company and its reputation one job at a time.
Jim Mortensen's experience with Advanced Pool Coatings is not unique. Thousands of homeowners and business owners alike have enjoyed the results of a job completed to their specifications. Previous issues of Splashlines featured homeowners (and their grandchildren) who have enjoyed several years with an Advanced fiberglassed pool.
City administrators at the previously mentioned Bellevue Aquatics Center still enthusiastically recommend Advanced Pool Coatings, even seven years after the job was completed. Bellevue City's Assistant Operations Manager Paul Craig said the company assured them more-than-satisfactory results after they expressed concern about lesser quality fiberglass jobs they had witnessed.
"We heard about Advanced's improvements with fiberglass...and they assured us everything would be great. We wouldn't have any problem with delamination or cobalting, which some other applicators had experienced," said Paul Craig. "With Advanced Pool Coatings, we've had no problem whatsoever. They delivered."
A fiberglass surface is second to none. Paul Walter of Advanced states that even though most people don't know when they are swimming in a fiberglass pool, he can recognize one almost as soon as he gets on a potential job site. "If I know the age of the pool and I still see a clean, lustrous surface, even from a distance, I can tell that it must be a fiberglass-lined pool and not a porous plaster pool that has picked up dirt."
The non-porous surface of a fiberglass pool doesn't pick up the stains and dirt particles normally found in an aging plaster pool. In fact, most people feel that the surface achieved through a fiberglass application is better than new, with the additional benefits of longevity anda strong resistance to black algae. Warranty callbacks, Paul says, are almost unheard of.
Repeat business, however, is common. Customer satisfaction with Advanced Pool Coatings has led many companies to request more work at additional facilities and maintenance work on high-usage venues. For instance, Advanced has maintained the water flumes inside the log ride and mine ride mountains at Knott's Berry Farm for the past 13 years.
Committment to Residential Customers
Although high-profile jobs like those at children's centers and amusement parks are impressive, Advanced Pool Coatings remains highly committed to providing its residential customers with the same quality fiberglass resurfacing. When asked about this vital segment of the business, Paul's partner Dwight Johnson says, "I've fiberglassed more than 2,500 residential pools in Sacramento and the Bay Area combined."
With an unsurpassed reputation to maintain, Advanced Pool Coatings strives to please every one of its customers with its quality product and service. Readers can learn more about fiberglass pool resurfacing by contacting Advanced Pool Coatings by phone at (916)773-1883 or by email at:
Or visit the company's website at:
by Tami Stokes
KNOTT'S WATER RIDES REPAIRED
Local Pool Contractor Selected for the Job
by Tami Stokes
Hundreds of thousands attend this park every year, including many local residents, who buy annual passes for their families. Knott’s Theme Park has somehow managed to create a wonderful balance of nostalgia and progress, with wholesome and exciting entertainment venues. It has remained highly competitive in the tight Southern California market with timely additions of world-class thrill rides. But despite its success in this regard, Knott’s has never forgotten its humble beginnings as a family-owned berry market and nursery. It retains an “Old West” feel through much of the park and prides itself on several patriotic attractions. It's a great place for families.
Seeking a long-term waterproofing solution
The maintenance department is responsible for keeping many of the attractions at Knott’s in tip-top form. Safety is their first priority, which is why when the water rides began showing subtle signs of age seven years ago, they sought a guaranteed long-term solution. Despite Knott’s rigorous maintenance routine, issues of wear led personnel to seek outside expertise on how best to perform waterproofing procedures on containment pans and to keep them functioning at full capacity for many years to come. Practically speaking, though, these rides are among the most popular in the park, and down time was a major concern. Daily revenues had to factor into any potential renovation.
Armed with these considerations, park administration eventually settled on Advanced Pool Coatings, a company out of Northern California that specializes in commercial and residential pool resurfacing. With a reputation among local fiberglass suppliers as one of the best contractors around, Advanced has the tools and experience to transform almost any existing surface into one that is lasting and durable, not to mention beautiful.
Timber Mountain Log Ride, inside Knott’s Ghost Town, was the first water ride approved for an update. These types of attractions use large metal pans that collect the vast amounts of water required to run the ride. The largest pan is about 120 feet long and 5 feet wide, and collects the 24,000 gallons of water that has flowed through the flume. The ride’s smaller containment pans average about 200 to 300 square feet and serve the waterfalls along the Log Ride’s exterior.
Dwight Johnson, vice president of Advanced Pool Coatings, says that he and his crew created shells of fiberglass for all the metal pans, rendering each one completely leakproof with an almost indestructible finish. The crew was able to access all the difficult-to-reach areas with the necessary equipment and to perform the work within the stringent schedule imposed by the park. Knott's agrees. “The ride was shut down for a minimal amount of time. It was just a matter of a couple days.”
Advanced's success evident in additional work requests
Evidence of the success of this first project lies in subsequent jobs requested by Knott’s over the next six years to the present. Advanced has resurfaced parts of the Log Ride’s flume by fiberglassing over new wood structures. The company refurbished the pans associated with waterfalls at the Calico Mine Ride, also in Ghost Town. And just this year, it “glassed over” (in effect, waterproofed) the 60-foot-diameter turntable at Big Foot Rapids, a whitewater river raft ride in Knott’s Wild Water Wilderness.
Advanced Pool Coatings has proven its ability to address all the waterproofing challenges presented to date at Knott’s Theme Park with the least possible disruption to guests and with their safety and comfort always in mind. Knott's adds that over the past few years “there have even been a few mornings when the crews started early and completed their day’s work before 10 a.m., when the park opens.” In fact, Knott’s is so satisfied with the work Advanced has done for the park that jobs are already in the planning for next year. “It’s really worked out well for us,” says Knott's.
Locally, Advanced Pool Coating’s reputation for commercial work is truly impressive. Educational and community institutions like Sierra College, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento YMCA, and the San Juan Unified School District have all selected Advanced when refurbishing their aging pools. In addition, Advanced has performed work on city pools, many apartment complex pools in the area, and the Officers’ Club pool at McClellan Air Force Base.
Although Advanced Pool Coatings is capable of producing superior commercial work and tackling unique challenges presented by venues like Knott’s Berry Farm (as well as the Marin County Civic Center, where Advanced crews performed extensive repair of a historic fountain designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright), the company is better known around the Sacramento area for its residential work. Advanced has resurfaced literally hundreds of residential pools in the past 10 years, and specializes in transforming old swimming pools with bad plaster into gleaming, smooth-textured structures. Your pool will look like new again. What’s more, the work is warranted for five years, with a long-lasting fiberglass surface that is much easier to maintain than plaster and that is impenetrable by algae and most stains.
Advanced President Paul Walter says it generally takes about two days to transform an old residential pool into a new looking one. The application process consists of several steps, from prep work, to the spraying of fiberglass, to cleanup. For a complete, step-by-step description of a typical application, please access the web site listed below and select Specifications.
If you are eager to beautify your pool for this swimming season, don’t delay. Paul urges pool owners to call soon for an estimate. “We already have a large backlog of work and expect that by Memorial Day, the backlog will extend well beyond the Fourth of July.” For Advanced Pool Coatings, your pool is just as important as any water ride at Knott’s Berry Farm—just try to avoid the long lines.
MARIN COUNTY CIVIC CENTER FOUNTAIN
Reprinted from "Splash Lines"
Advanced Pool Coatings, a northern California company, specializes in producing a gun-shot fiberglass surface for existing residential and public pools. Following is a testimonial on their reputation and success during their experience resurfacing a historic fountain at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, California.
A plaque outside the Marin County Civic Center marks it as historical landmark number 999, one in nearly a thousand--and surely today, one in many thousand more. Yet this structure stands truly alone not only as a beautiful public facility but as a pristine example of an architectural form envisioned by the late Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright was best known for unwavering insistence on his own idea of perfection. And his theory of organic architecture, which is a complete synthesis of ground and building, is ideally executed in this, his last important work.
Originally constructed in 1962, the long, horizontal structure gracefully unites three separate hills. Constructed of concrete, steel, and glass, the Civic Center combines classical elements with several of Wright’s more forward-thinking details. Decorative arches reminiscent of Roman aqueducts grace the length of the building. A bright blue barrel arch roof of pre-cast concrete mirrors the sky above. Skylights and atriums run down the center of each segment, lifting the eye upward and out to the golden hills and green trees or downward and in toward planters on the ground level. Natural light softly permeates every inch of walkway, and whimsical, circular accents throughout give the facility an "other-worldly" ambience not felt in traditional public buildings.
This unusual building has inspired even the imagination of Hollywood. The Civic Center was recently used as the set for the sci-fi film Gattaca. Viewing the movie after touring the building, you feel a deeper sense of wonder at Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for buildings of the future.
One of many circular formations throughout the Civic Center is the fountain. Located outside the cafeteria, this pool is part of a beautiful reception area that includes a terrace with patio tables overlooking a lawn and garden. A family of ducks often swims lazily along the channel leading to a spillway. There is a waiting list for wedding receptions here.
Until recently, this scenic fountain had a reputation for cracks and leaks. Jim Zortman, building maintenance manager for the department of Public Works in Marin County, was concerned about these defects. Of particular concern to Jim was the green cast to the water, which visually clashed with the blue roofline, much of which is meant to be seen by visitors at various levels throughout the facility. In light of the fact that the fountain is such a visible element, he gave it high priority when funds became available during a two-year seismic renovation of the Civic Center.
Advanced Pool Coatings was chosen for the fountain’s complete refurbishing. The company had special considerations from the start with this project. The Civic Center is a public facility, operating daily, and the fountain is a central gathering place for employees and visitors alike. Advanced decided to do the job on the weekend in the hope that doing so would cause the least amount of disruption to daily routine at the Center.
When asked if there was any public inconvenience that went along with the resurfacing job, Jim agrees. "No one even realized there had been a job performed because it was done so neatly and quickly--all over a three-day holiday weekend. It was drained and fiberglassed, then filled in that brief time period."
When asked about his satisfaction with the overall job, Jim continues, "It cured all of our former problems. We had lots of problems with leaks over the years and cracking in the original cement. I’m sure that [the fiberglass finish] will be a long-lasting cure."
For aesthetic purposes, Advanced put color in with the fiberglass so that the pool perfectly reflects the blue of both the sky and the newly painted roof. The fountain is now a natural complement to the many other "organic" architectural elements of the Civic Center. "It looks beautiful," said Jim.
Sounds like even Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright would be pleased.
There’s no telling where else you’ll find the crews of Advanced Pool Coatings these days. After an unusually temperate spring and a long, dry summer season, the fiberglass contractor can rightfully boast its most successful year yet. And with the endorsement of the YMCA, Sierra College, the San Juan School District, Knott’s Berry Farm, and the Marin County Civic Center, the company has every reason to expect more of the same kind of success in the future.
Advanced Pool Coatings was founded in 1993, when two veterans of fiberglass pool resurfacing combined their expertise to form a company that provided quality work, a guaranteed finish, honest salesmanship and prompt, professional customer service. Co-owners Dwight Johnson and Paul Walter have enjoyed a successful relationship since the start, each in his own way growing the company’s reputation into what is today.
Kent Williams, pool consultant and founder of Professional Pool Owners of America (PPOA), often touts the advantages of fiberglass over alternatives such as plaster, paint, or vinyl. He says that ease of maintenance and durablity are two top reasons to consider fiberglass. "Algae just can’t seem to get a foothold, soils don’t adhere, and stains rarely occur in a fiberglass pool." Moreover, aggressive water meets its match in fiberglass; "it simply has no effect on the surface." As a result, cleaning a fiberglass pool is relatively easy, owing to the smoothness and the impervious nature of the fiberglass finish. To the swimmer, the "orange-peel" texture of a fiberglass surface has a classic "plaster" feel, allowing for secure footholds and true push-offs.
Several notable organizations in the area seem to agree with these statements. The YMCA of Sacramento has for years selected Advanced over other contractors, most of whom simply replaster failing pools.
Adam McGowan, director of facilities and grounds for the YMCA, maintains the pools for Sacramento’s San Juan School District. Of Advanced Pool Coatings, he says, "The company does really clean, detailed work. They are competent, good people to work with." During his four-year relationship with Advanced, the company has resurfaced five high school pools within the district as well as the YMCA’s own downtown Sacramento pool. Adam has seen the advantage of fiberglass over replastering first-hand. "The maintenance on a fiberglass pool is much easier than with plaster," he says. "It is easier to clean up because it is less porous than plaster, so much so that it resists staining in the first place. I like the product. It is durable and has a much longer life than plaster. Plus the finish is not abrasive to the foot, like plaster sometimes is.
Residential pool owners appear to have the same positive reaction to fiberglass. Besides, public pools and special projects like the ride facilities at Knott’s Berry Farm, Advanced Pool Coatings resurfaces many backyard pools a year. The company finds the same level of satisfaction from these homeowners as it does from pool maintenance workers at public pools.
With a reputation that is beginning to precede itself, Advanced Pool Coatings strives to please every one of its customers with its quality product and service. Whether you maintain a historic fountain, several public pools, or simply the one in your own backyard, Advanced Pool Coatings is sure to meet, and even exceed, your expectations.