Three industry veterans — one from the plastering segment; a builder; and a former manufacturing exec — have joined forces to introduce a product that they believe will solve some of the seemingly unanswerable dilemmas that seem to accompany cementitious pool and spa surfaces.

MicroGlass, the company named after its flagship product, is owned by Loren Granstrom, formerly of pebble finish manufacturer Wet Edge Technologies; Alan Smith of Alan Smith Pools; and Ben Evans of Orlando-based builder American Pools and Spas.

Its product is based on a patented nanotechnology that manipulates the water molecule through chemical and mechanical processes. The same technology has been used on major concrete construction, such as dams, bridges, highways and parking structures, to strengthen concrete.

It reduces the water molecule, making it easier for the product to penetrate the matrix. “Before, the particles couldn’t get into [the material],” said Smith, who serves as company CEO. “It was like trying to get a soccer ball through a chainlink fence. That’s been changed, so now you can get penetrations much farther, which allows the cement microstructure to be completely saturated with the silicates.”

In doing so, it saturates the surface material with silicates, non-soluble, glass-like particles. In newly applied surfaces, calcium hydroxide in the material converts to calcium silicate hydrate, thereby reducing the surface’s permeability, company officials said. This is expected to protect the material in its early days, when it can be most susceptible to damage, and in the years to follow.

On new finishes, they said, this technology also significantly reduces or eliminates plaster dust from forming, and it helps with color-fastness. Additionally, it should reduce or eliminate the formation of calcium nodules.

On older finishes that have undergone the hydration process, some of that conversion from calcium hydroxide to calcium silicate hydrate occurs. But, more significantly, the silicates fill the capillary systems within the calcium hydroxide.

If calcium nodules already exist on an older finish, Smith said, they can be sanded down and acid washed (to open pores). Then cover with the MicroGlass to significantly reduce their continued formation.

The end result, Smith and Granstrom said, is to make the surface more resistant to the corrosive forces that come with chemically treated pool and spa water. For instance, it should reduce calcium leaching and its accompanying issues, they said. “We’re stopping the water from interacting with the cement,” said Granstrom, who serves as managing principal of the Sarasota, Fla.-based company.

In addition to independent laboratory testing, the product has been used for about 12 years by one company, they said. Several companies are performing their own testing as well, Smith added.

The system is not meant to serve as a waterproofer.

To apply the product, the professional sprays on one to two coats, on a mist setting, using a landscape-style backpack sprayer.

Smith hopes the product helps end the tension that can develop between those charged with applying surface materials and those maintaining water quality — “All the years of ... fingerpointing — ‘Oh, it’s how you plaster it,’ or, ‘It’s all the water chemistry,’” he said.

MicroGlass is a subsidiary of Oxium Water Technologies, also headquartered in Sarasota, which offers several products based on the technology to manipulate water molecules.