Fiberglass resurfacing is an evolving technology that has been used in the swimming pool industry for over 50 years.
When you think about it fiberglass is the material of choice for water related industries. Sailboats, surfboards, jet skis, are made with fiberglass. Water parks use the material because it’s very skin friendly. Fiberglass gel coat is non-porous and smooth, dirt and algae blooms are less likely to find a foothold. Composite materials require less maintenance and last longer over sustained use.
The benefits of composite materials can be seen in other industries such as medical, energy and construction. Fiberglass has a superior strength-to-weight ratio as compared to other materials, such as concrete and metals. It also has the least expansion and contraction with heat, cold and/or stress plus, in pool applications it acts as an insulator keeping the water about 10 degrees warmer.
Fiberglass is an environmentally-friendly material that’s made of naturally occurring elements that are heated, melted and reshaped into threadlike material(fiberglass) that is now a very durable strong product when used with composite materials that bind everything together to make finished products that last. The main ingredient in fiberglass varies from silica to carbon graphite. Since the silica is ─ an abundant, natural, non-depleting resource ─ fiberglass used in support of swimming pool surfacing is a highly-sustainable solution. And unlike plaster, it doesn’t dissolve in the water, like the limestone in pool plaster which then requires the pool owner a regular replacement of the plaster every 5 to 7 years.
Is there an unbiased comparison of in-ground fiberglass and concrete pool resurfacing services on the internet? Finding information out there can be a daunting task. Here’s a down and dirty explanation of each service in detail. Once you’ve decided on your resurfacing option, the next step is to find the best contractor to do the work.
Fiberglass Pools: Pros and Cons
- Low maintenance: The gel coat surface of the fiberglass pool shell is nonporous. This inhibits the growth of algae and reduces the amount of sanitizing chemicals required to maintain the pool.
- Little or No lifetime cost: 99% of the time there is never any money invested in the shell of fiberglass pools. No vinyl liner to replace and no resurfacing.
- Non-abrasive surface: The gel coat surface of fiberglass pools is smooth to the touch.
- Quick Installation: Because the shell of the pool already exits, fiberglass resurfacing is easier and the installation occurs more rapidly (4-6 days)
- Easy of start-up: Re-filling the pool is easier because it doesn’t require brushing and careful water chemistry to prevent staining of the new surface once water is reintroduced
- Retains heat: Composite plastic acts as a thermal barrier that raise the temperature of the water an average of 10 degrees (less heating costs)
- Energy cost savings: Pool equipment runs for shorter periods of time because the surface doesn’t dissolve in water like plaster. Cloudy water requires longer filter and pump cycle time usually 8 hours for plaster compared to as little as 4 hours for fiberglass.
- Repairs on some colored finishes do not match: Many fiberglass pool manufacturers use colored finishes that will allow the sun to oxidize the pigment colors and then new material will not match in the unlikely event that a repair is needed.
Concrete Pools: Pros and Cons
- No size limit: Concrete pools can be any size, shape, or depth.
- Flexible design features: Vanishing edges, beach entries, tanning ledges, etc. are all just a sketch away from reality with concrete pools.
- Works of art: Concrete Pools can be integrated into the design of the landscape.
- High lifetime cost: Concrete pools will need to be renovated every 5-7 years involving resurfacing and re-tiling the pool
- More chemical use: Because the surface of concrete pools is very porous, more chemicals and filtration are required to prevent algae. The alkaline pH of the pool shell also constantly raises the pH of the water, requiring the frequent adding of acid to counteract the effect.
- Maintenance: Plaster on concrete pools need to be frequently brushed to remove algae from the pours of the plaster or aggregate surface
- Longer installation: Plaster on concrete can take up to 10 days to resurface and brushed before chemicals can be introduced back into the water.
- Higher energy costs: Longer hours of operation for pool equipment to remove cloudiness from water resulting from dissolving process of plaster in a pool
- Rough Interior Surface: Rough interior surface harbors algae growth and can take a toll on tender feet.
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Cross Pool Restorations
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