In the pursuit of a slice of Florida paradise in the backyard, many homeowners choose a fiberglass swimming pool over concrete. Advantages include lower cost, faster installation (three to six weeks, as opposed to three to six months) and lower maintenance. However, your fiberglass pool does require regular maintenance so you can enjoy it for many years.
Differences between fiberglass and concrete pools
A fiberglass inground pool is a prefabricated shell that comes to your property in one piece and installed in a hole excavated to fit it. Fiberglass is a strong, lightweight material that is constructed by weaving small glass threads into fabric and hardening the fabric with a special polyester resin. To create a smooth finish, a weather-resistant gel is added to the fiberglass mold. After the plumbing and filter system are connected, the pool is basically ready to enjoy. Because they’re factory-made, one drawback is that sizes and styles are limited.
Concrete pools are more difficult and time-consuming to install than fiberglass because they require a frame of reinforcing bars, mesh and formwork built within a large excavated hole. The concrete is dry-mixed on site and blown into place under pressure.
As previously noted, construction can take up to six months (depending upon pool size and design complexity).
Leaks in fiberglass pools
Though it is difficult to find leaks in an inground fiberglass pool, it is important to address the problem immediately because it can cause flooding and ground saturation, in addition to wasting water and increasing your water bill. Calling a leak detection professional will save time and money.
When the surrounding ground settles or becomes saturated, it can cause cracks and leaks in the plumbing. It is not easy to find plumbing leaks in an inground fiberglass pool because the intake and return lines are below the pool decking.
Also, fiberglass pools can develop fissures in the gelcoat surface due to improper installation and handling. If the cracks are left unattended, they can spread and cause leaks. For this reason, fissures should be repaired and repainted immediately. A fiberglass pool should remain full to maintain adequate pressure, or it can pop out of the ground.
Some of the main causes of leaks are:
- Pump and motor problems
- General wear-and-tear on the pool surface
- Broken plumbing beneath the pool deck
Inground fiberglass pool maintenance tips
In comparison to concrete or vinyl pool, fiberglass pools require minimal maintenance. Since the fiberglass pool has a smooth finish due to the weather-resistant gel, it offers stable pH levels and negligible algae growth. When you have to invest less time in pool maintenance, you get more time to enjoy your pool. You also get to save money on chemicals and tools.
Maintaining a fiberglass pool is not all that difficult. You can use a simple pool cleaner to remove any marks or waterlines and a damp sponge or rag to clean the pool wall dirt and grime. If you are unable to clean the spots, seek professional help. Also, make sure that you don’t use harsh cleaners or tools as it can damage the surface of your pool.
Power washing a fiberglass pool isn’t recommended, as only concrete pools are strong enough to withstand the pressure. In addition, draining your pool isn’t a DIY project – leave it to the pros.
If there is a leak you can locate yourself, use epoxy sealant for an immediate repair. But keep in mind that this a temporary solution. Call a pool maintenance professional to perform a permanent repair.
A well-maintained fiberglass pool can last for 25 to 30 years.
To get the longest life from your pool, follow these maintenance tips, offered by River Pools:
- Clean regularly, with products made specifically for fiberglass pools
- Check water chemistry
- Run the pool filter – a fiberglass pool needs only one full circulation a day
- Keep water level above the skimmer
With regular maintenance and staying alert to evidence of leaks, your fiberglass swimming pool will be a central part of your Central Florida summer fun now and well into the future!
Certified Leak Detection has more than 30 years of experience in leak detection and repair for swimming pools, spas and hot tubs, as well as slabs and foundations. Serving areas throughout Central Florida – including Orlando, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, Kissimmee, Clermont and Winter Springs – our team is ready to answer your call.
Contact us for quick, reliable service.