What makes fiberglass pools different? Well, just like gunite and vinyl, there are issues that are particular to the type of material being used. However, with fiberglass pools there’s also the fact that the shells are shipped intact from the factory, and aren’t really made for repairs or renovations onsite. Here are some of the most common issues fiberglass pool owners run into.
Most inground pools are carved out of the earth, and then vinyl or concrete is applied to form a surface that can hold water. However, fiberglass shells are shipped to the home in their final shape. That means they require some sort of backfill to hold them in place – and this backfill is usually sand. The trouble is that sand, when saturated with water, can become liquefied and exert an incredible amount of pressure on the pool walls. If the shell isn’t strong enough to hold up to this pressure, bulges can form in the pool wall.
Sand can also lead to problems with plumbing. The pipes are laid in a certain place with a certain configuration. If the sand around them isn’t fully compacted, it will continue to settle over time. This can exert pressure on pipes and eventually cause leaks.
Small, delicate cracks can appear on any fiberglass surface, and fiberglass pools are not immune. Luckily, these little cracks don’t cause any real problems – they just look bad. But then, when you’re paying thousands of dollars, having a pool that looks bad is a problem.
Difficulty Repairing the Shell
As mentioned, fiberglass pools aren’t really designed with repairs or renovation in mind. Fortunately, most of these swimming pools don’t need major renovations for many, many years. However, if something does happen to the surface of an inground pool, it’s often difficult to get a patch that matches the original surface.
That smooth gel coat that we mentioned as a plus in the maintenance department can also be seen as a con, depending on your point of view. According to Peggy Musial of the Orlando Sentinel, maintaining proper water quality is a must if you expect that gel coat to last. Poor pH or alkalinity levels, as well as improper calcium balances, often results in a coating that fails in a few years time.
This is an amazing blog we found on a fiberglass pool company’s own site. In this blog it goes over just one example of issues customers have with bad fiberglass pool manufacturer’s.