Home Improvement

Top Fiberglass Pool Problems and Solutions

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Fiberglass pools can be an attractive and low-maintenance choice for homeowners who prioritize durability over maintenance, yet these pools present some challenges that must be resolved.

One of the main complaints about fiberglass siding is its slippery surface. Another major concern is settling, particularly if backfill material consists of sand.

1. Spider Cracks

Fiberglass pools are increasingly popular with homeowners for their durability and easy maintenance needs, but they do come with some drawbacks that need to be addressed. Most can be avoided through proper installation and upkeep.

One of the most frequent problems associated with fiberglass pools are spider cracks. These hairline fractures appear on the surface layer (gelcoat) of fiberglass products and do not pose structural threats; rather, they typically form in one small section due to pressure that exceeds their capacity for flex.

Even though it might sound counterintuitive, one of the best ways to prevent these types of cracks is by selecting a high-quality manufacturer and builder who adhere to strict manufacturing and installation processes. This will help ensure that the product delivered includes minimal imperfections that could lead to spider cracks.

As fiberglass pools feature slippery surfaces that make them vulnerable to slip-and-fall accidents, people using it for swimming or recreational purposes could experience slipperiness during use – particularly on steps or other difficult to walk surfaces that might present difficulty walking on. This hazard could become especially bothersome in cases when used on steps or similar areas which make walking on difficult surfaces difficult.

Fading and discoloration of gelcoat can occur with improper care; choosing a quality manufacturer that uses only high-grade materials in their manufacturing processes will help to avoid this type of issue.

Plumbing settling can be an ongoing problem for fiberglass pools, often as a result of installers failing to compact and pack sand backfill around it during installation. Once settled, this places downward pressure on plumbing lines within the actual fiberglass pool itself which may result in leakage issues. Backfilling instead with gravel will help resolve this issue more effectively.

2. Wall Bulges

Fiberglass pools are known for being durable and easy to maintain, yet they still can develop issues from time to time. Luckily, many solutions exist that can protect your investment.

Structural and spider cracks are among the most frequently experienced issues with fiberglass pools, usually during installation as the truck that carries it backs close to an excavated hole and hits something. Spider cracks are small hairline fractures found within gel coat, and cannot damage actual pool shell as they can be repaired with buffing or sanding.

Fading and discoloration of fiberglass pools are common problems that can be mitigated by maintaining proper water chemistry levels, regularly cleaning your pool, and adding metal remover to your sanitation regimen. Additionally, metal removers may help mitigate discoloration.

Plumbing settling is another common issue encountered with fiberglass swimming pools. It occurs when the backfill material settles, which causes plumbing to shift around or even change entirely – leading to problems for pool owners as they will have to reroute the pipes accordingly in order to accommodate for new locations.

As part of your installation process, it is wise to opt for gravel backfill instead of sand as this ensures proper compaction that won’t shift or move when exposed to ground water – helping prevent wall bulges in your fiberglass pool. Therefore, working with a pool builder who uses gravel backfill is highly recommended when installing these structures.

3. Fading and Discoloration

Although repairs are rare, issues occasionally arise that necessitate maintenance. This could include anything from shipping damages such as rocks flying up and hitting the pool to structural issues in its shell. When this occurs, the pool must be drained, water chemistry adjusted properly, and issues addressed; sometimes colored finishes have multiple coats applied that make matching original factory finish difficult.

No man-made product will stand the test of time without discoloration; although fiberglass pools won’t lose color as quickly, keeping water chemistry balanced during pollen season and when deciduous trees shed their leaves is critical in order to avoid discoloration and prolong its use.

Organic staining on fiberglass pools is often easy to treat; simply scrub away. Inorganic stains may also be easy to eliminate with no-drain acid wash treatment; otherwise it may be time for resurfacing of the pool.

An additional type of staining, copper saturation issues can be more challenging to address and can even require professional assistance to resolve. Usually caused by an old heater that is starting to degrade and leach copper into the pool water. A few crushed ascorbic acids or vitamin c mixed into the water may help alleviate this situation.

Sometimes there are issues that aren’t directly connected to water chemistry but instead lie within plaster or fiberglass itself, making resolution more challenging and should be left up to professionals.

4. Plumbing Settling

Fiberglass pools are great for pools that need quick installation due to their prefabricated nature, yet are susceptible to issues which, if left unaddressed, could require costly repairs in the future.

If your fiberglass pool requires color repair, it may be challenging to match its exact finish due to the fact that many manufacturers employ multilayer finishes – base coat, secondary color/shimmer layer and clear coat – making it hard for repair professionals to match colors to maintain an ideal swimming environment.

Metal stains are another frequent fiberglass pool issue. This occurs when copper or other metals oxidize in your water, leaving metallic stains behind. An easy solution is adding liquid METALTRAP which complexes these metals out of solution.

Fiberglass pool owners may experience plumbing settling. This occurs when the backfill material used during installation begins to settle and take your plumbing along with it. A gravel backfill may help avoid this problem; simply ensure it is strong enough.

5. Bulging Walls

Last but certainly not least on our list of fiberglass pool issues is one that can have major repercussions: improper support can lead to walls bulging outward, which may indicate gelcoat coating breakdown or improper installation or material deficiencies by manufacturers. If this has happened to your fiberglass swimming pool, professional repairs will likely be required and can become an expensive investment.

As with structural cracks, fiberglass swimming pool bubbles can be unsightly and may even lead to water leakage if left untreated. Usually caused by improper packing during shipping or poor installation by non-professional installers using appropriate techniques and equipment, bubbles may need sanding/buffing out to eliminate. Repair can usually be achieved through smoothing the surface by buffing/sanding to smooth it over.

Metal staining is another frequent issue found in fiberglass pools. This occurs when copper and iron leach out of the water into the fiberglass surface, staining it bluish-black in coloration. A metal remover product may help combat this effect.

As fiberglass pools present many unique challenges, selecting the ideal builder can be daunting. Make sure they follow The River Pools Way installation method for an excellent result that you will cherish over time. Also inquire as to what their warranty covers as well as who will service various components of your pool.