Fiberglass pools can craze or check crack from imprecise manufacturing or when the surface is not fully supported, like under the steps or areas where the backfill is eroded. Gelcoat can also crack during transport and installation if it gets bumped around too much.
What causes gel coat cracks in fiberglass pools? Gelcoat spider cracks in fiberglass pools are a result of pressure on a given point of the pool shell that exceeds the gelcoat's ability to flex. This pressure could be a result of improper shipping, improper manufacturing, or improper installation.
For minor cracks, simply cover it with fiberglass paint. For more severe cracks, generally cracks that measure between ½-inch deep and extend 1-inch in length on both sides, the crack and surrounding area may need to be sanded down, with any loose particles removed.
Fiberglass Pools in Cold Climates
Freezing and thawing won't strain or crack a fiberglass pool like it might with a concrete pool, so you shouldn't have to worry as much about your pool cracking or breaking.
The most significant disadvantage of a fiberglass pool is the limitation on pool shapes and sizes. If you are looking for a large pool with multiple bodies of water or want a swim-up bar with bar stools built into the structure, then the fiberglass pool may not be the right choice for you.
Most fiberglass pools are known to last 25-30 years, but we take that to the next level. Our manufacturer, Narellan Pools, makes the best fiberglass pools around. Their unique fiberglass formula results in a pool that can last as long as 50 years! Plus, these pools are notoriously easy to maintain.
Fiberglass pools are extremely easy to maintain, can be installed quickly, are very durable, and can be beautifully designed. However, their initial cost can be higher than vinyl liner pools, and the shapes and sizes are not as customizable.
In contrast to vinyl and concrete pools, which have little to no ability to retain warmth, fiberglass is an insulator so it holds heat in your pool. Fiberglass pools heat up much faster than other kinds of pools and hold onto that heat for much longer.
Fiberglass Pools Are Inert
This means that the material itself is not reactive to other substances. So, if you live in a rainy climate or an area with other harsh environmental factors, a fiberglass pool is a top choice. The material stands up incredibly well to humidity, salt, chemicals, and ultraviolet light.
Fiberglass pool repair costs $300 to $400 for a gel coat that restores dinged, scratched and cracked surfaces. Expect to pay up to $800 more to repaint after doing the repairs. You also have to cover the cost of draining the water, refilling the pool and applying the right chemicals.
To check, look inside the skimmer and see where the water has stopped. More than likely the water level stopped just below the skimmer extension ring. Filling the pool any higher will just cause the water to drain back to that point. There is a gasket leaking by the equipment pad.
Big disclaimer: only authorized fiberglass pool professionals should drain a pool. Never drain a pool without professional assistance. For most (if not all) pool manufacturers, an authorized dealer must drain the pool, or you may void your warranty.
Premature or uneven fading of the gelcoat surface of fiberglass pools is almost always due to improper care of the pool's water chemistry. This is especially true with salt water pools, as the chlorine generator often produces far more chlorine than needed.
The quick answer is no. You don't need to drain your pool, as there is no risk to your pool by it being full. The only thing you lose with a pool filled to the rim is your skimmer's surface cleaning action.
If the pool overflows, now only will the pool chemicals be diluted, but they may contaminate the pool deck and surrounding landscape. Removing excess water quickly is important to prevent this.
When there is pool overflow, the excess water dilutes the pool chemicals already in the pool. This makes the chemicals less effective, which can lead to algae and other problems.
A Common Gripe About Fiberglass Pools
One of the biggest gripes that we see have to do with the slippery surface of a fiberglass pool. The fact is, this material can be so slick that pool users can actually slip and fall. This can be a real problem for pool steps, where a slip-and-fall accident can be dangerous.
Fiberglass pools are durable
Both the structure and the surface of a high-quality fiberglass pool can last as long as you want them to, provided you take good care of it. A well-made fiberglass pool can last at least 50 years, with less maintenance required to keep it useful and enjoyable decade after decade.
A well-maintained concrete pool should last around 50 years or more. And a well constructed in-ground concrete swimming pool should last a lifetime. But, a pool's liner or finish won't last long. And thus, an in-ground concrete pool will need to be resurfaced every 10 to 15 years.
Some of the most common include that this pool type floats or pops up, that they look cheap, that they only work in warm climates, that they are are lot more expensive than vinyl liner pools, and that they cannot be customized. Unfortunately, many people shy away from fiberglass pools because they believe these myths.
While they are easier to install, fiberglass pools are nowhere near as durable as a gunite inground pool. The inside surface of this type pool is a gel coat on which the fiberglass has been laminated. The walls of the pool are only ½ to ⅜ inch thick compared to the 8 to 10 inch thickness of a gunite pool.
Fiberglass swimming pools are very compatible with salt water systems. If you are using a vinyl liner pool, you must be careful as those pools tend to have metal parts or connections which salt will eat through and corrode.
It varies depending on the type of pool, with plaster or cement pools needing to be resurfaced every 3-7 years while fiberglass pools can sometimes go as long as 15-30 years.