The cons associated with fiberglass pools are primarily related to cost and installation issues. Contrary to popular belief, fiberglass pools aren't cheaper than traditional options like concrete (we'll provide more details in the “Costs” section later on).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Concrete pools tend to be the strongest of all the inground swimming pools. Since they are rebar and concrete they can't oxidize or corrode. Like every other form of concrete, they get stronger as time passes. They are at the upper echelon of price points and have a higher end product reputation.
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 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.
Luckily, heating is not only an option for fiberglass pools, it's actually a wonderful idea for them. Fiberglass pools are both the easiest type of pool to heat and the least expensive.
We maintain that if a pool is properly manufactured and properly maintained by the customer, the gelcoat surface of a modern fiberglass pool should last decades—as in 30–40 years.
1. Calcium build-up on the pool surface. High pH levels will cause calcium carbonate in the water to precipitate or bond to the fibreglass surface. When this happens, it often leaves a white gritty layer that looks much worse when dry.
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.
Fiberglass pools tend to be the least problematic in freezing conditions. This is because the materials used in the surface and structure of the pool are flexible and can withstand both high and low temperatures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can expect a concrete swimming pool to last about 25 to 40 years, average 30 years. The quality of construction and maintenance, specifically maintaining balanced pool chemistry, are the variables that affect pool lifespan the most.
Pools with vinyl liners will last more than 20 years, as long as you replace your liner every 6-12 years. Concrete pools have exceptional longevity, but you need to resurface the concrete every 10 years or so. Fiberglass pools have the longest lifespans of any in-ground pool, often easily surpassing 30 years.
Raw Materials. The raw materials to make a fiberglass pool are considerably more expensive than other styles of pools. Inground vinyl liners are made of typically steel and vinyl. Gunite pools are made of concrete.
It generally takes between three and 12 weeks to install a concrete pool. That's longer than other types, but concrete is considered the strongest, most durable type of pool. And unlike other in-ground pools, existing concrete pools can be rebuilt, refinished, enlarged, or updated.
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.
For a family of 8 people, a pool size of 18 by 36 feet is adequate. Even if you all decide to swim at the same time, there will be enough space for everyone. A rectangular shape is the best choice for this size of the pool. If there are six or less in your family, a pool size of 16 by 32 feet will be sufficient.