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Why Fiberglass Pools Are a Bad Idea

When homeowners think about installing fiberglass pools in their backyard that may be their go-to choice because they do not know there is a better solution.

You have a few options for swimming pool materials you can use. Installing a pool is a significant investment in creating your backyard oasis. Fiberglass materials used for pools are not the best way to go.

We do not even use that material for our installations anymore. Here are some reasons why you should never use them.

1. Spider Cracks in Gelcoat

The number one problem with fiberglass pools is spider cracks found in the gelcoat of fiberglass pools are an ordinary reality accepted by homeowners. But it should not be that way, especially where there is a better solution.

text explaining the definition of gelcoat and how the material is used for fiberglass pools

What Are Spider Cracks in Fiberglass Pools

Spider cracks may sound frightening, but there is no need to panic. These tiny cracks are hard to notice, even when the pool is empty. Moreover, they are rarely visible when the pool is full of water.

All fiberglass pool owners will expect to develop spider cracks. These cracks occur in the fiberglass’s topmost layer or gelcoat.

So, the good news is that they do not reach the structure and typically only affect an area of the pool that exceeds the ability of the gelcoat to flex. The bad news is to keep in mind that this can cause damage.

How Do You Get Spider Cracks in Your Pool

Spider cracks in fiberglass pools happen when pressure on a specific point of the pool shell exceeds the gelcoat’s ability to flex. This can occur during shipping, manufacturing, or installation when the pool is subjected to excessive force.

It’s essential to fix these cracks as soon as possible to prevent water from seeping in and causing more damage. We have heard of cases where pools were built too thin, which made them unable to withstand the pressures of lifting and shipping.

As a result, they arrived at the job site with gelcoat cracks and had to be returned. Similarly, improperly stabilized pools during shipping can result in the same outcome, even if built correctly. However, the most common cause of gelcoat cracks is a human error during installation.

2. Repairing Discoloring Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools come in various colors nowadays, beyond the traditional white and baby blue marine gel coat.

However, repairing a colored pool can sometimes be challenging as it can be difficult to match the original factory finish.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that fiberglass pool manufacturers will tell you they do not require any repairs for at least 20 to 40 years after installation. And to be fair, we believe some do.

However, here in Myrtle Beach, we receive calls about problems, issues, and repair work that homeowners need.

Anything can happen to cause this situation. It could be minor, like a rock flying up and hitting the pool during shipping or a structural crack.

Remember, these are made in one piece and shipped as they are. Frequently, they get damaged without the buyer even knowing.

3. Pool Walls Bulging

We discovered that pool bulging happens when the conventional method of installing fiberglass pools in Myrtle Beach and coastal areas may result in future problems, specifically with the backfill material, namely sand.

When sand becomes saturated with water, it loses strength and stiffness and behaves like a liquid. This phenomenon is called liquefaction.

When sand liquefies, it becomes denser than the water inside the pool, bulging outwards of the pool wall if it is not strong enough to maintain its shape. When a considerable amount of water surrounds the pool structure and saturates, the backfill material is caused by high water tables and soil that retains moisture.

Our company prefers to use gravel, stone, or paver stone because their properties remain constant even when they are saturated with water.

This makes them ideal for any situation, especially in areas with a high water table or difficult soil conditions. Wet or dry, they perform the same, making them a reliable choice for various applications.

In addition, gravel is an excellent choice for poolside material due to its point-on-point friction, which provides superior stability. Unlike saturated sand that tends to liquefy or pea gravel that acts like ball bearings, gravel is a reliable option that offers a secure surface.

4. Fiberglass Pools; Plumbing Settling Problems

When pool owners hear “plumbing settling,” it may sound strange and alarming. However, the plumbing itself is not settling on its own; the filler materials’ weight is the culprit. And yes, we are now back to the issue with the sand.

As we said before, not only will the sand absorb moisture and expand, but it also becomes extremely heavy and can weigh on the pipes, and that is what causes them to have problems.

Hiring a Professional Pool Installer Near You

Not all pool installers are created equal. As we said, our company, Elite Coastal Landscaping LLC, does not install fiberglass pools for the above-mentioned reasons. All we use is Gunite. Gunite swimming pools in Myrtle Beach. They are popular for their versatility in shape, as well as their durability.

Because of this, gunite is the most common pool type seen at many resorts, and now, homes.

What is Gunite?

Gunite is the same as regular concrete, with one important exception. Unlike traditional concrete, which is poured by section into wooden frames, gunite is applied in layers using a specialized spray gun. This means gunite surfaces don’t have seams like traditional poured concrete, and gunite pools are extra-durable, with hardly any problems and a long life span.

If you live in Horry, Brunswick, or Georgetown counties give us a call at 843-712-1814 or send us a message on our contact form.