Fibreglass Vs. Concrete. Which is Better and Why?
A swimming pool in your backyard has numerous advantages for your family and your home. A swimming pool can provide you with recreation while increasing the value of your home. But building a swimming pool which provides you with all the required benefits is a tough job. There are numerous choices available in the market for material, landscaping, water features, lighting, etc. Any wrong choice and you will be left with a lifetime of regret.
Choosing the material is a complex process. The choice of material will affect your budget, pool experience, and also lifetime maintenance. Traditionally concrete was the only material used for pools. Fibreglass pools are fast gaining in popularity. We give you some points where you can make a comparison between fibreglass and concrete pools.
Building a swimming pool and maintaining it is costly. Concrete pools are more expensive to build than fibreglass pools. They often overshoot the estimated budget due to the long installation period. Concrete pools have a rough surface. If you want to make the concrete pool’s surface smooth, you will have to spend a lot of money on tiling. Every addition to the pool like steps or ledges, will also cost you more. Maintaining the concrete pool also involves regular expenses on chemicals and labor.
Fibreglass pools are less expensive and the installation process remains within the estimated budget. You do not have to spend too much money on chemicals and labor-intensive cleaning process. You need not spend on tiling to make them smooth since fibreglass pools have a smooth surface by default. Fibreglass pools come pre-fitted with steps and ledges at no extra cost.
A swimming pool requires lifelong maintenance. Lack of maintenance makes your swimming pool unhealthy and renders it useless. The maintenance procedure varies greatly according to the material used for building the pool. Concrete requires extensive and regular maintenance. Algae and dirt tend to stick to the porous surface of the concrete pool. You need to brush your concrete pool weekly with a steel brush to dislodge the particles stuck on the surface. This is a labor-intensive activity which may require you to hire labor from outside.
Concrete pools also require acid washing and resurfacing after some years. The surface of the pool tends to get damaged due to the accumulation of chemicals and dirt. You need more equipment and strong chemicals to maintain your pool. If you installed tiles in your concrete pools then the tiles may fade or chip due to use of chemicals. You have to work hard to remove chemical residue and dirt from concrete pools.
Fibreglass pools are so easy to maintain that you can do the maintenance yourself. Dirt does not stick to the smooth surface of fibreglass pools. You should not use harsh brushes or chemicals in a fibreglass pool. Light brushing with a soft brush once a week is sufficient to remove any dirt or dust stuck to a fibreglass pool. Fibreglass pools do not require acid washing or resurfacing.
Concrete pools take at least 3 months to install. The building process starts from scratch. Climate changes adversely affect the installation process. There can be delay due to climate changes or other factors like procuring men and materials. You need to be patient to tolerate the long period of disruption in your backyard. Adding finishes or other intricate features will lengthen the installation time.
Fibreglass pools can be installed in weeks. The pool is made from prefabricated molds and transported to your home. You need not bother about the pool manufacturing process. There is minimal disruption in your life. You can enjoy your first swim within weeks of your decision to build a pool. A lot of manufacturers offer fibreglass pools with attractive finishes.
If your swimming pool water quality is not good then your swimmers will have health problems. The concrete surface interacts with water and adversely affects water chemistry. You need to check the water quality of concrete pools daily and add chemicals to it to retain its water quality. Any oversight in the addition of chemicals can negatively impact the water quality. Adding more chemicals than necessary will damage the surface of your pool. You cannot use salt water chlorinator with concrete pools. The salt reduces the lifespan of the concrete surface. More chemicals are needed to kill algae and bacteria on concrete pools. Water in concrete pools contains more chemicals which are used to maintain chemistry and kill bacteria.
Fibreglass surface does not affect water chemistry. Checking the water chemistry levels of your fibreglass pools once a week is sufficient. Fibreglass pools do not require the addition of too many chemicals to maintain water chemistry. In fact, only light chemicals and soft equipment should be used for cleaning of fibreglass pools. Harsh equipment can damage the surface of fibreglass pools. Fibreglass pools work well with saltwater chlorinators. The salt has no effect on a fibreglass pool. The water in fibreglass pools is fresher due to use of fewer chemicals.
The structure of concrete pools is incredibly durable. But the surface of concrete pools may crack and require periodic resurfacing.
Fibreglass is a material which is strong and durable. Fibreglass containers are used in chemical and oil industries as storage vessels. Fibregalss is not affected by salt or chemicals. They can also withstand the movements of earth better. Many fibreglass manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their product. Fibreglass pools manufactured using the latest technology can be incredibly durable both in structure and surface.
Concrete pools take longer to heat, and they do not retain heat. You will have to incur considerable heating expenses to heat your concrete pools. Addition of more chemicals for cleaning and water chemistry means that your filtration system will have to work harder to spread the chemicals in the pool. Expect more energy bills regularly.
Fibreglass pools heat quickly. Fibreglass was originally meant to be an insulator and has excellent heat retention properties. You can enjoy your swim for a longer period. Fewer chemicals mean less work for the filtration system. You require less electricity to maintain the pool.
Concrete pools can be made in any size and shape according to your imagination. You can make your concrete pool extra long or extra deep according to your needs. If your backyard has an awkward shape then the concrete pool is best. They are made on-site and their design can be adjusted according to the shape of your backyard.
Fibreglass pools are manufactured from prefabricated molds and your choices are limited to the molds available with the manufacturer. Since they have to be delivered to the customers home there are size restrictions. But most manufacturers offer a variety of shapes of fibreglass pools. Fibreglass pools can be made to a maximum length of 40 feet and a width of 16 feet (ca. 5 m) and depth of 8.5 feet (2.59 m). If you are looking for a regular family pool then these dimensions are sufficient.
Technology is changing daily. Do your research. Find a manufacturer who offers quality fibreglass pools, and you can enjoy your swim for a lifetime without any regrets.