The Perks Of Being A Fibreglass Pool
A swimming pool is an exciting addition to any home, but for some homeowners, this joy can be dampened by lengthy installation time, additional maintenance and excessive cleaning. Tegan Lyon gains insight from Freedom Pools’ commercial and operations manager Matthew Martin, about the initial and long-term benefits of fibreglass, and why you should consider building your dream pool with this strong, durable material.
HEART OF (FIBRE)GLASS
Fibreglass is a composite material constructed from reinforced plastic and thin glass fibres. The result is a tough, lightweight material that offers great durability and tensile strength. The construction of a fibreglass pool begins with building the mould. “This mould is made from tooling gel coat, resins, fibreglass and braced to ensure longevity,” Martin explains.
“The mould is [then] polished and waxed before the gel coat is applied with the gel coat colour and then a combination of resin and fibreglass is sprayed on the mould, then rolled to ensure no air bubbles are formed.”
The bracing, resin and fibreglass layers are integral in giving the shell its tensile and flexural strength – factors which will influence your pool’s durability. “[This gives] fibreglass pools the properties they need to expand and retract without fear of cracking,” Martin says.
He praises the evolution of fibreglass pools in recent years, noting most companies have such confidence in the structural integrity of their pools that they now offer lifetime warranties between 30 and 40 years.
THE EASE OF INSTALLATION
Two of the leading benefits associated with fibreglass pools is reduced upfront costs and a swift installation. Although there are design restrictions, fibreglass pool shells are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours. The shape and size of your shell, as well as the site conditions and requirements of your backyard, will dictate the cost of your pool. Although there will always be upfront and ongoing costs associated with a swimming pool, fibreglass is typically more affordable than its concrete counterparts since the pool shell is pre-built off-site, and the build requires less labour and fewer materials to be completed.
It’s vital that your swimming pool has a solid foundation before any construction commences. “A nice compacted base is important,” Martin says. “This comes down to your professional pool builder ensuring the soil type is stable.” Once a site has been excavated and the pool installed, Martin advises that homeowners can be swimming in a matter of days but warns customers not to be dazzled by the promise of a quick installation. “I would always use a licenced pool builder with a good history as there is still a very extensive building process,” he explains. “This extends to the excavation of the pool hole and setting up your heights and datum point, ensuring effective drainage and that any influx of water is diverted away from the pool, soil conditions and impeding structures.” If installed by a reputable builder, fibreglass pools can withstand environmental conditions and last decades.
A LASTING INVESTMENT
With the reassurance of a thorough installation, you can look forward to a lifetime of summers with your fibreglass swimming pool. Unlike concrete or vinyl-lined pools, fibreglass is less prone to fading incurred through weather and UV rays, and doesn’t require resurfacing over time – maintenance that can prove quite costly. Even with their durable nature, fibreglass pools still require basic cleaning and ongoing care to guarantee longevity. Ensure that your water is tested regularly, and your filtration system is operated in accordance with the instructions in your pool owner’s manual. This will maintain optimal conditions for your pool, so that there is no restriction on swimming for your family.
While the signature gel coat finish of a fibreglass pool has a distinct visual appeal, its value extends beyond its shiny exterior. “The interior surface of a fibreglass pool offers a smoother finish which is a massive advantage over your pebblecrete or rendered surfaces,” Martin says. “This gives you the advantage of keeping your pool cleaned and balanced.” This smooth, non-porous surface is resistant to algae growth – providing a more hygienic alternative that is easily cleaned with fewer harsh chemicals. Another benefit of fibreglass is that it is a natural insulator; a feature that reduces energy costs and usage associated with heating. With less overall cleaning and energy usage, fibreglass is often considered the greener alternative for pool owners.
Building a pool isn’t a venture that should be undertaken lightly, but with the many practical benefits of fibreglass, you can rest assured that your investment will be worth your time and expenses. “The durability, flexural and tensile strength, ease of cleaning and smooth interior of fibreglass pools is important,” Martin says. “This is why we have seen the popularity of fibreglass pools grow at a rapid rate.”
Equipped with this extensive knowledge of the longevity of fibreglass, you can begin designing an idyllic swimming pool to be admired and enjoyed by your family for a lifetime.
Images courtesy of Freedom Pools