List of Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Pools
Fiberglass pools have been around for a while, but they are currently enjoying a large boom in popularity. If you are considering getting one, there are both benefits and disadvantages to be weighed. Here are some of the pros and cons of fiberglass pools to help you decide.
List of Pros of Fiberglass Pools
1. Fast Installation Times
Concrete and gunite pools are constructed on site, leaving you with a sprawling mess in your yard for up to two months. A fiberglass pool, on the other hand, is trucked onto your property in once piece and fitted into a prepared hole. This cuts installation time down to one month, with at least one installer claiming that he can do it in two weeks.
2. Less Maintenance Required
Less chemicals are generally needed in a fiberglass pool to than in a concrete pool. The reason for this is that the fiberglass does not react with the water at all, so there are no changes in the chemical makeup other than what you deliberately put in there. The smooth surface of the fiberglass pool is easier to scrub than the textured finish of other pools, and, as an extra bonus, is less likely to need scrubbed.
3. Flexible Strength
Fiberglass pools are advertised as being stronger than concrete, but their real advantage is their ability to flex. This makes them less likely to crack in freeze-thaw cycles that are often so devastating to pools. It also makes them ideal for areas that are prone to earthquakes. The shock-absorption qualities of the fiberglass siding allows it to flex up to 2 feet without cracking.
List of Cons of Fiberglass Pools
1. Bulging Walls
A fiberglass pool, as already stated, is pre-manufactured off-site and fitted into the hole prepared for it. This hole then needs backfilled, most often done with sand. When dry, sand exerts equal pressure on the pool as the water pushing out and all is well. If sand becomes saturated, however, it liquefies, greatly increasing the amount of pressure that it is exerting. When this happens, it can result in your fiberglass flexing under the weight, leaving you with pool walls that are bulging in.
2. Size and Site Limitations
Having to truck the fiberglass pool onto your property in once limits the available sizes. Even with special permits for an oversized load, your pool cannot exceed 14 feet wide or 8 feet deep to be safely transported. When choosing the site for your pool, keep in mind that a large truck needs to be able to get to the hole. If the truck cannot get to the site of your pool a large crane can be brought in to lift the pool right over the house, but that is very expensive.
Fiberglass does develop cracks over time. Many times the cracks will not go the whole way through the fiberglass, which means it will not leak, but it is unsightly. These cracks can be patched, but an exact match is almost impossible, leaving your smooth fiberglass with a spotty finish.