Modern swimming pool types

2015-05-21 06:00

A POOL on the property is for many, the ultimate in summertime leisure. It is a costly addition to your home, so it is important to choose the right kind of pool for your ground conditions and budget.

Correctly installed and cleverly placed it can increase the value of your property considerably. Remember that for peace of mind it is essential that your pool contractor be a member of the National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI).

There are various kinds of swimming pools, in all shapes and sizes, however, the most popular include hand-packed concrete, gunite and premoulded fibreglass pools.

Hand-packed concrete pools

Hand-packed concrete pools are the most popular type of pool, primarily because of concrete’s durability and aesthetic appeal. It is suitable for swimming pools because it is workable, strong and permanent. The initial installation cost is generally more than that of a premoulded fibreglass pool and takes longer to be completed.

Due to the fact that concrete is porous the pool has to be finished with marbelite, paint, tiles or even pebbles. For general home use, marbelite is the most popular finish. Almost all pools are finished either in blue or white, however many new colours are available today and one of the popular options is black as it helps to raise the pool temperature by a few degrees.

Gunite pools

Gunite pools are chosen by many homeowners because of their flexibility. They can be built in any shape and a wide variety of special options can easily be added to compliment these pools, such as waterfalls, custom steps and beach entries. The gunite pool option is by far the most costly.

Gunite is a mixture of sand and cement that is sprayed onto contoured and supported surfaces in order to create the pool. Gunite is mixed and pumped to the site dry, and water is added at the point of application. Provided it is undertaken by experts, the resulting structure is sufficiently strong and durable to last a lifetime. A gunite pool installation generally takes up to 12 weeks to complete.

Premoulded fibreglass pools

Premoulded fibreglass pools are by far the quickest and cheapest option. However, the buyer is restricted to the colours, shapes and sizes on offer from the factory. They are preformed in a factory and transported to the site for installation. Construction time is generally around two weeks. No finish is required during installation, as the fibreglass has already been coated with a gel coat satin finish during construction in the factory.

Pros and cons

Concrete and gunite pools tend to cost more on maintenance as they have a less smooth finish thanfibreglassand this leads to a variety of complications if not properly maintained. Black and green algae can grow into the pool surface. If not treated early this can lead to bad staining. The pool will have to be drained and the sides and bottom will have to be acid washed. This is an expensive operation, is time consuming and a huge waste of water. Over time marbelite can start to peel away. The pool will need to be drained again and then remarbelited. The concrete walls and floors tend to make the water temperature a little cooler than fibreglass pools. To get the water temperature up a few degrees many people

have solar water heaters installed. The initial cost is very high and by raising the temperature a few degrees it is easier for algae to grow on the sides of the pool. To prevent this happening you will have to monitor the pool more often and use more chemicals in order to keep the algae at bay.

In the case of fibreglass pools proper weekly chemical and cleaning maintenance is a must for protecting the fibreglass pool’s gel coat finish. The ring that forms around the pool wall from body oils and suntan lotions is easily removed with non-abrasive tile or vinyl cleaners. Do not use anything abrasive, as it will permanently damage the gel coat finish.

The gel coat satin finish makes it impossible to scratch or irritate the skin while swimming. It is also very smooth so algae cannot grip onto the sides, which makes it a far healthier option. The fibreglass pool never has to be drained for acid washing, marbeliting or repainting. A lot less chemicals will be needed because of this factor. The water in fibreglass pools will always be a few degrees warmer than the concrete option.

When we think of concrete we all tend to believe it is the best way to go as it is strong and durable. The fibreglass pool is as strong, and in unstable conditions such as clay, if correctly installed, the fibreglass can stretch without cracking. The concrete pool cannot absorb ground movements and will often crack, and once the shell is cracked it is very costly to have it repaired.

Whichever pool you choose however, be sure to have it installed by a recognised professional, as the way it is installed or created will largely define its longevity and your enjoyment thereof. - Property24.

Correctly installed and cleverly placed a pool can increase the value of your property considerably. Remember it is essential that your pool contractor be a member of the National Spa and Pool Institute

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