Do Fibreglass swimming pools crack over time?
Fibreglass swimming pools are an extremely popular choice among thousands of Australian families. The strong and durable surface is easy to clean, cheap to maintain, and also looks amazing in the backyard. As fibreglass is generally a lot thinner than other pool materials such as concrete or stone, you may be wondering if the pool will stand the test of time, or whether it is prone to cracks or abrasions. People often believe that a concrete surface will outlast fibreglass, so it comes as a surprise to many when they discover just how durable fibreglass really is. Did you know that fibreglass weighs up to 75% less than steel, but can be just as structurally strong? Like any material, fibreglass can wear down over long periods of time and the surface can eventually begin to degrade, although it is uncommon for a fibreglass pool to crack.
Concrete vs Fibreglass Pools
In terms of everyday wear, fibreglass is a much more resistant surface than concrete in the long term. Concrete can be easily cracked or chipped from even a small amount of pressure that may occur from running, jumping and swimming around the pool. This is due to the fact that concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension. It can withstand great force on top of it, but a sharp movement like a jump or kick may cause concrete to chip and break away. The fibreglass used in swimming pools is reinforced to ensure that the surface stays strong for extended periods of time, so that everyday wear has less of an impact on the pool. Fibreglass pool manufacturers tend to offer lengthy warranties on their products as they are confident in the durable properties of fibreglass. Unstable soil and ground movements can be a pool owner’s worst nightmare, but fibreglass is extremely resistant and can provide much more stability than a concrete pool would. This is due to the orientation and structure of the woven material used to make a fibreglass shell, which provides great strength and flexibility.
Fibreglass Pool Installation
One of the main reasons that a fibreglass pool may crack is due to incorrect installation of the fibreglass pool shell. If the pool is installed on an uneven surface, or the ground beneath the pool begins to shift or expand, this is likely to cause cracks in the pool shell. At Master Pools, our team of experts have the experience and ability to install your swimming pool correctly, to ensure that there is no reason for surface or structural cracks to appear in the first place. This involves the clearing of the site, precise levelling of the pool, and the suitable backfill where required.
Water pressure is another factor that can affect the structure of a fibreglass pool. Cracks and welts can appear on the surface if the water in the pool is removed too quickly, or if the pool is left empty. Fibreglass shells rely on the water pressure in the pool to exert force against the soil around them in order to maintain their structure. If there is no water pressure in the pool, the soil around the pool can push against the fibreglass shell and cause it to crack. Make sure you choose a pool builder who installs fibreglass pools with structural ribbing technology which will help prevent this problem occurring, as the structure is independently reinforced. You can learn more about this technology from our award winning supplier here.
Fibreglass pools contain a gel coating on the surface which can sometimes develop small cracks over a long period of time. These cracks are only on the surface and do not affect the structure of the swimming pool. However, if you begin to notice blisters appearing with the cracks, this may be due to the gel coat being applied too thinly. Thankfully, if these cracks don’t extend beyond the gel coating, a professional can re-surface the pool relatively easily. Spider cracks can also appear when objects on the ground are pushed up against the fibreglass, such as tree roots or mounds of dirt.
Our Fibreglass Pools
At Master Pools, we use only the most high-quality fibreglass shells and materials to ensure that every pool that we install will last for decades. Our supplier Aquatechnics build their fibreglass shells with the purpose of standing the test of time. These fibreglass shells are strongly re-enforced to ensure resistance to daily wear and tear. The shells feature full size structural ribbing along the sides of the pool to make it independently structural, meaning that it’s able to stand on its own. They also feature a 200mm wide edge beam which eliminates the need for external engineering and paving work, such as the installation of a concrete ring beam or tiles which could potentially crack the shell. Every fibreglass shell comes with an extended lifetime structural warranty, giving you the peace of mind that if the shell were to crack due to manufacturing reasons, it could always be replaced.
Although it is possible for a fibreglass shell to crack, the surface is extremely flexible and resistant to damage. Fibreglass shells are designed to withstand the wear that comes with daily use, and with the correct installation, proper care and maintenance, it is very likely that a fibreglass pool shell will last a lifetime. For more information, or if you’re interested in a free site visit to discuss a new fibreglass pool with our pool builders in South East Melbourne, Bayside, Mornington Peninsula or surrounding suburbs please contact our construction experts here. To learn more about our award winning fibreglass pool supplier Aqua Technics, click here.