Fiberglass swimming pools come in pre-assembled forms complete with stairs, ledges and in-built ladders. They are also available in many sizes and shapes. Fiberglass swimming pools are very popular as both domestic as well as commercial swimming pools. A fiberglass swimming pool is a little more expensive than a concrete pool or vinyl liner pool but it has several advantages and requires much less maintenance which makes it a good investment.
Advantages of fiberglass swimming pools
Some of the advantages of fiberglass swimming pools over concrete and vinyl liner pools have been listed here.
1. Fiberglass swimming pool requires less maintenance. This is because the inner surface finishing of the pool called gel coat is nonporous in nature and does not allow water penetration of the shell of the swimming pool. The gel coat also prevents algae growth and reduces the amount of purifying chemicals needed to be added to the pool water. Not more than half hours a week of maintenance work is required for fiberglass swimming pools.
2. Fiberglass swimming pools are built-off site and not at the location. This ensures that they can be installed much more swiftly as compared to concrete or vinyl liner pools and are ready to be used within 3-4 weeks.
3. The fiberglass shell does not require resurfacing or replacement of vinyl liner as is the case with concrete and vinyl liner swimming pools. Thus, the cost of upkeep of the fiberglass shell is negligible.
4. The gel coat of a fiberglass swimming pool is smooth and non-abrasive. Thus, the inner surface of the swimming pool is not harsh on the bodies of the swimmers.
5. Ladders, steps and seating are in-built into the shell of a fiberglass swimming pool. Thus, there is no additional cost to install them as is the case with concrete and vinyl liner swimming pools.
Reasons for water penetration in a fiberglass swimming pool
Even though there are many benefits associated with fiberglass swimming pools, problems can arise when the gel coat wears out or is damaged after a period of time which is usually 10-25 years. The gel coat can suffer algae growth, develop osmosis spots, develop black spots and other problems which compromise its integrity. In such a state, the gel coat is no longer able to protect the fiberglass shell of the pool from water invasion.
Results of water invasion
The fiberglass shell is made of strands glass fibres reinforced by resin. Water invading the shell through the damaged and porous gel coat causes rotting of the fiberglass fibers. This ultimately results in the fiberglass shell losing its structural integrity and eventually collapsing. Therefore, waterproofing becomes critical in case of a compromised gel coat in a fiberglass swimming pool.
How to waterproof the gel coat?
Epotec is a high-grade epoxy pool paint which has been specifically designed for swimming pool waterproofing. It is no ordinary epoxy paint but a pool grade epoxy paint which can remain immersed in water for years on end. Epotec forms a hard wearing coating over the gel coat which prevents both liquid and gaseous water molecules from gaining entry into the shell of the fiberglass swimming pool. The epotec coating remains unaffected by UV rays of the sun, purifying chemicals such as chlorine, body fats, body lotions, etc.
Prior to upgrading the gel coat, it is necessary to go for fiberglass swimming pool repair. The worn out or damaged gel coat must be repaired. Re-fiberglassing may also be required for fiberglass pool repair if the glass fibers have started to rot due to water invasion. Necessary repairs to the structure may also be required to be carried out.
Surface preparation is also essential before applying epotec. Un-reacted styrene may be present on the surface. It needs to be eliminated to avoid reaction with the epoxy coating. Epotec is applied in two coats. The curing time is 5-7 days. The result is a hard wearing coat which lasts 7-14 years.
Beneficial features of epotec
Some of the beneficial features of epotec pool paint which makes it highly suitable for fiberglass as well as concrete swimming pool waterproofing have been mentioned here.
1. Epotec is a 100% solid pool paint. This means that the paint has no thinners or solvents in its chemical
composition. As a result, the paint forms a solid coating which does not shrink as it cures. A conventional
paint has just 30-40% solids.
2. Epotec is chemically inert. Therefore, the coating cannot be removed by chemicals. The chemicals present in the pool water also have no effect on the coating. The coating can only be removed by mechanical wear and tear.
3. The thickness of the coating is same as the applied thickness since there is no shrinkage after curing. This is the reason one should make the coating as much thick as possible.
4. The life of the coating depends upon the thickness of the coating. The coating usually lasts for 7-14 years without the need for recoating.
5. Epotec comes in the form of 2-pack paint. It is easy to apply using brushes or rollers. You can apply it yourself or hire a professional for the job.
6. Epotec comes in a multitude of colours such as slate grey, chamois, opal, whisper grey, royal blue, sky blue, white, etc.