Fiberglass Vs. Concrete- Which is Better?

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

Once you have made a decision to construct a swimming pool, the material to be used for construction is the next major decision to be made. The material used for the construction of your swimming pool has a long term impact on the maintenance, heating and durability of your swimming pool. Concrete was traditionally used for constructing a swimming pool, but now fibreglass is gaining popularity. Both the materials have their advantages and disadvantages. We give you the pros and cons of both the materials.

Fibreglass swimming pool

Advantages of Fibreglass pools

1. Installation

The shell of the fibreglass pool is made in a factory and transported to your home. The installation process is very simple and takes a maximum of a couple of weeks. There is a minimal disturbance in your backyard, and you can enjoy your first lap within weeks of your decision to build a pool.

The installation process will not overshoot your budget due to the quick nature of the installation process. The installation of a fibreglass pool is unaffected by climate. Rain or temperature changes do not affect the fibreglass installation process.

2. Maintenance

The smooth surface of the fibreglass pool does not attract dirt or algae. You can easily clean your fibreglass pool yourself with a soft brush. Fibreglass does not affect water quality. You do not need to check the water quality every day.

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Checking the water chemistry levels once a week is sufficient. Fewer chemicals in water mean less skin irritation. Fibreglass pools do not require acid washing. You do not have to spend money on harsh chemicals.

3. Heating expenses

Fibreglass pools are easier to heat. Fibreglass is a material which heats faster and retains heat for a longer time. You need to spend less on heating expenses. Since fibreglass pools attract less dirt and dust, your filtration pump needs to do less work to keep the pool water clear. You can expect regular savings on your energy expenses.

4. Safety

The smooth surface of the fibreglass pools does not cause scratches and cuts on your skin. Children can play safely in the fibreglass pools. Fibreglass pools come pre-fitted with anti-skid texture steps at no extra cost.

5. Durability

Fibreglass is a durable and flexible material, and most manufacturers offer a long warranty on the pool. Fibreglass pools manufactured using the latest technology are incredibly long-lasting.

6. Surface

The surface of the fibreglass pool looks shiny and visually appealing by default. You can play in your fibreglass pools for hours without worrying about getting sore feet. Well-made fibreglass pools do not require resurfacing during their lifetime.

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7. Unaffected by salt chlorine generators

Salt chlorinators use salt for swimming pool sanitization. Hence, you have to use less chlorine for water sanitization. Salt chlorinators have no effect on the shells of fibreglass pools. They can be safely used in fibreglass pools.

Disadvantages of fibreglass pools

1. Size and shape limitations

Fibreglass pools are made from prefabricated molds and there are shape limitations. They have to be transported from the factory to your house. There are size limitations to facilitate easy transportation. If you are looking for an extra-large pool or a very deep pool you may not be able to find a suitable fibreglass pool.

Fibreglass pools are available in a maximum length of 16 feet (ca. 5 m) and width of 40 feet (ca. 12 m). This should be sufficient for most family pools.

2. Damages during the installation process

Though fibreglass pools can be installed quickly, they are more vulnerable to damages due to incorrect installation.

Advantages and disadvantages of concrete pools

Advantages of concrete pools

1. Unlimited shapes and sizes

You can go wild with your imagination when you are constructing a concrete pool. There is no limitation on the size, shape or depth of a concrete pool. There also numerous options for surface finishes. If you have an irregular shaped backyard, then concrete pool is your best bet. They can be made in any shape. There are also a wide range of finishing options like pebbles, tiles, paints etc.

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2. Strength

Concrete pools are structurally strong and last for generations.

Disadvantages of concrete pools

1. Longer Installation time

The building process of concrete pools starts from zero in your backyard and takes months to complete. Your backyard remains dug up for months with workers and equipment moving around. Weather fluctuations can further delay the building process. All of this can lead to cost escalation. You require ample time and patience to build a concrete pool. Any additions like steps and ledges will cost extra.

2. Tough to maintain

Concrete pools have a porous surface which attracts dirt and bacteria. This necessitates labour-intensive maintenance in the form of weekly brushing with a steel brush. They require an acid wash every 5 years. Concrete affects water chemistry adversely. The water chemistry has to be checked daily and chemicals added to the pool to maintain water chemistry.

Concrete pools are vulnerable to black algae which are almost impossible to get rid of. You have to spend money regularly on strong chemicals to keep a concrete pool clean.

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3. Rough Surface

The surface of the concrete pool is rough. Children are vulnerable to bruises from the surface of concrete pools. The concrete pools will need resurfacing after some years.

You will have to spend a decent amount to get it tiled so that the surface becomes smooth and attractive.

4. Heating

Heating of a concrete pool requires more energy expenses. Concrete has a tendency to absorb heat. The heater has to work harder to heat the concrete to maintain the heat in the pool. Addition of chemicals also means that the filtration system has to work harder to disperse the chemicals properly in the pool. You can expect more energy bills routinely.

5. Salt chlorine generator

Salt chlorinators have a tendency to damage the plaster finish of concrete pools. Salt chlorinators are more abrasive on concrete surfaces, and hence their use is discouraged by concrete pool builders.

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