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Can You Resurface A Fiberglass Pool?

Can You Resurface A Fiberglass Pool?

We’re willing to bet we can guess one of the things you want the most out of your inground pool.

Longevity. Yes? We thought so!

Fortunately, inground pools have come a long way and are now able to last years before repairs/replacements may be needed. Now, fiberglass pools are the most durable and therefore tend to last the longest compared to vinyl liner and concrete pools. This doesn’t mean that fiberglass pools don’t need repairs—because they will in the future; it just means that you may get more longevity out of your fiberglass from the time of installation until the first repair(s) are needed.

One of the most intensive repairs if you don’t maintain your water chemistry may be a fiberglass pool resurfacing, which is what we’re going to detail in this article.

We’ll be giving you all of the information you need about resurfacing a fiberglass pool from what it means to do so, how the process is done, and how much it costs to do so.

Even though this process is likely not needed until many years down the road if you maintain your pool properly, it’s important to be knowledgeable of what you can expect to face in the future as an inground pool owner.

What Does It Mean to Resurface an Inground Pool?

The focus of resurfacing a fiberglass pool is on the gel coat. What is the gel coat, you ask? Well, put simply, it’s the surface of the pool (or what you see when you look at a fiberglass pool). In more specific terms, it’s a smooth, liquid-colored resin that is sprayed onto the pool shell with compressed air. It’s also the most durable material that can be used for the surface of an inground pool, allowing a fiberglass pool to last multiple decades.

If applied correctly, the gel coat should last a long while—enough to last a few decades. However, improper application can lead to a few issues:

  • If the gel coat is too thin, it can form blisters
  • If the gel coat is too thick, it can crack

These are not frequent occurrences since manufacturers have specific processes when building the pool shell, but if either of these situations arises, you may have to resurface the gel coat. Of course, natural wear and tear over the years can call for resurfacing as well, so just keep that in mind.

How is a Fiberglass Pool Resurfaced?

Resurfacing may be needed under one of two sets of circumstances:

  • Specific areas of the gel coat need to be resurfaced due to blistering or cracking OR
  • The entire gel coat surface needs to be replaced

Each situation calls for a different resurfacing method and as you may be able to guess, resurfacing specific areas is easier and less expensive than resurfacing the entire gel coat surface of a fiberglass pool. Nonetheless, we need to inform you of how the gel coat is resurfaced under both sets of circumstances.

fiberglass_pool_gelcoat

Resurfacing Specific Areas

If only a few sections of a gel coat need to be refinished, it is possible to use the same material the manufacturer used when the pool was built.

However, what makes this process difficult is the inability to recreate the controlled environment needed to apply gel coat material and allow it to cure properly. Since this can be done in a warehouse when the manufacturer builds the pool shell, the gel coat can be applied properly, and blistering or cracking can be avoided.

On the other hand, recreating that controlled environment outdoors and inside the pool while it is already in the ground is much more difficult. But, when refinishing small sections of the gel coat, it can still cure properly and create the desired finish.

Resurfacing the Entire Pool Shell

It’s pretty much impossible to resurface an entire fiberglass pool shell with the same gel coat it was built with because it’s virtually impossible to create the same controlled conditions as the warehouse it was applied in. Therefore, material from ecoFINISH comes into play.

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The material we’re talking about is called polyFIBRO, a material made specifically for fiberglass pools. One of its advantages is that it can be applied quicker than the gel coat material and is also able to be applied to an existing pool in unstable environmental conditions.

polyFIBRO also cures faster than gel coat material, reducing the time that your pool has to be drained, which greatly aids in preventing any major structural issues.

How Much Does It Cost to Resurface a Fiberglass Pool?

If you’re looking at a situation where you have to resurface an entire fiberglass pool with polyFIBRO, you can expect you spend upwards of $7,000 – $12,000 or more for a 12×24 foot pool. Of course, pricing will continue to increase for larger pools, but this is where you can expect to start.

On the other hand, if you’re looking at a situation where you only have to refinish specific areas of a fiberglass pool, you can expect to spend less. Now, we know that’s not a specific number, but the price depends on how much material is needed which is dictated by two things:

  • Number of areas that need to be refinished
  • Size of areas that need to be refinished

So, each pool’s needs are different when it comes to resurfacing, which means that each pool will have expenses unique to itself.

We’d like to note once again that it’s uncommon for blistering or cracking to occur in fiberglass pools, meaning that you shouldn’t have to worry about resurfacing your pool any time soon. In fact, if you keep up with regular maintenance, you may not have to resurface your fiberglass pool at all!

Nonetheless, this is valuable information for you to have so you can be prepared for the not-so-great situations that can result from a fiberglass pool.

We hope that you take this information seriously and value it as much as we hope because you can never be too prepared!

If you have any further questions, give us a call at (219)-322-2797 or visit our Learning Center to learn more about all things inground pools!