Regardless of the type of pool you choose to purchase, the installation process is pretty extensive.
It’s not just dig a hole, build the pool/drop the pool shell, fill in around it, and pour the surrounding deck/patio. There’s so much more that goes into the construction of an inground swimming pool than what is often believed.
The finer and more intricate details are really what pull an entire pool project together, making it important that you know what your pool builder should be doing so when it comes time, you can make sure that your pool builder is doing everything necessary.
And that’s just the purpose of this article!
Since we are experts in fiberglass pool installation, we know what steps to take to ensure that our clients’ pool projects are completed correctly–down to the finest detail. So, we know that it’s just important to you as it is to us that every step is followed perfectly. And in order for you to value these steps as much as we do, you need to be educated about them.
1. The Pool Must Be Level Right Out of Excavation
This one may seem like common sense but to some pool contractors its not. Once excavation is complete, it is imperative that the pool is level everywhere or at least within or better than the manufacturers recommended specifications. The fiberglass shell should be inspected for level on all corners, curves, steps, benches and ledges. This is so important because once you start filling the pool with water it becomes very difficult to go back and re-level the pool shell rather than simply trying to keep it level!
Once Water is Filling on the Pool
After the pool has begun filling with water, it should be routine that the builder inspects all of those level points mentioned above as the water level increases. The water weight itself will add downward pressure to steps, benches and ledges and you will want to make sure they are back filled and leveled properly all the way up to the moment of concrete.
2. Backfill Material
One aspect of an inground pool project that aids in keeping the pool level is proper backfill material. Backfill material is the material that is placed beneath and around the pool once it is set properly. It’s important to note, that certain materials should only be used in certain environments:
- Sand backfill should only be used in sandy environments
- Clean 3/4″ stone in all other environments
Since the hole for the pool is over-dug during excavation, it is important that the space separating the pool and the earth is completely filled with backfill material. Failure to do so may allow the pool to sink over time since there is no material to hold it in place.
Regardless of what your pool builder uses to provide support to your pool, it is imperative that they leave no room between the material and the pool itself because doing so could cause major problems in the future.
3. De-Watering System
An issue that your pool builder needs to be aware of at the beginning of the construction process is ground water.
When the Earth absorbs water at the surface, it can seep down quite a long way. And as it seeps down, it can congregate towards the pool since it rests in a large hole. it is for this reason that your pool builder needs to keep an eye out for ground water during excavation.
If ground water is present, then you will likely have to install a de-watering system, which will move ground water away from the pool.
This system is necessary in environments where ground water is present because it can aid in preventing fiberglass pool walls from bulging, which is a mess in itself.
4. Pool Shell Must Be Secured by Coping
Each fiberglass pool needs some type of coping around its perimeter.
What is coping, you ask? Well, it is sort of a transitional area that connects the edge of the pool to the surrounding patio. And it’s important that your pool builder install it correctly to anchor the pool in place.
You have several options for pool coping, including:
- Cantilevered Concrete
- Paver Coping
- Travertine Coping
- Bluestone Coping
Each type of coping has their differences, but they also share one important similarity–they all wrap around the edge of the pool shell to anchor it in place. And it also anchors the pool to the surrounding patio.
You see, not only does the pool coping grip the top edge of the pool shell, but it is also secured to the patio. So, in a finished product, there is plenty of weight surrounding an inground pool to prevent it from moving in any direction as the years go by.
It is important to make sure when installing a fiberglass pool that the concrete is tied to the top of the pool via a rod or a rebar. This creates that bond between the pool deck and the fiberglass shell while adding additional weight to the pool.
5. Proper Pitch of Patio
It’s essential that the patio surrounding your fiberglass pool is pitched correctly because if not, improper water runoff can cause major issues.
The patio may seem like a simple aspect of a pool project, but it’s actually quite complex when considering how it needs to be pitched. It’s tricky because the patio needs to pitch both away from the home and away from the pool. So, your pool builder should make this possible by creating a swale which is a “V-shape” when installing the patio
Importance of Compliance with These Requirements
Now that you know some of the key things that your pool builder needs to take care of when building your pool, we hope that you realize just how important it is to follow these guidelines.
Failure to make sure every one of these requirements are met down to the smallest detail can cause problems to arise in the future—some of which may be unfixable. And the importance of these requirements are why we have detailed them for you. This way, you can use this information for yourselves and to make sure that your builder is taking all of the required steps to construct your pool project exactly the way it should be.
And if you’d like to learn more about fiberglass pools, we have many more articles available in our learning center!