A swimming pool can add value to your home and your family’s quality of life. It offers a place to relax, refresh, exercise, and socialize. Next to your house itself, an in-ground swimming pool is likely to be the most significant purchase you make as a home-owner.
There are about 10.5 million residential swimming pools in the U.S., according to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. Yet, each of those pool owners had to grapple with deciding what type of pool is right for their property.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about a concrete pool. We’ll examine how a concrete pool is made and how it compares with the two other main types of in-ground pools – fiberglass and vinyl. Finally, we’ll give you a list of the pros and cons of owning a concrete pool.
What is a concrete pool?
After the site and design of a concrete pool have been selected and the basin has been excavated, construction continues with a rebar framework in the ground. That framework is then sprayed over with shotcrete or gunite. Gunite is a dry concrete mix that mixes with water inside the sprayer while the shotcrete concrete mix is already wet. Both materials require less water than traditional concrete, and both are very durable.
After the framework has been sprayed, the hardening process takes about 30 days. Then, after the concrete cures, the surface is plastered, smoothed, and painted.
How does a concrete pool differ from other types of pools?
Concrete pools can be designed to fit any space and can be any size or shape. When you see a pool that flows with the architecture of the house or gracefully complements its landscaping, it probably is a concrete pool.
Unlike other types of in-ground pools, a concrete pool can be enlarged, refinished, and updated. The process of installing a concrete pool can take up to 12 weeks, but when it is done, you will have a customized, durable addition to your home.
Next to concrete, the second most popular type of in-ground pool is vinyl. After they dig the hole, workers install a steel or Cinder-block wall that they cover with a one-piece flexible liner. Most vinyl pools are rectangular, with L-shapes and a few other shapes also available. A vinyl pool can be installed in about four weeks. The biggest drawback to a vinyl-lined pool is that sharp objects can rip or puncture the liner.
Fiberglass pools have a durable and smooth gel-coat finish. These pools have factory-molded shells that are lowered by crane into the excavated hole. Although sizes and shapes are limited, these pools often can be installed in just a few weeks.
How do I properly maintain a concrete pool?
Other than routine cleaning, which all pools require, concrete pools need more maintenance than the other two main types of in-ground pools. They usually need acid washing every three to five years and resurfacing every 15 to 25 years. However, when a concrete pool is maintained correctly, it can last a lifetime.
What are the pros and cons of a concrete pool?
Let’s look at the advantages of owning a concrete swimming pool.
They are fully customizable and can be designed in any artistic shape or size and can include just about any feature you can imagine.
Concrete pools are ideal for commercial sites, such as motels, resorts, or health clubs that get high use.
Since they can be custom-designed, concrete pools also are perfect for high-end residences and businesses.
Concrete pools can feature safe, non-slip surfaces.
They are very durable and can withstand exposure to sharp objects, pool toys and even pet toenails.
Concrete can withstand most harsh weather conditions.
Concrete pools offer a classic look that, when properly maintained, will last a lifetime.
And now, let’s summarize the disadvantages of owning a concrete pool.
They take longer to install and construct than other pools – usually up to three months. The curing process alone takes about 30 days.
Concrete pools are more expensive to maintain. They are prone to algae growth, so it is crucial to maintain a balanced water chemistry at all times.
While you can use salt in your concrete pool, it is not recommended. Dissolved salt will shorten the pool’s lifespan.
Plaster surfaces can be rough and abrasive to the skin. A concrete pool’s plaster requires chipping and replacing about every 15 to 25 years.
Some concrete pools may need to be acid-washed every three to five years.
Let’s conclude with the biggest advantage of a concrete pool – its flexibility. As we have pointed out, a concrete pool enables you and your contractor to design a pool that reflects your taste and your home’s setting. The aesthetic appeal of a well-maintained concrete pool can add real value to your house should you decide to sell it.
Today, more than ever before, we know the value of spending time at home with family and friends. A swimming pool offers the perfect setting to do just that. However, we also know that a swimming pool is a big investment.
That’s why our experienced team at Tops Pools will guide you through the whole process, so you make the best pool decision for your home and family. Please contact us today with any questions you may have, and when you’re ready, please make an appointment for a free (and firm) estimate.