For many Floridians, the pool is the centerpiece of the backyard. Through long seasons of heat and humidity, the pool provides much-needed relief and hours of cool entertainment for family and friends. While pools these days can be relatively low maintenance, eventually your pool surface will wear away, making the pool look old and rundown.
When keeping your water crystal clear, the spots, chips, and cracks which begin to appear are all too evident. These are common signs of aging and tend to develop as your pool nears about 10 years old, on average. While the pool may not have structural damage at that point, its aesthetic value begins to suffer – not to mention, rough surfaces can cause injury to swimmers.
If you are beginning to notice signs of deterioration on your pool's surface – including creeping stains you can't clean off, rough patches or leaks - it is time to consider resurfacing.
What Type of Pools Need to Be Resurfaced?
Pools are typically constructed as one of three types: in-ground concrete pools, fiberglass drop-in pools, and vinyl liner pools. Fiberglass and concrete pools will both eventually need to be resurfaced, while a new liner may be needed for vinyl which has been torn or damaged. Most Sarasota pool resurfacing requests involve concrete pools.
Pools are generally constructed with shotcrete. Shotcrete is concrete or mortar which is sprayed through a hose at high speed and velocity to cover the pool shell. The term generally refers to either a wet or dry mixture, which must be allowed to cure and harden before the final pool coating is applied. The inclusive term "shotcrete" is used synonymously with "gunite". Although there are subtle differences. While shotcrete refers to any wet or dry-mix application, gunite only refers to a dry mix being shot through a hose, with water being infused immediately before application to the shell.
Resurfacing does not generally refer to re-applying concrete, although if a pool is severely damaged this may be necessary. If a pool's concrete was not completely cured when initially installed, some repair may be necessary before resurfacing.
What Does the Pool Resurfacing Process Entail?
Before the resurfacing process can begin, the pool must be drained so that the old surface can be dried and prepared for removal. There are several ways to remove an old and damaged pool surface, including chipping off the concrete or fiberglass, or sand or hydro-blasting the surface. If there is existing tile, plaster or pebble material, this will all be removed.
Once the old surface has been removed, your pool installation expert will be able to apply a new finish coat over the existing shotcrete or gunite. There are various types of surfaces which can be applied to your Sarasota pool. Each offers pros and cons based upon your desires for aesthetic effect and level of maintenance.
Plaster: Plaster is one of the most affordable options for resurfacing a pool. It is a mixture of sand or limestone, water, and white cement; although you can dye the plaster to fit your design or color palette. It is generally applied by hand using a flat trowel and results in a clean and classic look. Still, plaster can be rough to the touch, so it may not be the best option if you will have children climbing in and out of the pool. We should note that plaster can be conducive to algae growth, so you will need to clean the walls weekly and acid wash periodically to keep them algae free.
Aggregate: These finishes represent a blend of materials, typically pebbles, glass, quartz, and cement. Aggregate finishes can either be polished or exposed. Polished surfaces are smooth to the touch, while exposed surfaces feature materials which are rough to the touch. Pebble Tec and Diamond Brite are two of the more commonly known aggregate finishes on the market.
Tile: A tiled pool is a very popular option in the Sarasota region. Whether you choose porcelain, stone or glass varieties, tile offers the ability to create patterns and designs in a variety of textures. Some of the most beautiful pools utilize tile to create an upscale look, most often utilized at the top edging along the waterline and along pool steps. Tile is also easy to clean and maintain.
The entire process of resurfacing requires approximately a week to complete, but can take longer if weather hinders the process. You may wish to resurface your pool during the winter when rain is less likely - and your family is less likely to miss cooling off in the heat of the day.
How Often Should You Resurface Your Pool?
As stated, most Sarasota homeowners choose to resurface their pool when the signs of erosion and deterioration become unsightly. Because there is no compelling reason to resurface your pool if stains, chips, and leaks are not evident, the more accurate question is "how often should you expect to have to resurface your pool?"
The answer to that question varies widely from pool to pool. This is because the lifespan of the materials on each pool surface will depend on installation quality, materials quality, homeowner maintenance, and pool water chemistry. If your pool was properly installed and you understand how to balance your pool's chemistry, you can expect your pool finish to last from 10 to 15 years; although white plaster and polished finishes can begin to show signs of deterioration as early as 5 years after application.
Look for peeling, cracking, discoloration, or flaking as signs it is time to call in a professional.
Ready to Schedule Your Appointment?
Sarasota Pool Decks approaches pool resurfacing projects with the same commitment to quality and excellence evident in all of our work. If you have questions regarding the condition of your pool's surface and would like an estimate, simply fill out our form to the left and a member of our team will contact you.
Don't let your pool's surface detract from the beauty of your home - contact Sarasota Pool Decks today. Our expertise and professionalism will give you the assurance you need – guaranteeing that your pool surface will be new, polished and sparkling clean in no time.