Out of all the different swimming pools available on the market, fiberglass continues to gain popularity. The general consensus is that it ticks all the right boxes. Fiberglass pools are durable, budget-friendly and easy to maintain.
But, as with any other swimming pool there are certain cleaning materials and agents that you should avoid if you want to maintain its performance and quality over time. Read on to find out more about what makes fiberglass pools unique and how to maintain yours in the right way.
What is a fiberglass pool made out of?
A fiberglass pool is a one-piece swimming pool that’s made out of fiberglass, although there are other materials added to it. The manufacturing process of a fiberglass pool includes several layers that differs according to the manufacture.
In essence manufacturers create a mold and then add gelcoat to it. From there, they apply chopped fiberglass and cure the mold. They move on to trimming off excess fiberglass and then perform a quality check.
Why is it popular?
Fiberglass pools come in many shapes, sizes and forms, and yet they’re the easiest to install. They’re also made from a durable material that can last for decades, which makes fiberglass pools a great long-term investment for a homeowner.
Fiberglass pools are pleasing to the eye and can be customized according to available molds. Unlike other swimming pool types, fiberglass pools are not prone to algae growth and that’s part of the reason why they’re so low maintenance.
As mentioned above, fiberglass pools don’t call for time-consuming upkeep. Because of its smooth and non-porous surface, there’s little room for algae to form in a fiberglass pool. Even if you do find algae, you’ll only need to shock the pool to get rid of it. This process takes care of itself in less than two days, and you can use your pool again soon after.
Otherwise, maintaining a fiberglass pool is simple. All you have to do is keep the water level above the skimmer and run the pool filter. You also need to check water chemistry and clean it properly. The only way you’ll know it needs cleaning is by checking the chemistry.
You do this by testing the alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness levels of your pool.
This refers to the concentration levels of alkaline substances in pool water. These substances include carbonates, bicarbonates, and hydroxides. Alkalinity acts as a buffer and helps with keeping the pH levels from being all over the place.
This measures how acidic or basic your fiberglass pool water is. The pH levels need to balance at all times. The water is acidic when it has a low pH, which might corrode your pool surface. On the other hand, high pH levels may cause scaling and calcium build-up.
- Calcium hardness
Calcium hardness is a measure of how soft or hard the water is testing. Soft water refers to calcium levels that are too low, which will corrode the pool. Meanwhile, hard water levels are high and can cause scaling.
The cleaning process
Once you know the readings of the above, you’ll have to clean and adjust the levels accordingly. We’re going to stress the importance of using fiberglass-specific cleaning products here because other chemicals can be harsh and aren’t tailored for fiberglass material. Fiberglass is smooth and non-porous, so harsh chemicals will change the water chemistry of the pool leading to further damage.
Below, you’ll find a list of chemicals you should never use to clean your fiberglass swimming pool. Read on for more.
- Stabilized chlorine
Stabilized pill or floating units can cause excessive build-up of stabilizer. This, in turn, will cause problems with the chemical balance of the pool.
- Soda Ash
Soda Ash, also known as sodium carbonate, has high pH levels. This changes the water chemistry and can cloud up a fiberglass pool.
- Trichloro shock pH
Trichloro shock can lower the pH in your pool.
- Calcium hypochlorite
Calcium hypochlorite can raise the pH level in your fiberglass pool. Experts recommend the use liquid chlorine instead.
- Undiluted conditioners
Avoid putting undiluted conditioners into the skimmer. These conditioners have cyanuric acid. The acid usually causes the conditioner to bypass the pool filter. This may result in the pool forming stains. You have to dilute it in a bucket of water before throwing it in the pool.
While we’ve tried to explain the process of fiberglass pool maintenance in easy to understand terms, it might still be difficult for some to comprehend. If that’s the case with you, then you might want to hire a professional pool cleaning service like Riverina Pools to maintain your pool for you. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your fiberglass swimming pool is washed with gentle yet effective professional-grade cleaning agents.