In talking about the various sorts of swimming pools, it's important to bear in mind 3 common-sense qualities that all pools have in common.
- All swimming pools are enormous holes in the ground.
- All pools are filled with water.
- The water in all pools needs to be filtered or cleansed in some way to make it safe for individual use.
There are some exceptions to these regulations, in particular the first-- there are short-term inflatable swimming pools, as an example, or above-ground "tank" style swimming pools-- however these have a tendency not to have the exact same maintenance issues as classical swimming pools, nor are they as difficult to preserve, nor are they usually as satisfying. We'll cover some certain issues about above-ground swimming pools at the end of this chapter, for those who select that often-simpler option.
But for one of the most part, there's one crucial distinction between the different sorts of swimming pools offered to the customer: the type of lining used.
All pools more challenging than an "ol' swimming hole" need to be lined. To understand why, consider the amount of space in your home insurance coverage is devoted to the subject of "water damage." Water is an inherently damaging force. It normally erodes any container into which it's placed and it weakens stone moldings and the bonds between different building aspects. Generally speaking, it shortens the lifespan of any construction task by a minimum of half. Your pool is no exception.
The main to pool maintenance is to consider your pool as a continual struggle between water and container. If you think about your pool in this way, you'll normally think of the container's qualities designed to prevent water damage and to maintain its structure over time, and you'll comprehend intuitively exactly what you need to perform in order to keep your pool working securely and consistently over the years.
The basic choice that determines how easy or how tough it'll be to preserve your pool is the option of lining product used to comprise the "container.".
Fiberglass pools are merely formed housings set into a pool excavation, otherwise called "the huge hole in your yard." Sand is put on the concrete housing in order to enable the fiberglass mold to settle and move while staying relatively carefully jam-packed to the real earth. As soon as you've chosen a fiberglass mold style, there's no possibility of shifting or revising it; you're stuck with what you've got.
Fiberglass is one of the most popular products for a number of reasons. For one, it's extremely easy to mold into a range of shapes. There are factories that do nothing however invent various pool shapes and mold fiberglass pools to fit them. On the "minus side", all this factory design work carries with it a particular overhead, and fiberglass pools can be more difficult to install for this reason.
The trouble of making fiberglass swimming pools also indicates that although you have a multitude of options for how your pool will be shapes and exactly how it will behave, you don't have any liberty to tailor within those choices. If none of the manufacturing facility basic fiberglass pools attract you, you do not have any way to design and construct a fiberglass pool that you simulate (without investing a lot of money to maintain a factory and a dedicated group of pool engineers of your own, that is.).
Fiberglass also has the advantage of being flexible. That doesn't sound like a substantial benefit in pool design, however remember what we stated about our basic concept: pool maintenance is about handling the war in between the water and its container.
Basically, all pools are holes in the ground-- and the ground can and will move over time. The added versatility of fiberglass pools suggests that the pool body is more resistant to cracks and contorting triggered by modifications in the earth surrounding the pool. On the minus side, if your fiberglass pool does split, it can be really hard to repair the crack in a manner that won't cause you added headaches down the years.
There are other benefits to fiberglass swimming pools, in particular security benefits. Fiberglass pool surface areas are smooth, making it harder for children or other swimmers to get scraped or injured by brushing against rough concrete. It's also simple to set up fiberglass swimming pools, specifically when compared with the endeavor that is putting a concrete pool in your backyard-- a process that can involve weeks of awaiting concrete to dry and a seriously reduced margin for error if anything goes awry throughout the construction process.
Concrete pools are the most traditional swimming pool alternative, however bring with them a host of severe downsides.
When you have your hole in the ground, the process of building a concrete pool starts with the steel structure. Crossbars of rebar steel are placed into the ground to offer the pool with a "cage" of support that's resistant to earth movements.
After this, gunite or other sprayable concrete mixtures are put on the steel structure, permitted to dry, then recoated in order to smooth the eventual pool as much as possible. Different finishes can then be put on the pool, relying on cost. Tiles, paint, plaster, and pebbles are the most popular finishes, however various options are likewise available once the fundamental concrete is put in.
One major advantage of concrete pools is their customizability. As we've stated, the variety of various fiberglass pools available to you is restricted by the pre-fabricated alternatives on the marketplace. The number of various concrete pools offered to you is restricted by nothing other than your budget, your creativity, and the technical proficiency of the service providers you decide to install your pool-- in other words, you have more choice in exactly how your pool will look and behave.
An additional significant benefit of concrete pools is their resistance to hot temperature levels. Fiberglass pools are good at stretching to withstand modifications in the earth itself, however can be harmed by severe, extended heat of the kind frequently discovered in southern or equatorial areas-- in shorts, the kind of climate where you 'd most often want a swimming pool to begin with. Concrete pools can broaden to some extent in order to withstand the heat, giving your pool a longer life time in severe temperatures.
Nonetheless, you have a little bit more to fret about when it pertains to modifications in the soil itself. This is the significant drawback of concrete pools: the trouble of doing anything if worst comes to worst and your pool does crack or break under the pressure of above-average movement in the earth. The majority of the time, concrete swimming pools are an excellent, safe, versatile option. However in some severe circumstances they're not as proficient at holding up to natural stresses as fiberglass.
As far as other downsides go, there's building time to think about. Concrete swimming pools take significantly longer to set up and longer still to end up being functional-- expect a minimum of about 3 weeks. This ultimately leaves you with a more steady and customizable pool, but requires significantly more planning in order to make the most of a pool prior to a hot summer starts, and also triggers even more damage to your backyard and landscaping while the pool is lying there half-finished. If you have kids or pets, you'll likewise have to be very mindful to keep them from the pool location while it's under construction. This can develop into a problem very rapidly.
Vinyl swimming pools are among the most inexpensive and simplest alternatives for in-ground pool setup. Vinyl pools start like other pool: a large hole in your backyard. The excavation is packed with sand and the walls of the pool are produced by putting pre-fabricated "panels" into the earth.
The vinyl liner is placed in on top of this and attached to the top of the pool walls, sealing the locations where the panels join (evident powerlessness in the war between water and container.) The contractor will cut holes to allow for the placement of skimmers, drains, and other plumbing/drainage features, then the space in between the vinyl lining and the pool walls is stuffed with "backfill" in order to guarantee that the lining won't move too much.
Vinyl have the distinct advantage of being very good for cold-weather environments, given that they make it extremely easy to winterize your pool by merely draining the water. Concrete and fiberglass pools are created to hold water continuously, and they can suffer some significant problems if enabled to drain for too long. As we'll see in our chapter on winterizing, a bunch of extra work is had to enable these pools to stay complete over the cold months without letting the water freeze and damage the plumbing. Vinyl swimming pools stay clear of these issues by simply letting you drain the whole thing easily for the winter.
However in spite of their standard simpleness, vinyl swimming pools bring with them a host of maintenance concerns. The vinyl covering is extremely conscious scratches, holes, and other such damage, which needs you to place some additional safety standards on children or pets who use the pool, and gets rid of particular type of sharp metal toys from use in a vinyl pool completely. The vinyl covering will also need to be replaced from time to time due to age and wear.
If you're fortunate, this will happen only once or twice over a multi-decade pool life time; if you're unlucky you can expect to shell this out every year or more. The should replace the vinyl lining of a pool includes a continuous building cost (to the tune of a couple of thousand dollars) and some step of headache to the whole scenario. A failure to do this causes significant leaks which can damage the underlying rock/soil behind the vinyl lining. If the leakages are severe enough it can in fact cause damage to your entire home foundation.
Above-ground pools carry with them a host of issues, however have one overpowering benefit: you don't have to excavate your lawn in order to set up one. Above-ground swimming pools can generally be set up using a pre-fab kit, assembled in a yard, and allowed to represent several months without significant maintenance issues. Above-ground pools are likewise mobile, which is in and of itself a reason to pick them if you don't have your own home or do not have a steady profession which allows you to remain in one location for the foreseeable future.
Above-ground swimming pools do require two significant pieces of maintenance. For one, you need to have a level lawn. In many suburbs, this won't be a problem because the land is already fairly level. If your lawn geography is a little bit more uncustomary, however, you're going to need to get your backyard leveled in order to install an above-ground pool, which can be a substantial cost.
The various other substantial piece of maintenance is basically the same as any pool would require: regular chemical treatments done to ensure water quality, suitable cleaning and scrubbing, and cautious caution.
Consider above-ground swimming pools as "training swimming pools": they'll get you in the habit of looking after a pool regularly without requiring you to make costly land modifications or without requiring you to dive into the murky waters of foundation maintenance and drain optimization. Just develop, install, swim, and delight in.
WHICH POOL IS RIGHT?
In general, below's a great rubric for making your decision:.
- If security is your main issue, OR if you reside in a location known for weak soil or tectonic activity, choose fiberglass.
- If customizability is your primary concern, OR if you live in a location known for severe summer heat, choose concrete.
- If expense is your main concern, OR if you stay in a location with continually low/freezing temperatures, choose vinyl.
- If you've never ever had a pool before, you're preparing to move soon, or you just do not want to make a significant monetary dedication or residence modification, choose above-ground-- but keep your alternatives open for the future.