The Ins and Outs of In-Ground Pools

Learn about the pros and cons of the different types of in-ground pools in regards to maintenance, life expectancy and cost.
In-Ground Pool With Slide and Umbrellas

In-Ground Pool With Slide and Umbrellas

Image courtesy of Lucas Priamo and Keri Cogswell.

From: The Vanilla Ice Project

Thinking of installing a new pool? Or does your old pool need a makeover?   Learn about the different options for installing a new pool and upgrading an existing one.

Gunite and Shotcrete are the strongest materials for building a pool, especially in environments where soil is most volatile. Gunite is concrete that is sprayed on dry while Shotcrete is sprayed on wet.  Both materials are expensive, but both have a long life expectancy.

Fiberglass pools can only be installed in areas where the ground has no movement or shifting.  It has a shorter life span, but is one of the cheapest pool materials to install.

Stainless steel pools are typically installed where concrete is not available or they are used in high-rise buildings. It is the most expensive of all pool structures, but it will last a long time.

Vinyl is the least expensive pool to construct; however, it also has the shortest life span.  If you live in an area with seismic activity, it may not be the best option because ground movement can rip the vinyl.

Chlorine vs. Salt

Chlorine comes in liquid or tablet form. It produces at least 3 to 4 percent chlorine. That much chlorine can irritate eyes, ears and skin, and dry out hair. 

A saltwater chlorinator system still produces chlorine, but only about 1 percent. It is not salt water pool it is "soft" water.  A salt system is more expensive to install, but, salt is a cheaper than chlorine, so over time, it is less inexpensive to operate. 

Reviving an Old Pool

Gunite and Shotcrete pools can be revitalized by applying a new coat of finish to brighten the interior surface. Unfortunately, not much can be done to revitalize a stainless-steel, vinyl or fiberglass pool.

Replacing the coping can also make a pool look new again.  Marble or rock could be installed over old coping. If the pool is Gunite or Shotcrete, or if the elevations are too tough, the coping should be replaced and a new coping such as pre-cast stone, marble or rock can be installed around the pool. Coping for stainless steel, vinyl and fiberglass is installed differently; they are poured into place.

Content supplied by Van Kirk & Sons Pools & Spas.

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