When to Resurface Your Swimming Pool
Swimming pool resurfacing is a crucial part of maintaining the quality and longevity of your pool. Over time, all types of pools will require resurfacing due to wear and tear, including in-ground pools made of vinyl liners, fiberglass, or concrete. Knowing when to resurface your pool can help you avoid costly repairs and maintain a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.
Common Signs of Pool Deterioration
There are several common signs that indicate your pool may need resurfacing. These include:
- Peeling, flaking, or cracking of the pool surface
- Rough or uneven texture
- Discoloration or fading
- Structural cracks
- Excessive or bad rust stains
- Paint peeling off
If you notice any of these signs, it’s critical to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of pool users.
Types of Pool Surfaces
If you’re looking to resurface your pool, you will have to know the different types of pool surfaces available. There are several types of pool surfaces to choose from, each with its unique characteristics, costs, and maintenance requirements.
Vinyl liner pools are popular due to their affordability and ease of installation. However, with an average lifespan of 5-10 years, they require more frequent resurfacing compared to other options. When resurfacing a vinyl liner pool, the old liner is removed, and a new one is installed, ensuring a smooth, clean surface.
Fiberglass pools are known for their durability and low maintenance requirements. However, they still require resurfacing over time, usually every 15 years.
The process of resurfacing fiberglass pools involves using thermoplastic polymers or epoxies to remove the old paint or gel coat, repair any damaged areas, and apply a fresh new layer.
This process not only improves the appearance of the fiberglass pool but also provides a protective barrier against water penetration and chemical damage.
Concrete pools are known for their longevity and versatility in design, but they also require regular resurfacing to maintain their appearance and integrity. Concrete pools typically need to be resurfaced every 10-20 years, depending on the type of finish used.
When resurfacing a concrete pool, choosing a long-lasting material that will withstand wear and tear is imperative to provide a comfortable swimming environment.
Pool Resurfacing Options
A variety of resurfacing options are available and your choice will depend on your budget, pool type, and desired aesthetics. Each option has its own pros and cons.
Acrylic paint is the most affordable and straightforward resurfacing option for concrete pools, with prices ranging from $1 to $2 per square foot. This type of paint is water-based and can be applied directly to the pool surface. However, acrylic paint has a relatively short lifespan, typically lasting 2-3 years before requiring another coat.
Epoxy paint forms a strong bond with fiberglass coats and creates a stain-resistant and chemical-resistant barrier. It offers a more durable and long-lasting finish compared to acrylic paint and is considered the best option for a fiberglass coat.
This type of paint can last 7-10 years before needing a new coat. The cost of epoxy paint resurfacing ranges from $2 to $5 per square foot.
Plaster is the most traditional and common resurfacing material for concrete pools. A mixture of cement, sand, and water can provide a smooth and durable surface, lasting 10-15 years with proper maintenance.
Plaster can be tinted to achieve various colors or mixed with other materials for a more textured finish. The cost of plaster resurfacing ranges from $5 to $10 per square foot, depending on the type of plaster used and the plaster color.
Pebble Tec is a high-end option that consists of small, smooth pebbles mixed with cement. This material provides a unique and natural appearance, as well as a non-slip surface, making it an attractive choice for many pool owners. Pebble Tec is known for its dependability and resistance to staining, algae growth, and chemical damage.
It typically lasts 15-20 years before requiring resurfacing. The cost of Pebble Tec resurfacing ranges from $10 to $16 per square foot.
Quartz surfaces are known for their durability and resilience against stains, making them a popular choice for resurfacing concrete pools. One particularly noteworthy option is Diamond Brite, which incorporates quartz aggregate to create a smooth, long-lasting finish that can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.
Quartz surfaces come in various colors and offer a more luxurious look compared to plain plaster. The cost of quartz resurfacing ranges from $7 to $12 per square foot.
Glass tile is an upscale resurfacing option that provides a stunning and easy-to-clean surface for swimming pools by removing the old surface material and installing new waterline tile, as well as new tile on the pool floor and walls.
Glass tile is also suitable for concrete and fiberglass pools and offers a wide range of design possibilities due to the variety of colors, sizes, and patterns. Plus, it’s highly durable and can last up to 25 years or more with proper maintenance.
The Pool Resurfacing Process
Resurfacing a swimming pool involves several steps to ensure a proper and long-lasting finish. While the specific process may vary depending on the type of pool and resurfacing material used, the following steps outline the general procedure.
Step 1: Draining and Cleaning the Pool
Draining the pool water and removing any debris is the first step in the resurfacing process. This is important for accessing the entire surface of the pool and ensuring a clean and smooth surface for the new resurfacing material to install properly. The pool should then be thoroughly cleaned by using an acid wash or similar cleaning method.
It is crucial to remove the hydrostatic plug or to drill holes in the pool floor to ensure that there is no hydrostatic pressure that might pop up the pool. Also, prior to any resurfacing, if the pool is suspected of a leak, a full leak detection should be performed, as often customers believe that a new finish will solve a leak, but a new finish does not fix or create leaks in a pool.
Sublime Pools & Spa quotes are easy to read and very informative through each step so that our customers understand exactly what needs to be done.
Step 2: Surface Preparation
Beware of anyone that guarantees that your pool does not need a chipout without first draining it, as they may be lacking experience or taking a shortcut – adding a new finish on top of the bad one.
With the pool water drained, the finish can be properly evaluated for cracks and whether a chipout (chipping away the old paint or plaster) is necessary.
A chipout prepares the surface by creating a rough texture that will help the new material bond properly. Sandblasting or hydroblasting may also be used to do this.
Your pool likely needs a chipout if you can see excess hollows when it is painted, the finish crumbling off, or maybe you see that the pool is too thick from too many layers of finish. However, more often than not you cannot tell that a pool needs a chipout just by looking.
During Step 2 the pool finish will also have to be sounded for hollows, another step that requires that the water is removed. Any structural cracks or damage should also be repaired at this stage, including leak repair if necessary.
Our free quotes explain each Phase of the project in detail so that our customers stay informed of the process.
Step 3: Mixing and Applying New Material
After the bond coat has been applied, it’s time to mix and apply the new resurfacing material. Depending on the chosen resurfacing solution, this may involve mixing plaster, pebble, quartz, or other materials with water and applying it to the pool surface. Professionals will ensure the proper mixture ratios and consistency are achieved for optimal adhesion.
Some companies utilize mixers attached to a truck to mix where the vehicle is parked and then bring in batches on wheel barrels, while others mix the material on barrels near or within the pool. Either way, it is essential that the material is properly mixed by an experienced plasterer.
Once the new material is mixed, it is applied to the pool surface using specialized tools and techniques to ensure even coverage and thickness.
Step 4: Troweling and Smoothing
The new material must then be troweled and smoothed to create the desired finish. This step is crucial for achieving a smooth texture that is comfortable for pool users and looks visually appealing. Additional materials, such as glass beads or pebbles, may be added at this stage for specific finishes.
A new finish is like art and no two areas will be identical. Because it is hand troweled, it is normal to see a bit of variation. What’s important is that the finish is smooth and thick enough (3/8 to 1/2 inch thick).
Step 5: Refilling and Balancing Chemicals
After the new surface has been applied and smoothed, the swimming pool can be refilled with water. Monitoring the water level during this process is required to avoid damaging the new surface.
The water chemistry must be balanced once the swimming pool is filled to ensure safety and comfort. This includes testing and adjusting pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels as needed. Weekly pool maintenance, such as chemical checks and adjustments, will help prolong the life of the new surface.
Pool Resurfacing Costs
Depending on the type and size of the pool and the resurfacing materials chosen, the cost of pool resurfacing varies. Here is a general overview of the costs associated with different resurfacing options:
Vinyl Liner Replacement
For vinyl liner pools, the cost of liner replacement ranges from $1 to $5 per square foot. This includes the cost of the new liner, the labor involved in removing the old liner, and installing the new one.
Concrete Pool Resurfacing
The cost of resurfacing a concrete pool typically starts at around $5 per square foot for plain plaster and can be nearly double for exposed aggregate plaster. This price includes labor and materials.
Tile resurfacing can be more expensive than other methods, with costs starting at around $10 per square foot for basic ceramic tile, and increasing for higher-end materials like glass or stone. However, the long-lasting, stain-resistant nature of tiles makes it a popular choice for pool owners seeking a low-maintenance, visually appealing surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does pool resurfacing take?
Pool resurfacing typically takes between 5-7 days to complete. However, this timeline can be affected by factors such as weather conditions, the size of the pool, and the specific resurfacing material being used.
It’s important to work with a professional pool service company, like Sublime Pools & Spa, to ensure that the job is done efficiently and correctly.
What is the lifespan of different pool resurfacing materials?
The lifespan of pool resurfacing materials depends on multiple factors, such as the quality of the material, the skill of the contractor, and the level of maintenance performed on the pool area. However, here are some general guidelines:
- Acrylic paint: 2-3 years
- Epoxy paint: 7-10 years
- Plaster: 10-20 years
- Pebble Tec: 15-25 years
- Quartz: 10-15 years
- Glass tile: 20-30 years
Can I resurface my pool as a DIY project?
While it’s possible to resurface your pool as a DIY project, it’s generally not recommended for a couple of reasons.
First, resurfacing requires specialized knowledge, skills, and different tools that need to be used in the different phases of the project – tools that most homeowners do not have. Second, if the resurfacing is not done correctly, it can lead to costly repairs, a bad finish, and even damage to your pool’s structure.
Working with a professional pool service company like Sublime Pools & Spa ensures that your resurfacing is completed with expertise and precision. Our team of experienced professionals will guide you through the process, helping you choose the best resurfacing material for your pool and ensuring that the job is done correctly and efficiently.
With over 20 years of experience in pool service, repair, and renovation in Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, and Pembroke Pines, you can trust Sublime Pools & Spa to deliver top-notch results for your pool resurfacing project.