There are some things as a new home buyer you want to absolutely avoid when buying a home with a fixer-upper pool. These are the items that will quickly rack up your pool restoration bill and make you want to close down the pool instead of restoring it.
Serious Pool Deck Issues
Under no circumstances should you buy a home with serious deck issues. Serious deck issues usually mean that the soil underneath the pool is shifting. This is what initially cause the cracks in a pool or pool deck.
Another reason why your pool deck might have cracks is due to poor construction. These two are HUGE red flags that you should always keep an eye out as a new home buyer.
Serious Pool Cracks
Similar to a serious deck issue, pool cracks are caused by poor pool construction or shifting of soil underneath a swimming pool. However, there is something important to note. Not all cracks are the same!
Some cracks are just at the surface level of the Diamond Brite plastering finish, while others are at the exterior shell of the pool. From the naked eye, both will look the same, but once fully inspected, they have a major price tag difference.
The best thing to do is to run a leak detection test to see if there is a leak at the crack, otherwise, the only other way to determine the severity of a pool crack is for the pool to be drained and the crack to be chipped-out and fully inspected. This is done any time a pool is being resurfaced.
Serious cracks that exist at the shell of the pool will require construction-grade pool staples to fix the structural issue. Pool staples are similar to staples used by doctors when closing a wound. The staples will seal the pool shell from leaking and allow for a new layer of Diamond Brite to be added to the swimming pool!
Pool staples range in cost, but you can expect a staple to cost anywhere between $375 to $475 or more per staple. A staple is administered every 4-6 inches, so for bigger cracks, staples can get very expensive!!!
Swimming Pools with A Vinyl Finish or Fiberglass Finish
An easy way to know if a home owner took pride in their swimming pool is to see if they used real concrete quartz plaster finish or if they were cheap at twice the price and used vinyl or fiberglass finish!
Anytime an owner uses a fiberglass or vinyl finish, it makes it incredibly difficult to maintain or restore a pool. This will require pool companies to chip-out or sandblast 1-2 layers of concrete in order to make the pool walls suitable for a new layer of plaster finish. An entire chip-out usually costs more than 2,500 for small pools, and can cost even more for bigger swimming pools.
Another problem vinyl or fiberglass pool finishes have is that most pool companies will refuse to service them, as their brushing equipment is meant for concrete pools, not fiberglass. Using a metal scrub to clean a fiber glass pool will result in the fiberglass being scratched and pealing off easily, leaving your pool looking like a terrible mess!
Very Green and Dirty Pools
Green & dirty pools mean that owners did not take good care of the swimming pool, which means there will be frogs, insects, debris, trash, and lots of algae. The problem with green pools is that it makes it impossible to properly inspect the pool finish, and see if there are any cracks within the pool.
Additionally, algae creates stains which damage the lifespan of the plastering finish, so if a pool has been sitting with algae for too long, you are looking at the possibility of requiring a new plaster finish. You have the option to acid wash it, but this could cause the walls to begin to fall off due to it being poorly maintained. This will be when an entire chip-out is required, and a new resurfacing finish will need to be added. A chip-out + a resurfacing finish can cost anywhere between $6,500 or more depending on the pool size. So budget accordingly!
Tiles under Tiles
Cutting corners never pays off on a swimming pool, don’t expect it to be budget friendly when the previous owner cut multiple corners! If a swimming pool has falling tiles, and under the tiles you notice another layer of tiles, this is a good indicator that the current home owner cut corners and hired any company to do their resurfacing job!
Tiles are meant to be chipped out every time they are being replaced. When they are placed on top of older tiles, they tend to fall of easier and do not last as long.
The biggest problem that it poses is that when you have to resurface your pool again, chipping out both layers of tiles will leave a big difference between the plastering finish and the aforementioned removed tiles section. This requires extra manual work for the resurfacing company to chip out the current plastering finish and to even it out with the new tiles that are being installed. When doing tiles, it is always recommended to also do the finish.