Not every swimming pool is similar, so we can’t really say a pool is a pool. Since a swimming pool is a great investment, understanding the type of pool that you will invest in is important. Concrete pools are the most common and many people prefer it. This article will discuss the concrete pool, its advantages, and disadvantages.
Constructing a concrete pool
A concrete pool is a pool constructed with cement as its main component. The shell of a concrete pool is built by spraying shotcrete or gunite mix. The gunite mix is a dry mix that is mixed with water inside the sprayer while the shotcrete mix is already wet. Both these mixes produce the same result when forming the concrete shell with no significant differences. This statement is true if the mixture is of high quality and is done in the correct way. Once the concrete has been sprayed, it requires some time to solidify and harden by curing so as to reach its full potential. This process usually takes around twenty-eight days. The strength of the concrete is determined by the amount of cement used and the gravel used due to its high compressive strength. It is very difficult to break a concrete pool.
On the other hand, concrete has a low tensile strength. Tensile strength is the force that prevents pulling it apart, the flexing or bending of the surface of concrete will cause it to crack. When it comes to concrete pools, the lack of tensile strength can cause the pool to crack. Most contractors try to mitigate this weakness by reinforcing concrete with a web of steel. The mixture of steel and concrete makes a very solid structure that can easily bend or flex when it comes to forming different designs for the pool. This solid strength ensures that the concrete pool can withstand forces from gravity, water, and the earth. Using concrete is not only popular but it is one of the most expensive. Concrete is durable and the strongest material for a pool. Designing and customizing it to any size and any shape, ledges, and benches depending on the customer’s needs is very simple. Concrete pools look completely gorgeous when they are completely done in the right way.
Cost of a concrete pool
The average costs of a swimming pool range from fifty thousand dollars to one hundred thousand dollars. This price may vary depending on the area that a client resides and the need for accessories and landscaping. Also, the cost of maintaining the pool can rise up to more than ten thousand dollars more than the initial cost of constructing the pool. Even though concrete pools are popular, it is important to note that their price of installing ranges. The lowest price means the pool may be of lower quality. Using concrete in a pool is all about craftsmanship, so the builder of the pool has to be someone trustworthy and he has to come highly recommended.
Advantages of a concrete pools
Ability to be customized
This is the major advantage of a concrete pool. This advantage makes the pool easily customized into any shape, size or any other feature.
Durability of concrete pools
Concrete pools are very durable and simple things like sharp objects cannot destroy or damage them. However, the plaster which is used when building it can crack and leak making algae and other stains adhere to it.
Concrete provides that classic look once the contractors finish building it. If the pool is well maintained it will retain its features for a lifetime.
Disadvantages of concrete pools
Rough surfaces of the pool
Inside the concrete pool, the surfaces are rather tough even though they are durable and they can hurt someone’s skin or scrape them when they are swimming. Even though the pool will be plastered and re-plastered once the plaster starts chipping, that rough texture of concrete cannot be erased. So ensure swimmers especially children are well supervised when they are swimming.
Long process when starting up
The process of starting up the construction of a concrete pool is long and sometimes it can be drawn-out. The curing process can take almost a whole month. The installation and construction of a concrete pool can take more than two months for it to be completed.
The cost of maintenance and any follow up is quite high for concrete pools compared to the other types of swimming pools. In addition, the time investment in terms of maintaining this pool can be tiresome without professional help. Since concrete pools are porous in nature, it means that it can easily harbor different forms of algae. If algae embed on the surface of a concrete pool, they are very difficult to be removed. It is for this reason that swimming builders’ advice customers to scrape their concrete pools with steel brushes to prevent the formation of any algae.
Algae is the main reason why the maintenance of a concrete pool is important. If algae embed into a concrete pool, chemicals will have to be used to combat and destroy these algae. This means the water chemistry will be affected. Concrete is alkaline-based and it constantly increases the pH level of the pool water. In order to maintain the right balance in the water chemistry, constant care of the pool has to be a priority. Without this maintenance, going on a swim may end up causing unhealthy effects on a person’s skin.
Refinishing of the pool
Concrete is incompatible with salt, therefore, the dissolved salt in the water used in the pool will shorten the expected life expectancy of the pool. It is for this reason that you will need to re-plaster your concrete pool every decade or so and this will require professional help. Many people are not aware of this drawback of owning a concrete pool. When constructing a concrete pool ensure the contract you have with the contractor specifies this in their warranty. Contractors will give you a ‘lifetime structure warranty’ but you have to ensure re-plastering is in the warranty.