Vinyl Or Fiberglass: Tips For Caring For Two Popular Types Of In-Ground Pools

Posted on: 2 June 2015

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According to the International Aquatic Foundation, in 2004 over four million families enjoyed the luxury, relaxation and fun that comes with owning an in-ground pool. However, not all in-ground pools are created equally, and each has its own unique care and maintenance needs. Here are two popular types of in-ground pools – vinyl and fiberglass – and the basic upkeep each requires:

Caring for a Vinyl Pool

A popular and cost-effective option, vinyl pool liners are relatively easy to care for, and if this care is done properly, the liner can last for several years.

If you're the proud owner of a vinyl in-ground pool, here are some basic maintenance tips:

  • Think carefully before draining the pool completely. If all the water is drained from a vinyl lined pool, it can actually shrink the vinyl, causing serious damage, or the need to replace the liner, completely. If the pool needs to be drained, it must be done so under the supervision of a professional.

  • It's vital to use the correct types of tools and products when cleaning the vinyl liner. For example, avoid using any abrasive products because they will scratch the liner. Instead, stick to a soft sponge and gentle cleaners that do not contain any petroleum-based products.

  • Avoid "shocking" your vinyl pool, or at least seek the guidance of a professional. When a pool is "shocked" a super-chlorinated mixture is used to remove any impurities from the water, and the surface of the liner. Follow your pool maintenance technician's recommendations, which might include the use of a product that contains lithium chlorite.

Finally, if you have a vinyl lined pool, keep a close eye on the water level. Any drop in the level will expose the vinyl liner to air and other pollutants – which can cause some serious damage.

Fiberglass Pool Basics

A material that is often easier to maintain than vinyl and gunite – a form of concrete often used to construct in-ground pools – fiberglass in-ground pools are manufactured in a factory and then installed in backyards as one solid piece.

Choosing a fiberglass pool is a smart option, and even though the material is non-porous and durable doesn't mean you won't do your fair share of maintenance:

  • Get to know your fiberglass pool's stains – and how to treat them. For example, a green stain on the fiberglass surface are caused by too much copper in the water, while magnesium is the culprit if there are gray discolorations. Luckily, there is a product available through most hardware stores that will easily regulate the levels of metal in the water.

  • Just like vinyl pools, it's vital to use non-abrasive products while cleaning your fiberglass pools. This includes that nasty ring around the waterline that can occur, and is caused by your body oils, suntan lotion and anything else you might have on your skin.

  • In addition to skimming the pool's surface regularly, purchasing a quality pool cover and utilizing the pool filer properly are the best ways to keep the water clean. Always keep the pool covered when not in use, and if you're planning to take a dip or throw a pool party, run the filter first for at least eight hours. Running the filter for at least six hours after the pool is used is also vital, as well.

Whether you've opted for the convenience and ease of installation of vinyl, or the look of a fiberglass pool, maintaining your backyard gem is the key to your family's summer fun for years to come. Remember that if you're facing a pool-related issue that you simply cannot tackle, don't take a chance with your pool and instead, contact a professional Pool Service Co., instead!