Swimming Pool Fiberglass Coating?

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I have a 25 year old 33,000 gallon inground pool that is in need of painting, needs some tiles replaced and has some cracks between the coping and the tiles. Most companies want to acid wash, paint and replace the tile and coping but one company wants to remove the tiles and place a 1/8 inch fiberglass coating over the gunite, old tile line and the coping.
Has anyone heard of this process and have any experiences (good or bad) with it?
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25 year old pool, time to remove and replaster/tile. Painting will not last
No clue on how the fiberglass will hold up.
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Stuart Benoff writes:

You mean fiberglass embedded in epoxy. Lasts about seven years in immersion before it gets ugly and/or delaminates. (Remember chattahoochee?)
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For the seller, it is an excellent way to make money. For the buyer, it don't work.
Steve
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Exactly. They use a fiberglass material and attach it to the existing plaster (after roughing it up) using an epoxy. Then apply several coats of a fiberglass resin, sand it smooth and apply a final clear/gloss coat. They recommend removing the tiles and putting the fiberglass right over the coping. This way, there are no gaps to crack or for water to get in to. It also has a lifetime warranty against cracks and leaks. Don't get me wrong - I'm not for it - just exploring the options before diving in (pardon the pun). It's a pretty expensive process but I'm just starting to get prices for plastering, tiling and coping so I'm not sure how to compare it yet.
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.
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It's a pretty expensive

I got my 33,000 gallon in ground pool replastered two years ago. It was $3,000. They came one morning at 7 AM. There was a crew of about 15 guys. They chipped the old plaster out with air chisels, hauled it off, and were gone by noon. The next day, they came at 7 AM again, and started shooting. They left by noon, and left two guys to finish. We started adding water at 3 PM.
The pool was empty for less than 48 hours. It looks beautiful still.
The best $3,000 I ever spent.
Don't dick around with experimental things. Have it done the old fashioned way by a reputable pool replasterer. You will notice the difference seven years down the road when the fiberglass starts to deteriorate from the sun.
And then you will have to pay more to have someone come in and wreck it out and do it right.
Do it once. Do it right.
Steve
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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1" http-equiv="Content-Type"> </head> <body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000"> Steve,<br> <br> At this point I'd be very happy with paying $3K although you're not including new tile and coping but I agree with doing it right the first time.&nbsp;&nbsp; How long do you expect your new plaster to last?<br> <br> Stu<br> <br> SteveB wrote:
<pre wrap="">"Stuart Benoff" <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto: snipped-for-privacy@admsystems.upenn.edu">&lt; snipped-for-privacy@admsystems.upenn.edu&gt;</a> wrote It's a pretty expensive </pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">process but I'm just starting to get prices for plastering, tiling and coping so I'm not sure how to compare it yet.
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> I got my 33,000 gallon in ground pool replastered two years ago. It was $3,000. They came one morning at 7 AM. There was a crew of about 15 guys. They chipped the old plaster out with air chisels, hauled it off, and were gone by noon. The next day, they came at 7 AM again, and started shooting. They left by noon, and left two guys to finish. We started adding water at 3 PM.
The pool was empty for less than 48 hours. It looks beautiful still.
The best $3,000 I ever spent.
Don't dick around with experimental things. Have it done the old fashioned way by a reputable pool replasterer. You will notice the difference seven years down the road when the fiberglass starts to deteriorate from the sun.
And then you will have to pay more to have someone come in and wreck it out and do it right.
Do it once. Do it right.
Steve
</pre> </blockquote> <br> </body> </html>
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We had a company that has been in business for 30 years do it. He said it lasts about twenty years depending on the way you keep up with the chemicals in the pool, algae control, etc.
The pool was originally built in '85, so that job lasted 18 years. I think they use a little better "stuff" now, and with the petroleum product additives, it lasts longer than whatever they had available 25 years ago.
As with anything, check out the companies, and get competitive bids. We had one guy over that has been in business for a long time. He had a very bad reputation, but there is so much business out there that he still does a lot of business. I was just lucky to have a friend who does service work for the local hotels who put us on to this guy. One guy even put his price on the back of a business card that had the phone number on the front changed with a pen.
Yer spending a lot of money, and you want it to last. Do the footwork, and you won't be sorry.
BTW, now is the time to have all the tile and coping work done. Maybe even cool decking. I got a killer deal on the pool deck. Again, a referral from a friend. After two years, we called the guy the other day because we had some spots coming off. He came and fixed it THE SAME DAY and didn't want any money. I gave him $50 anyway.
Good luck. In a short time, it's like you have a new pool.
Steve
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including new tile and coping but I agree with doing it right the first time. How long do you expect your new plaster to last?

I have a pool slightly smaller than SteveB, 40 years old, and it cost something less than $3,000 for plaster, roughly $1,000 for tiles, and $1,2000 for coping. I don't remember, exactly, because I also had the whole pool replumbed, with new skimmer and all new equipment. Anyway, my neighbor had the fiberglass thing done years ago, and just a few months later they had it replastered. The fiberglass coating over plaster/concrete thing is nothing new, and it's as big a rip-off now as it's always been. Avoid it at all costs.
Painting isn't much better, in most cases. Although some folks have painted their pools and had good results, most end up having to either remove the paint, or the plaster, within a few months to a few years, as this stuff isn't designed to last more than 7 years or so.
New plaster is your best bet, along with some new tile if you can. The coping can probably be repaired if it's not too bad off.
You might want to take a close look at your plumbing. If it's copper, or it needs repair which requires cutting up the pool, now is the time to do it.
Pagan
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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1" http-equiv="Content-Type"> </head> <body bgcolor="#ffffff" text="#000000"> I'm starting to get prices for this work and now I really wish I could get the price you mention.&nbsp; A rep from Anthony came out last week and they want $20,000 to re-plaster, re-tile and put in new coping.&nbsp;&nbsp; Of course, if I agree to do it this fall it's only 18K.&nbsp;&nbsp; My pool is 880 square feet - so it's on the larger side for backyard pools. <br> <br> I got a second price around $14,000 and this includes $1,100 to empty the pool.&nbsp;&nbsp; I'm thinking of renting a pump and doing that myself.&nbsp; Does anyone know if there is anything to watch out for when emptying a pool?<br> <br> Thanks!<br> <br> <br> Pagan wrote:
<pre wrap="">"Stuart Benoff" <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto: snipped-for-privacy@admsystems.upenn.edu">&lt; snipped-for-privacy@admsystems.upenn.edu&gt;</a> wrote in message <a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href=" </pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">Steve,
At this point I'd be very happy with paying $3K although you're not </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!---->including new tile and coping but I agree with doing it right the first time. How long do you expect your new plaster to last? </pre> <pre wrap=""><!----> I have a pool slightly smaller than SteveB, 40 years old, and it cost something less than $3,000 for plaster, roughly $1,000 for tiles, and $1,2000 for coping. I don't remember, exactly, because I also had the whole pool replumbed, with new skimmer and all new equipment. Anyway, my neighbor had the fiberglass thing done years ago, and just a few months later they had it replastered. The fiberglass coating over plaster/concrete thing is nothing new, and it's as big a rip-off now as it's always been. Avoid it at all costs.
Painting isn't much better, in most cases. Although some folks have painted their pools and had good results, most end up having to either remove the paint, or the plaster, within a few months to a few years, as this stuff isn't designed to last more than 7 years or so.
New plaster is your best bet, along with some new tile if you can. The coping can probably be repaired if it's not too bad off.
You might want to take a close look at your plumbing. If it's copper, or it needs repair which requires cutting up the pool, now is the time to do it.
Pagan
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<DIV>I'm starting to get prices for this work and now I really wish I could get the price you mention.&nbsp; A rep from Anthony came out last week and they want $20,000 to re-plaster, re-tile and put in new coping.&nbsp;&nbsp; Of course, if I agree to do it this fall it's only 18K.&nbsp;&nbsp; My pool is 880 square feet - so it's on the larger side for backyard pools. <BR><BR>I got a second price around $14,000 and this includes $1,100 to empty the pool.&nbsp;&nbsp; I'm thinking of renting a pump and doing that myself.&nbsp; Does anyone know if there is anything to watch out for when emptying a pool?<BR><BR></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>$1100 to empty the pool, if your local (PHX)&nbsp;I will do it for $900.00.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I drained my pool into the lawn. Got some extra backwash hose and started from the far end of my 1/2 acre lot. My valving allowed for a back wash (sort of) &nbsp;with out going through the filter.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>This lowered the level to just below the skimmer. Then I put some cleaner hose on the skimmer and lowered it with the pool pump to about 3 feet from the&nbsp; top.&nbsp; I bought a submersible 120v pump and left that run over night. Next day there was&nbsp; very little water left.&nbsp;&nbsp;My pool was only 25k gallons.&nbsp; Took best part of 2 1/2 days to empty the pool.&nbsp; I removed the drain cover when the water was shallow enough and put the pump in there.</FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>With the volume of water you have you better check with the authorities before you consider the street. If your not on a septic system you can use the clean out for the sewer.&nbsp; It will go a bit slower the sewer even though it is 4 inch will reach a saturation point and then slow down a bit. </FONT></DIV> <DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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I got a second price around $14,000 and this includes $1,100 to empty the pool.
If your pool has a backwash device, you just flip the handle, and all the water goes down the sewer as fast as the pump will pump it. If you need to pump it out, you can rent a pump for about $100 a day.
$1100 to empty a pool is an insult to human intelligence.
Steve
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Sorry ... I got this wrong. They want $1100 to refill the pool with water after the new plaster is applied. I guess they're going to truck it in somehow. I'm going to follow up with them about how long the new plaster can go without water to see if this is really necessary.
Stu
SteveB wrote:

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We started filling mine at three in the afternoon after it had been plastered only six hours earlier. They were still working around the pool and edges as the water was rising. I was concerned because the plaster was still soft.
It can't go any time without water, or it will crack. There is a process the cement goes through. I noticed that there looked like hundreds, nay, thousands of blisters on the bottom of the pool as it was filling. I called the guy, and he said it was normal, that the concrete was hardening and squeezing out some of the components.
Do whatever your installer says to do. They know what they are doing, and if they are a contractor, and they blow it, they have to make it right.
Steve
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Stuart Benoff wrote:

price you mention. A rep from Anthony came out last week and they want $20,000 to re-plaster, re-tile and put in new coping. Of course, if I agree to do it this fall it's only 18K. My pool is 880 square feet - so it's on the larger side for backyard pools.

pool. I'm thinking of renting a pump and doing that myself. Does anyone know if there is anything to watch out for when emptying a pool?

Regarding the choice of a fiberglass coating and "it's as big a rip-off now as it's always been", is a statement I must take issue with. Fiberglass resurfacing, done properly with the proper resins and gelcoat will last up to 25 years, although it may need some cosmetic help after 15 or so years.
There is no plaster, used for resurfacing, that will last even 10 years. That's why the guarantee for replastering is never greater than 4 years, and is usually 2 years, or even less. Plaster is a great solution for new pools because it will last a long time, but putting plaster on an old pool is an entirely different story. That's why the replaster guarantee is so short.
I take issue with the statement that "as this stuff (paint)isn't designed to last more than 7 years or so." No POOL paint is designed or expected to last "7 years or so". Two or three years is the maximum, then it goes downhill rapidly. Unless, of course, you refer to lead based paint which could last 7 years, but that's no longer available in this country.
Finally, I take issue with "The coping can probably be repaired if it's not too bad off." Coping cannot be repaired in any way, shape, or form; it can only be replaced.
My response is based on 14 years of executive management in swimming pool restoration.
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You may be right, and there may be some great looking pools out there that have been fiberglassed, but I haven't seen nor heard of any, and though I'm not the omnipotent demigod of all pools, it's likely I would have at least heard of good fiberglass recoating in S. CA.
Seeing as how you are in the business, as well as your statement just below, how long does your company guarantee it's product?

That doesn't make sense. The warranty on my Panasonic microwave was only good for a year, but after 15 years, it's still humming along.
I fail to see the difference between plastering a new pool and replastering an older pool, in regard to how long the plaster will last. The closest thing to a reason you give is that the guarantee is short, but that could have more to do with the potential lack of proper care of the pool and water than anything else. I find it hard to believe that my pool lasted over 40 years with new plaster, and still looked great, but new plaster will not "last" 10 years. What happens to the plaster?

That's the information I got from the manufacturers and pool owners.

Strange, that you can make such a blanket statement without actually seeing the coping for yourself, nor have any idea of just what kind of damage the coping has. When your talking about a cash layout of $1,100 or more, which is still a good chunk of money, it appears irresponsible to make such a claim. The coping on my pool could have been repaired, however, I did not care for the style or color anyway, so I chose to replace it. Of course, had it been repaired, it wouldn't have looked perfect, and flaws would have been noticable upon close examination, but few people go to a pool to stare at the coping anyway, and if I'd liked the origional coping, or if I didn't have the money to replace it, it would have been fixed, not replaced, and I'd have another $1,100 to spend on other, more important things.
Pagan

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Pagan wrote:

The difference between plastering and replastering is the condition of the gunite or concrete. When concrete and gunite are new, plaster will last about 15 years before it begins to become stained, rough, and a haven for algae. When plaster is applied to old gunite or concrete which is dried out and, depending on the age of the pool (15 years vs. 25 years), suffers from the onslaught of ground water, the bond is far less successful.
Anyone who has owned a gunite or concrete pool for a long period of time knows that your statement: "my pool lasted over 40 years with new plaster, and still looked great" is both misleading and ludicrous.
Since we're discussing the coping on an older concrete or gunite pool, we know that it is made of one foot wide concrete bullnose coping stones. There is no way to "repair" broken or crumbling concrete coping stones.
Your original post in this thread Pagan sounded authoritive, but your knowledge of swimming pool restoration is really limited. Good luck with your newly restored swimming pool and enjoy the season. -Bill
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Glassguy,
Can the fiberglass surface be re-surfaced with fiberglass somehow? Given that the fiberglass is applied to the plaster and now the fiberglass is "fish scaling" (delaminating in little cresent moon shaped pieces the size of a quarter), what can they do? Chip out the fiberglass down to the plaster and re-fiberglass, or chip to the gunite and fiberglass. My thought was to chip to the gunite and plaster, but the thought of plaster again distresses me....
MC
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the price you mention. A rep from Anthony came out last week and they want $20,000 to re-plaster, re-tile and put in new coping. Of course, if I agree to do it this fall it's only 18K. My pool is 880 square feet - so it's on the larger side for backyard pools.

pool. I'm thinking of renting a pump and doing that myself. Does anyone know if there is anything to watch out for when emptying a pool?
Unless the guy has a gun in his hand, send him on his way.
A lot of contractors try to pressure you by 'lowering' the price by thousands if you agree to do the work right away. I also had one say he'd take a few grand off just by letting me put a sign on my front yard for his company, even though all the work would be inside where no passerby could see it. Many of them will offer financing.
Avoid all these types. Rather than being honest contractors, they are simply milkmen who will squeeze out every dime they can from you.
Keep in mind that with any job, there are going to be unforeseen issues that will almost certainly drive up the price. When your pool is all torn up, a bunch of tools and debris are laying about, and a bunch of guys are staring at you, it's going to be very hard to tell the guy no when he points to some object and tells you that if you don't cough up another five grand, everything will fall apart in a couple years.
Go to neighbors and small mom and pop pool stores and ask them for a rough idea of what it would cost to do the work. Ask them if they know any contractors. And when they do come out to look at the pool, inform them right away that you only have a certain amount of money to do the work, with a little extra set aside just in case.
Draining the pool is the easiest part. Simply turn off or plug the skimmer, as well as a cleaner port if you have one, and backwash the pool until it's either almost empty or the pump won't pull the water. My old pump, which was on it's last legs, managed to drain the pool down to about a foot from the bottom. I imagine a good pump will completely drain the pool. If that's not practical, or if you want to speed it along, use a small portable pump. These cost under $100, and in my opinion every pool owner should have one. If a problem develops with the plumbing, or if it rains and you want to lower the water level without backwashing, these things can come in real handy. You can also drain the last bit of water from the pool without the main pump, so you don't risk running it dry and damaging it.
It's much better to run the pool water into a storm drain or the lawn, rather than the sewer. Many cities require you to get a permit to drain the pool, and treat the water to neutralize the chlorine. I simply let the chlorine level drop naturally, then drained the pool into the alley and street Friday night, when code enforcement folks were off duty. If your caught, it's unlikely they'll do more than make you go to city hall and get a permit.
Before you start, though, you need to make sure the water table isn't too high. It's hardly an issue here in Los Angeles, but I've heard you can seriously damage or destroy your pool if it's drained when the water table is high.
To fill it, just use garden hoses. There's no need to truck in water, nor to get the fire department to use their hydrant, unless you get water from a well or have severe water quality issues. When first filling the pool, put the hose in the pump basket, or otherwise get the water to flow out of the main drain, so the stream of water doesn't bore into your new plaster. Using five hoses, plus a weak one from the neighbor, I managed to fill my 15' by 35' pool in about 10 hours, and it only cost whatever from the water bill. My wife didn't notice a huge bill. The contractor shouldn't charge you one red cent for either draining nor filling the pool.
The plaster does need to cure underwater, or it will crack. You'll see some tiny cracks during and shortly after filling, but these will disappear after a couple days or so. For the first year, you'll want to use an experienced pool guy, or if you do it yourself, make absolutely sure those chemicals are 100% correct and balanced. You also need to brush the entire pool once a week, and backflush your filter often. Automated pool cleaners are not a good idea. After the first year, you can treat it like any other pool.
It shouldn't cost more than five or six thousand for plaster, tiles and coping, and that's at the very high end.
After they remove the plaster, inspect the pool for any rebar poking up through the gunite. This is simple to repair, but must be repaired before the new plaster is put down, or you'll have a rust spot.
Pagan
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Pagan writes:

Yeah, for $1100 I'll come and empty it by hand with a bucket.
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