The Value of Fiberglass Resurfacing
Premier Fiberglass Austin Texas
Fiberglass, Plaster and Painting are the three basic methods for resurfacing a swimming pool.
Painting your pool is only a short term solution. Paint usually lasts 1 to 2 years before bubbling and peeling off. Then you have the added labor costs to remove the paint to enable you to resurface the pool with plaster or fiberglass.
Plaster has been chosen for resurfacing because it is known for achieving a good bond. When a pool is built, the gunite (concrete behind the plaster) combined with the plaster finish was “green or fresh” which allowed for a chemical bond. Your initial plaster on your pool will last the longest due to its original bond and other additives that no longer exist in plaster mix today. For example, additives such as asbestos were commonly used 15 years ago providing a more durable plaster product. Today a plaster job will last 5 to 7 years before needing to be replastered. When you resurface with plaster, the gunite is no longer “green or fresh” and therefore more difficult to attain the same bonding capacity as the original surface. Therefore, the longevity of the plaster is greatly diminished.
Fiberglass is the preferred choice for resurfacing. Fiberglass will add structural strength and eliminate any cracks or leaks to your pool shell. It provides for longevity, ease of maintenance, less chemical usage and a nice non-porous surface which allows you more time to enjoy your pool and less time maintaining it.
There are 2 methods in the application of Fiberglass
Chopper Gun vs Hand Laid
The use of the Copper Gun is a superior application process. Rovings (slightly twisted strands) of fiberglass are fed into the gun along with properly calibrated amounts of resin and catalyst. The fiberglass is chopped and mixed with the resin and catalyst, which enables a total wetout (saturation) of the glass. This mixture is then shot onto the pool substrate so that you get a thick, calibrated distribution of the glass and resin at the same time. The curing process starts immediately and evenly on your pool surface not as in the Hand Laid process.
The Hand Laid method is basically like trying to carpet the bottom of a swimming pool with a thin sheet of fiberglass. Buckets of resin and catalyst are hand mixed on premises and then rolled over the fiberglass sheets. Since the mixture cannot be measured or accurately calibrated, it is difficult to achieve an even distribution of resin and catalyst without 'hot spots' or the possibility of shrinkage in the fiberglass. It is also difficult to achieve a thorough wetout of the glass using this method, since the resin in the bucket is starting to gel and thicken immediately as soon as the catalyst is added.
Premier Fiberglass, Inc. uses a six step process to apply the fiberglass laminate
- The substrate is first prepared by repairing any cracks or despondent areas and cutting niches at all termination points on the pool surface. We then grind the plaster surface of the pool removing any loose material.
- Next we apply the sealer coat. This is a resin coat that seals the porous plaster enabling the fiberglass to adhere to the substrate.
- Then we apply the actual fiberglass laminate, the resin and glass layer rolling the fiberglass to conform to the pool substrate eliminating any voids.
- While we are rolling out the laminate another resin barrier coat is sprayed on the pool and worked into the fiberglass laminate. This resin barrier coat eliminates porosity in the glass and seals the fiberglass.
- Next, we remove any sharp points and trim our niches with a grinder. Once the niches are prepared, resin putty is applied to provide a watertight seal.
- Lastly the 30 mils high-build topcoat is applied. Our topcoat is an iso-polyester, corrosion grade barrier, which is UV stabilized to prevent damage from the sun. The texture of the topcoat is smooth but textured like an orange peel. Glass beads are also applied to the steps to provide a non-skid surface. Our topcoat may also be enhanced with many color options and as well as the addition of new ceramic tile and tile accents.