Fiberglass Swimming Pool Blisters
Blisters are a Serious Risk To The Survival
Of Your Swimming Pool & Spa
many posts, and on all our websites, we specifically mention
to never empty a fiberglass pool without professional help.
By professional help, I mean a pool service company experienced
in the care of fiberglass pools. Unfortunately, most pool service
pro's lack any understanding of fiberglass and fiberglass
concrete (hybrid) swimming pools. So be sure to ask questions
pool wall with numerous blisters
All fiberglass swimming
pools will develop blisters after 15 to 20 years. Blisters begin
small and grow over time and, if not treated properly, will
eventually eat a hole through the multiple layers of fiberglass
The photo above shows what will happen after
30 or more years. Notice the one blister that has gone through
all 3 layers of fiberglass and resin, all because the pool wasn't
properly cared for after the initial 20 years.
What Causes Blistering?
The finish coating on fiberglass is always
some form of gel coat. For surfaces constantly submurged in
chemically treated water, the finish coat must bee swimming
pool gel coat. Unlike other types of gel coat, i.e.
marine, automobile, food service, etc. swimming pool gel coat
is heavier, and is a full 1/16" thick..
The advantage of swimming
pool gel coat, as opposed to epoxy or pool paint, is it's
non-porous quality. Because it's non-porous, it doesn't
stain at the water line, algae cannot cling, and the pool water
is 8 to 10% warmer. Less than half the chemicals are needed
as compared to any other swimming pool. At least for the first
15 to 20 years, excluding only San Juan Pools which last 25
to 30 years before blisters appear.
The blisters begin
as the gel coat gradually becomes porous allowing the chemically
treated water to ooze through the gel coat and attack the fiberglass
beneath. The blisters form because the water is unable to get
through the fiberglass, but the pressure is sufficient to push
the now porous gel coat into the pool forming a small blister.
Over time the blisters
grow, as the gel coat becomes more porous, and some blisters
eventually split open exposing the fiberglass beneath. But more
important than the size of the blisters is the damage to the
fiberglass. Given enough time, the water inside the blister
eats through the layers of fiberglass and, eventually, causes
a major leak. See the above photo.
Learn How to Rid Your Pool of Blisters for the Next 20 Years
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013