A fiberglass pool is better, because it will NEVER need to be resurfaced. A concrete pool will need to be resurfaced and acid washed every few years. Because fiberglass is non porous you save as much as 70 percent on chemicals and about 30 percent on electric bills. Fiberglass is also more friendly on the skin, it is basically like a big bath tub.
The idea that fiberglass NEVER needs to be resurfaced is a myth. All fiberglass pools will need new gel coat when the original gel coat, and each succeeding coating, becomes porous. The time frame ranges from 28 years (for just one manufacturer). to as little as 5 years for the worst three manufacturers.
Excluding these two extremes, the average fiberglass pool will require new gel coat every 18-20 years. -Bill
I had a fiberglass finish applied to my in ground cement pool in 1998. I live in Jacksonville, Fl. I enjoyed the smooth texture of the pool and minimal maintenance for several years; but I was never informed that the fiberglass will "de-laminate", causing the leeching of fibers into the water. After several years of tolerating the "itch" from fiberglass, I learned that I could have it "gel coated"; so I hired a team to apply it (2011). They started by sanding down the exposed fibers and quickly discovered several "pockets" or blisters in the fiberglass. When pressure was applied (by stepping on the blister); liquid (water?) seeped out from under it. This started the beginning of a long process of researching alternatives to the fiberglass. In the meantime additional blisters appeared and continued to 'grow'. Six days later, I refilled the pool so that I could use it while the research continues. I will probably have to have the fiberglass removed and an alternative material applied. Right now I am looking at a product called Hydrazzo. It is a cementitious material with a polished finish. I am also investigating the possibility of having a vinyl liner installed; but the jagged edges of the peeling fiberglass would have to be addressed first. I am not unsatisfied with the fiberglass finish - I just wish that I had known that it could and should have been gel coated after 5 or 6 years. Had I done that I probably would not be in the situation that I am today. Gunite versus fiberglass is a personal choice. I prefer a smooth finish to the rough feel of most cementitious materials. Additionally the porous attributes of cementitious materials can make the process of maintaining a proper chemical balance more challenging. Porosity also makes staining a challenge. Just be aware of all the pros and cons before you make this decision.
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