Fiberglass pools are incredibly durable and long-lasting structures that are a great option for homeowners. With a lifespan that could stretch for half a century, these pools are an excellent addition to your property and a valuable investment overall.
Unfortunately, you’ll still need to take care of your fiberglass pool to ensure it lasts a long time. The key to ensuring your fiberglass pool lasts for years is all in maintenance. In this article, I will walk you through the fiberglass pool maintenance needs so that you can ensure your swimming pool outlives you! Let’s get straight into it!
- Fiberglass pools are easier to maintain than other types of pools, such as vinyl and concrete pools.
- Fiberglass pools are durable and can last very long, with most pools lasting 20 to 40 years, but sometimes, they can last for more than 50 years! In fact, many fiberglass manufacturers claim that fiberglass is stronger than steel!
- Regularly cleaning your pool, testing the chemistry, shocking, and running your filter is essential to keeping your fiberglass pool in good health.
Fiberglass Pool Maintenance Needs
Here’s a deep dive into exactly how to care for a fiberglass pool.
While fiberglass pools tend to have fewer algae infestations and may not need to be cleaned as often, you certainly still need to care for them.
Equipment Needed to Clean a Fiberglass Pool
- Pool brush: Brush the walls and steps of the pool to remove dirt, debris, and algae. Use a soft-bristled nylon brush so you don’t damage the surface of the fiberglass. Brushing is generally a low-effort chore since fiberglass walls are very smooth and slick, making it hard for debris and algae to settle.
- Skimmer net: Skimming is the removal of larger debris from the surface of the pool using a skimmer or pole net. I honestly find this to be a pretty fun task! There’s something satisfying about scooping out debris and keeping your water clean. Skim the pool regularly, every 1-2 days, or whenever you see debris in your pool.
- Vacuum or automatic cleaner: Vacuuming should be the last step after brushing and skimming to suck out all the loose dirt, debris, and algae from the bottom of the pool. You can use a manual vacuum or an automatic robot cleaner. While manual vacuums work just fine, robot cleaners make your life a lot easier and save you tons of time.
Check out my complete guide on cleaning a swimming pool for more on this.
Balancing the chemicals in your water is another extremely important step in maintaining your fiberglass pool. Think of your chemicals as your pool’s immune system. If all the levels are balanced properly, your pool will effectively fight off contaminants and essentially keep itself clean. If the chemicals are out of whack, algae infestations can occur, or the pH level may drop, damaging your fiberglass pool.
Important Chemicals to Keep Track of
- Chlorine: Chlorine is the most common sanitizer used in swimming pools, and there are several different types, such as liquid chlorine or cal hypo. You can also use chlorine tablets such as trichlor and dichlor, but be careful with these as the chemicals are very harsh and can damage the surface of your pool. Keep chlorine levels between 1-3 ppm (parts per million).
- pH: pH is a measure of how acidic or basic your pool water is. Ideal pH levels for a fiberglass pool range between 7.2 and 7.8. Go too high or too low, and you risk making the water unsafe for swimming, which can damage the pool equipment along with the fiberglass surface.
- Alkalinity: Alkalinity in a pool acts as a buffer for the pH levels of water, keeping it from fluctuating or becoming too acidic and unsafe. Recommended alkalinity levels for a fiberglass pool ought to hover between 80 and 120 ppm for maximum efficiency.
- Calcium hardness: Calcium also offers stability in the pool and is valuable for the overall structural health of the water. Ideally, the calcium hardness level in a fiberglass pool ought to be between 175 to 225 ppm.
For more info, check out my complete guide on pool chemistry.
You also need to consistently shock your pool to prevent algae from blooming in your water and staining the surface of your pool. You should shock your pool once per week if it is getting heavy use and every two weeks if it is not being used often. To shock a pool, you will first need to test the water to determine how much chlorine to add and then add a large dose of chlorine shock. Check out my pool shock calculator for a guide on calculating your shock.
The pool filter removes dirt, debris, and algae from the water. It is essential to run the filter for 8 to 12 hours per day, depending on how much use the pool gets.
Keep an eye on the pump—inspect it regularly for leaks and damage and keep it well-serviced to avoid any sudden breakdowns.
Your filter media needs to be cleaned and backwashed consistently to keep your filter running in tip-top shape. Check out my guide for cleaning all the different types of pool filters for a detailed breakdown of this.
You also need to pay attention to the water level of your pool to ensure the plumbing and flow are working properly. Your water level should be halfway above the skimmer opening to ensure the water circulates efficiently and gets filtered. If you live in an especially sunny area where evaporation is a concern, use a pool cover to reduce evaporation.
Is a Fiberglass Pool Easier to Maintain Than Other Pools?
Fiberglass swimming pools are generally easier to maintain than other types of pools, such as vinyl liner pools and concrete pools.
But why? Let’s have a look.
Fiberglass Pools vs. Vinyl Liner Pools
- Fiberglass pools have a smooth, non-porous surface that is algae-resistant. This discourages algae spores from latching onto the surface and expanding. Vinyl liner pools, on the other hand, have a textured surface that is more porous and can be more challenging to keep clean, making them potentially more at risk for an algae infestation. This also means more frequent cleaning and the need for more chemicals—leading to higher upkeep costs.
- Fiberglass pools have a strong outer coating, so there is less worry about staining them. Fiberglass may still fade over time, but it is much less common. Vinyl liner pools, on the other hand, fade quickly, stain easily, and need to be replaced every few years, which can be a hassle.
- Fiberglass lasts a lot longer than vinyl pools—up to 50 years. On the other hand, vinyl pools typically last 10 to 15 years, even when taken care of really well.
Fiberglass Pools vs. Concrete Pools
- Fiberglass pools are easier to install than concrete pools. The whole pool typically arrives in one piece and is installed as one cohesive structure. Concrete pools are more complex and time-consuming to install and can be more expensive.
- Fiberglass pools are a lot hardier and long-lasting because of their nonporous surface and resistance to damage. This also means they rarely get cracks unless there is an extremely high amount of stress placed on them, unlike concrete pools, which get cracks more easily and will require refinishing occasionally.
- Fiberglass pools aren’t as high maintenance as concrete pools—possibly because of the slick, smooth, non-porous surface that discourages algae growth. Concrete pools have a porous surface that can be more difficult to keep clean, and they may require more frequent cleaning (vigorous brushing!) and more chemicals and pool shock.
All in all, fiberglass pools are easy to maintain, making them a hit with owners looking for simple maintenance and a pool that will last decades.
Check out my complete comparison of these three types of pools for more info.
What is the Lifespan of a Fiberglass Pool?
Fiberglass pools have garnered a reputation for durability and have a very long lifespan of 30 to 50+ years. This is an impressive half-century of use out of a pool! Naturally, a healthy lifespan rests on a few factors, like the quality of resin used for the fiberglass, the installation process, and how well you take care of it afterward.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How often do you need to brush a fiberglass pool?
Fiberglass, on the whole, requires less brushing and overall cleaning thanks to its smooth, gel-like surface. I generally recommend pool owners brush a fiberglass pool at least once a week (please remember to use a soft-bristled brush) to minimize any chance of algae growth and dislodge any unwanted debris, followed by vacuuming.
What chemicals do you use for a fiberglass pool?
The chemicals needed for a fiberglass swimming pool are the same as any other pool: chlorine, alkalinity adjusters, pH adjusters, pool shock, and algaecide are all must-haves. If needed, you could also get a few specialized fiberglass pool cleaning solutions to sort out anything specific that might pop up.
Is salt or chlorine better for a fiberglass pool?
The major advantage of a salt system is its low maintenance since the chlorine concentration is constant yet gentle. Combine this with a fiberglass pool, which is also easier to maintain and has a non-porous surface that discourages algae from taking root, and I’d say a saltwater system is probably quite ideal for a fiberglass pool over a traditional chlorine system.
Maintain Your Fiberglass Pool and Enjoy it for a Lifetime!
Just because fiberglass pools are low maintenance compared to concrete or vinyl pools doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax. Fiberglass has a solid reputation for sturdiness, but it is in your interest to keep it clean and well-maintained to reach the upper limit of its long lifespan and make your investment worthwhile.
Need more advice on maintaining your fiberglass pool or other pool maintenance topics? Reach out to me. I am happy to help!