We’ve been in your shoes before. You’ve decided to take the plunge and are looking at inground pools, and now you have to narrow down which type of inground swimming pool is best for you. You may have already compared vinyl vs fiberglass pools or the benefits of fiberglass over concrete pools and thought, “Wow, fiberglass sounds like a pretty solid choice!” But, now you want to know, “what are the disadvantages of fiberglass pools?” In this post, we’ll cover some potential downsides to aid in your pool decision journey.
Let’s start with durability. How long do fiberglass swimming pools really last? You may have heard about typical repairs associated with certain inground pools—spider cracks, discoloration, etc.—and fiberglass pools, unfortunately, aren’t immune to these issues. For example, fiberglass pool gel coat problems can arise in the form of discoloration due to improper water chemistry and balance. That’s why we step up on our soapbox to stress the importance of pool maintenance. A fiberglass pool is one of the lowest maintenance inground pool types available, and proper care can ensure a significant decrease in your chances of damage. The life expectancy of a fiberglass pool can be a lifetime with proper upkeep. We’ve known some fiberglass pools to last 50 years!
Spider cracks in fiberglass pools can be the result of improper installation or manufacturing. Too much pressure on a spot in the pool, or a pool that’s built too thin, can lead to these surface cracks. This is why it’s important to go with a manufacturer that prioritizes both durability and flexibility with their fiberglass and an installer who knows their stuff when it comes to installation. Fiberglass pools have also been known to suffer from osmotic blistering. These little lumps form in the pool’s gel coat layer when water molecules are able to pass through. However, some fiberglass pool manufacturers offer surface warranties against osmotic blistering, which can put you at ease if this issue ever were to come up.
If your dream is to have a 70-foot long swimming pool, then you may be disappointed with fiberglass. Fiberglass pool shell manufacturers can typically only produce pools up to 40 feet in length and 16 feet in width due to shipping restrictions. The same can be said for custom shapes. A pool that’s in the exact shape of your dog isn’t going to happen with fiberglass since fiberglass pool shells are crafted from a pre-designed mold. Despite these limitations, there are many unique designs and features available, like zero entries and tanning ledges, that you may find in other types of pools but without the added comfort, safety (fiberglass pools aren’t as slippery when they include non-skid texture), and durability of fiberglass.
It’s true. Fiberglass isn’t the cheapest inground pool option on the market. And while how much a fiberglass pool costs, in the long run, depends on many factors, you could spend less upfront if you were to choose a vinyl liner pool. Installation could range anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000 for a vinyl pool. Other pool types may also be easier to install yourself, which can lower installation costs. We’ve all seen those “fiberglass pool installation gone wrong” videos online—this is why having a reputable installation professional is a must. Having an industry expert on your side ensures your project is done right and in a timely manner.
Speaking of costs, keep in mind that while fiberglass pools have higher upfront costs than other pool types, fiberglass pools tend to have lower maintenance costs over their lifetime, especially when you consider that they have manufacturers’ warranties.
We hope to have been helpful by discussing some potential disadvantages of fiberglass pools. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our eBook that compares the three different types of inground pools side by side. If you’ve decided to take the plunge with fiberglass, then we have some resources to help you get started! Our inground fiberglass pool cost calculator can give you a ballpark estimate for your overall pool installation costs. The Idea Gallery has dozens of pictures of fiberglass pools to give you inspiration for pool colors, pool styles, landscaping, and more. If you’re wondering, “how can I find a fiberglass pool near me?” getting in touch with a pool dealer and getting an estimate would be a great next step.
Thursday Pools designs and manufactures the world’s most durable and elegantly crafted fiberglass pools. We are ISO 9001 certified, which means that fiberglass pool shells are made with the highest standards and from the best quality material available. We are also ISO 14001 certified, which means we are committed to environmental stewardship.