Concrete swimming pools have traditionally been the most popular type of pool installed in residential backyards, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find pool contractors in the Woodlands who can install one. Gunite is a dry concrete mix that is shot out of a hose using compressed air and alongside a water hose that allows for adjustments to the blend of water and concrete as it’s applied. Maintenance is often noted as a distinct disadvantage of concrete pools but this actually is not always the case, especially when it comes to pool finishes.
Plaster continues to be the most common finish for residential gunite pools and, when mixed and applied properly, can last up to 20 years. However, a concrete surface is very susceptible to wear and tear when it’s exposed to salt, so if you have a saltwater pool or a salt chlorine generator, you will have to resurface it regularly. One way to avoid constant resurfacing is to avoid having a saltwater pool or, in the case of sanitizers, to use alternatives such as natural mineral purifiers, ionizers, or ozonators.
Though more of a short-term solution that will last around 3 years, painting a pool with quality epoxy paint is certainly the most affordable option. Paints that are used for pools are made specifically for use underwater and, unlike plaster, are quite durable against salt and poor water chemistry, as well as temperature extremes. However, since a plaster coat is usually up to ½ inch thick, it can handle more distress than just a thin layer of paint as long as salt has been eliminated or reduced in the pool water.
This might be considered an unusual option but it shouldn’t be confused with fiberglass shells, which are a completely different type of pool. Unlike plaster, fiberglass is much smoother, absorbs fewer chemicals, resists algae stains, and won’t react with pool water over time—thus the chemicals used to maintain correct water chemistry are not a problem. In addition, the flexibility of fiberglass and its resistance to shifts in the underlying ground make it a popular choice for resurfacing a pool. Fiberglass also lasts longer than concrete or plaster.
Though pricey, a trendy option for resurfacing a pool is to use an aggregate, which simply is a filler of pebbles or quartz in the plaster mix. The resulting finish makes for a striking and often colorful surface that’s also long-lasting. The downside is that the surface of some finishes can be coarse to the touch, which won’t feel great under bare feet.
Quartz is more resistant to stains than plaster and thus provides an improved and more durable surface that not only adds a sparkle to the pool water but is also more resistant to pool chemicals.
An expensive though elegant option is to cover the entire pool interior with tile. Much like tiling a bathroom, an initial coat is applied, tiles are laid over the coat, and grout is put in-between.
The versatility and durability of a gunite pool continue to make it a popular choice for swimming pools and can be installed by any quality pool contractor in the Woodlands.
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