Consumer Information About Concrete Swimming Pools
Gunite swimming pools are far more versatile than vinyl lined pools but require extensive care and maintenance for owners.
A gunite pool can come in every shape and size. These swimming pools are lined with concrete or tile rather than vinyl and because of this, are far more customizable. Although expensive, many consumers opt for gunite pools due to their beauty and durability. Maintenance and cleaning, however, differ considerably and are factors to consider when choosing the right gunite pool to install.
Why Choose a Gunite Swimming Pool?
All gunite swimming pools are installed inground and can typically cost up to 50% more than a fiberglass inground pool. Gunite, however, has several advantages. The primary advantage being that these concrete pools lend themselves well to customization. Whereas a vinyl liner in a swimming pool places limitations on the shape and design of the pool itself, gunite pools have no such limitations. For this reason many gunite pools are seen in elaborate shapes with special features such as waterfalls.
Gunite pools are built to last. Owners need never worry about tears or stains in a liner, and the concrete/sand mixture used to form the pool is less prone to leaks than a vinyl liner. Many owners opt for tile lining along the bottom or edges of their gunite swimming pools for added beauty. Due to their lasting power, gunite pools are commonly chosen by apartment complexes and hotel chains.
Care and Maintenance of a Gunite Pool
Unless the sides and bottom of a gunite pool are lined with tile, the pool should be scraped down using a wire bristled brush. This dislodges dirt and algae that attach to the floor and walls of the pool. Individuals should begin at the shallow end brushing and sweeping dirt and debris toward the deeper end of the swimming pool. Once the detritus settles, it can then be vacuumed with a standard pool vac.
Unfortunately, merely brushing and vacuuming a concrete pool is not enough to keep it clean. Periodically the pool must be drained and the tiles (if there are any) must be scrubbed. Tiles can be cleaned using any household tile cleaner. Unlike vinyl lined pools, those made of gunite can be drained completely without fear of collapse. This makes deep cleaning much easier on consumers.
In the event that the concrete is stained, granulated chlorine applied directly to the stain, left to set, and then washed away is a good method of stain removal. If the chlorine does not do the trick, the owner of a gunite pool may opt for an acid wash to brighten the concrete and get rid of staining.
Gunite Pool Maintenance Hazards
Gunite pools should never be pressure washed. Pressure washing, although effective, may cause the concrete base of the pool to “peel”. This results in an uneven surface and can be expensive to repair.
An acid wash is a very common and effective treatment to brighten a concrete pool that has become dingy over time, or has not been properly maintained. Acid washes, however, should be done by professionals. The acid used to treat gunite swimming pools is extremely caustic and dangerous. In addition, professionals can adequately dispose of the chemical residue of an acid wash, which, in most cases, cannot simply be washed down the drain of a pool.
Gunite pools should be rinsed thoroughly after receiving an acid wash treatment to prevent any of the acid from tainting the water when the pool is refilled.