A common question pool owners or potential pool owners ask is just how long their shotcrete pool can last. Before we dive into this, there are some terms you should be familiar with.
You must have heard about vinyl, fiberglass, and even concrete pools. But have you ever heard of shotcrete? That’s a distinction we must make before discussing shotcrete pools and how long they last.
WHAT ARE SHOTCRETE POOLS?
The short answer is that they are concrete pools. Shotcrete is one of the materials used in residential pool construction.
Installation practices of a swimming pool make all the difference in how efficient and long-lasting the pool is.
Concrete pools are made of a mixture of sand, cement, and water. The application process is what determines exactly what type of pool it is.
On that note, shotcrete is that wet concrete mix. It’s transported as a wet mix to the location where the pool is meant to be. The pool building contractors will put the shotcrete (fully mixed) into a hopper and shoot it out to the pool base by the pressure of compressed air.
Unlike this, gunite is the dry mix of concrete. It only mixes with water when the contractor is ready to spray it. Then, it’d be shot pneumatically out from the nozzle while being mixed with water.
SHOTCRETE POOL – THE LOW DOWN
Since shotcrete comes pre-mixed, it’s relatively easier to work with. Also, its application is much faster. The swimming pool contractor will likely be rushing to get it done before the mix hardens. It also forms a very strong base for a pool.
HOW LONG DO SHOTCRETE POOLS LAST?
Irrespective of the application method used here, as long as it’s a concrete pool, expect it to last a pretty long time.
By this, we mean for several decades – at least 50 years. But with proper maintenance and installation, expect your shotcrete pool to last even longer than that.
However, the same cannot be said about the finishing, be it tiles, aggregate, or plaster. You’ll need to replace them from time to time, but the main pool should remain intact.
MAKING SURE YOUR SHOTCRETE POOL LASTS LONG
To do this for as long as possible, what matters is that you do your part and your pool contractor does their part as well. Let’s start with installation.
To build a shotcrete pool, two things are key – Curing and Protecting the shotcrete.
Unprofessional pool builders might pass part of this responsibility off to the homeowner by maybe asking them to dampen the concrete during construction.
Steer clear of such contractors. Everything that goes on during construction is the pool builder’s responsibility.
Adequate curing requires expertise and so does keeping the shotcrete protected. The latter involves ensuring the concrete is placed only when the temperature of the wet mix is between 50oF and 90oF.
This can be achieved by covering with an insulated blanket or dampening the surface respectively. Make sure you get expert pool builders on the job.
WHAT TO DO ON YOUR PART
It takes a couple of weeks to construct a shotcrete pool. This is a pretty decent timeline. While a good contractor is necessary, you, who has to live with the pool for decades should contribute to its survival.
Here’s what you should do
- Balance the chemicals. Pool chemistry contributes greatly to its survival, thus, is a huge part of maintenance. Measure the chemical levels frequently and balance them as needed.
- Brush the surface of the pool with a steel brush every week. This dislodges any algae from the concrete pool surface – a common problem concrete pool owners face.
- Keep the pool clean by vacuuming regularly to get rid of loose debris.
- Make sure the filter is clean and functional.
- Resurface every few years. 7 – 10 years should suffice. Beyond fixing up the finishing, this gets rid of stains caused by high levels of chemicals.
Ultimately, adequately constructed and well-maintained shotcrete pools are a great part of any home. Go ahead and install one in your backyard.
Reach out to us at Hilltop Pools for help. You can rest assured that your swimming pool construction will be handled by expert swimming pool contractors.
Irrespective of your budget or backyard space, we can help you get your dream pool. You can contact us at Hilltop Pools.com or call 770-471-3889 for more information.