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Postby dontknowpools » Tue 31 Jul, 2007 17:12

I recently bought a home that has a pool. I was told that it was a concrete pool. Come to find out that it is a fiberglass pool. The day we closed on the house our kids went swimming and were itching and getting welts on their skin. The original owner was at the house on the same day and his son told us that he used to itch when he went swimming. We found out that the coating and fiberglass is coming off. The previous owners say they never had problems with the pool. Yeah right!!! When we had the home inspected, the inspector asked if it was a concrete pool and I told him yes, because that what was told to me. My questions is, can you tell the difference between a concrete pool and a fiberglass pool by just looking at it? I know you can tell once you get inside. All the inspector is required to do, if the pool is concrete, is to check for cracks. There were none. We thought we purchased a home that had a good concrete pool. But now we have a fiberglass pool that needs major repairs. Any help would be appreciated. :(


Fiberglass Pool

Postby lovesunshine » Sun 02 Sep, 2007 11:57

I also have a fiberglass pool. I do not recollect the finish on the pool being disclosed to me in any documentation when I closed on my house. As a realtor, I can tell you the finish on the pool is customarily not included on the disclosure documents. But it is not right if the previous owners WROTE on the disclosure document that the pool's surface was made of concrete when in reality it is made of fiberglass. As far as my experience with our fiberglass pool, I can tell you that if I rub against the sides I will get itchy. I have never gotten welts though. Maybe you just need a new gel coat. Personally, I really dislike the maintenance a pool requires but that is the cost of having the pleasure of a pool in your back yard. Since I purchased my house 2 years ago, which is about 15 years old, I have had to fix a leak in the pipes to the pool to the tune of $350.00. Then I had to replace the motor in the pump and that was about $400.00 and then my pool vacuum broke and luckily they were able to repair it and it only cost $50.00 and I did not have to replace it. Basically, pools are expensive to maintain and the gel coat on the fiberglass surface is just one of those many items that needs to be re-done every so often.
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Postby mr_clean » Sun 02 Sep, 2007 13:41

Most people who do not see pools a lot do what you already did, feel the sides of pool with hand and then can tell if fiberglass or plaster.

As for itchy and rash, the first thing is test chemicals in pool and see what results tell you. If you do not have kit buy one that tests for

FC-Free Chlorine-level
TC-Total Chlorine
CC-Combined Chlorine
CYA-Conditioner, protects chlorine
CH-Calcium Hardness
Taylor makes a good one

You can take a clean bottle with good size water sample to pool store and they will test for free.

are you floating tabs in pool for chlorine? This in a short period of time in fiberglass pool can make PH go down causing it to become corrosive and then makes chlorine even stronger and can cause itch and rash.

The pH of the eye is 7.4 so PH that is higher would cause stinging, irritated or red eyes.

High levels of chloramines can cause stinging, irritated or red eyes. Ideally, the combined chlorine level (which primarily consists of chloramines) should not be more than 1 PPM. Combined Chlorine is the difference between Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine. Shock treatment is the method of reducing the combined chlorine.

I have seen some ugly fiberglass pools but have never heard they have caused this problem. After balancing pool chemicals you could still test things out before kids get back in by you going in pool and rubbing against walls you think are bad and see what happens.

I also remember reading about a problem with some stainless steel pool ladders with white plastic-like rungs/steps. The rungs where made of fiberglass and when kids used it they got rashes.

As for refinishing fiberglass, call a contractor who will give free estimate.

Purchase home with a pool

Postby Ilovepools » Tue 04 Sep, 2007 07:36

I am sorry you are having problems with your pool but it sounds to me like you had an extremely incompetant home inspector. First of all, he should not be asking you what the pool is made of if he knows his job. This is what they do for a living and you just hired him to inform you based on his expertise as a "Home Inspector". Secondly, a fiberglass pool can also have cracks. It seems to me if your pool was falling apart, he or she should have noted this in the inspection report.

I have never heard of getting welts from a pool due to fiberglass but I have seen my boys get welts from climbing out of the pool and rubbing their bodies on the rough tile on the rim of the pool, instead of using the ladder to get out.

The water in my pool has given us the itching feeling and it turned out to be that our Ph was not at the right level. If your chlorine is too high it could throw off your Ph and you need to add some Alkaline product they sell in pool supply stores. I kept having this problem when we had a pool maintenance company taking care of our pool. A friend told me it is common for them to add too many chemicals and it is best to control the chemicals yourself. This prompted me to do so and it did solve our itching problems. But, if we rub ourselves on the sides, we will get ithcy. I hope this helps.
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Postby Backglass » Tue 04 Sep, 2007 12:59

1 - As mentioned above, the itchy skin isn't being caused by fiberglass fibers in your water...your water is out of balance and most likely not properly sanitized.

2 - YES...any inspector or pool person should be able to just look at a pool and tell the difference between cement and fiberglass.

Cement is hard, like, well, cement! Fiberglass is smooth, almost plastic like. Think of the difference between the hull of a boat and a cement patio. Even a quick "knock" with your knuckles would tell the difference.
I'm no expert...just a long time pool owner. The real experts are at www . troublefreepool . com

Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.

Fiberglass Pool

Postby PoolsRUs » Fri 07 Sep, 2007 08:49

You must have had an extremely incompetent home inspector if your pool is falling apart and he or she did not note this. They are there to do a job and not have you do it for them by asking you what the pool is made off. This is something standard for inspectors. Also, if he or she checked for cracks, wouldn't they have noted the finish was falling apart and informed you?

As stated above, fiberglass particles in the water do not irritate the skin. Your water is probably at the wrong Ph level. This will cause itching.

Try getting your water tested and tweak your chemical levels to see if the itching problem sudsides. Adjusting your Ph to the right level should help.

Pool Surface

Postby poolfinisher » Tue 11 Sep, 2007 15:45

Fiberglass pools are very common and should be a routine item for a home inspector to come across. He should not be asking you about the construction material of the pool. I don't think you can tell a fiberglass pool from a concrete pool by just looking at it or even getting in it, except maybe knocking on the sides. If the pool was in such a state of dis-repair I would think your home inspector would have noticed the problem.

I have never heard of getting welts from swimming in a pool but the itching comes from a bad PH level. You might be putting in too much chlorine and need to adjust your PH. This should take care of the itching and lastly do not rub against the sides of the pool. This can also cause irritation to the skin whether it is fiberglass or concrete.


Postby PoolUser » Fri 21 Sep, 2007 18:41

You might also want to check and make sure you don't have Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. There's lots of information about this on the web. Just type into google swimming pool and rash and it will pull it up.
Hope this is not it, but is worth double checking.

old fiberglass

Postby Poolie » Wed 09 Apr, 2008 18:16

My fiberglass pool is not smooth, as was stated earlier. The fiber network can clearly be seen. It forms a mesh like texture ,just under the paint.

I suspect that tiny pieces of glass are breaking free, through the old paint.

My wife first complained that, after sitting on a pool step, she had an itchy butt. If the problem was bad enough, and enough broken fibers were floating in the water, swimmers will complain of irritations.


Postby krash721 » Sun 14 Jun, 2009 08:13

I know this post is old,but wondering Old Fiberglass on an update on your situation.I was in the same boat,so to speak,with my fiberglass pool.Contact me and I can let U know what I did.

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