DO GUNITE POOLS FLOAT? SIMPLE ANSWER....YOU BET!
Just last week I sat down with a potential pool buyer and yet again the same old trite question came out in conversation…Do you have many issues with your fiberglass pools floating or popping out of the ground? A few uninformed gunite pool sales people still raise this topic as a negative against folks that mention they will be investigating fiberglass pools as well as gunite pools. What that group of uninformed gunite sales people have in common is more often than not they are new comers to the pool industry or have had poor sales training and have not had sufficient time to learn the causes for a pool to float or don’t even know that a gunite pool is quicker to float than any other type of pool construction.
That is correct! A gunite pool will float quicker than a vinyl or a fiberglass pool. Why? you may ask. The short answer is that gunite pool shells will typically float prior to cracking of the structure and vinyl or fiberglass pools will typically crack before floating. Under any circumstance, any of these scenarios are not ideal, but the good news is a vinyl or fiberglass pool shell can be thoroughly repaired just like damages to a boat or car. Gunite pools that are damaged by floating, 99% of the time will require complete removal and replacement with a new pool. That’s right, a gunite pool that might have cost you $45K brand new to construct will now cost $60K or more to replace.
What is the primary cause of floating pools?
1. A homeowner decides to drain the pool themselves to clean the pool.
Fact: In my opinion NO homeowner should drain any kind of pool. Let the professionals do it.
2. An unqualified third party drains the pool. This list includes pool service guys, lawn maintenance people, friends of the pool owner, the neighbors 12 year old son, etc.
Fact: Save yourself the headaches. Let the pros do it.
3. Pool equipment malfunction or valve in the wrong position. Fact: Pool equipment malfunction is rare; on the other hand human error is common. Recently I received a call from one of our own pool buyers who was overseas. He left the pool in the hands of his 18 year old son that was only 12 when we performed the project pool school. He backwashed the pool filter and then turned it off. While he was out doing things that most 18 year old boys do, the timer kicked the pump on and completely drained the pool. Did it float? NO. Did the dad hire a professional pool service to maintain the pool in his absence? YES.
4. Gunite pools will require acid washing, black algae treatments, and new plaster every few years. It just makes sense that they require being drained more often than vinyl or fiberglass pools. This increases the frequency of gunite pools floating. Fact: Fiberglass pools do not require to be drained.
So let’s button up this subject. Floating pools of any kind are rare. Fact is the last one I can remember happening to us was 1987. The pool floated during renovation by a tropical storm that dumped 15-20 inches of rain on our jobsite. What came of it? Our insurance paid for a new pool to be installed. This insurance policy was specifically for this type of occurrence.
If I were a pool buyer, I would not be concerned about any of the above happening to me. It is just too rare. I would always hire an insured pool professional to perform any work on my pool. Lastly, I would insist on the truth about things, heavily research my contactor’s record, insist on both General Liability AND Worker’s Comp insurance and lastly enjoy the heck out of my new pool, make lots of pool side memories, and stay cool!!
“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” Benjamin Franklin