If you own a concrete or gunite swimming pool, we have some great news for you! These pools typically have the longest lifespan and are the least likely to require repairs! However, even the resilient gunite surface that’s ideal for public pools and other swimming pools that will be used frequently will still require some repairs over time. These pools are made from a combination of sand and cement and are typically completely made onsite, with the gunite mixture poured into a frame constructed from steel rods.
Gunite Pool Problems: Cracks
Of course, when you think of any concrete surface, you may think that cracks will be a potential problem. With a gunite swimming pool, though, the cracks are more likely to occur in the outer plaster coating. Although less common, sometimes a crack will extend from the plaster to the gunite itself, requiring a widening of the crack prior to filling it up with caulk and then resurfacing. More often, the crack will only affect the coating. In order to repair a surface crack, you’ll need to drain the pool water and then resurface the pool. For cracks over 12 inches long that extend to the gunite, professionals typically charge somewhere around $70 per linear foot.
Gunite Pool Problems: Pop Ups
This kind of issue is really only a factor for those who live somewhere with a high water table, such as along the coast. Pools in such locations can have problems when there’s a buildup of hydrostatic pressure. The pressure in rare situations can cause the pool to literally “pop up” out of the ground! As you might expect, such a pop up is a major problem that will likely cause damage that cannot be repaired. The best solution is, of course, prevention; thankfully, preventing pop ups is a cheap and easy fix. For less than $20, you can purchase a hydrostatic pressure relief valve.
Gunite Pool Problems: Hollow Spots
What’s a hollow spot? Sometimes the swimming pool wall can separate from the substrate. When the walls don’t have the support they require, the result can be either bulgets, divots, or small cracks that appear like a spider’s web. Caused when the backfill shifts away from the pool, this kind of problem requires having the entire swimming pool resurfaced, which will cost around $1,000.
Gunite Pool Problems: Plumbing Leaks
While this kind of problem isn’t specific to gunite pools, it bears mentioning here because sometimes those who own gunite pools may think their pool is indestructible. Any kind of in-ground swimming pool — vinyl liner, fiberglass, or gunite — will require, at the minimum, a main line feeding water into the pool as well as a return line to take the water away and a pool filter pump. If you have a plumbing leak, you’ll need to hire a professional; the main cost will be for labor, rather than parts. Often, it’s recommended to simply replace the line rather than have it repaired. You can expect to pay $1,000 or so to have a plumbing line replaced.
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