While you can greatly reduce the chances of needing major repairs through proper installation and regular maintenance, in all likelihood, your swimming pool will require some repairs over its lifetime. Just like there are typical repairs that are required for pools made with vinyl liners (see Part 1) or those made of fiberglass (see Part 2), even the more resilient gunite surface of a public pool can require repairs at times. Made from a combination of sand and cement, gunite is typically poured onsite into a frame made from steel rods.
Gunite Pool Repair Type 1: Cracks
Commonly, cracks that appear on the surface of a gunite swimming pool are actually cracks in the plaster coating, rather than the gunite itself. If the crack does permeate the gunite itself, repair will require widening the crack and then filling it with caulk, prior to resurfacing; however, if the crack is only in the coating, all it takes to repair it is draining the pool’s water and then resurfacing it. If a crack does extend to the gunite and is over a foot in length, a professional will typically charge approximately $70 per linear foot to perform the repairs.
Gunite Pool Repair Type 2: Pop Ups
If you live along the coast or somewhere else with a high water table, your pool is at risk for buildup of hydrostatic pressure. If you have a gunite swimming pool, this buildup of pressure can force your pool to pop up out of the ground! If a pop up occurs, your swimming pool will be damaged beyond repair. Of course, that means that prevention is the best option; you can prevent pop ups by installing a hydrostatic pressure relief valve. Especially compared with the tens of thousands of dollars that replacing your swimming pool can cost, hydrostatic pressure relief valves are well worth their meager price tag. How much are we talking? Less than $20.
Gunite Pool Repair Type 3: Hollow Spots
In addition to cracks and pop ups, your gunite swimming pool is subject to another kind of repair over its lifespan: hollow spots. These troublemakers can occur when the swimming pool separates from the substrate, leaving the pool walls without the support they need. When the backfill shifts away from the pool, you may see bulges or divots, but more likely all you’ll see are small cracks in an arrangement similar to a spider’s web or crow’s feet. The necessary repairs will involve refilling any hollow spots as well as resurfacing the entire swimming pool. For a pool that’s 150 square feet, the cost for this repair will be about $1,000.
In our last post in this series (coming soon), we’ll look at a type of repair you might have to deal with, regardless of the swimming pool type you have: plumbing leaks.
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