How To Prevent The Formation Of Fiberglass Pool Bulges

If you want to have an in ground pool professionally installed on your property, then you may consider choosing a fiberglass model. Fiberglass is considered durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to maintain. Your pool is likely to last for several decades with little maintenance. Although this is true, your pool may show signs of bulges over time and this may cause the fiberglass material to crack. This can result in the need for major repairs. Fortunately, you can easily prevent bulges by following the information outlined below.

Choose the Right Backfill Material

When a fiberglass pool is installed on your property, your contractor will dig a hole in the ground that meets the depth of the pool you purchase. The width of the opening will far exceed the size of the pool. This is necessary, because materials will be placed along the sides of the fiberglass to backfill the space.  

Backfilling helps to encase the pool with a strong enough material to push against the fiberglass as water weight forces the pool against the ground. Materials also must be dense and thick enough that they do not settle significantly, or the pool and the surrounding fences, patios, and enclosures will sink into the earth over time.

In some cases, pool contractors will use a a large amount of sand to backfill around the pool. This may be a good choice if the ground around the pool is somewhat sandy and if the sand is not saturated during the installation. If these conditions are not met, then the sand will retain a large amount of fluid as ground water flows around the pool. The saturated sand will force weight against the fiberglass and a bulge will appear.

Ask For Gravel

If you do not want to see bulges forming around your fiberglass pool, then ask your contractor to place gravel backfill instead of sand. Gravel will not move, shift, or become saturated with water like other fill materials. Clean fill is the best option, because it contains no clay or dirt materials that can cause settling issues. Pea gravel or crushed stone are the best options for your pool. Both of these types of rocks will create a durable fill material with very few spaces in between.

Pick the Best Location

Another good way to prevent fiberglass bulges is to make sure that your pool is installed on a high area of your property. A high area with a slope along the edge or side of the pool will allow rain water to run away from the pool instead of settling around it. If you do not know where the highest point on your property is, consider hiring a professional who can complete a topographic survey of your property. This type of survey will show land elevation so you can make the best pool placement decision.

Encourage Good Drainage

Once a good location is found, consider adding compost, peat moss, and other organic materials to the first several inches of soil around the pool. These types of materials will open up spaces in the earth so water will flow more easily through the ground instead of water-logging the earth around the fiberglass. If you feel that drainage may still pose a problem around your pool, then consider adding drainage tiles and PVC piping to move water away from the pool more effectively.

An in ground fiberglass pool can be a great home investment, and most fiberglass installations last a long time. In some cases, the sides of the pool may bulge though, and this may require the assistance and expertise of a pool repair specialist. Thankfully, you can prevent bulges by choosing the right pool backfill and by picking a good installation location.

For more information, contact a local pool installation and repair company, like Pool Service Co.