How Much Does It Cost To Resurface A Pool?
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Swimming pools beautifully complement the warm summer air, providing a place to relax and cool off from the heat. Taking a dip is not much fun when the walls scrape swimsuits and the water takes on a strange hue reflected by the floor. When these signs appear, it's time to think about resurfacing the pool, and this cost guide details how much you can expect to spend and what the project entails.
As always, if you need help along the way, ImproveNet can connect you with up for four pool resurfacing pros near you.
Table of Contents
- Pool Resurfacing Cost
- Pool Resurfacing Cost Factors
- What Damages Pool Surfaces
- When & Why Resurface Pools
- Types Of Pool Surfaces
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Resurface A Pool
- Find A Pro
Pool Resurfacing Cost
The average cost to resurface a pool with plaster ranges from $5 to $7 per square foot. For a 120-foot square, homeowners can expect to pay between $175 and $200 for materials like plaster and fittings. Labor costs range from $400 to $565 for six hours of labor.
Pool Resurfacing Cost Factors
Several factors raise and lower the cost to resurface a pool, including the location, size and condition of the pool. Of these factors, location is most significant. Warm, sunny locations tend to have a large number of pools and pool contractors, so they most likely have suppliers nearby and don't have to pay for shipping parts. Competition for business also drives prices down. Of course, choosing to complete the project on your own eliminates labor costs entirely.
The size and condition of the pool are also important because they determine the amount of time the contractor spends working, affecting labor charges. A large pool or one with features like built-in steps and curved walls requires more materials and takes more time to resurface than a small, rectangular pool. At the same time, severe surface damage means the contractor must spend more time completing pool repairs that include sealing cracks and removing chipped plaster.
What Damages Pool Surfaces
Swimming pools are beautiful, but chemicals and sunshine take a toll on the pool's surface over time. Improper water chemistry is dangerous to pool surfaces, especially plaster pools. Low calcium levels and harsh water stabilizers eat at the pool's finish, leading to worn spots. Maintaining proper water levels is also important, as water helps hold the pool together and adds a layer of protection.
When & Why Resurface Pools?
Cracks in the surface are an undeniable sign that it's time to resurface and that the pool may have structural problems that need repair. Other signs that it's time to resurface the pool include:
- Discoloration like brown or yellow spots, especially if you see the concrete shell showing through the plaster
- Frequent cleaning or cleaning that requires additional time and effort to remove stains and spots
- Green spots caused by algae
- Chalky film along the pool's sides
Types Of Pool Surfaces
- Aggregate surfaces contain a mixture of plaster and pieces of quartz, tile, stone, granite or glass beads. This finish resists damage from pool chemicals better than traditional plaster and comes in a variety of colors. Polished aggregate features a super-smooth surface with a shiny luster. Exposed aggregates like pebble and glass bead finishes add a decorative touch.
- Fiberglass pools have a non-porous gel coat that gives the surface a clean, shiny look. Unlike concrete pools that require cleaning with stiff wire brushes, fiberglass repels algae that breaks down the surface. There are several color options for fiberglass.
- Made from water, Portland cement, and silica or sand, plaster remains the most popular choice because it's affordable and durable. With proper care, gunite stays intact for up to seven years before showing signs of wear.
- Tile's glossy sheen complements the reflective quality of water. Ceramic, porcelain, glass and stone are excellent tile choices. Tile can look beautiful when different colors create a pattern or are decoratively arranged.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Resurfacing a pool requires a considerable amount of time, special equipment and project-specific materials that most suppliers sell only to professionals. Homeowners who want to try this as a DIY project may not find pool plaster or fiberglass at the local hardware store. For this reason, most homeowners choose to hire pool professionals.
How To Resurface A Pool
The resurfacing process is similar for both plaster and fiberglass pools, starting with draining the pool using a sump pump with hoses leading to a safe drainage area. Even when hiring a pro, it's a good idea for pool owners to know the basic steps.
- Clean and drain the pool, removing debris collected at the bottom. Clean the walls and floor with a wire brush or chisel to remove peeling plaster. Acid wash the entire pool, taking care to follow safety precautions.
- Prepare the surface by using a sander to create a smooth surface that helps the new plaster adhere.
- Apply the new plaster, following the manufacturer's instructions, and keep in mind that this may require special equipment. When adding the new material, work in small sections because this offers greater control over the material.
- Let the pool dry according to the plaster manufacturer's directions. Refill the pool with fresh water and adjust the chemicals.
Resurfacing a fiberglass pool means repairing cracks and reapplying the top gel coat to the surface.
- After draining, locate cracks in the fiberglass and smooth them using a small sanding disk. Clean the sanded surface with acetone to remove all traces of loose fiberglass.
- Apply the new gel coat to the cleaned areas, following the manufacturer's directions. Many homeowners find this process easier if they block off the area with tape to prevent spilling and stay focused on the damaged area.
- Cure the gel coat by giving the fiberglass time to dry before refilling the pool with water and adjusting the chemicals.
Find A Pro
Resurfacing is one of the hidden costs of pool ownership, and it's an in-depth job that's easier with professional help. Submit a lead and let us put you in touch with pool contractors in your area.
Get free estimates from local pool resurfacing contractors
Last updated on Jul 30, 2018