Why paint or repaint a pool?
Your pool’s paint serves several purposes. It contributes cosmetic beauty both to the pool and to pool area. It provides a smooth surface which is generally resistant to algae growth and thus reduces chemical use. It seals the surface to prevent damage to the gunite structure of the pool. We’ll gladly explain this in greater detail if you contact us by phone or email.
When should we consider repainting?
Cosmetic appeal is generally the deciding factor for most people. When a pool’s paint begins to chip, flake, or wear thin the pool loses some of its visual appeal. That’s the reason most people contact us. Their pool looks “ugly”. That, however, is probably not the most important reason for repainting. Weathered or chipped paint leaves a rougher or “craggy” surface which is an ideal haven for algae. A smooth new paint surface is among the most algae resistant finishes available. If your chemical usage is up or you’ve been battling algae all season, it might be time to consider a fresh coating. Chipping paint will clog up the filter more frequently and necessitate more frequent backwashes. Fresh paint will solve that problem. Finally, concrete / gunite that is at or near the waterline is subject to the damage caused by freeze / thaw cycles. The exposed concrete will absorb small amounts of water. Once the water freezes it will expand and break off very small particles of the concrete. A smooth, fresh coating will prevent water entry to the concrete and thus preserve the integrity of the concrete. So, whenever your paint starts to wear thin or chip, you should plan for a recoating within the next 12 – 24 months. Please call us for more detailed information.
Do you offer free estimates?
We don’t charge for estimates, but we also don’t usually visit the pool site after your initial call. More of the factors determining cost and benefit of paint are based on your past knowledge of pool coatings and your knowledge of the pool’s history. We’ll almost always be able to give you an approximate price over the phone IF you have some specific details including: 1. Pool builder. 2. Last time the pool was rehabbed or repainted. 3. Paint type used at that time. (Check your paperwork from that last refinishing.) 4. Size and details of the pool. Is it tiled? Is it coped? Has decorative tile been used on steps or swim-outs or water benches? Is there an attached spa? 5 A brief description of the pool access. Level or hillside from driveway to pool? How far from the driveway to the pool? Are there terraced areas which would make access more challenging? There’s another reason we generally don’t visit a pool immediately if at all. Most pools are covered when people call for a quote, and thus it’s difficult to see much. And the pool will almost certainly be filled with water. Water conceals many issues which may not be discovered UNTIL after the pool has been emptied and cleaned and power washed. For these reasons, the site visit – while it seems important is not all that helpful in determining the actual finished price. Our years of experience along with the helpful information you provide at the two most necessary things in helping us to quote a price for you.
What are my options when it comes to pool coatings?
Our company specializes ONLY in chemical coatings, which generally included paints, gelcoats, and somewhat thicker membrane-type coatings. Most pools we refinish are recoated with one of several common types of paint. In general, you’ll want to use the same coating which was last used on your pool. However, our coating of choice will almost always be epoxy. It is durable, retains a smooth finish, and has an excellent life cycle. Other coatings are sometimes more difficult work with, in extreme heat and direct sunlight. We’ll be glad to explain the details of the 4 main paint types and when or if they might be right for you.
How long will a recoating last?
Each paint type has its own “typical” service cycle. In general Vinyl paint and Epoxy paint have the longest service cycle, however there are exceptions to that and reasons why other paint types would sometimes be preferred. Paint service cycles can run from a single year up to 10 years. We’ve also seen many pools with service cycles of up to 15 years. There are many factors beyond the actual paint type which contribute to durability and paint life. Ask about that when you call.
What about paint colors? Which is best?
In general, we’ll almost always recommend white or light blue. Not because we’re boring people but because it’s the most practical color to use. While all paints fade and degrade due to chemicals and sunlight, white shows this fading the least. The darker the color chosen the more pronounced this fading will be over time. However, we’ll often opt to recoat the pool in the same color last used. There are exceptions to that, and we’ll be happy to explain how and why we make those decisions, but in general, when or if the top layer of paint begins to chip, if the underlying paint is the same color, it’s barely noticeable. However, if the color was changed and the paint chips, those chipped spots with be immediately noticeable.
I’ve heard that using dark colors is one way to keep pool water warmer through heat absorption. Is that true?
It’s true that a darker color will tend to absorb a bit more of the suns heat and thus keep the pool water a bit warmer. Studies have shown there is generally a 5% or less advantage to using a dark color. Given the other problems often associated with dark colors we recommend against this UNLESS you really want the cosmetic effects of the dark look. Better heat absorption can be gained with a solar cover. As with any of your questions, we’ll be happy to answer this one in greater detail when you call us.
How long does a painting project take?
Generally, residential projects can take up to 3 weeks. Of those 21 days, 7 will be devoted to paint curing after the final coat of paint is applied. Several days will be lost to weather interruptions which are extremely common in the spring, and 4 or 5 partial days will be workdays when we’re at your jobsite. Times for commercial pools may be longer depending on the size and scope of work. Let’s talk more about that when you call.
Is there a “best time of year” for this project?
There are at least 4 months of the year when paints or chemical coatings can’t reliably be worked with in an outdoor environment. The months of December through March are generally out of the question. We’ve had rare occasions when we were finishing a late season job on an unusually warm early December day Equally as rare are situations when we have started a project in an unusually warm and dry March. But those are exceptions. If you have an indoor pool, we can talk through the possibility of a winter completion. With that said, most people want to use their pools during the short window of ideal swimming weather which in Pennsylvania is generally the months of June, July, and August. For that reason, although we CAN do summer projects, many people prefer not to. If you’ll be vacationing for several weeks in mid-summer, we may be able to schedule your project for that time. So, as you can see, this leaves only the months of April and May, perhaps the early part of June, and then September, October, and November. Autumn can be a great time for pool refinishing. However, we do call Autumn “fall” for a good reason. Leaves begin to drop in mid-to-late October. So, with rain in the Spring and leaves in the fall, you can see that the window of opportunity is narrow. If you want a fresh-looking pool for a wedding, party, or other family event, then we should plan well in advance for how to reliably get your project done on time. We’d love to talk more with you about the time frame that best suits your schedule when you call us.
What else should I know?
There are any number of details to address, issues that may arise, and unique circumstances surrounding your layout, and your pool. We can’t address all those in a simple FAQ page, so we recommend that you plan for a 10-15 minute phone conversation with one of our pool refinishing managers. You’ll find us to be knowledgeable, helpful, and able to address many things you may not have thought about. During that call you’ll come to understand why our years of experience may be the very best thing in your corner when you’re thinking about a pool refinish project.