Which Kind of Pool is Easier to Maintain?

When it comes to your pool, you want clean, safe water. Nobody likes to swim in dirty water that could contain germs.

To achieve this, your pool needs to be cleaned, tested weekly for proper balance and sanitized using chlorine tablets. To reduce maintenance and chemicals, what kind of pool should you have?


Concrete pools are a classic option for those who want the most customization and beauty in their pool. However, they also can require more maintenance and are more expensive than fiberglass and vinyl liners. Depending on your budget and swimming habits, a concrete pool may be worth it for you.

A concrete pool is made from a porous material called gunite, which is then finished in a number of ways. Most commonly, a thick plaster finish is put on the gunite to smooth it out and protect swimmers from scrapes and other injuries. The plaster can be painted or tiled in the traditional style or a modern geometric pattern.

The concrete is then surrounded by water, which can be either a chlorinated or non-chlorined solution. Both options need a filter to keep water clean and clear of debris. Concrete requires extra vigilance in water chemistry, as it is prone to absorb chemicals, which can affect the water balance and lead to bacteria, algae, and other issues. Regular brushing is necessary to prevent algae growth and remove debris trapped on the surface of the pool.

Leaks are not uncommon in concrete pools, and fixing them can be costly. The rough surface can also be uncomfortable for swimmers. While these issues are common, they are less frequent than with a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool.

The most significant issue with concrete pools is the need to resurface them on average every 10-15 years. This is much more often than with fiberglass or vinyl liners, and it needs to be done by The Woodlands Pool Builders. If you’re thinking about getting a concrete pool, it’s important to factor in the cost of resurfacing and major renovations that will need to be done throughout its lifetime. This will add to your initial investment. Visit their website at  www.thewoodlandspoolbuilders.com to convert your backyard into a stunning poolscape that will provide tremendous enjoyment, peacefulness, and everlasting memories for many years ahead.

Vinyl Liner

A vinyl liner pool is constructed by digging a huge hole, installing steel or polymer walls and then dropping in a paper-thin liner that holds all the water. This is the cheapest kind of pool to install. It’s also the easiest to maintain.

Unlike the rough surfaces of concrete pools, vinyl’s non-porous surface doesn’t absorb chemicals and can resist algae growth. It’s easier to get rid of stains with a vinyl pool, too. Pool tools and sponges are specially designed to clean thoroughly without damaging a vinyl pool liner, so you won’t have to worry about sharp corners or abrasive areas.

It’s important to keep kids, pets and anyone who uses the pool from scratching or tearing a vinyl liner. Even tiny gouges can quickly escalate into leaking problems and lead to costly repairs. This is why many homeowners opt for a thicker liner that offers extra protection against dog claws and that pointy toy your toddler dropped in.

When the groundwater around a vinyl pool puts pressure on the liner, it can cause wrinkles to form. These must be fixed right away to prevent further damage.

Another concern is the sun’s harsh rays. The sun can bleach and weaken vinyl, so it’s essential to cover your pool regularly. This will protect it from long-term bleaching and damage.

The biggest drawback to a vinyl pool is the need for regular replacement of the liner. This is usually an affordable option, but it’s not always a quick job. It’s best to get your liner replaced before it’s too late, so that you can enjoy your backyard pool for as long as possible.

You can also add a few features to your vinyl pool that will make it easier to maintain. A de-watering system will help prevent groundwater pressure from causing wrinkles in the vinyl and a chemical feeder can make it easier to balance your pool’s water chemistry. Just don’t forget that salt chlorinators are not recommended for vinyl liners, as they can corrode metal wall panels. And you should never empty your pool unless you consult with a professional first, as this can cause permanent damage to the structure of the pool.


Concrete pools require a fair amount of chemical usage due to algae prevention and other reactions that occur between the surface and other particles in the pool. They also have to be resurfaced every 10 years and need to have their calcium hardness monitored and added to regularly. All of these factors add up and can be a significant cost that comes along with owning a concrete pool. Fiberglass pools, on the other hand, are a much more economical option to own.

In addition to the chemicals savings, fiberglass pools use a lot less energy. The reason for this is that the gel coat is non-porous and does not leach materials into the water. As a result, it doesn’t increase the pH of the water and allows you to keep the chlorine levels lower, which is great for your skin and your pocket book.

Fiberglass pools also have a smooth surface that makes them much easier to clean than their concrete counterparts. This silkier surface also hinders the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, which can get stuck in the rougher concrete surfaces. Additionally, it is less prone to staining and requires less aggressive cleaning methods like abrasive brushes or acid washing.

The only downside of a fiberglass pool is that it can’t be customized in the same way that a concrete or vinyl liner can, which can be an issue for some homeowners who want a more unique design. This is not an insurmountable obstacle though, as most homeowners are able to find a fiberglass pool that suits their needs and wants.

If you are looking for a truly low-maintenance option, fiberglass is definitely the way to go. However, it is important to note that the type of backfill you choose and the groundwater conditions can have a huge impact on how easy it is to maintain a fiberglass pool. For example, if the backfill shifts or swells, it can cause cracking of the fiberglass shell and also cause problems with the plumbing connections within the pool. Proper backfill materials and proper installation techniques can minimize this problem.

Salt Water

Many people turn to salt water pools because they notice fewer negative effects than traditional chlorine pools and their skin. However, they may not realize the additional work required to keep a salt water pool in good shape, especially for those unfamiliar with the chemistry involved.

Salt water pools require a monthly check of the water's salinity, alkalinity, stabilizer and calcium levels. These levels should be at 2700-4500 ppm for optimal water health and performance. The best way to ensure these levels are correct is with a digital pool test kit that reads quickly and simply. The more accurate the reading, the better your water will be able to stay in balance, reducing chemical costs over time.

These systems are corrosive to metal, so they also tend to damage the lining of any pool that has a steel liner and can even corrode metal wall panels (if you have them). In addition, salt can eat through any natural stone surfaces near a pool, including flagstone, paving stones, and soft, natural rock, which will deteriorate over time. Research these issues before you choose a salt system for your pool and ask your professional what steps should be taken to minimize the damage.

While these systems are more expensive initially than a vinyl liner or concrete pool, they can save you money in the long run, due to lower chemical and electricity costs. Depending on your budget, this is a great option for anyone who prefers a cleaner, clearer and healthier pool.

No matter what kind of pool you have, the key to a clean and beautiful swimming area is consistent upkeep. Be sure to follow your pool professionals instructions, backwash the filter regularly and clean your skimmers at least twice per week. These simple tasks will keep your water safe to swim in and ensure the health of your pool, allowing you to enjoy it for years to come.

When it comes to your pool, you want clean, safe water. Nobody likes to swim in dirty water that could contain germs. To achieve this, your pool needs to be cleaned, tested weekly for proper balance and sanitized using chlorine tablets. To reduce maintenance and chemicals, what kind of pool should you have? Concrete Concrete…