top of page
  • mike


Fiberglass Pool Shells are not perfect
Fiberglass Pools are not perfect

This article is going to catch us some heat from fiberglass pool manufacturers and we fully expect it. Since we only build fiberglass pools we may even lose a few sales from it. However this article is not to expose a dark secret about fiberglass pools, it is simply to help manage the expectations of potential fiberglass pool owners. Its all about transparency. Letting pool shoppers know about potential issues before they make their final decision to buy a pool is what its all about.


This is very true. Not all fiberglass pool shells are perfect. I and many other fiberglass pool builders across the country have found this out the hard way. This conclusion is based on installing pools going on 27 years and comiserating with other fiberglass pool builders about it over the years. The issues are not specific to any brand of fiberglass pools either. Like anything that is made by humans, errors can happen and the more fiberglass pool shells you install the more likely you are to find these imperfections. These are not common though and quality control measures implemented by fiberglass pool manufacturers have drastically reduced the occurences.


Fiberglass Pool imperfections can range from gelcoat issues to warped pools, overly thin pools, overly thick pool shells, non level pool shells, etc. At Pool Pros we have come across all of these imperfections with fiberglass pools over the years and have created some unique methods to address them.


The cause of fiberglass pool shell imperfections depends on the issue but we will break them down for you. These are the reasons for fiberglass pool shell imperfections that were provided by fiberglass pool manufacturers when confronting them about these issues over the years.


Gelcoat issues can be arise from errors in the application process, handling of the pool and a stiffer gelcoat that may leave a fiberglass pool shell more suceptible to cracking. A gelcoat that is too stiff can/may crack just from lifting a pool properly with a crane and properly sized straps and support beams. Just the right flex may cause spider cracks in the gelcoat.

Solution: While this might seem like a big deal at the end of the day it really isnt. Most major fiberglass pool manufacturers discovered the gelcoat problem and adjusted the geloat properties to eliminate that issue. For the pools on the market that experienced this cracking, the repairs are covered by the fiberglass pool manufacturer and repairs can be made within a few hours in most cases without being able to tell a repair has been made.


At times a pool shell can be unlevel or out of plumb. We have had this a few times and the repsonse from most manufacturers is that our base isnt level, which would be the first thing to check as a builder and a logical conclusion, however there are times when no matter what a builder does a pool just wont sit level. In these cases we have been told that this could stem from removing a pool shell from the mold a little too soon. If a pool is not cured all the way it can be slightly damaged when coming of the mold. Not a structural damage but a slight deformation that may allow the pool to not sit perfectly level in the ground.

Solution: If this does happen there are 2 options. Install the pool as is and get it as close as possible, the other option is to add waterline tile to the pool and level the tile to the water. Eliminating the unlevelness of the pool. Once the tile is added there is no way to tell that the pool was unlevel. This is commonly used by builders of gunite pools to fine tune the level of a gunite pool shell.


We see this alot on straight walled pools. Often a fiberglass pool laying on flat ground without any bracing will display a wall that is not straight. This is usually due to straight wall fiberglass pools being extra flexible but can also be caused from removing a pool shell from the mold too soon.

Solution:The good news is that this can be straightenend out when the pool is being filled an backfilled. If the pool bows in the builder can keep the water level higher than the backfill to push the wall back out to straight or if it bows out, the backfill level can be a little higher to push the wall in to straighten it out. There are times though when no matter what is done a pool wall can still retain its deformation. This is especially true if its near a step, bench or tanning ledge. Those areas have alot more strength or rigidity due to all the varying angles coming together. In those instances there is nothing that can be done as a builder.


This is caused by simply not using enough material to build up the pool shell during the manufacturing process. At times fiberglass pool shells ended up being quite a bit thinner than normal. Sometime down to 3/16 of an inch in some areas. Whether it was an error by the apllicator or a method to stretch an already limited supply of raw materials its hard to say but it does happen.

Solution: The down side for this one is that there is little that can be done to address the issue other than to take greater care when transporting and handling a shell with thinned out areas. We have not experienced a pool personally that was to the point where it was so thin that it needed to be rejected but we have cut in return holes and have found some thin spots at time. The good news is that as a builder you just need to slow things down a bit and be diligent with your handling of a thin pool and be gentle with your backfilling process and the pool will turn out in great shape and last for years to come.


As you can see the uber famous fiberglass pool shells can have imperfections. Just like anything that is man made. The difference in the final results of dealing with imperfections in a fiberglass pool come down to the skills and abilities of the fiberglass pool installer. A good and experienced fiberglass pool installer can minimize or erase completely any notice of an imperfection in a fiberglass pool and provide a quality installation with no diminished aesthetics or lifespan of the fiberglass pool.


When it comes time to install your fiberglass pool, choose the pool builder with the most experience and call Pool Pros today @ 1-920-771-0107 to talk to our in house pool designers and get you on the right path to creating the poolscpae of their dreams!

Recent Posts

See All

Pool Heater VS Heat Pump

If your pool builder is pushing you toward a heat pump, think again. We would hate to see you lose out on valuable swim time.


Green Bay, WI 

Independent Installer Badge-02.png
  • This website contains an abundance of information that has been created over the last decade or more. Some of the content on this site may reflect prices, perspectives, processes, entities, and names that were relevant at the time but may not be as relevant today. Consumers should consult a Pool Pros associate for the most accurate and updated information based on the unique conditions of their property. Consumers should verify specifications with the installing Pool Pros rather than relying on the information on this website, which is not intended to be a final specification.

  • facebook
  • youtube
  • pinterest
  • twitter
  • instagram
bottom of page