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Will My Fiberglass Pool Fade? 

Updated: Feb 24

Discoloration of a fiberglass pool shell
A discolored fiberglass pool shell


This is a controversial question and we will catch some heat for saying this but at Pool Pros we believe in being clear, consice and upfront about all of the pros and cons of fiberglass pools. This one, however is a bit of a taboo and you won't see another article about this anywhere on the internet. It may be that we could lose a sale or 2 but at the end of the day we know we were honest. So here we go. The answer is simply yes, your fiberglass pool will fade over time. Fading is natural for anything exposed to the elements. There is not a man made product on this earth that will not fade and if someone is telling you your fiberglass pool wont fade they are not being honest. The good news is that any fading will be a very slow process and will fade at the same rate throughout the pool. Fading of a pool surface is not unique to fiberglass pools either. Fading is also a concern for both Vinyl Lined Pools and Gunite Pools with a plaster or pebble tech finish. There are a few myths about fiberglass pools fading or discoloration that we do need to address first though.


Fiberglass pool discoloration happens and is often confused with fading but they are 2 completley different things and we are here to clear the air for you. Fading is a natural process anything exposed to the elements will experience. Discoloration is an abnormal changing of the color or pigment of something. Now that we know what causes fading lets dig into what causes discoloration.


99% of the time when a brillaint blue or dark colored fiberglass pool starts to turn white or hazy people think that that color is fading. In actuality the white or haziness is salts or minerals in the pool water getting trapped in the pores of the gelcoat. See fiberglass pool gelcoats are made with polyester resin. Polyester resin if pouress and allows water to move in and out of the gelcoat. All of this is ok if you keep your pool water balanced properly and avoid salt water systems on fiberglass pools. Its when your pool water chemistry is not balanced that calicum and minerals can come out of suspension and get trapped in the pores and on the surface of the gelcoat giving the pool a hazy look. If left that way or if the water chemistry is unbalanced or poorly cared for the conditioncan worsen over time and leaver your once bright and brillaint pool looking dull or whitish.


The number one culprit to damaging any pool surface whether it is a pool liner, plaster, pebble tec or a gelcoat is water chemistry. The problem with water chemistry is that people have the tendency to think there pool water is good if its clear and thats just not the case. While unbalanced water can be clear it can also be slowly damaging your pool finish and your pool equipment like pool heaters, pumps seals, automatic pool covers,etc.


Some of you may not like the answer but its as simple as being more diligent with your pool water testing and balancing. While water chemistry may seem overwhelming there are good quality test kits out there with ewasy to use guide to help you out. There are also tet strips and cell phone apps that will help take the guess work out it for you. Next @ Pool Pros we recomend not using a salt water system for your pool. They are not all they are cracked up to be, and at the end of the day they are still a chlorine based pool. Our next recomendation is to use a Pool Tiger System on your pool. The Pool Tiger aids in reducing the likelehood of your pools finish getting discolored. We also recomend using an Ultra Violet Sanitizer like the Pentair Bioshield that helps lower the amount of chlorine needed in your pool by killing bacteria and breaking up combined chlorine molecules in your pool water to make the chlorine in your pool free and available to sanitize better at a lower rate. We also recomend not using any calcium based chlorines or shocks. Stay away from Cal Hypo. Adding waterline tile you can better protect the fiberglass pool shell above and at the waterline. Adding an automatic pool cover to your pool will also help reduce or slow down the risk of fading as well. The more the pool is covered the less the sun beats on it, the better.


The color of your pool will also have an affect on percieved discoloration. A lighter colored pool will not show fading or discoloration as easily as a brightly colored pool will. A great color option for a fiberglass pool would be something similar to the River Pools Artic Shimmer and Caribbean Pool Colors. Both pool colors are on the lighter end of the spectrum but still have beautiful blue water when they are filled up. The diagram below shows River Pools Color Options. The Standard Colors would be the best options if you are concerned about potential fading.


River Pools offer three standard colors and three custom colors for their fiberglass shells.


To wrap this all up, our best advice is to select a pool with a lighter color finish, stay away from salt water systems, cal hypo and be diligent about testing and treating your pool water, and remember a clear pool is not a balanced pool. Taking a look at options like waterline tile and an automatic pool cover will also help.


If you have questions or concerns about how to maintain your fiberglass pool or are ready to learn more about desiging the poolscape of your dreams call Pool Pros @ 920-771-0107. We are waiting to hear from you.


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Green Bay, WI 

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  • 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.

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