You’ve done it.

You’ve decided to add one of the world’s most glamorous and stylish composite fiberglass swimming pools to your backyard.  An Aviva Pools swimming pool.

But now what? How do you make sure that this significant investment that you’ve made to living your best life lasts a lifetime?

The short answer is by maintaining a proper chemical balance in your pool’s water and keeping it free and clear of dirt and debris. But there’s a lot more to it than just that, and we are going to explain why in this editorial.

no maintenance

A composite fiberglass swimming pool is easier to maintain and take care of but that does not mean that you do not have to do anything. Just as you have to change the oil and rotate the tires in your car to keep it in top mechanical condition, fiberglass swimming pools must undergo a certain amount of maintenance to keep them healthy.

Like everything else around your home, your pool will get dirty.  You will find leaves, bugs and other debris in your pool.  A simple “skim, scoop and vacuum” will take care of most of these items.

What is less easily seen are the remnants of body oils, hairs, shampoo, dead skin and other wonderful things that all of us leave behind.  For this, and all the other items that find their way into your pool, you address it by using a sanitizer to clean your pool.  It is the harmonious work of all these chemicals coming together that creates the right environment for your pool to welcome guests.

For many families, that means investing in a chlorine system to sanitize their pool.  And while there is a growing audience for salt-systems, but that is actually a form of chlorine – just produced in a different manner and with less amounts.

means being diligent

The water in your pool is a living, breathing eco-system. Which means that is requires constant care to make sure that it stays in a state of optimal health.

And that’s true even if your pool goes unused for some periods during the year. There are many ways that your pool could go “out of balance” even if you feel that your pool has not had any activity.  At the very least, you should test on a weekly basis and make adjustments as required.

Be sure to get your water samples from at least 18-20 inches below the water surface and away from the any returns or water jets.  We recommend that you maintain a log of your weekly tests so that you can determine if there is any pattern occurring when it does go out of balance.  It’s almost like being a great detective uncovering clues to your pool’s potential problems.

backed by the world’s best warranty

Aviva Pools is proud to not only offer the world’s best designs but also the world’s best swimming pool warranties.  This includes a Lifetime Structural Warranty, assuming families that their pools are structurally sound as well as a Lifetime Structural Osmosis Warranty, providing assurances that their pools are protected against water penetration between the primary layers of production.

The major reason Aviva Pools can offer these warranties is because of the high-quality raw materials used in the production of their fiberglass swimming pools.  It all starts with the use of premium vinyl ester resin throughout the layers of fiberglass production.  Layer upon layer upon layer relies on this high-quality application which not only sets the standard for the pool’s structure but also provides the best protection against water penetration.  There are many fiberglass pool companies that fail to use premium vinyl ester resin in more than one application which significantly increases the risk of osmosis and “bubbling” within their pools many years after installation.

fiberglass swimming pool

Many service technicians and pool service companies will rely on a “generic” standard for water chemistry levels.  This was adequate when pools were all the same but fiberglass pools are not like the “standard” gunite pool or even vinyl liner pools.

For this reason, you must look at water chemistry levels that are more appropriate for fiberglass swimming pools.  Our recommendation would be as follows:

  • pH = 7.2 – 7.4

  • Chlorine = 1.0 – 3.0 ppm

  • Total Alkalinity = 80 – 120 ppm

  • Calcium Hardness = 80 – 120

  • Cyanuric Acid: 25 – 50 ppm

  • Total Dissolved Solids = 500 – 5000 ppm

with fiberglass swimming pools

The biggest concern we see with fiberglass swimming pools are that the pools’ gelcoat color is fading. Customers will believe that their pools are losing their color and/or “turning white.”  What is actually happening is that many pool owners are allowing their water chemistry to be out of balance, in many cases, allowing the calcium within their pools to build up to an elevated rate. Instead of the pool “losing color,” what it is actually doing is gaining calcium.  The chemicals are building up on the pool walls and as a result, masking the pool’s true color.

It is recommended that pool owners clean the surface of their pool once a month.  This is easily done by using a sponge or soft rag along with a non-abrasive cleaner.  Remember to not use any harsh cleaners, metal scrapers, brushes, steel wool or sandpaper that could harm your swimming pool’s surface.  Doing this will void your gelcoat warranty.

Note that even if you have some scratches, that these can be buffed out, if necessary.  Consult with your pool dealer and/or with the Aviva Pools Warranty Department to determine what the proper course of action should be.

Calcium deposits and hardness can be removed – if caught early in the process.  It will take a re-balancing of the water chemistry and a small amount of time, but it can be reversed.  Left too long by itself, however, it will require it to be scrubbed out.  In severe cases, this could require refinishing your pool which would carry a price tag in the $7,000 – $10,000 range.  In other words, a little love and attention to your pool will go a long way to sustained happiness.

pH balance

The pH balance in your pool tells you how much (or how little) acidity is in your pool.  If you are younger or if you swim in public pools very much, you will recall the smell of chlorine and how harsh it could be if used in too high a quantity.

Our bodies’ biology point to 7.4 being the perfect pH level.  If your pH level goes lower, you will find it to be more painful and cause more burning.  Above the 7.4 level, you begin to suffer from dried and noses.  Once you perform your pool chemistry test, simply add either your pH increaser or your pH decreaser depending on what you need.

Our experience has shown that the most accurate information is gathered using the “Taylor Technologies Complete Test Kit.”  Consider an investment in the range of $70-$100 as being monies well invested and well spent – especially when it comes to your children.

cause & effect

There may be outside influences, beyond water chemistry, that may impact the cleanliness of your pool.  One example is the use of mortar during installation of concrete and tiles on your pool.  Water could splash into the mortar causing the concrete to “cry.”  The “tears” that occur will be of calcium sliding down the sides of your pool walls.  The photos below shows the build-up after only one week.  To prevent this from becoming a major issue, it should be cleaned weekly.  If left unattended, it could cause an accumulation that will eventually result in the pool needing to be sanded and refurbished – which is a major repair charge.

Over time, your pool may experience the onset of “spider cracks” or “veins” around your pool.  This tends to come from the pool being bumped or hit in such a manner that the gelcoat layer may experience a small fracture.  Note that the vast majority of these cracks are cosmetic concerns and will not impact or affect your use of your pool.  Most of these will also occur within the water so no one may notice these features.  Our advice is to “live and let live” as additional efforts to “repair” them are not worth the efforts or additional time and money to correct.

go automatic

Want to make it even easier to clean your pool?  Then be sure to check out the automatic pool cleaners now available.  You plug them in to an electrical outlet on your deck – lower it into the pool – and watch them go!

Then you can talk to all of your friends about how you have been spending the afternoon cleaning your pool – and gently smile.

cleaning service

Installing your own swimming pool is a major investment that should be protected.  By following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and applying basic care protocols, you should be able to enjoy a lifetime of wonderful memories with your pool, spa and/or tanning ledge.  Many families enjoy greater comfort and an even more assurances by allowing an outside service to take care of and maintain their pool.  This ensures that your pool is taken care of on a regular schedule and that nothing will be overlooked.  With their expertise and knowledge, they will be able to prevent any major issues, notice any potential causes for concern and make it even easier for you and your family to fully enjoy your pool, with less stress and greater joy.

Ultra Pool Care professional cleaning service

thoughts and questions

Do you have any insights or advice on how to best take care of your composite fiberglass swimming pool?  We welcome your suggestions at [email protected] and we look forward to you sending us photos of your Aviva Pools installation as supporting documentation of your sound advice.

Send us your questions and comments on pool care and maintenance.  We will take them to our experts and, if possible, we will post the reply on the Aviva Pools “Editorial” page.  If we are unable to do this, you can expert a personal reply to your questions and/or comments.

dream come true

Aviva Pools is proud to make more families’ dreams come true with the production of the world’s most glamorous and stylish designs.  We also want to make sure that your dreams stay true with easy maintenance and care so that you truly enjoy your new pool.  We will continue to work to find more ways to keep your pool clean, safe and healthy.

For more information or to learn more about Aviva Pools’ products, please check out the rest of our website or talk to a local dealer via our toll-free phone number (833-AVIVA-POOLS or 833-284-8276.)  Together, we can make dreams come true.