Maintenance of Your Pool Shell’s Gelcoat Surface
The surface of your pool shell needs regular maintenance, just like the surface of a car or boat. Below is a list of things you should do to help maintain the surface of your pool shell.
- Regularly clean the surface of your pool shell (above the waterline) with a non-metallic green kitchen scourer to remove any build-up of dirt, body fats or oils.
- Use a marine wax polish (suitable for fibreglass gelcoats) to polish your pool shell surface above the waterline at least once per year.
- Never drain your pool below the mouth of the skimmer box and always keep the water level as high as possible (3/4 up the skimmer box is ideal).
- Keep your pool water balanced and properly sanitized. Please refer to the Water Chemistry section of this guide for full details on maintaining a clean and healthy pool.
Protection of Your Pool Shell’s Gelcoat Surface
The gelcoat surface of your pool must be protected against damage caused by excessive chlorine and pH levels and direct exposure to sunlight.
- The use of a pool cover must comply with the manufacturer’s guidelines, including the need to remove the cover at least once every month (for a minimum of 24 hours). This helps your pool ‘breathe’ and allows a water sample to be taken and tested by your pool professional to ensure water chemistry levels are maintained at desired levels.
- Whenever a pool cover is in use, salt chlorinators and chlorine dosers should be run at reduced rates (particularly during winter). Otherwise, chlorine levels can quickly rise to excessive levels of 10ppm or more. Long term exposure to excessive levels of chlorine and pH can damage the gelcoat surface of your pool shell and affect your pool shell warranty.
- Chlorine levels should not exceed 3ppm for prolonged periods (ideally 1-2ppm) and should be checked once per week whilst a cover is in use.
- An effective way to ensure appropriate chlorine and pH levels are maintained in your pool water is to install a regulated salt chlorinator or chlorine dosing system in conjunction with a pH controller. Such systems are now widely available and cost effective and can be retrofitted to your pool filtration system, for example if you currently have an unregulated salt chlorinator.
- Cover your pool shell’s fibreglass coping with a paver, tile or similar product. This will avoid direct exposure to sunlight on the horizontal section of the fibreglass coping. Long term exposure to sunlight can damage the gelcoat surface of your pool shell and affect your pool shell warranty.
Note: Contact your authorised Compass Pools Dealer to find out more about regulated chlorination and pH control systems. Compass recommends the use of regulated controllers for optimum protection of your pool’s gelcoat surface (especially where a pool cover is in use).
Prevention of Staining
There are 2 groups of stains that can occur on the surface of your pool shell. These are organic stains and metal stains.
- Organic stains are caused by things such as algae and plant matter. Please refer to the Water Chemistry section of this guide for full details on how to maintain a clean and healthy pool.
- Metal stains can be caused by things such as metal shavings, and hairpins etc. If these stains cannot be removed by lightly rubbing with a non metallic green kitchen scourer, your local pool shop will be able to advise you on ways to chemically remove the stains.
Prevention of Calcium Build-up
Your pool water will naturally contain various trace elements including Calcium. It is important that you maintain ‘balanced’ pool water to prevent Calcium in your pool water from depositing on the gelcoat surface of your pool. Please refer to the Water Chemistry section of this guide for further details on ‘balanced’ pool water. Calcium can also leech out of the mortar joints between your coping pavers, resulting in isolated deposits on the gelcoat surface of your pool. Where this occurs, follow these steps to remove any isolated deposits of Calcium build up.
- Use heavy duty outdoor water proof gloves and wear protective glasses
- Mix 1 part Hydrochloric-acid to 10 parts water
- Use a scrubbing brush to clean pool surface (do not use metal brush)
- Do not over scrub as it can cause a dulling sheen on the pool surface
Where there is more widespread ‘whitening’ of the pool surface underwater due to Calcium leeching out of the pool water, rather than just isolated deposits, your local pool shop will be able to advise you on ways to chemically remove the buildup.
Important Notification to the Pool Owner
It is your responsibility as pool owner to follow the ‘Care & Maintenance’ instructions in this section of the Pool Owner’s Guide. Failure to comply with any of your responsibilities that results in damage to your pool shell’s gelcoat surface, will adversely affect your manufacturer’s warranty.