The type of pool you choose for your home can make or break your enjoyment. That being said, there is not a one type fits all swimming pool that will please everyone. One big factor in deciding what type of swimming pool to install at your residence is how much time and money you have for maintenance. Does your family have time for a high maintenance swimming pool or are you looking for as little upkeep as necessary?

San Juan Fiberglass pools are not high maintenance swimming pool

Be aware that the interior finish, durability, and other factors will affect your pool maintenance to-do list. Of course, maintenance is only one aspect of choosing a pool. Although, it can make a big difference with your long-term swimming pool satisfaction. R.I.G Custom Pool & Spa wants you to be aware of all maintenance expenses you’ll need to plan for so that you can make the best swimming pool decision for your family.

Pool Maintenance Tasks

Do you have a high maintenance swimming pool?

Although the most common type of inground swimming pool, concrete pools require plenty of on-going maintenance. In fact, the cost to keep up a concrete or gunite pool can run about $15,000 over 10 years. On the other hand, fiberglass pools are quite the opposite requiring a much smaller maintenance cost. Over the span of 10 years you can expect to spend about $3,000 on a fiberglass pool.

Concrete Pool Maintenance

Concrete swimming pools require quite a bit of maintenance, but this doesn’t make them bad! Many families have loads of fun in traditional, in-ground concrete pools! Be prepared to accomplish the below maintenance tasks before you decide to install a gunite swimming pool in your yard.

  • Maintaining the water chemistry
  • Weekly brushing
  • Acid washing
  • Resurfacing
  • Professional pool cleaning service
  • Combating algae
  • Filter needs two circulations per day

Maintaining The Water Chemistry In A Concrete Pool

Each week you need to check that the chemistry levels in the pool are in within the following ranges:

  • Total alkalinity: 80–120 ppm
  • pH: 7.2–7.8
  • Calcium hardness: 200–400 ppm
  • Stabilizer (cyanuric acid): 20–50 ppm
  • Chlorine: 2.0–3.0 ppm

Although traditionally plaster is the most common finish, is it quite the high maintenance swimming pool. Plaster affects the water pH, so you will have to work harder to keep the water in the ideal ranges. Of course, every pool will need a weekly checkup, but concrete pools do best when you check the water daily.

Scrubbing Algae

Plaster is porous and a breeding ground for algae. I’m sure you love greenery around your pool, but not so much in the pool. Plaster finishes need scrubbing once a week to keep algae at bay.

One way to get around this is to choose a tile finish which is nonporous. Therefore you won’t have an algae problem.

Acid Washing

Approximately every 5 years, a concrete pool needs a thorough acid wash by a professional. This removes a thin layer of the finish, killing off algae and removing tough stains. The cost of a professional acid wash depends on your pool size, location, and accessibility. It usually runs around $300.


Or refinishing, whatever you choose to call it. Every 10-20 years, you need to completely redo the interior surface of a concrete pool. As the finish ages it becomes faded, cracked, chipped,and well, gross-looking. The small rocks in aggregate finishes start to fall off. If you opt for a tile finish those become grimy and tiles start to pop off over time.

High maintenance swimming pool remodeling refinishing resurfacing

Unfortunately, it’s one of the most expensive maintenance tasks you will have to do on your concrete pool. Thankfully it does not need to be done often.

If you choose NOT to resurface your pool you could have trouble maintaining the correct chemical balance, maintaining water levels and your pool will look terrible. Which of course means, you will use it less often.

Cleaning Service

Does all this maintenance sound like it would take up a lot of time? It does. Many pool owners choose to hire a professional pool cleaning service to save themselves time and get more enjoyment out of their pools.

Running The Filter 2x A Day

A pump and filter system has to work twice as hard in concrete pool vs it’s fiberglass counterpart. Running them keeps the water looking fresh and clear. However, it requires extra electricity and means you could have to replace your system sooner.

Fiberglass Pool Maintenance

Want a pool that is maintenance-free? Sorry, they haven’t invited that one yet! Although, when speaking of in-ground pools, fiberglass pools are as close as it gets. You will need to perform the following maintenance tasks for your fiberglass pool.  

  • Maintain the water chemistry
  • Run the pump & filter once per day

The gelcoat on a fiberglass pool should never need to be refinished when properly maintained. Their strength and durability is top notch and resistant to cracking.

Maintaining The Water Chemistry In A Fiberglass Pool

Follow this guide to maintain the correct chemistry levels in a fiberglass pool:

  • Total alkalinity: 80–120 ppm
  • pH: 7.2–7.8
  • Calcium hardness: 200–400 ppm
  • Stabilizer (cyanuric acid): 20–50 ppm
  • Chlorine: 2.0–3.0 ppm

What Algae?

Fiberglass pools have a gelcoat surface that is smooth and algae-resistant.

Run The Filter System

In a fiberglass pool there is less stress on your pump and filter because you do not need to run it as often. Just one circulation per day will keep your water clear.

Even the dirtiest fiberglass pools with completely green water and debris, can be completely clear within 24 hours. Of course that means super-chlorination, algaecide, and regular cleaning/backwashing of the filter – but still it IS possible!

How Much Will Pool Maintenance Cost Me?

Concrete pool maintenance costs

Maintenance costs for concrete pools can be expensive. Acid washing and refinishing are both labor intensive and require hiring a professional. Acid washing averages around $300 every 3–5 years. Refinishing a concrete pool starts around $5,000 and goes up from there. A concrete pool also requires extra chemicals (approx. $600/year) and electricity (approx. $400/year).

Fiberglass pool maintenance costs

Fiberglass pools do not need a lot of maintenance, so they cost less! Your chemicals will cost approximately $200 a year. Your electrical bill will likely increase about $200 a year to run the pump and filter system.

Which Swimming Pool Type Is Right For Your Home?

Will you opt for a high maintenance swimming pool or a low maintenance one? Like all things, it comes down to personal preference. Choosing to install means it will need regular maintenance to look great and operate properly. If you make pool maintenance a part of your routine, it becomes second nature. Or you can choose to hire a professional pool service to keep your pool looking and performing at its best. If you have a fiberglass pool, the work is even simpler or costs less if you hire a professional service.

We hope this blog helped you learn about swimming pool maintenance, whether your choice is concrete or fiberglass. R.I.G. Custom Pool & Spa installs concrete gunite & fiberglass pools in central Florida. If you’re ready to take the next step in creating your backyard oasis, contact us to set up a complimentary consultation! Our office is open Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm. 863.294.4475