Gunite Pool vs Vinyl Liner Pool
July 2, 2019
When considering an in-ground swimming pool for your Long Island home, exploring the pros and cons of each option is necessary. While the choices are vast, the two most popular types that people consider when making a pool purchase are Vinyl and Gunite. While we here at Dalcollo Pools are partial to Gunite pools for Long Island and the surrounding areas, they both have advantages and disadvantages.
When it comes to cost, gunite concrete pools can cost around $50,000 or more and require long-term maintenance. The construction time can vary from 3-6 months. Vinyl liner pools cost around $25,000 or more and need the liner replaced every 5-10 years, with construction time of 3-6 weeks.
Gunite pools are perfect if you’re looking for a fully customizable pool that can be extremely deep or large or be built in a fun shape or with features such as tanning ledges. Many vinyl pools are rectangular, but it is possible to customize the shape, size, and depth, with custom shapes costing more than the common rectangular shape.
The structure of a concrete pools is incredibly durable, you don’t have to worry about damage to the pool interior from sharp object or animal claws, unlike vinyl pools. Although the concrete pool finish is durable, you’ll still need to re-plaster the pool every 10-15 years. Salt and concrete do not mix well, so the dissolved salt in the pool water can shorten the life of the interior finish on your gunite pool. Vinyl pool liners are usually less than a millimeter thick, so it’s easy for sharper objects, like broken tree branches or dog claws, to puncture and rip the liner. Vinyl lined pools usually need the liner replaced every 5-9 years and on top of that, the metal wall panels inside the walls of the pool can corrode and begin to disintegrate.
Water chemistry is found to be an issue sometimes with concrete pools. Algae can embed into the pool surface, forcing you to use more chemicals to clean it. More chemicals require more time and more money to maintain the pool. Concrete is also alkaline-based, sot he pH of the pool water is constantly increasing. Vinyl pool lining however, doesn’t effect the chemistry of the pool water as badly since there’s no alkalinity. This means less time and money to keep the water in balance. You will still need to regularly measure and maintain other aspects of the water chemistry – pH, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels.
Algae can easily embed in the porous concrete and can sometimes be very hard to remove. Concrete pool builders recommend brushing the entire surface of the pool with a steel brush at least once a week to remove any algae on the surface. Checking the chemical balance in your pool water every week is also crucial so maintaining your pool. Plaster has the tendency to stain from water, cracking, flaking, or eroding over time. Acid washing your gunite pool every 3-5 years can help with it’s longevity. The surface of a vinyl liner is non-porous, but that doesn’t mean algae can’t make its way into your vinyl pool. In submerged areas where the pool water doesn’t circulate as well, like around the steps into the pool, you will sometimes find algae growth. Wrinkles and dents in vinyl pool lines are usually cosmetic issues and can be smoothed out, but a bump due to a rock or pebble can lead to tears in the liner and will need to be repaired immediately. Vinyl liner pools also need to be tested weekly for accurate chemical amounts in the water.
These are just the aspects that need to be considered when you’re deciding on a pool for you and your family on Long Island. For some people, aesthetics matter more than costs. For others, maintenance needs to be minimal. If you think a boutique-style custom Gunite pool is for you, Dalcollo Pool Builders can make your backyard dreams come true. Give us a call today to find out more information about building your dream backyard on Long Island or the surrounding areas.