Gunite Swimming Pools – What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

The Australian climate is renowned for its harsh conditions, with blistering heat and humidity sweeping the nation during the summer months. The good news is that we have plenty of beaches to cool down and find a brief reprieve from the heat. But going to the beach just to cool down can become a bit of a chore. That’s why many Australians choose to build a backyard swimming pool. From fibreglass, vinyl, gunite, and even the good old blow up pools, there’s heaps of different types of pools available to suit personal preferences.

Today we’re going to examine one of the more popular swimming pools – those made from gunite – and explore the advantages and disadvantages to give you a better understanding of what’s involved in construction and maintenance.

Construction

Once the design and specifications have been finalised, your shotcrete contractors will begin construction by digging a hole and installing the plumbing system. A framework grid with steel reinforcing rods (rebar) will be assembled which are spaced about 10 inches apart and secured together with wire. Once this has been completed, your contractors will spray the rebar with a heavy coating of gunite, which is essentially a mixture of cement and sand.

The cement and sand used in gunite is already pre mixed and sprayed pneumatically through a high pressure hose. At the nozzle, water is injected as the mixture is sprayed so the mixing process is complete once the materials hit the surface. The contractors will trowel the gunite so it’s smooth and allow it to sit for a week or two before applying a smooth finish of your choice. The most common types of finishes are plaster (mix of cement and marble sand), special concrete paint, tiles, and pebble finishes. Gunite pools are designed for warmer climates, hence their popularity in Australia, and can be designed in any shape or size.

Advantages

  • There is a common belief among industry experts who believe that gunite swimming pools are perceived by homeowners as more prestigious
  • Gunite pools are the number one building method for residential homes in warmer climates
  • The structure and surface material of gunite pools are more durable
  • Gunite pools are better suited to commercial environments where vandalism is a concern
  • Gunite pools are completely customisable according to the owner’s specifications and are built on-site. On the other hand, fibreglass pools are prefabricated and transported to homes for installation
  • Gunite pools are very sturdy due to the steel framework and will retain their shape over extended periods of time

Disadvantages

  • Gunite pools take a long time to construct (usually two to three months from start to finish) because time is needed for the concrete to cure properly. Conversely, fibreglass pools only take between one and two weeks from start to finish because the excavation can begin while the fabrication is taking place. Vinyl swimming pools also take a short time to complete – around three to five weeks
  • Some people, especially children and the elderly, find that the bottom of gunite pools are rough and abrasive, especially after spending a long time in the pool
  • There is more maintenance and energy required to have a gunite swimming pool. Additional maintenance is needed because algae is formed when the pools surface interacts with the water. Furthermore, gunite pools with a plaster finish must be reapplied every 10 years
  • Gunite pools with a plaster finish requires extensive use of the pool’s filtration system since metals and alkaloids leech into the water through the plaster finish. On the contrary, fibreglass pools do not need as many chemicals since the surface is nonporous

While gunite swimming pools are very popular in Australia due to their customisable design, durability, and sturdiness in the Australian climate, there are also disadvantages such as higher maintenance needs and a longer construction period. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes the type of swimming pool best suited to them, so it’s vital that adequate research is undertaken to ensure homeowners are happy with their decision as it’s undoubtedly very costly to replace!

If you’re fed up with the heat and think it’s time to build a swimming pool in your backyard, get in touch with the gunite specialists at Evolution Shotcrete by phoning 07 5561 8885.