How to Update in-Ground Pools

In-ground pool designs, like everything else, change with the times. An in-ground swimming pool can add value to your home; however, it is important to maintain your pool and keep it updated. Groundwater attacks the plaster and surface of pools causing them to crack, peel and become stained. Most pools need resurfacing after a few years. Pool design and options for pool interiors have changed dramatically over the last 20-30 years. You can resurface a pool and modify the decking on your own, but a licensed contractor should be consulted for any structural changes.

Update the interior. Drain the pool. Remove any old tiles and acid wash or sandblast to remove previous coats of paint or epoxy and prepare the surface for a new coat. Hire a contractor to apply new gunite to the surface or hand plaster it yourself if you are experienced. Modern swimming pool plaster comes in a variety of shades. Coating options include resin with small pebbles, rubber or epoxy paints, fiberglass or tile. Use the manufacturer's instructions to apply and allow it to dry for at least three days before re-filling the pool.

Repair or replace the coping. This is the edging around the top of the pool, which is usually plaster rounded to a bull nose shape. New precast coping is available for do-it-yourself installation. Use a hammer or crowbar to loosen and lift out the old coping and set the new coping. It is important to seal the joint between the pool and the coping with pool caulking to prevent water from seeping under the plaster from the top. Apply a decorative finish or coating.

Resurface the deck. Old decks were typically made from plain concrete which in time becomes stained and cracked and may have made only a small border around the pool. Modern trends call for a wider expanse of decking with a decorative concrete finish as well as non-slip materials for added safety. Decorative interlocking concrete pavers are another popular option and come in a variety of colors and designs.

Consider design changes. Old pools were simple rectangles with metal or concrete steps. Modern pools have more rounded and asymmetrical shapes and often incorporate spas and waterfalls. Horizon-less pools are built on hillsides or mountain tops to give the appearance of being on the edge of a waterfall. Consult a swimming pool contractor for structural change ideas and price quotes.

Replace the old, outdated equipment. Today, there are more energy-efficient options for pool pumps, filters and heaters.


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