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Swimming Pool Renovation in the UK and France

Is Your Pool full of green cloudy swimming pool water and in urgent need of restoration?

Are you ashamed to show it to your visitors because of it’s dreadful condition?

When pools are not properly looked after the water can quickly become full of that nightmarishly green algae and other unspeakable objects, such as dead animals? Many pools do get like this and to be frank it is socially irresponsible to have an old pool that has water in it that can trap and kill all kinds of animal and act as a breeding ground for mosquitos.

green pool picture

Does it look like this?

pool full of rubbish

Like this?

builder pool

Or will it not hold water?

old fibre glass pool

Or does it have bent sides ?

OK so your pool is a bit like one of these – The million dollar question is what can you do with it?

The Good news is that many pools that look dreadful have a very sound structure. Is so it can be renovated with a brand spanking new liner to put the pool back into sparkling condition.

But please remember that renovation of a swimming pools is often more complicated and unpredictable than the installation of a new one.

What sort of Pool is it?

You probably have no idea what to do with your problem pool. If you have just bought the house, you may not even know what type of pool it is – You may not know whether it is a top notch installation that has been neglected or something cheap and nasty that is possibly even worthless!

If it was a top quality pool when it was built it is possible that renovation work might be straightforward and reasonable in cost.

On the other hand if the initial installation was a "Let's buy a cheap hole to swim in” you may well be better off by getting rid of it. But even then there may be something that is worth salvaging.

What sort of Pools can be renovated?

This is not the right question to ask as just about every type of pool can be renovated. The question that needs to be answered is:-

What type of pool have I got and is it worth the cost of renovating it?

Why is the type of pool important?

A panel pool may only be few years old – but because of the intrinsic unsuitability of this type of construction in clay soil – that is found all over the place both in France and in the UK – it may be worthless.

On the other hand a 30 year old concrete pool that is cracked and leaking may be structurally sound and worth saving with a new PVC liner.

A fibre-glass pool may have “popped” out of the ground – as they are prone to do. It may be scrap – or it might be possible to re-level it re-do the paving around it – at an economic cost.

Specialist knowledge of construction methods, finishes and filtration both old and new is required to identify and understand the best solution for each individual project.

New Techniques

For all types of swimming pool, Commercial, Residential, Indoor, Outdoor, Concrete or Liner, there can be no doubt that the design, specification and finishes have improved dramatically over the past decade.

Because of this, pool renovation and refurbishment requires even more expertise than the construction of a new pool.

Where the pool tank leaks or if the pool finishes are in a poor state of repair, the most cost-effective solution may be to upgrade the pool circulation system and then install a reinforced vinyl pool membrane.

This will provide guaranteed water tightness and an attractive pool finish that is resistant to swimming pool chemicals and very easy to maintain.

Filtration, chemical treatment and environmental control are frequently in need of renovation or upgrade. The energy savings that can be achieved by upgrading to modern pool equipment may also make it worthy of serious consideration.

Guide on How to do a Pool Condition Survey?

Each Survey will be different but the following table illustrates a typical survey scope.

The objective of the surveys is:-

  1. To make sure that renovation will provide better value for money than complete reconstruction and that the condition of the structure justifies the renovation work.
  2. To audit of every element of the pool in order to consistently assess its future life and reliability.
  3. To identify the scope of the work required and to assess the relative merit of either replacing any pool element or relying on the existing element and the costs of the two alternatives.

Pool Element

Survey Work

Data Required

Identification of Pool Type

Visual Inspection and invasive survey using hammer drill / breaker

What is the pool structure?  Concrete, concrete block, manufactured panels, gunite, fibreglass? Identify and take photos of holes in walls and floor to provide evidence

Pool Structure

Ditto + Spirit level check of floors and walls and laser level check of top of wall levels

Check walls for plumb and straightness, check level of top of walls, check floor levels and map cracks in floor including thickness and level variation across the crack. Tabulate the Numerical data

Pool Waterproofing

Visual Inspection, testing for hollowness by tapping and invasive survey using hammer drill / breaker

Identify lining type glass fibre / render / tiling / paint / bitumastic? Assess condition and whether it can be renewed or repaired for use as a base for liner underfelt

Pool skimmers, drains, water inlets etc

Visual Inspection and invasive survey using hammer drill / breaker – if required.

Examine every through the wall fitting for stability and condition of the fixings for a new liner. Assess whether they should be renewed and whether the necessary gaskets can be obtained. Tabulate size, type, location and condition

Coping Stones (Margelles)

Remove old margelles to allow inspection of the top of the pool wall

Remove all old margelles (Coping Stones) for liner lock inspection. Assess whether liner lock needs renewing and condition of the coping stones.

Paving around pool

Spirit level check and visual inspection of existing concrete base slab

Undertake level survey providing spot levels and measure gradients where any subsidence has occurred. Measure level differences across cracks as well as crack thickness and map crack pattern on plans

Buried Pipework

Insert temporary plugs in skimmers, drains, water inlets etc and air test from the other end of the pipework

Test every pipe individually using air at a pressure of 1 bar. Take the pipe up to pressure, leave it for 5 minutes, take pressure back to 1 bar again and then leave for 10 minutes. Record pressure at the end of 10 minutes

Pool Filtration Plant

Visual inspection and electrical testing as required.

Examine filter for splits, fill with water and check for leaks. Fill pump with water and see if it will run for a few seconds. assess safety and condition of the power supply and control system

Photos of every pool wall, the pool floor, each item of through the wall equipment, the top of the walls and the surrounding paving also need to be taken.

So What can you do?

You could ask local swimming pool firms for proposals. The problem with this is that every firm will have their own fish to fry and tell you what will just give them the highest profit on whatever service they offer. And most pool companies in France specialize in new installations because they do not have the technical expertise to take on pool renovation.

And every offer you get will be different – how can you compare estimates when one firm says that their way is the best thing since sliced bread and the next one to visit says that that way is a load of rubbish!

You can just ask Bluepools to do a condition survey on your pool.

Any report that you receive from Bluepools will be unbiased and impartial so that have cast iron facts on which to base your pool renovation project.

This is a vital pre-requisite to making sure that any money that you spend is not wasted.

The cost of getting your pool into a condition where you are proud of it will be minimized and the risk of wasting money will be eliminated if you follow the advice that the report will provide.

As soon as you have this report in your hand you can move forward.

Major Cost Saving

The really big advantage of getting the survey done is that in lots of cases you will be able to use your local builder to do all the building work. If you know him he will be more reliable and certainly cost a lot less than a pool installer that is working on an open ended "Suck and See type of Approach" for which you will pay through the nose.

Then what is the next Step?

Just put your Email address in the contact form on the Home Page, and we will be in touch to talk to you about renovating your pool.

 

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