Coating is one of the crucial factors when setting up a swimming pool. Aside from the aesthetic value, coating is responsible for the safety, hygiene, watertight, mechanical resistance to stresses generated by water and for the response to the chemical agents used to purify the water. Choosing a good-looking coat, both in terms of aesthetics and quality, allows the swimming pool not only to keep safe in time, but also to be attractive and beautiful; the protagonist of the outdoor area that will serve as a perfect frame for this scenario.
What coating should you choose for your swimming pool?
The market offers plenty of options encompassing costs and aesthetic results that differ broadly from one another. The budget option (and the least enduring) consists of chlorinated rubber resin-based enamels, applied with a brush or a roll on the fully dry wall. In order to maintain its coating function, the enamel needs to be refreshed every two to three years and does not ensure a great aesthetic result. With the same coating function and the same budget expenditure, two-component epoxy coating is more resistant to mechanic stresses thanks to the contained plasticizing materials. Specific epoxy paints for swimming pools are resistant to biological attacks from microorganisms and molds, next to chemical agents for the cleaning and water sanitation. Pool coating can also be obtained by shaving special mortars based on synthetic resin and quartzite, ideal to cast the swimming pool with a natural fine effect. Mortar has a similar composition as smoothing compounds used to waterproof surfaces before laying tiles or mosaics; in this sense, it guarantees a good waterproofing outcome, while the mixture of shuttered stone fragments in the compound provides a sense of cleaness to the pool, harmonizing it with the space where it is placed. This covering is of value, thus it decisively brings up the construction costs, if compared to other chemical products. The highest coating on demand due to its value for money are liners, a PVC pre-moulded, 0.75-1mm thick, soldered at the factory in the shape and dimension of the pool. Soldering is made at the factory site with specific machinery and weld joints are indiscernible, which confers a continuous effect to the covering surface. In spite of the minimal thickness, liners are waterproof, long lasting and generally granted for 10 years with regards to their resistance UV rays. Liners are installed on the pool surface by means of pumps making them perfectly adherent to the walls and providing a thinner look to the underground reinforced concrete or steal structure. It derives that using liners means reducing construction costs and time. Liners are available in diverse colors and prints, mimicking mosaics or other patterns, to convey a pleasant aesthetic appeal. Nonetheless liners are not recommended for swimming pools featuring internal unevenness, as for instance stepladders, and for infinity pools.
Porcelain stoneware, glass or micro-cement? Some practical tips to choose pool liners
Doubtless, porcelain stoneware liners, either with tiles or mosaics, is the finest and more costly solution available. However it is not always a viable solution from a technical point of view. In the first place, before laying the coating, it is necessary to waterproof the walls and bottom of the pool with elastic mortars and a fiberglass nets; before installing the tiles or mosaics, it is also advisable to fill the pool to ascertain the base endurance. Free-form pools can hardly be covered with ceramic materials and the maintenance interventions over time should not be underestimated; it is indeed unavoidable that a tile detaches from the base because of the product that has been used, or due to small settling movements of the structure. On top of that, porcelain stoneware is not recommended for an outdoor where the temperatures are not rigid enough. A classy alternative is certainly provided by glass pool liners, available in a number of colors and stylistic options, for a high level of customization. For a truly classy aesthetic result, it is possible to opt for the elegant mosaics in glass, recalling the transparency and pureness of water. Due to the high cost, the use of glass mosaic is confined to pools in luxurious and exclusive environments. The latest discovery in the field of pool liners is micro-cement, a polymeric cement-based coating, laid with a two to three millimeters thickness and used for decorative smoothing. For its strong resistance to sun rays and chemical products, micro-cement is available in different color versions that, when combined, can be used to forge ornamental motifs. Its installation is so simple and fast that the pool is ready to be used immediately after its application.
Pool liners in reinforced PVC: why should you choose it?
One of the most common solutions in recent years is reinforced PVC, consisting of a double layer PVC of a 0-75mm thickness, with a bolstering net in the middle that supplies further stiffness and grants high resistance pool liners. Reinforced PVC liners come in sheets of a height varying between 1.6-2 m; they are soldered in place, hot dip, and with specific machinery. Especially recommended for outdoor swimming pools due to its resistance to low temperatures, reinforced PVC is perfectly watertight even if micro-cracks or fissures are present on the pool surface. Reinforced PVC quality overtakes liners’ and has the advantage of being adaptable to any shape. It is therefore an obliged option for irregularly-shaped pools, infinity pools and pools with beach or island-shaped structures. On the other hand, there is the disadvantage of a non-perfectly-continuous surface, given that weld joints are more visible, together with a higher cost. As it is for liners, reinforced PVC is characterized by a strong resistance to UV rays; it is available in different color tones and several prints to create a mosaic effect. It is possible to purchase anti-slip sheets to cover the stairs giving access to the pool.
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