Long Term Pool Inactivity

by Eric

We use our inground gunite pool for day camp and have cancelled the program. It may be several years before the pool is re opened.

Any suggestions for long term storage? Will the pool deteriorate beyond repair?

Should we abandon the pool altogether?

Thanks for the question Eric

As you probably know most pool owners close their pools in Fall and open in Spring. Some do have long-term closures which is normally considered 2 - 3 years.

Algae will grow in a closed pool regardless of the time, it's just a matter of degree. Obviously, pools that are closed for a longer period will have more of a mess.

The main thing you would need to concern yourself with is the possible evaporation. As evaporation happens, more of the concrete will be exposed. You probably have some pretty bad Winters which means there will be alot of expansion and contraction with the concrete. This will eventually cause cracks and the water will find its way into the cracks.

If you could keep the pool filled, at least a couple of inches below the returns, as per normal closing procedures, there should be any reason why you couldn't close the pool long term.

If you have no long range plans for re-opening the pool it might be best just to abandon it, as you said.
However, there are the safety factors involved with that. Do you plan on filling it in with dirt or concrete? If not, will there be a fence around it? Posted signs warning people of an empty pool? It's not simply a "set it and forget it" approach.

If it was my call, I'd at least keep the water level right below the returns, as was state above for pool closings, for a couple of years, then reevaluate the pool program. Things can change and you may want the pool option open.

Once you fill in the pool you're pretty well stuck. You can always fill it in, next week or 3 years from now. Check the skimmers, returns, etc... so no water has found it's way into the lines.

So for now maybe you can follow normal pool closing protocol, check the water level through the season, then revisit the pool program in a couple of years and see where you are. It would be bad if in a couple of years you'd get a burst of interest but had filled in the pool. Again, you can always fill it in.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

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Hope this helps.


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Locating Resurfacing Companies That Use A Good Process

by Carl
(Santa Clara, CA)

I am in the process of getting my pool resurfaced. I have removed the old (top-layer) of plaster myself, but have been told that I need to strip down to the gunite.

I'm trying to find a reputable company in my area that will do a hydroblast prep and use Bonding Kote/SMG or Multicoat Scratch Kote 2000, but I'm not sure how to go about doing that...

Thanks for the question Carl

I don't know of anyone in your area that does hydroblasting work but I can say you do need to go all the way down to to gunite to have a proper job performed.

Concerning how to get the right contractor, you can start with the local pool companies for references. The BBB is a good source along with asking family, friends, and co-workers who may have pools. Phone interviews can cut the time down as well.

I did contact another pool guy who lives in CA and he gave me this reference:


They're in Santa Clara and if they can't do the job they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Some questions to consider are:

How long have you been in business?
Who will be the project supervisor
Do you subcontract any work out? If so, who are they and why do you use them? How long have they worked for you? Are they insured? Be sure to get everything in writing.
How about liability insurance?
How many projects like mine have you finished?
I need a of references from those projects
Do you belong to any professional associations?

Remember you're looking at the finished product. That doesn't necessarily mean the lowest price. You're looking for value.

Some things to avoid are:

The contractor says they want alot of money upfront. More than a 1/3 is too much.
They demand cash only. While this isn't all that bad because of the fees credit cards charge, be sure to get a receipt. If it's not in writing it didn't happen.
Be sure the business has a physical business address, just a post office box number

Get an agreement and estimate in writing before any work is to be done. A contract will provide protection in case something goes wrong.

Hope this helps


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