Does your pool need resurfacing? Check for these signs

November 10, 2021

As pool resurfacing experts, we are often asked the question, “How do I know that it’s time to think about resurfacing my pool?”

These are some common indicators that it is time to consider pool resurfacing:

Fibreglass Pools


This is the nemesis of fibreglass. The gel coat – which we call the topcoat in industry – that you can see on the pool’s surface is the coating that protects the fibreglass from the harsh chemically enhanced water in the pool. There is no topcoat on the outside of the pool shell, as it is “buried” in the ground. Over the lifespan of the pool, water and moisture from around the back of the pool tracks it way through the unprotected fibreglass laminate and forms a blister when it reaches the surface inside the pool (the topcoated side). Osmosis is very common in fibreglass pools, though the good news is that it can be repaired. The blisters are cut open and the “rotten” fibrous material is cleaned out. Once they are clean and dry, the void is filled with a fibreglass filler and sanded smooth. Then the pool has to be relaminated & resurfaced to waterproof and reinforce the structure of the pool. Finally, a new protective topcoat is applied.


Fibreglass pools are highly susceptible to cracking when they are not looked after. A fibreglass pool is at its most vulnerable when empty – and if you don’t know what signs to look for, they are at high risk of cracking.


We use this term when the topcoat (protective barrier) is very brittle and breaks down into the water, leaving it looking like milk. If you wipe your hand on the surface in the pool or brush the surface you will notice a “cloud” of dust mixing in the water. Over the years of being subjected to high levels of UV and chemicals, it’s a natural phenomenon for the surface to break down.

Exposed Fibreglass:

Once the topcoat gets brittle and starts breaking down, the fibreglass begins to become exposed. When this happens, the fibreglass will start to deteriorate at a faster rate and will release tiny fibers into the water, weakening the area and the integrity of the pool. Additionally, these fibers can get under one’s skin & cause itchiness and irritation.


Delaminating normally only occurs if the pool has been resurfaced in the past. This is when the fibreglass surface in separating from the original surface. This could happen if the fibreglass has not been applied to the original surface correctly, or a gradual ingression of water behind the fibreglass.

Concrete & Pebblecrete Pools


Drummy or hollow areas in a concrete pool are the opposite of osmosis. These areas are caused from the water penetrating through the cementitious barrier surface and causing delamination between the pools’ concrete structure and the current surface in the pool. This normally occurs over a long period of time or if the barrier surface has been poorly applied. These areas have to be removed, the concrete prepared and rendered smooth before we commence the resurfacing procedure.


Through the water you can see calcium nodules “growing” on the surface. This is an indication that water is ingressing through the barrier surface and starting to form a delamination or drummy area.

Black spot:

Black spot is exactly what its name indicates. It is a host of black spots that become apparent throughout the pool surface and cannot be removed with brushing the surface or by heavily dosing the water with additives designed to remove this phenomenon. Alternatively, after the mentioned treatment the black spot keeps re-occurring. It is areas in the surface that have started to break down, causing small pockets for the algae to grow and stay “protected”.

Peeling paint:

In some instances the original surface of the pool was a smooth render coated with a pool paint. This tends to have a short life span in comparison to a fibreglass surface. Peeling of the paint is a common occurrence as well as chalking [as mentioned in the fibreglass section].

Grey Areas:

These are areas in the surface that start to become grey. The reason for this is that the protective coating has worn away and the substrate of the pool is starting to become exposed. Once this occurs it could accelerate the occurrence of “concrete cancer” forming, which in turn creates a more expensive resurfacing process.

Concrete Cancer:

This process is common in all concrete pools. It is when the reinforcing steel used in the construction of the pool shell becomes rusty and bursts through the concrete, as well as the protective coating. There are many reasons for this, but the age of the pool is the main factor: over time, water penetrating causes the steel to rust.

Vinyl Pools


A vinyl liner in a pool is basically a plastic liner that is fitted inside a pool shell. The construction relies heavily on the internal water pressure of the pool to keep its shape in most cases. Any sharp object has a tendency to pierce a small hole in the liner and water loss will occur or a large water bulge will form under the liner.

Delamination from Fitting:

The liner is fitted into a rail fixing system around the top edge of the pool. A common problem is that the liner starts to come away from the fixing allowing water to get behind the surface causing water loss and further delamination from the fixings.

We are here to help if you have any further questions. Please feel free to reach out – we’d be happy to do a free on-site assessment of your pool to help plan out your next options. Get in touch here.

Feel like you just don’t know enough yet? Check out our blog post that discusses your options depending on what ails your pool.

About the Author

Derek is the owner and manager of Fibrestyle Pool Resurfacing. Located in New South Wales, Fibrestyle has been proudly serving the Sydney area with an unwavering focus on quality for over 10 years. Derek is passionate about exceeding expectations, and this attitude has been the driver in Fibrestyle's success through the last decade.

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