How Long Do Fiberglass Pools Last? 2 Reasons They Don’t Last

Large fiberglass pool with patio in backyard with trees and a fence

When considering the three basic types of inground pools it’s not uncommon to weigh features such as size, shape and texture of the interior finish along with cost.  But what about the longevity of the pools themselves?  It’s widely known that gunite pools will last virtually forever if you continue renovating and resurfacing them.  It’s also known that vinyl pools will last somewhere around fifteen plus years before you need to replace the liner to keep them looking their best.  What about fiberglass pools? How long do fiberglass pools last?

In this article, we’ll outline how long a fiberglass pool will last. We also explain why some fiberglass pools disappoint and fall apart. If you’re wondering about fiberglass pools, you may be comparing them with how long gunite pools last. Gunite pools last longer but fiberglass pools are a great alternative if you can’t afford the price of a gunite pool.

How Long Do Fiberglass Pools Last?

The answer to how long do fiberglass pools last is a multi-part answer. When considering, it’s important to remember that a fiberglass pool is manufactured off site and brought to your property.  This means the fiberglass pool is prefabricated and there is little to no work on your property. Besides small plumbing connections and backfilling after the pool is placed in the hole, there is “construction process” at the installation site.  This will become more important later on as we get into the potential reasons your pool might not last as long as nearly everyone claims.

Generally speaking, a fiberglass pool doesn’t break down all at once. Instead, it’s better to ask how long each part of a fiberglass pool will last. First, the fiberglass shell itself will last the longest. These fiberglass shells are durable and typically last between 20-30 years. However, you will need to make renovations to the deck and coping within 5-15 years. Also if the installers uses flexible PVC, this can require renovation as early as 5 years. Therefore, a fiberglass pool will have a life of 20 – 30 years, but you’ll need to make small cosmetic improvements every 5 – 15 years depending on usage.

2 Main Reasons Fiberglass Pools Don’t Last

Though the shell of the fiberglass pool will last virtually forever, if the plumbing, electrical, and backfilling are not done correctly, that won’t matter.  Unfortunately, it’s common for even experienced fiberglass pool installers to try and speed up the installation by using flexible PVC.  This makes the initial install quick and reduces fittings and labor costs, but reduces the lifespan of your plumbing. The downside of flexible PVC is obvious. It cracks under pressure and is easy for bugs to build a home inside.

builder showing short answer to how long do fiberglass pools last in backyard with flexible PVC at installation

Additionally, due to the complexity of a proper installation of a fiberglass shell in the first place,  it’s not uncommon for the electrical and plumbing conduits to be improperly backfilled and for soil consolidation to occur over time around a fiberglass pool.  This means your deck will sink around the pool creating an unsightly uneven deck. The deck sinking will create tripping hazards next to the pool.  

Granted all these problems listed above are preventable by using a good fiberglass pool installer.  Unfortunately, these issues are so common in the industry, it’s worth mentioning.  If you are considering buying a house with a fiberglass pool, it’s a good idea to get it inspected. You should have this done by a home inspector with fiberglass experience.

How Long Do Fiberglass Pools Last Summary

We hope you now understand the answer to asking, how long do fiberglass pools last?  The pool shell itself will last at least 25 years. However, the surrounding work will likely need attention before those 25 years pass.  If you have a good fiberglass pool installer, you can expect many years of trouble free enjoyment.