How Long Do Gunite Pools Last?

How Long Do Gunite Pools Last? Answered

Asking how long do gunite pools last is a fair question. After all, if you invest in an inground pool, you don’t want it to fall apart anytime soon. Fortunately, if you choose a quality pool builder, you have nothing to worry about. In this article, we’ll explain how long a pool structure (gunite) should last as well as other cosmetic parts of your pool, such as tile, coping and plaster.

How Long Do Gunite Pools Last If Built Correctly?

For starters, it’s important to discuss what a gunite pool actually is.  Gunite is a process for placing concrete.  So what we’re actually asking is “how long does a concrete pool last?”  Concrete lasts a very long time.  Working on renovations over the years we’ve come in contact with pools built in the 1950’s (70+ years old) that didn’t have cracks and were structurally sound

Concrete Lasts Forever, Plaster and Tile Do Not

Though the 70 year old pools we’ve seen were structurally sound, they still looked horrible. That’s because the interior plaster was coming off in chunks and the tile was falling into the pool. Gunite pools could use a cosmetic renovation every 15 to 30 years on average.  This would consist of replacing the waterline tile, and the interior finish, replacing or resetting any coping stones that have come loose, sometimes replacing skimmers and updating the patio around the pool.  Either way, the heavy lifting of pool construction, the gunite structure, if installed correctly doesn’t require replacement for generations.  

How Long Do Gunite Pools Last? Forever.

Elaborate Designs Require Additional Focus

Some pools have additional demands on them which cause them to have a shorter time between cosmetic updates.  Infinity pools, for example, often are constructed with a free standing gunite wall. That wall holds back the pool water while allowing a small amount to overflow into the catch pool.  In cold climates this wall is exposed to the freeze-thaw cycle which has its own extreme demands. In addition, if the wall is south facing, it can be exposed to enormous temperature ranges within the wall itself.  This can cause premature failure of the veneer stone or tile facing. 

However, even though the tile and veneer might come off it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the gunite structure itself. It just means some additional care and steps need to be taken when installing these materials to minimize the potential damage caused by the freeze thaw cycle.  Extending the time between cosmetic updates is part of building and renovating. This should be a major focus of a good pool builder.

Bottom Line On How Long Do Gunite Pools Last

If you have an ugly gunite pool, don’t lose heart.  Consider renovating it.  Ultimately, a gunite pool designed and constructed properly will outlast those who build it.  This is the beauty of building a gunite pool.  It’s there for generations to enjoy.

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