Renovating Older Pools
Today’s modern pool bears little resemblance to its 20 or 30 year old ancestor. Major new advances in the technology for automatic in-floor cleaning systems, computerised controls for chemical dosing and internal pool finishes mean that pools can be updated to suit modern designs and requirements. Pool renovations now represent a major proportion of the industry’s activities.
Before embarking on any major renovation project, it is a good idea to have as much historical information as possible about the existing pool. It’s age, original builder and method of construction are useful to know. For people buying a house with an existing pool, much of this information may be available from ACTPLA or your local council. One strong word of warning involving the emptying of a pool should be kept in mind at all times. This is the fact that all swimming pools, even concrete ones, weighing over 50 tonnes, can float when empty. If a pool which is installed in an area which ahs a subterranean water table is emptied, the upward pressure of the water under the floor can actually cause it to lift. It need not be a permanent water table such as tidal area which can cause this. Many parts of the ACT and surrounding NSW area have clay or rock just under the surface and in periods of heavy rain can build up a temporary underground water table. Most pools are equipped with a hydrostatic relief valve in the floor which will allow water from underneath to flow into the tank and equalise the pressure.
It is, therefore, never a good idea to empty a pool in an area where there is a known underground water table or during a time of heavy rainfall. It is also wise to have the hydrostatic relief valve checked by an experienced person before having the pool emptied and have this carried out under the supervision of a properly qualified renovation contractor or builder.
Most pools are emptied to have a new interior applied. In the case of a concrete pool it can be tiling or rendering. At the same time the owner of an older pool may choose to upgrade the filtration system and equip the pool with one of the modern automatic cleaners and automatic sanitising methods.