Pro Tips with Jamie Snyder

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Why do fiberglass pools crack?

Posted by James Snyder on Sat, Feb 02, 2013 @ 43:03 AM

Well, we all know everything has a breaking point. The trick is getting a product where the breaking point is so far out of reach that you will never get near it. But the question stands – Why do fiberglass pools crack? There are a few different ways that a fiberglass pool will crack. I will attempt to give you my honest professional opinion here as to what I have witnessed. If you have seen something I missed please leave it in the comments. The more we all know the better off we all will be.

My top 7 reasons fiberglass pools crack.

  1. Improper shipping support.  I have seen this on a pool before and there is not much I can do about it once it gets to me but send it back from where it came from. Travelling down the road can place huge stresses on a fiberglass shell because of the bumps in the road. What happens sometimes is that a pool will be strapped improperly and this will allow significant distortion of the pool shell.   Leisure pools are able to flex over one foot without damage, but they also let you know any more is not good. The cracks that form are sometimes referred to as spider cracking of the gel coat. This is unsightly and should be rejected although it poses no threat to the overall structural integrity and is only on the surface.

  2. Improper gel coat thickness. Now this one is a strange phenomenon. Gel coat applied to thin will crack just as easily as gel coat applied to thick. I’m not a scientist, I don’t know exactly why this happens, it just does. There is a very small margin for error here so the factory must have quality control factors in place when manufacturing your pool.

  3. Accidental Damage. Well that can be just about anything. The most common although almost nonexistent would be the run of the mill car accident. In the past 5 years I know of only one pool where the driver hit a low bridge. That will straight destroy anything so a pool is no different.

  4. Pool shell too thin or just too weak. Some manufacturers build weak shells, it’s bad for the industry as a whole. But unfortunately that’s just how it is. If the shell is too thin or flexible it will flex past the ability of the gel coat to flex and cause a spider crack.

  5. Low quality gel coat or even worse a gel coat alternative. Placing plastic on the inside of the pool and calling it a high end finish is getting more and more popular. Be wary of any pool that calls the inside of the pool “xyz finish”. That is not a true gel coat and has a been known to fade and just plain delaminate.

  6. Pool not made level to begin with. If a pool shell is produced off a wood framed mold most likely that mold has warped over time. With varying humidity and temperatures this is unavoidable for these cheaper molds. The problem with that is that the factory gives the installer a set of dig plans and we dig the hole to exacting specifications. If the pool is not the shape it was designed to be the hole will be off and the pool will not be level. Once water is placed in the shell the pool will most likely find level because of the tremendous weight. This forcing of the pool into level will stress the shell and cause spider cracking at best and giant wall cracks and bulges at worst. Rumor is that one manufacturers shells are so far off that they recommend the installer use the excavator to push the uneven corners down then fill it.

  7. Improper backfill and or installation. If you use sand you will come to regret it. Thing is, sand just is a pain to compact fully, especially 8' deep around a corner you can't see. Gravel comes out of a shovel 95% compacted and the rule is if you get to 98% you can build just about anything you want on it. Sand besides being hard to compact can wash away in wet conditions. If your pool builder says they will be using sand - run!

Notice I didn't say temprature. Cold temps have little to no affect under normal. Every fiberglass pool builder in the northeast has installed a pool in below freezing temps and they never have a problem. I remember at the end of 2010 just before Christmas breaking over 1000 pounds of ice that froze inside a pool that was waiting to get installed. I needed to get the ice out because it was too heavy to lift with it in and there was no problems smashing the ice with a sledge hammer.  Thats because the gel coats and fiberglass itself have great cold weather properties. And that's why fiberglass pools are a great choice for upstate NY.

Got comments. Lets hear em!

Low Quality gelcoatDon't get stuck with low quality gel coat like this! Buy from people with integrity.

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Does any company make a Carbon Fiber Swimming Pool?

Posted by James Snyder on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 @ 31:01 PM

In the race to build the most technologically advanced and structurally sound swimming pool one company has clearly positioned themselves as the leader. Not content with producing the best fiberglass swimming pool on the market Leisure Pools has raised the bar once again.

Introducing Composite Armor (or Armour if you are an Aussie)

Carbon fiber swimming pool
Leisure pools has recently introduced Composite Armor to its line of fiberglass swimming pools. This Patented technology is comprised of Carbon Fiber, Basalt Fiber and DuPont Kevlar. Incorporating these hi -tech fibers to your swimming pool provides significant advantages over the competition.

3 reasons why Composite armor is the best choice for your new swimming pool.

  1. Strength – Carbon Fiber and Kevlar are the go-to materials for super strong construction. There is a reason that bullet proof vests and helmets made from DuPont Kevlar have been standard issue for US combat soldiers for decades. 
  2. Light weight – The Boeing 787 Dreamliner which seats up to 290 people and cost $32 Billion to design is Boeing’s most fuel efficient airliner and the world’s first airliner to use composite materials for most of its construction. Now this same technology is available in your swimming pool only 3 years later.B787 composite
  3. Flexibility – Here in the northeast, Monroe, NY to be specific we have seen some extreme weather in the last few years. This abundance of rain coupled with times of drought cause the ground to expand and contract. Having a composite based pool vs concrete (gunite) or a vinyl liner pool is a huge advantage. The repair process on a crack in a gunite pool can be quite a process.

Free Estimate, fiberglass swimming pool builder


What Water Features Can Be Installed With Fiberglass Pools?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Wed, Aug 01, 2012 @ 00:09 PM

fiberglass_pool_dealer_westbrookvilleToday’s fiberglass pools are (almost) as customizable as a concrete pool. Already the shell can be ordered with a variety of features such as vanishing edges, attached spas, and water jets. Waterfalls or water walls, deck jets or water archs can be included in the design around the pool.

Spa Jets
With the Fiberglass Pools by Leisure Pools USA you always have the option to install spa-jets. Other possible features include a whole spa seat area, in pool table and a swim jet system so that you can even exercise in smaller size pools. Go to our Swimming Pools section or contact Albert Group Landscaping to find the best style and options for your needs.

Today waterfalls are one of the most popular water features. While waterfalls used to be extremely expensive, time-consuming projects, the revolutionary concrete additive pioneered by StoneMakers makes it possible, to build amazing projects at a fraction of the cost - and much faster. While you can build a whole grotto with a big waterfall streaming down into the pool, you can also choose a smaller version or install some water jets in your retaining wall. No matter, which size you choose: a waterfall is one of those features, which gives your backyard oasis that special touch.

Water Walls or Weeping Walls
This is a less dramatic option than a waterfall. Water Walls require the construction of a raised wall next to the pool. Instead of sheets of water, there is just a trickle coming down the side of the wall: a nice alternative to built-in jets.

Deck Jets
You can add a lot of fun to your pool by including a few deck jets. Many jets are easily adjustable. You can change the heights or the entry point, let the streams overlap or create multi-stream archways. The jets can be installed on the deck or inside a retaining wall. Add some LED or fiber optic lights and you can create your own night-time spectacular.


Can I build a Swimming Pool in a Small Yard?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sat, Jul 21, 2012 @ 54:04 PM

swimming_pool_builder_monroeToday swimming Pools come in all shapes and sizes. What matters most, is the functionality and the design. And with a little creativity and the right builder, many things can be done. You should also consider, that there are lots of good reasons to choose a small pool even for a good-sized yard. On the other hand, there are also quite a few ways to maximize space in a small yard.

Use all your space
The typical pool is surrounded by a deck and can be accessed from all sides. By building up to fence or a retaining wall at the border you can safe quite some space. All you have to give up is the entry point on one or two sides of the pool. You even could use those inaccessible edges to incorporate a waterfall, which will give your pool an extra touch.

Work with Freeform pools
While many standard pools are rectangular or oval, there are many freestyle forms to choose from. You can find many different styles on our Swimming Pool page. Each style is versatile and can be customized regarding entry points, functionalities and extras. The Tuscany style and the Courtyard Roman are especially designed for smaller and more challenging spaces. Both feature a narrow coping design which maximizes the space inside the pool. 

Choose Versatility
If you don’t have much space, your pool should be versatile. While the kids should be able to splash around and cool off, you might want to be able to really exercise in your pool or to relax in an internal spa. All Leisure Pools fiberglass pools can be customized and even the smallest pool can be equipped with an internal spa and a swim jet system that you can swim against to exercise. And there will still be space to have fun and cool off.

Another option: Spools
If your yard is even to small for this or you want to use even less space, a Spool might be the right thing for you. A Spool is basically an oversized spa, about 12 by 14 feet. While they can be used as a spa, they still offer enough room for the kids to splash and play. Ask Jamie Snyder of Albert Group Landscaping about the right option for your yard.


Are Fiberglass Pools Heat Resistant?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sun, Jul 08, 2012 @ 30:09 AM

upstate_fiberglass_poolYes, fiberglass pools are heat resistant. They are suitable for any climate in the United States. In fact, they are 17 times stronger than concrete pools and can withstand temperature extremes of hot and cold.

Another advantage of fiberglass swimming pools in hot weather is, that algae is less likely to grow on the non-porous surface. Chemicals also won’t interfere. There is no adverse effect due to heat or sun-exposure.

Our fiberglass pools come from Leisure Pools USA, one of the biggest manufacturers in the US. The company is originally from Australia and did a lot of research and development for their product. Since the UV intensity in Australia is extremely high they wanted to have a product, which is highly resistant to sun, weather and chemicals.

The result are surprisingly versatile and strong pool shells and an extremely resistant finish. The Aquaguard® Gel Coat finish is specifically designed for swimming pool applications and comes in a variety of colors. It is formulated as a one-coat spray that is easy to apply – and easy to repair, in case surface or pool should get damaged.

Yes, even fiberglass pools can get damaged, “if you smash it with a sledge hammer”, says James Snyder of the Albert Group. “Let’s face it you can crack anything if you really wanted to. Pools made by Leisure Pools USA have a breaking strength of 21,000 psi. So if you use this pool in the manner that it was designed you will be fine. But if you do have an accident it is easily repairable.”

Leisure Pool also offers a 35 year structural warranty and a 15 year surface warranty. This is notable, since the gel coat has actually been laboratory tested out to 20 years with no noticeable deterioration.


What to consider when you get a Swimming Pool

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 @ 30:09 AM

swimming_pool_landscaper_monroe_nyThere are many decisions to make, when you think of investing in an own swimming pool. Here are some important things you should consider, next to the size, shape, material and the landscaping design of the pool area.

Is there a Warranty?
Don’t forget to ask about the warranty of the pool. The Albert Group Landscaping is an official dealer of LeisurePools USA. Leisure Pools offers a 35 year structural warranty and a 15 year surface warranty on its Aquaguard® gel coat finishes. For a small fee, the warranty is even transferable. Included in the onw time fee is an on site inspection by an approved LeisurePools representative. You can find more information about the warranty on and register your warranty right here.

Is there an Overall Landscaping-Plan?
If you just choose the swimming pool by itself, it might clash with the style of your house. It is always best to have an overall plan for the whole swimming pool area. To make it possible for you to envision the whole project and how it will look in the end, we show you a computer-generated 3-D design first. We also use a checklist covering over 80 topics that will us design the perfect outdoor living area for you.

How does the Installation Process look like?
The installation of a fiberglass pool has a few advantages. Since the shell is manufactured in a factory and delivered in one piece it usually just takes a few days to install, compared to 3-6 month for a concrete pool or 2-3 month for a vinyl liner pool. Before we dig the hole, we contact the officials to request a permit and also find out, where the underground lines, electric, water, sewer and cable are. After the pool is set into the hole and plumbed in, the backfill will be applied. At the same time, the pool is being filled with water. Now we can begin with the preparation of the deck.

What about references?
We are proud of every single project we did. In fact, there are lots of pictures and videos on our website which might be a great inspiration for your backyard swimming pool. Please also visit our testimonials-page, where our customers talk about the experience they had working with Albert Group Landscaping.

What happens after the Pool has been built?
No matter what happens, we will be there for you. Whether you have questions about the maintenance of your swimming pool, different filtration systems, or about swimming pool safety, just contact us or give us a call. We envision all of our customers as part of our Albert Group Landscaping family.



Should I add a swimming pool to my weekend house?

Posted by James Snyder on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 @ 22:10 AM

Fiberglass Swimming pool installed in a weekend home in Upstate NY

For those of you that have pulled the trigger on a weekend home in the Catskills – you already know how rewarding it is. So bear with me while I bring everyone else up to speed. 

                Owning a weekend home in Orange, Dutchess or Sullivan County becomes a way of life. A place where you can step back in time, wind down from the energetic pace of NYC and simply recharge. Taking a stroll through a wooded path in the spring or snow shooing in the winter becomes a weekly affair. As a landscape designer, and swimming pool builder I have had the opportunity to meet many clients that know firsthand the benefits of owning an upstate home.

                This past weekend I went and visited a client of mine that put a pool in last year and she made a comment that inspired me to write this article. We were talking about the pool and she said “It’s like going on a vacation every week”. That comment really made me feel good. I am glad I was able to be a part of transforming her upstate home to her private resort.

To Receive your free estimate click here!

Inground Swimming Pools: Preferred Qualities

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sun, Jun 03, 2012 @ 43:08 AM

swimming_pool_dealer_chester_nyBasically there are three kinds of inground swimming pools: fiberglass, vinyl liner and concrete swimming pools. We put existing data together to create this chart listing the preferred qualities of inground swimming pools. Let us explain why fiberglass pools gained the most stars in almost any categorie.

Low Maintanance
The maintenance time of a fiberglass pool is calculated at about half an hour per week as compared to the maintenance of a concrete pool, which can take up to 4 or 5 hours. This is simply because the surface of a fiberglass is easy to clean. With Leisure Pools exclusive Aquaguard Gel-Coat surface algae can’t bond that easily and therefore fewer chemicals are needed.

Speed of Installation
A fiberglass pool can be installed and ready for decking in 5 to 13 days. In comparison, the installation of a concrete pool takes 8 to 12 weeks! You also do not have to worry about subcontractors if you decide to install a fiberglass pool.

Factory Controlled Quality
Leisure Pools inground fiberglass swimming pools are manufactured under stringent quality control standards to ensure consistency in materials and mold. The quality of the pools is controlled in every phase of the manufacturing process, based on quantitative and qualitative factors. Concrete pools are checked on site, the kit for vinyl pools is manufactured in a factory, the quality check depends on the contractor.

Leisure Pool also offers a 35 year structural warranty, and a 15 year Gelcoat warranty. The warranties for concrete pools are between 1 to 5 years depending on the contractor. Vinyl pools usually just come with a seam warranty, there is no warranty for the surface.

The higher initial cost for a fiberglass pool is outweighed by the low lifetime cost of ownership. This is the result of low maintenance and the high durability of the material. Another advantage of the high material quality is the resale value of any fiberglass pool.


Fiberglass Swimming Pools for Small Yards

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sat, May 26, 2012 @ 09:07 PM

Today’s fiberglass swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes. To make it a little easier for you to decide which style might fit your needs, we want to introduce you to the best options for small yards.

Leisure Pool USA offers a huge variety of styles, most of which are available in different sizes.  

swimming_Pool_dealer_chester_nyCourtyard Roman Style

With a length of just 19 feet the Roman style pool is ideal for small areas. Despite its small size there is enough space for a safety ledge around the sides, an internal spa, and a jet system that you can swim against. The ledge is especially great for children who like to get a foothold when at the side of the pool.

Take turns relaxing in the spa and exercising against the jet system. Even if you do not want or need all the extras, the Courtyard Roman is still a great choice. It simply is a beautiful pool, which does not take up your whole back yard to add greatly to your outdoor setting.

A smaller size pool has other advantages too. It is easier to heat, which means you can enjoy your pool longer. Your kids will still have a blast splashing and playing in the pool -  and it will definetly add to the aesthetics of your back yard oasis.

swimming_pool_dealer_monroe_nyTuscany Style

Due to its free-style, kidney shaped form, the Leisure Pools Tuscany Style is another great choice for small and more difficult areas. Where the conventional shape might not work, the Tuscany will still fit. It will look great in corners or in the center of the yard -  and also offers various landscaping-options, like rockgardens and waterfalls.

Other features of the Tuscany are the generous size entry steps at the shallow end and optional spa jets. To maximize the space inside the pool the spa jets can be fitted to create a spa nook.

The Tuscany is also equipped with a ledge, which adds to the safety of children who can get a foothold all the way around the pool.

Click on our “Swimming Pools”-section, to find out more about the different options, shapes and sizes.


Fiberglass Swimming Pool Surfaces - The Benefits

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Thu, May 03, 2012 @ 35:07 AM

Fiberglass_Swimming_PoolIf you are thinking of installing a swimming pool in your backyard you probably have read about the three main options: Vinyl, concrete or fiberglass. After installing many different pools, the Albert Landscaping Group recommends the installation of a Fiberglass Pool with a smooth surface. Here is why:

Beautiful and Resistant
Fiberglass pools have become much more popular over the past ten years. While the first Fiberglass pools were only available in white and therefore not very attractive, Leisure Pools has now developed a new coating, which is available in a huge array of colors. The exclusive Aquaguard Gel Coat finishes are very resistant to chemicals, UV intensity and weathering. That means: The color won’t fade and provide a unique sparkly finish to your inground swimming pool.

Non slipplery
Since many pool owners do not want to install handrails and ladders for aesthetic reasons, you might be concerned, that the fiberglass surface might be too slippery. Leisure Pools provides a non-slip surface on all the pool and spa bottoms, seats and steps. The non-slip surface is barely visible and does not take away from the sparkly color of the Aquaguard finish. Another benefit of the fiberglass surface is, that you feet won’t get concrete-burn, when spending a lot of time in the swimming pool.

Fiberglass swimming pools are also a great option for dog owners. The surface is very durable and the finish works very well with salt chlorine generators, providing a constant low level of natural chlorine, which is not harsh on the dogs skin. Just make sure, to plan a good entry point for your dog, for example choose wider steps with a non-slip surface.

Last but not least, fiberglass swimming pools today come in many different shapes and sizes. Check out our Swimming Pool Style section to choose the right pool for your backyard.




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