While warranties aren’t the most exciting part of a pool installation, it’s not only important to read and understand your fiberglass pool warranty, but to know what to look for. Below are the facts you need to know about warranties:
Fiberglass pool manufacturers provide two warranties to cover the structure of the pool shell and to cover the gelcoat surface.
The structural warranty typically lasts longer and is relatively straightforward. However, the surface warranty can be more difficult to understand and in some cases, may not cover much.
When considering a pool manufacturer, always get the following information regarding the manufacturing warranty for your fiberglass pool:
- Is the warranty transferable?
- What’s the warranty duration?
- What’s excluded?
- What does it actually cover?
Is the Warranty Transferable?
While this may not seem that important if you plan to live in the house for a while, if you move, a non-transferable warranty can depreciate the value of the house and pool.
What’s the Warranty Duration?
Structural warranties usually last for the lifetime of a pool, meaning as long as the pool is used normally. Many fiberglass pools built in the 1960s are still in-ground and functioning perfectly. If the pool is used and properly cared for, you should have no problems. However, if the pool is abandoned or becomes a pond, or is drained to use as a skateboard rink, don’t even think about looking at your structural warranty. As for surface warranties, they may cover up to 7-10 years or as little as 1-3 years. Read the fine print and know your numbers.
Read the fine print! It’s important to know how to avoid warranty issues, particularly using unlicensed people to install, drain, or repair the pool. Once you’ve read the fine print, you may also discover that certain major issue aren’t their responsibility. Don’t be afraid to ask about something that concerns you.
Sometimes the fine print leaves you with significant expenses even if there’s no cost to repair damage, i.e., if a pool is drained and refilled for repair. If you tell the manufacturer that the pool broke, they’ll instruct you to drain and brace the pool yourself before they inspect it. They may fix the problem, but you’ll be responsible for filling up the pool. It’s not only inconvenient, it’s a serious risk as you can cause more damage because most homeowners don’t do it properly. In fact, it’s best that homeowners avoid draining the pool.
What Does it Actually Cover?
Once again, read the fine print! Read the warranty thoroughly to ensure it covers osmotic blisters on the pool surface.
A warranty covering osmosis in the pool structure is only a structural warranty. Basically, it means that while the pool will continue to hold water, you’re on your own if any bubbles or blisters appear in the gelcoat. That’s because osmotic blisters are considered a cosmetic, not a structural issue. In other words, no warranty coverage.
Keep in mind that if your pool manufacturer doesn’t offer a good warranty, you should be concerned about the product. Request a copy of the warranty before signing anything and ask about anything you don’t understand or agree with. Also, these warranties won’t cover the actual pool installation, as the installer will provide a separate warranty covering transportation, plumbing, installation, etc.