Pool professionals continue to search for ways to install more pool in less time while also offering superior pool interior finish options for their clients. One proven European solution is quickly picking up speed in the US—a gorgeous, reinforced PVC pool interior finish that looks like slate, marble, granite and traditional gunite. Three builders share their experiences with adding this product into their business offerings.
Many in our industry know David and Robert Hobaica, the second-generation owners of Easton Pool & Spa, Inc., a Pool and Spa Top-50 Builder. The Hobaica brothers recently launched a new company that offers a smaller-sized, precast concrete plunge pool they call Plunge+ which they offer with a reinforced PVC that the team is convinced is the ultimate pool interior –providing a watertight, unsurpassed practical, durable, and beautiful interior pool finish. Bob Hobaica explains that the company recently honed-in on this reinforced PVC as a superior interior finish for their plunge pool. “I had read several articles about reinforced PVC for use in pools over the past few years and talked to installers who actively use this finish in commercial pools and learned that this is a proven product that has been used in residential pools for many years in Europe,” explains Hobaica. “So when RENOLIT approached me through LinkedIn, I was receptive to learning if this pool interior solution would work for the Plunge+ pool.”
To determine the viability of this reinforced PVC, Hobaica decided to use the material in his own 9ft x 21ft pool that he was building at his home. “RENOLIT came out and trained our construction crew on how to install this reinforced PVC interior finish, which is welded onsite in the pool,” explains Hobaica. “There is a bit of a learning curve to the installation. However, we were all super impressed with the durability and practicality of the product, not to mention that the company’s new TOUCH textures and colors are extremely attractive.”
Hobaica explains that the resilience of the reinforced PVC interior finish was unexpected. “After the pool’s interior was completed, I left the pool open and without water for almost five months while I worked on a complete backyard makeover. As a result, the pool interior was littered with rocks and dirt from the renovation but the material is so robust, it wasn’t affected AT ALL by the debris or the sun or lack of water,” says Hobaica. “This reinforced PVC interior finish is truly the best option for our new Plunge+ pool but it is also ideal for renovating pools as well. The material ships immediately from Indiana, is fast to install, eliminates the headaches associated with scheduling around weather conditions, holds up to freeze-thaw conditions and can be left without water for long periods of time,” says Hobaica. “It’s truly a superior interior that I would recommend to anyone building and renovating pools.”
Ontario Pool Coatings, Ontario
Similarly, Darren Borland is a pool renovation specialist that has been renovating and repairing residential and commercial pools for years but has always struggled with being able to meet the demand for all the requests he receives each year. Borland previously used only epoxy resin paints and thermoplastic coatings for his renovations. When he learned about the features and benefits of reinforced PVC, he realized the product would be the perfect complementary product to his company’s existing service offerings because it allows his company to take on any project, providing an opportunity to expand his business and renovate more pools every year.
“It’s a new addition to our toolbox,” says Borland. “With traditional pool coating renovation projects, we explain to the client that if their pool has a good structure, we can provide a good finish. But not all pools have a solid structure,” explains Borland. “With the reinforced PVC pool interior finish, we can take on renovation projects that are riskier. We can install the product on pools that are not perfectly built, as the reinforced PVC is more forgiving to movement and cracking and will still hold water to provide a complete waterproofing system regardless of future ground shifting.”
For Borland, adding the reinforced PVC pool interior finish into his offering has allowed the company to take on projects they were not able to perform previously; further allowing him to expand his business to a larger number of potential clients. “The reinforced PVC interior finish is a complete waterproofing solution even if the concrete shell shifts or cracks, the reinforced PVC will hold water regardless,” says Borland. “Clients, especially commercial clients, want something long-lasting that isn’t going to leak so they appreciate the additional insurance the reinforced PVC interior finish provides.” Borland explains that his commercial clients have been thrilled to know they no longer have to work on the pool surface year after year, as many had done previously. “Commercial pool operators understand the value of not having to constantly maintain the pool surface every year, as it saves time and money,” explains Borland. “Further, a better pool surface is appreciated by their swimmers and maintenance staff, not to mention the product is very attractive as it comes in slip resistant textures and finishes that elevate the look and feel of the pool.”
Borland and his team are seeing more pools experiencing cracking problems that, once inspected, are far deeper cracks than just on the surface. “In areas where new condos, big buildings, and other major construction is occurring, we’ve started to see ground disturbance and drainage concerns in many of our pool renovation projects,” says Borland. “Reinforced PVC pool interiors are the best solution for any potential underlying issues when renovating pools,” explains Borland. “For those looking to expand their business, reinforced PVC pool interiors can be the ideal addition to a pool professional’s offering.”
Ark Custom Pool and Spa, Kelowna, B.C
ARK Custom Pools has been installing reinforced PVC interiors for many years on commercial pools but is now finding the product to be rapidly expanding into the residential market, especially now that the product is available in new attractive textures and finishes. Solmundson says that once trained on how to install the product, it’s a terrific way to retain and keep workers busy year-round. “What I’ve found is that pool pros don’t realize how easy it is to install this product and there are very low-barriers to entry as you don’t need to invest large amounts of money for equipment and you don’t need to have the material in stock, as we simply order rolls of material for each job which is shipped from a warehouse in LaPorte, Indiana,” says Solmundson. “There is a learning curve, obviously, like anything else, but compared to other types of equipment repairs, it is a much faster learning curve.” Solmundson explains that the main skill is the welding, which is the easiest. “The more intricate parts like stairs and corners are more complicated, so this is where RENOLIT offers assisted installation training, which is the best way to train your crew” says Solmundson.
As pool builders desperately look at ways to retain their best workers throughout the winter, learning how to install the reinforced PVC interior is the perfect way to keep crews busy year-round. Solmundson says his crews are busy all winter installing these membranes on indoor pools. “We try to save all of our indoor jobs for the winter so we keep our crews busy year round doing indoor residential installations as well as indoor installation at hotels, athletic clubs and HOAs,” says Solmundson. “This reinforced PVC interior pool finish really smooths out the seasonality of pool building and renovation, making it a great addition to any pool business.”
Solmundson explains that these new colours and textures help his business stand out from competitors because it’s unique and this pool interior really enhances and blends beautifully with today’s popular decking and coping treatments. “Reinforced PVC is a commercially rated product so it’s ideal for all those facilities looking to fix leaking and deteriorated pools and stop the cycle of annual patching, painting and resurfacing,” says Solmundson. “And with the new European textures and finishes, both commercial and residential pools are instantly given a designer look with the benefit of also solving the problems caused by freeze-thaw conditions of outdoor aquatic facilities, like cracking in the structure, making the pool watertight.”
Other types of commercial aquatic facilities, plus indoor and elevated pools, are also interested in the new colours and textures, in addition to a long-term watertight solution.
“With these new stone and marble patterns, colours, and finishes, we are seeing more and more hotels, athletic facilities, and wellness spas who want a more attractive look that enhances the architectural design of the facility,” says Solmundson. “The white marble product, for example, gives the pool a really high-end, luxury look and feel and it’s also perfect for large commercial pools as well as spas and soaking tubs used in wellness centres, health spas, athletic facilities, and resorts.”
These three pool professionals agree that RENOLIT’s designer reinforced PVC interior is the perfect addition to any pool business—whether for new construction or renovation. This product helps pool professionals stand out from competitors and opens new opportunities to grow their market and increase their profits.