Each month we feature a different set of manufacturers in Florida. This month’s features are about Florida’s fiberglass pool manufacturers. Here are the top ones you should know about. But first, read a bit about fiberglass pools and why they are so popular in Florida.
The Sunshine State
The Sunshine State, as Florida is aptly known, is home to over 20 million residents making it the third most populous state in the United States. It also offers one of the best business environments in the US given its lenient regulatory requirements, strong workforce, trade infrastructure, low business taxes not to mention the zero-rated personal income tax.
These among other factors have made it rank among the top 10 states for manufacturing in the US. The over 19,000 manufacturers in this state produce a wide array of products ranging from communications equipment, aerospace products, boat semiconductors, batteries, plastics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages and so much more.
In fact, in 2010 alone $14 billion worth of manufactured goods was exported from the Sunshine State to Free Trade Agreement partners. With an economy worth $839billion, Florida would be the 18th largest global economy beating UAE ($348B), Ireland ($241B) and even Switzerland ($693B).
The Brevard, Pinellas, Broward, Duval, Orange and Miami Wade counties have an especially strong manufacturing presence. Fiberglass Pools are one of the many interesting products that come from this state.
Florida is the warmest state in the US, with daily temperatures averaging at 70.7 degrees Fahrenheit. This warm climate, the overall rise in popularity of swimming pools be it In-ground, above ground or commercial pools plus the enabling business environment has led to Florida being the home to top pool manufacturers in the US. Some of the different types of pools include fiberglass pools, concrete pools and vinyl liner pools with the first being the most popular.
Fiberglass is simply a type of fiber-reinforced plastic, in this case, the fiber being glass fiber.
The glass fiber may contain magnesium, oxides of calcium, silica/silicate and rarely boron depending on the intended use. The glass fiber may be flattened into a sheet or woven into a fabric. Fiberglass pools are usually factory-molded making them easier to install in case of in-ground pools.
Fiberglass pools continue to be a favorite for many people due to their easy installation plus their easy short/long term maintenance. Swimming pools are fairly expensive and thus the more reason for them to be durable, fiberglass pools outlive vinyl liners’ 8-12 years and concrete’s 10-15 years life.
Fiberglass has limited areas to leak plus no headaches about plastering or liner replacing. Another underrated fact is that fiberglass pools offer the best aesthetics as compared to concrete ones and thus giving your backyard the essential image lift. Potential buyers also get to choose from a wide range of shapes and sizes with some manufacturing boasting of over 40 shapes.
However, fiberglass pools do have a few downsides, for instance, the installation costs may be more than concrete ones, experienced contractors are also hard to come by and lastly maintain the appropriate water quality can be a daunting task as poor pH levels or calcium imbalances can damage the gel coat.
Maintenance and general cleaning go a long way in improving the pools longevity thus proper practices should be established.
The fiberglass material is not porous thus stains become a constant challenge. The stains are mostly due to imbalanced minerals, sun block, foreign objects and suntan oils. The stains are also indicative of improper pH levels, alkalinity levels, calcium hardness and chlorine levels.
Maintaining a good water balance (pH 7.2 to 7.4, alkalinity 80 to 100ppm, calcium hardness 200 to 400ppm, chlorine 1ppm) on a daily basis will ensure a stain-free pool. To clean the stains you can rub vitamin C directly on the stain until it’s gone, a brush with soft bristles can be used to remove the excess rust if any.
Rub with commercial pool tile cleaners to remove mild bathroom ring stains, a sponge, soap or liquid detergent and warm water may also be helpful.
A mixture of oxalic acid and water should be used to remove heavy bathroom stains, after which chlorine is poured. It is recommended that the mild stains should be cleaned as first as they appear and also make sure to maintain the water pH balance at all times. There are also several pool cleaners that will do the job for this kind of pool.
San Juan Pools
This manufacturer utilizes two types of fiberglass namely a 24-ounce heavy woven roving and a 1.5-ounce mat, which are placed alternate layers.
While most manufacturers use fillers in pools which restrict the fiberglass’s flexural strength, San Juan Pools doesn’t.
San Juan pools spot a satin smooth gel coat from NPGIsophthalic that is applied about 32ml thick, which is 30% more than most manufacturers use.
Potential customers get to choose from over 90 different shapes, styles, and sizes for their fiberglass pools.
This manufacturer is also one of the oldest pioneers of fiberglass pools dating back to 1958 in Seattle, Washington where the company started.
Latham Pool Products Inc.
Latham Pools undergo a 10-stage manufacturing process to ensure each fiberglass pool is built to the highest attainable industry standards.
The pool has a gel coat called Crystite that is available in over 86 million colors.
Additional features of a Latham Pool include an added vinyl ester resin for maximum impact resistance, hand laid multi-layers of vinyl ester resin and fiberglass for improved durability and strength, a ceramic core for better protection and performance and finally customized detailing as per client specifications.
Latham Pool Products has over 60 years of experience in making pools and other swimming pool and spa accessories and parts.
Premium Fiberglass Swimming Pools
This manufacturer is one of the few factory-direct fiberglass pool manufacturers present in the state.
It provides a wide range of over 20 different types of pools.
The company also produces top of the range pool and spa parts like pool heaters, pool pumps, salt systems, LED lighting among others.
Premium Fiberglass Swimming Pools has also been “A” rated by the Better Business Bureau assuring its clients of the premium pool and spa products.