Swimming pool paint guarantees safety, hygiene & durability
In the UK there is an ever-increasing number of pools. From the 800-odd spas, each with one or more swimming pools, to the growing number of private pools and baths; the demand for swimming pool paint in the UK is increasing.
The damp environment of a swimming pool provides an increased risk of legionella and other waterborne bacteria. Fortunately, this risk can be minimised by swimming pool paint; it seals surfaces and provides a smooth finish to which dirt and other contamination cannot attach. As well as their hygienic function, swimming pool coatings also create a durable protective layer which reduces the need for maintenance and guarantees a safe visit to the pool.
Swimming pool paint provides the following benefits:
- Seamless finish: No sharp edges, cracks or seams which might cause injuries.
- Prevents leakages: Swimming pool paint is waterproof. The subsurface pool therefore, remains dry and will not be damaged by prolonged exposure to water.
- Aesthetics: That beautiful fresh ocean blue? Or an industrial concrete look? Pool paint is available in many colours, finishes and textures.
- Ensures invisible hygiene: Due to the seamless structure of the coating, no contamination can attach to the surface.
4 common types of pools and the best swimming pool paint for each
Not every pool coating can be applied to any surface. For example, coatings that are especially suitable for porous substrates such as concrete are not suitable for baths made of fibreglass because of different requirements for adhesion. It is also important to define the expected looks of the finished pool: Do you wish to protect the surface without changing its appearance, or is the purpose to give the pool a makeover while making it safer and more hygienic?
Whatever the case, here are some general guidelines to which coatings are suitable for your pool type and material.
1. Swimming pool paint for fibreglass pools
Suitable coating: 1 component epoxy paint (private pools), epoxy coating and polyurea coating
Epoxy coating adheres well to fibreglass and is extremely resistant to chemicals (chlorine and detergents). The disadvantage is that the application and curing of epoxy is a relatively long process: 3-7 days depending on the layer thickness. Polyurea coating, however, is applied with high-pressure spray equipment and dries much faster. For small fibreglass pools or local repairs, one component epoxy-based paints are also available.
2. Swimming pool paint for concrete pools
Suitable coating: Primer + Polyurethane coating (commercial pools), chlorinated rubber pool paint (private baths) or epoxy coating (indoor pools)
A concrete pool almost always requires a primer; the top coat can be epoxy, chlorinated rubber, or polyurethane based. Epoxy pool paint is not recommended for new pools due to its lack of flexibility; new concrete may “live” requiring the coating to stretch with it. Polyurethane is more flexible and can better absorb small cracks. Chlorinated rubber systems provide a fully watertight swimming pool as well as being resistant to chlorine and preventing algal growth. The disadvantage of chlorinated rubber is its poor resistance to fats and oils (including sunscreen), so it should not be the first choice for commercial outdoor swimming pools.
3. Coating tile swimming pools
Suitable coating: Primer + Epoxy coating (indoor pools), Polyurea hot spray (commercial pools) or chlorinated rubber pool paint (private baths)
Almost all two component coatings are suitable for applying over tiles, as long as a good primer is used. If you wish to retain the pool’s looks, you should choose epoxy because it is the only option that can be applied as a transparent layer. However, it can crack as a result of temperature fluctuation and UV radiation when applied to an outdoor pool. Epoxy can also be opaque, however multiple layers are required if you wish to hide the tile structure and seams. Chlorinated rubber is the cheapest option, but it comes in a limited range of colours and is not recommended for commercial baths due to its poor resistance to oils.
4. Paint for aluminium or stainless steel pools and baths
Suitable coating: Anti corrosive acrylic polyurethane
For stainless steel and aluminium baths it is important to opt for a coating with an anti corrosive effect, or a rust-inhibiting primer. Always consult a specialist before choosing a swimming pool paint to prevent any issues related to adhesion or premature corrosion and further deterioration.
Meeting the UK regulations and British Standards with swimming pool coatings
Safety and hygiene are the primary concerns for the commercial pool operators in the UK. These two aspects are taken into account in both design and operation regulations set for public swimming pools. In the UK there are two bodies that regulate the swimming pool construction and operating industries:
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) document HSG179 – Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools
- British Standards Institution (BSI) standard BS EN 15 288 for design and operations of public pools
Next to requiring sufficient space between pools, design that avoids sharp edges and appropriate water drainage, they also set regulations for issues that can be solved by using an appropriate swimming pool paint or coating.
- Use of materials that minimise bacterial growth (antimicrobial coatings) in and around pools and wet areas
- Slip resistant flooring in wet areas and in pools up to 1.35 m deep
- Avoidance of abrasive wall finishes (such as textured masonry) to overcome injuries
- Immediate repair of damaged pool tanks (for example with underwater pool paint) to avoid sharp edges
Tip: When you want be sure that the swimming pool coatings comply with all national rules and regulations, use a certified contractor who also provides a certificate of the products used and the job done.
Waterproof swimming pool paint is not only for pools
In addition to actual swimming pools, other areas such as wellness facilities and saunas can also benefit from a watertight swimming pool coating which can also be made slip resistant to prevent slips and trips. Swimming pool paint makes pools durable and hygienic, and also does this for the areas around the pool. For example the following areas may benefit from pool paints.
- Changing rooms of spas and pools
- In and around water attractions (eg slides or children’s pools)
- Walk-through rooms of saunas
- Joint shower rooms of gyms
- Walk-in showers
- Saunas, steam baths, changing rooms and shower rooms in gyms
- Bungalow parks and campsites with swimming and/or wellness facilities
High-quality swimming pool coatings ensure that both the recreational swimmer and sauna visitor can safely enjoy the swimming pool and the area around it.
5 factors that affect price estimation of a swimming pool paint job
Pool coating specialists often produce a quotation based on 5 factors. Therefore, you should take the following into account:
- The results of the inspection: Moisture in the subsoil, potholes and bumps, difficult to access spaces; these are all matters that must be taken into account before application. The fewer pitfalls and obstacles there are, the lower the quotation price.
- The preparation required: One of the most important steps for application. A good surface ensures that the coating adheres optimally. Are there a lot of repair and equalisation works required in advance? Or a thorough cleaning? Or maybe a primer? These costs come on top of the coating.
- Application method: Some surfaces are ideal for application with a roller/brush, others require application with high-pressure spray equipment. Sometimes one layer is sufficient, but often several layers are needed. This all affects the price calculation.
- Finishing wishes: Do you want a specific colour or special effect? There is a lot possible in terms of finish, including details like the lane lines and markings in competition pools. Of course there is a price tag.
- Extra options: Often the coating is not only applied in the swimming pool, but also around it. Think of the foot baths, pool edges or shower rooms. Here you can opt for an anti-slip finish at an additional cost.
In case you require more information on swimming pool paint in the UK, or are interested in receiving a competitive quote for your pool coating project, do not hesitate to contact us. Our coating experts are happy to help. In cooperation with our partners we can also provide you with a tailor-made quote. All you need to do is contact us by email or using the 100% free quote service by clicking on the request a quote -button at the bottom of the page.