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Above Ground Pools: Choose Steel, Aluminum or Resin?

There are several options to choose from when it comes to the material used for above ground swimming pools. The three basic types are steel, aluminum, and hybrid/resin. It’s always a good idea to take the time to do a little research and check into the advantages and disadvantages of your choices. For example, hybrid/resin and aluminum won' rust, but steel is stronger and less expensive. Let’s take a look at the good and bad points of steel, aluminum, and resin above ground pools.

Steel Pools

There’s no doubt that steel is the strongest and heaviest of the three materials, but if it isn't’t taken care of properly it will rust after approximately 10 to 15 years and in some cases it could be sooner. Steel above ground pools generally rusted much sooner a few decades ago, but advancement in technology and steel coatings now enable them to last much longer, especially with some basic care.  As they often say, “you get what you pay for.” That’s usually the case with steel swimming pools. A poorly-coated pool will almost certainly rust before a more-expensive model which comes with better steel coating. Either way, if your steel pool suffers a scratch on it and the bare metal is exposed, it's highly recommended that you sand it down and repair it as soon as possible. The longer the water and elements comes in contact with the metal the quicker it will rust. It’s always a good idea to take a few minutes a day to check for scratches.

Aluminum Pools

Aluminum is basically a softer, thinner and more flexible type of metal which usually makes it a little easier to transport, but can be tougher to assemble and disassemble. It’s also more expensive, but you should be able to find aluminum above ground pools in a variety of price ranges. Generally, the thinner the aluminum, the cheaper the cost. However, thin aluminum tends to dent and bend quite easily and it’ll also oxidize and often weaken over time. If the aluminum oxidizes it can result in pinholes in your liner. If you’d like to go with a thicker aluminum it will cost a bit more, but the pool will be stronger and thicker. In fact, many of these pools will be as strong as the steel versions.

Hybrid/Resin Pools

Most above ground resin swimming pools are constructed with an aluminum or steel wall and metal hardware, which makes them a type of hybrid construction. In most cases the top rail and the uprights will be made out of some type of plastic material and. One hundred per cent resin pools aren’t too common at the moment and if you find one you'll notice its costlier. A hybrid/resin pool typically allows for more curves and sweeping lines than steel and aluminum and is therefore more attractive. In addition, the material won't oxidize or rust. But since the resin is basically a plastic it is also quite heavy and it can become more brittle during cold weather. If the plastic becomes brittle you'll need to be careful when attaching the winter pool cover. In addition, the colour on a resin pool may fade slightly over the years.

Weighing the options The type of above ground swimming pool you choose may simply be based on your budget. But if you're more concerned about the quality of the pool than the price, it's a good idea to thoroughly investigate the different type of materials that are available.

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