Category Archives: swimming pools

Why we don’t build gunite pools

(See for yourself!)

Here's what to expect from gunite!We have been in business for over 35 years and have learned along the way what are the best options for our area. Here are some reasons why not to get a gunite pool.

  • Gunite, Marcite and Concrete are all basically different names for the same end result. It has a very rough surface and must be plastered to make it smooth.
  • The pool must be re-plastered every 3 to 7 years in a price range of $3000 to $8000
  • The plaster is porous and prone to stains and discoloration and as it ages it gets very rough and causes scrapes on swimmers’ toes, knees and elbows. Painting can help.
  • That porous surface also hides algae and means more chemicals to treat it and more electricity for circulating the chemicals.
  • The surface of a gunite pool will affect the water chemistry of the pool and require more chemicals to keep the water balanced (and avoid damaging the surface)
  • Painting the pool will help protect the plaster. Pool paint costs $60 to $120 per gallon. Usually four or five gallons.  Expect to repaint the pool every 3 to 5 years.
  • Repairing and repainting the gunite pool requires acid washing the pool with at least a 50/50 concentration of acid to water, sprayed on and brushed while wearing protective clothing.
  • To repaint the pool you must acid wash the entire surface and wait a week to ten days for it to dry. Then after painting, you must allow the paint to dry another week to ten days before putting any water in it.
  • Use good paint because if it fails, the only remedy is to remove it by sandblasting
  • After painting the pool so many times the paint has built up to a point where you really need to have it all removed by sandblasting down to the bare concrete and start again
  • There is rubberized pool paint and epoxy pool paint. You need to know which you have before repainting because you need to put the same type of paint on or it will not stick
  • Suction automatic cleaners can pull off the skim coat of plaster
  • Plaster repairs are expensive!
  • The initial coat of plaster bonds pretty well because both surfaces are new, but if surfaces are not carefully and properly prepared for re-plastering, it will pop off and have to be redone
  • It is not impossible to re-plaster your own pool, but after you look up the directions you may change your mind about taking on all that work yourself
  • Re-painting the pool yourself is a little more manageable, but you can expect to have your pool tied up for three weeks or more while you do it

Did we mention a gunite pool is EXPENSIVE?

Here’s why we DO install vinyl liner inground pools!typhoon_pool_slide_red

  • A vinyl liner inground pool is much less expensive to purchase and install
  • The vinyl liner is smooth to the touch – no scraped toes and knees!
  • The non-porous vinyl liner is not so prone to stains as is gunite
  • A vinyl liner inground pool takes about one week to install.  A gunite one takes six to eight weeks.
  • A vinyl liner will typically last about 10 years or more before it needs to be replaced
  • It is much less expensive to replace a vinyl liner than to re-plaster a gunite pool
  • A vinyl liner does not have pores to trap algae and does not affect the water balance of your pool the way a gunite pool will
  • Vinyl liners are available in a wide range of colors and designs to suit every decor. Gunite can be tiled to pretty it up, which also makes it even more expensive and difficult to repair
  • A vinyl liner can be replaced in one day. Repainting a gunite pool will have your pool down for two to three weeks.

If you really want to acid wash and paint your pool, here’s how:

(They are recommending epoxy paint, but if your pool was painted with rubberized pool paint rather than epoxy, it is important that you re-paint with rubberized paint.)
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Salt Water Pool Chlorination

Is it a salt water pool, or is it a chlorine pool?

We have lost count of how many times a customer has said:

  • “I don’t use chlorine, I have a salt water pool.”
  • “We don’t use any chemicals, we have a salt pool.”
  • “My [insert familial relation here] is allergic to chlorine so we use salt instead.”

While salt chlorine generators are becoming more popular, the misconceptions abound.

Yes, Virginia, your salt water pool does indeed contain chlorine.

Salt Water ChlorinationYou have produced it from salt with the help of your salt chlorine generator.  The short version of the story is that you put salt in your pool water and as it travels through the salt cell it is converted to chlorine which sanitizes your pool.  As the chlorine is used up, it reverts back to salt, in effect recycling your salt.

The level of chlorine produced by the generator is low and constant so you avoid the spikes and total lack of chlorine that typically happens when you have to manage the chlorine on your own.  Usually you dump in a bunch of chlorine and then your level is high.  It tapers off until you notice there is no more chlorine (and maybe algae forming on the walls) so you dump some more chlorine in and have another spike in the chlorine level.  A salt chlorine generator will manage the chlorine level for you and keep up with the sanitizing so that the yo-yo chlorine level is avoided.

You really do need to add some chemicals to your salt water pool.

A salt chlorine generator is a wonderful thing, and it will make your water feel soft and inviting.  It’s not magic.  You still need to balance your water and monitor it for proper alkalinity, pH, hardness and stabilizer levels.  You also need to check to be sure your salt generator is producing chlorine and make sure your salt level is adequate.  The chlorine generator is taking care of the chlorine, you need to give it some help.

It is highly unlikely that anyone you know is genuinely allergic to chlorine.

Some people have more sensitive skin which reacts to poor water chemistry.  Skin and eye irritation is most often the result of unbalanced pool water. The water should be tested for Total Chlorine, Free Chlorine, Alkalinity, pH, Hardness, and Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer).  If the water is not in the proper ranges then the water is not going to feel comfortable, and sensitive skin is more likely to react.

The good news is that a salt chlorine generator will make your pool water feel better and save you time.

People who come to visit commonly remark on how soft and smooth the water feels in a salt water pool.  The chlorine level will be low and constant so the chloramines (that stinky, used-up chlorine) will be controlled.  As the water passes through the salt cell, it is super-chlorinated right in the cell and is returned to the pool clean and fresh. You can spend more time enjoying your pool and less time messing around with chlorine.

The benefits to a salt water chlorine generator are many:

  • You don’t have to buy chlorine
  • You don’t have to store or transport chlorine
  • You kids and pets won’t get into the chlorine
  • You won’t get bleached spots on your clothes and in your car from handling chlorine
  • Your chlorine level will stay constant so the water will stay sanitized and be much less likely to get cloudy or grow algae
  • The low level of chlorine won’t bleach your bathing suits
  • You don’t have to daily test the chlorine level or add a weekly shock
  • This form of chlorine is very natural, and does not have the normal byproducts you will find with other types of chlorine – itchy skin, red eyes, strong odor, etc.


The Worlds Best Clarifier is now Clear & Perfect


Someone decided that Natural Chemistry couldn’t call their pool clarifier “World Best”.  Apparently there is no way to verify the “worlds best” claim.  So, the great stuff you have come to depend on is in a new looking bottle.  It says “Clear and Perfect Clarifier“.  So far, it is okay to call it “perfect”.

And we have it in stock!

Sun Dome Pool Enclosure

Above Ground Pool Sun Domes

The Sun Dome Enclosure for Above Ground PoolsProduct Details Our Sun Dome enclosure for your above ground pool will lengthen your swimming season and keep your pool cleaner from harmful air-borne debris and pollutants. The above ground domes come in two shapes either rounds or ovals. Our Sun Domes will fit most round or oval above ground pools The Sun Dome also helps prevent water evaporation and is easy to assemble. For an above ground pool it would take 2 people about 2 or 3 hours to put up. Once it is assembled it is very easy to take down and put up again


Inground Pool Sun Domes

Sun Dome Pool Enclosure for Inground PoolsProduct Details Our Sun Dome enclosure for your in-ground pool is rectangular in shape and comes in different dimensions. The in-ground domes also require a lumber base that is not provided




 All Sun Domes Include:

Sun Dome Enclosure on Inground PoolTailor Made Vinyl and Aluminum Enclosure The Fabrico Sun Dome is a heavy 12-gauge vinyl pool enclosure that is supported by a series of aluminum tubes. The crystal clear cover is heat-sealed to fit the tubes based on pool specifications, to provide a tailored fit for every pool size.

Sturdy Double-Zipper Doors and Windows Each pool enclosure has one door opening with two heavy duty two-sided nylon zippers as well as one or more fiberglass screened window flaps/openings for flow-thru ventilation. Both doors and windows come with vinyl tabs to hold flaps in place.

Solid and Secure Enclosure Framework

The bottom edge of the enclosure is 24-gauge – or double thickness – and has a series of grommets. Neoprene shock cords are then attached to the grommets and hooked onto the base of the dome. This system ensures that the vinyl enclosure is held securely over the pool framework – making the Sun Dome an extra strong framework.



What are the benefits of having a Sun Dome on my pool?

Warming and heating is one of the key benefits – it warms the air (40 degrees) and water with solar heat up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

It also protects your pool from leaves, bugs, debris and early spring or late summer breezes.

Moreover, because your pool is protected, you cut down on the use of chemicals and expensive cleaning costs.

Is there a Sun Dome to fit my pool?

We can fit almost any round or oval above-ground pool. Sun Domes for in-ground pools are rectangle in shape. Please check out our Sun Dome Product Page to help you find the right Sun Dome for your pool.

What is the Sun Dome made of?

The cover material is 12-mil double polished clear vinyl.

The frame is 1″ diameter polished aluminum tubes.

Neoprene shock chords attach to grommets to secure the enclosure over your pool.

Is there a Warranty?

Your Sun Dome is covered for One year for defects in material or workmanship.

The average life of the Sun Dome Vinyl is 3 – 5 years depending on the environment it is exposed to and how well it is cared for.

Can I install a Sun Dome myself?

Most of our customers do install the Sun Dome easily at home. Generally, it takes 2 – 3 hours, assuming you have a power drill, measuring tape and duct tape.

In-ground pool domes however require more installation – generally for this product you should assume it would take two men, 8 hours.

What about winter weather conditions?

The Sun Domes will usually take winds up to 40-45 mph, however, it is not made to withstand heavy sustained winds, and more important, the weight of snow.

In heavy snowfall areas, it is necessary to remove the dome before the first snowfall, on a sunny day.

How do I clean my Sun Dome?

We suggest cleaning the Sun Dome with mild soap and water – dish or car wash soap work best. Test a small patch first to ensure the product you select works properly.

Please note: do not use any oil-based products, as it will damage the vinyl.

There are no cleaning requirements, however if there is lots of debris on your Sun Dome we suggest you clean it before storing.

What if my Sun Dome gets punctured or damaged?

We supply a patch with every Sun Dome when it is sent to you.

However, if you need additional patch vinyl material, please contact fabrico sun domes directly.

How do you take down a Sun Dome and how do you store it?

In order to take down the Sun Dome, simply unsnap the neoprene cords all the way around the pool and gently tug the cover up and over the frame.

Make sure the cover is clean and dry prior to folding it for storage. It can be rolled up, similar to a sleeping bag and should be stored in a cool dry place when not in use.

Also, cornstarch can be sprinkled between the folds of the vinyl to keep it from sticking together.

If a dome cover is wet prior to storing it may turn milky white. However, this condition will clear up once the cover is back on the frame and exposed to sunlight.

Does my Sun Dome protect me from harmful UV Rays?

While it is not intended for sun-protection… It will keep UV Rays out.

You can get a slight tan with the dome on, but you will not get a sun burn.

Learn More About Sun Dome Pool Enclosures and Other Pool Heating Options