Concrete is the most commonly used material when it comes to swimming pool construction. A concrete swimming pool is designed to take up full water load along with the capacity to withstand large pressure loads.
The significant loads on the concrete pool structure are the weight of the earth outside the pool and the weight of water held within the pool.
Step-by-step pool construction process;
Choose a design suitable for the given land or choose a land area to accommodate a design already planned. The design of the swimming pool mainly involves the shape, depth, area of the pool, the filtration system, and overall size.
The location selected for the pool must be ideal for facilitating regular maintenance. It is recommended to choose a flat terrain, which can help in large cost reduction for excavation and filling process. A land far away from trees helps to avoid pool filled with leaves. The orientation of the swimming pool is best when constructed facing the sun.
Once the design and location to construct the swimming pool is fixed, the next procedure is to excavate the area to prepare for construction. It is conducted by the following steps:
Construction of the pool base is one of the essential phases that influences the life of the swimming pool. The excavation is conducted so that the bottom face becomes flat and uniform. If the site has loose soil, then it must be filled and compacted with firm soil.
Compaction is performed by natural soil or by using gravels. Use aggregates of size between 12 to 40 mm to compact and prepare the base. After adequate filling of compact materials, the base must be compacted with respect to the terrain
Once the pool base is compacted correctly, a small layer is poured for cleaning concrete to the bottom. The thickness of the concrete layer is generally 5 cm.
A pool base with a pool gradient or slope is provided for easy emptying of water to the filter system. The slope selected must be such that it does not affect the balance of the swimmers. A maximum gradient of 1 in 40 is recommended for a pool that is used by children and non-swimmers.
Once the excavation of the pool walls and the preparation of the base is finished, the next step is to provide steel reinforcement for the pool wall and the bottom. Here, the shotcrete procedure is followed in which a single steel cage reinforcement is provided throughout the interior surface of the swimming pool. In guniting or shotcrete procedure, the concrete structure is constructed in one piece without any gap between the wall and the floor.
After providing steel reinforcement, place the essential plumbing lines, drainage lines, etc. within the cage arrangement. The provision for stairs on the sides are also as per the design.
A filter system and pump, together, are arranged on a large tank, either made of concrete, metal, etc. Before concreting, the plumb lines are provided to take water from the swimming pool to the filter system and back to the swimming pool.
The filter system and pump are also connected to the municipal water line to take fresh water to the pool. The arrangement is necessary to replace the water lost from the pool due to splash out or evaporation.
Perform the shotcreting or guniting of walls and floors by a concrete of standard mix. Use special tools to shape the surface as per the design. After finishing the concrete, it must be cured twice a day for 14 days.
Generally, the thickness of the concrete base and walls of the pool determines the durability. More the thickness, less is its exposure to fissures and cracks. Generally, the thickness of the bottom of the pool is provided greater than the walls. For safety, a standard pool shell requires a minimum thickness of 6 inches, excluding the plaster.
Among the construction methods (Using formwork and shotcrete), the most optimal option is the construction by shotcreting. This method develops a monolithic structure that holds the force better. In the formwork method, walls and floor have a gap which has chances to get separated. Providing more thickness to the formwork can help to avoid this problem.
The most popular ways to waterproof concrete pool are by using tiles, glass, ceramic, or use of epoxy-cement system or any waterproofing membrane. The selection of the waterproofing method is performed based on the water table level of the area and moisture conditions of the soils. The waterproofing of walls and floors is done to make it watertight.
Coping is the walking room provided around the pool’s edge. It can be made either by concrete, marble, tile, or stone. Always wait for two to three days after the construction of coping to fill the pool.