Like all things, time and use can cause wear and tear on your swimming pool, and it will need resurfacing.  Many factors contribute to your pool needing resurfacing including weather, age, material, algae, cracks, stains, etc.  In general, pools will need resurfacing every ten years. You can also resurface your pool if you want to change the look of the pool and add decorative touches like ceramic tile, pebble, glass beads, or stone tile.  Whether it is for maintenance or aesthetics, it is important to have our pool resurfaced to ensure that you and your family can enjoy it for many years.

What is Pool Resurfacing?

Pool resurfacing refers to draining your pool and replacing the surface layer that is between the shell and the water.  Time, weather, chemicals, water level, and other factors can contribute to the deterioration of the surface of the pool and causing it to need replacing.  Even with proper maintenance, the surface of a pool will need replacing approximately every ten years, so it is important to keep this in your pool budget.  

When Does a Pool Need To Be Resurfaced?

As a general rule, a pool will need resurfacing every ten years or if it is need of repair.  Aside from age there are some signs to be aware of that will indicate it is time to have your pool resurfaced and they include:

  • Stains

Stains are an inevitable part of pool ownership and develop due to dirt, debris, chemicals, algae, etc., but when you cannot clean these stains, or they keep coming back, it is a sign your pool needs resurfacing.  

  • Erosion Marks

As water moves against the surface of your pool, it will eventually begin to wear away at the surface causing stains and rough spots.  While maintaining a proper chemical balance in your pool can help lessen erosion, if you see erosion marks around your pool it is time for resurfacing.

  • Rust

If you begin to notice rust spots in your pool, it may be an indication that the rebar in the pool’s shell is beginning to oxidize and while you can patch these spots, it is only a temporary fix.  The rust stains will appear in other parts of the pool so if you see rust stains it is time for resurfacing.

  • Discoloration

When you first had your pool installed, you had a beautiful blue colored finish, but now you have begun to notice it is discolored and has streaks and blotches of white.  Unfortunately, this is an inevitable sign of your pools age as the plaster will begin to become bleached out over time. The only way to bring back the bright color is to have the pool resurfaced.

  • Rough Spots

If you begin to notice that your pool surface is no longer smooth and it feels like sandpaper, it is time for resurfacing.  The chemicals you use to keep your pool clean will also eat away at the surface of your pool turning the once smooth surface into a rough, unpleasant surface.

  • Water Loss

If you notice that you are filling up your pool more often than you have in the past, this is a sign you may have some cracks in the surface of the pool.  These cracks can be small and hard to detect so if you have to keep refilling your pool it is a sign your pool needs resurfacing.

How Much Does It Cost To Resurface a Pool?

You have determined it is time for resurfacing, but how much will it cost?  The cost for resurfacing has many variables including size, shape, finishing material, the extent of damage and where you live.  A basic white plaster finish will cost approximately $2500-$5000 if you prefer a more decorative finish like pebble or glass tile the cost will be approximately $5000-$20,000.

Maybe at this point, you think having a pool is worthless at this moment, if that is the case, read this: Pool removal guide

How Long Does It Take To Resurface a Pool?

Once you have determined it is time to have your pool resurfaced and you have chosen the material for the resurfacing, it is important to understand the steps involved and how long it will take.  Properly resurfacing a pool is a multi-step process that can take from 9-14 days and depends on the size of the pool, damage to the pool, and the weather. Below are the steps necessary for pool resurfacing:

Stop Using Chemicals

pool cleaning

One week before draining the pool you will need to stop using chemicals to treat the pool.  Stopping the use of chemicals will make the water environmentally friendly and safer to drain into the environment.

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Before the resurfacing work can begin you need to drain the pool of all water.  This process can take 14+ hours to complete.


Once the pool is empty, preparation will start for the resurfacing.  This step involves removing the old material and preparing the pool for the installation of the new material.


After removing the old material, it is necessary to seal all the plumbing to make sure that the pool is watertight so you can apply the finishing material.

Material Installation

Once the sealing process is ready as well as the pool preparations, you need to pick and apply the new material.  This step is when you will begin to see the new look of your pool begin to appear.


After the installation of the new material, it is time to add water to the pool. It is essential to closely monitor the pool as it fills with water and shut it off once the water has hit the middle of the waterline of the tile.  Shutting off the water too early can result in a permanent ring around the pool. Once the pool has water, it is important to make sure no one (including pets) try to swim in the pool.


Before the pool is ready for use, it will need to be monitored closely to ensure that the pool surface cures evenly.  This process takes approximately seven days, and a pool technician will come out and monitor the process closely.


Owning a pool comes with a lot of responsibility, including proper maintenance.  One important maintenance procedure that your pool will require is resurfacing.  You should be prepared for this process to occur at least every 10 years, or sooner if you wish to change the aesthetics or style of the pool.  Resurfacing is a long process that is necessary if you wish to keep your pool looking and functioning at its best.

Read more: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool?

Pool Resurfacing: The Ultimate Guide was last modified: September 20th, 2022 by Carnahan Landscaping & Pools
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Angela Waterford
Angela Waterford

Thanks for saying that stains that come back warrant a pool to be resurfaced. I suppose this should be done by experts who know what they’re doing to make this successful. My husband told me that our pool might have hairline cracks already, and it looks unappealing up close, so I hope that this will be fixed with a resurfacing.