Posted in Blog  
  on Apr 13, 2015

How to Repair Fiberglass Pool Steps

When you have a swimming pool that has affixed fiberglass steps, repairing them can help to save your investment. If your fiberglass steps just insert into the pool, take them out and go to the second step of this guide. Knowing how to repair fiberglass pool steps is remarkably easy, can be done over the course of an afternoon, and will create a lasting repair. Here's how to do it.

1. Drain the Pool.

You'll need to remove enough water from the pool to expose the steps that need to be repaired. This may included the pump and filter system depending on your setup. Make sure that the repair site is several inches above the water line. If you are repairing the very bottom step, you may wish to just drain the entire pool and clean it while performing this repair.

2. Dry the Step.

You'll need to have the repair site and any adjoining areas completely dry for the repair to work. You'll want to use a towel to remove the majority of the water, but the crack itself must be completely dry. Using a hair dryer can make the last part of this step a lot easier to accomplish.

3. Gear Up.

You're going to need a dust mask on your face and gloves on your hands while conducting this repair. You will also want to have an electric drill or Dremel tool available with a rounded stone tip.

4. Grind the Crack.

Take the stone tip and grind the crack in the fiberglass steps along its entire length. You will be getting fiberglass dust and stone dust on the steps. You will need to remove two inches of the fiberglass finish on either side of the crack. Complete the grind first and then remove any debris that remains with a wet towel. Remove any leftover finish with sandpaper by hand. You'll then need to dry the crack out again, so break out the hair dryer once again. The end result should be a dull appearance around the crack, but a shiny appearance everywhere else.

5. Apply the Primer.

Be generous with the fiberglass primer. Make sure you cover the entire 4 inch wide area where the crack is situated. The primer can sometimes stain the fiberglass or the skin, so be generous, but also be careful when applying.

6. Put in the Bonding Filler.

Now you're ready to begin filling in the crack. Take bonding filler and start at one end of the crack, working your way downward [or upward] to the other end of it. Push the filler into the crack by placing pressure on the applicator as indicated. Make a second immediate pass to create a smoother surface. The bonding filler needs to completely dry, which will take at least 30 minutes. It can take longer if the weather is cooler.

7. Sand Down the Repair Site.

The next task will be to create a smooth, flush surface along the crack when compared to the rest of the step. Continue sanding until the appearance of the steps is uniform. It should also feel level to the touch. If there are areas that do not feel uniform, then repeat step 6 once again. Do not proceed to Step #8 until you have a flush surface that does not visually show any component of the crack that was once there.

8. Mix and Apply the Gel Coat.

With the filler in place, you're ready to make the steps waterproof. You'll need a gel-coat resin to make this happen. Mix up the epoxy and hardener as indicated on the instructions of your product and then spread evenly along the repair site. It is better here to have too much than to not have enough. Apply a level layer of the resin and then allow it to cure for the indicated time [10 minutes or more usually]. Sand it to remove imperfections, remove any debris, and then repeat for a second layer.

9. Polish It.

You're done. Grab a buffing cloth and polish the repair site. Place the steps back into the water or fill the swimming pool up once again. Knowing how to repair fiberglass pool steps can help to save you a lot of time and money in the maintenance of your swimming pool. Use this guide today to repair your cracked steps and you'll be able to safely enjoy your pool once again as soon as tomorrow.


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