How Fiberglass Pools Are Made: The Mold (Part 1 of 8 in Building the Perfect Fiberglass Pool)

Hello everybody, I'm Cristian with River Pools, and over the next several videos,

we're going to teach you about how fiberglass in-ground pools are made, and show you everything

you should expect from a fiberglass pool manufacturer.

Today we're going to teach you everything you need to know about the fiberglass pool mold.

The project can only be as good as the fiberglass pool shell.

So if you're putting in a product that is not up to par, then you're destined to fail.

That was Jason talking about the most important component to a backyard pool

installation project, which obviously is the pool shell.

I will come right out and say, failure can occur before the pool ever arrives at your home.


It can occur before the pool you chose is even built.

We want you to know, at River Pools, we take ownership in eliminating the failures involving

the pool shell.

What we're after at River Pools is perfection.

As a homeowner, you want a perfect backyard, with a perfect pool, to build memories from

many, many perfect summers.

And as an installer, you want a perfect install process with a pool that is easily made perfectly


And none of that is possible unless the mold your pool was crafted from is perfectly true.

First, let me show you what a pool mold is, and what it's used for.

This is a pool mold.

You see, your pool was built inside-out, with various layers of material.

Each layer is either sprayed, or hand-laid on to the pool mold.

There's be a video for each one of these layers in the series.

Stay tuned for those.

Here are the top three things you should know about the mold your pool is built from.

One, it's built true and level.

Two, it's properly reinforced, and three, its finish is incredibly smooth and well-maintained

over time.

Why do these things matter?

Well a mold that is not crafted and built on a perfectly level surface cannot produce

a pool that is level.

This can lead to challenges when installing a pool in a backyard.

You can expect to see an installer lift and lower the pool a couple times to adjust the

bed underneath.

But when lifting and lowering has to occur several times over, it's because the installer

is battling a pool that was not crafted from a mold that is perfectly true and level.

The second thing you should know, is that a pool mold should be properly reinforced

so that it can hold its shape over time.

What do we use at River Pools to reinforce our molds?

Let's take a walk and I'll show you.

So we're now standing on the underside of a pool mold, and as you can see, we reinforce

our molds using steel beams welded together.

As manufacturers, we need to be able to move our molds around in and out of the shop to

fill orders for various pool models.

You see, all materials expand and contract, so it's a matter of choosing the proper material

for your application, and in our application of building fiberglass in-ground pools, we

don't want expansion and contraction to affect the pool mold.

This will ensure that every pool produced from the mold is the exact same shape.

Lastly, the finish of the fiberglass pool mold should be perfectly smooth and well-maintained

over time.

It should also have an extreme contrasting color to the pretty blue finish you'll see

every day in your backyard.

The contrasting orange color ensures that the blue gel-coat finish is applied everywhere

it needs to be.

Its finish is incredibly smooth, so that when the pool is released from the mold, this occurs

without any sticking points that require unsightly patchwork or repairs afterwards.

Lastly, it should be maintained over time, so that many, many pools can be produced from it.

Here's how we finish and maintain our molds.

So to get the mold as slick as possible, for the best release possible of the pool, we

use a high-speed buffer.

But what we use in addition, is a 1000-grit buffing compound, and a 2000-grit buffing


Again, with the high-speed buffer, what this does is really smooth out the gel-coat finish,

for the best release possible for the pool.

Once the buffing is complete with the high-speed buffer, and the 1000 and 2000-grit compounds,

we then come by and we clean the mold with a cleaner.

We seal the mold and the finish with a sealer, and then we apply the final release agent.

This goes on in one pass, one pass, and then several passes of this.

We apply all of these with a pretty sophisticated process using paper towels.

I mentioned earlier that we take ownership over the quality of the pools we produce.

We understand that both the installer and the homeowner have time and resources invested

in every pool project, and we know there simply can't be a perfect install without a perfect pool.

And there can't be a perfect pool unless there's a perfect mold.

So inquire about these three things.

Number one, was your pool built from a mold that was constructed level and true?

Number two, was your pool built from a mold that will maintain its shape over time because

it's been properly reinforced with steel?

And number three, was your pool built from a mold whose finish has a contrasting color,

and is maintained over time.

In our next video, I'll teach you everything you need to know about the pretty blue gel-coat

finish that you'll see in your backyard day-in and day-out.

This is Cristian with River Pools.

We'll see you next time.

Catch the wave.