How do I know when it’s time to replace the vinyl liner in my pool? What a great question! The answer may seem pretty obvious. We all know the main purpose of a pool liner is to keep the water contained in the pool. Once the liner no longer can perform that function, it’s time to replace it with a new one. “Well, that’s great,” you say. “But what signs should I look for that tell me the time is NOW?” Good point. There are some tell-tale signs that your vinyl liner is on its last leg and we are happy to share them with you in detail. Let’s take a look.
The Vinyl Liner is Faded
We all love the look of a new vinyl pool liner. The colors are vibrant; the detail is amazing. Over time, however, that beauty begins to fade. The main culprits for fading are the UV rays of the sun and exposure to pool chemicals. After 8 to 10 years in our Berks County July sunshine, you may see some fading in your pool liner. The vinyl used for pool liners is treated with a product that slows down UV fading, but it stops working over time. Fading is usually more of an aesthetic issue, but it is a clue that your vinyl liner is aging and may not have much life left. A faded liner can also become brittle, which is likely to tear in time.
The Vinyl Liner is Stained
Staining of your pool liner is also mostly an aesthetic issue. What causes staining? It could be a reaction to certain metals, or perhaps caused by algae, organic (plant) material or prolonged exposure to pool chemicals. Some stains can be removed, but if you find the staining unsightly or extensive, you may need to replace the liner entirely.
The Liner Pops Out of the Coping Track
There is a condition called “liner pull,” which means the liner pops out of the coping track. This situation is caused by the vinyl material stretching out and losing its elasticity. If your vinyl liner is beginning to look as wrinkled and saggy as an elephant’s backside, that is a sure indication that its elasticity is kaput. Time for a replacement.
Cracks and Tears in the Vinyl Liner
Most cracks and tears in the vinyl liner will show up first around the waterline where there is the most exposure to UV rays. Sometimes, when small and caught early, these can be repaired. It is a mistake to try to “get one more year” out of an old vinyl liner, however, and you won’t be able to hold things together by patching for long. The other problem you will face with cracks and tears is that they get bigger. The issue with cracks and tears in the vinyl is that water will escape through them and ultimately damage the base of your pool.
A Leaky Vinyl Liner
The worst-case scenario is that your vinyl liner develops a leak. Are you constantly having to top off the water level in your pool? That is a key sign that you may have a leak. Over time, a leaking liner can cause major damage to your pool base. There have been extreme cases of erosion so severe that it has caused a sinkhole so large it was necessary to replace the entire pool! Don’t ignore a leak. That is a sure sign you need a replacement liner.
“How do I know when it’s time to replace the vinyl liner in my pool?” Our best advice to you if you notice any of the signs listed above is to consult with the professionals at Fronheiser Pools. Typically, a vinyl pool liner can last 10-15 years. It may be the case that a small issue can be repaired, or minor fading or staining ignored for a while. It is always a great option to have another set of expert eyes on the issue in case it’s time for your vinyl liner to be replaced.