Is your pool’s liner looking a little worn down? A typical vinyl liner lasts between 10 and 15 years, though there are many factors that can affect its lifespan. Living in an area susceptible to ground water problems can reduce your liner’s life, as can not keeping the water in your pool balanced. If your liner was made to incorrect specifications, that will also cause premature wear-and-tear.
Keep an eye out for these four signs that it might be time to replace your liner.
4 Signs Your Pool Needs a New Liner
1. Cracking and Tearing
Vinyl liners will deteriorate over time, due to exposure to pool chemicals and the sun’s UV rays. Inspect your liner regularly for cracking or tears, which can be symptomatic of bigger problems (like water leakage). If you find cracks, be sure to keep an eye on the water level for one to two weeks. If the water level drops by more than one inch, you’re likely dealing with one or more leaks.
It’s important to have a pool service expert examine your pool’s liner as quickly as possible to nip problems in the bud. Patching it might be possible, though that depends on its age. As vinyl ages it becomes brittle, which means a patch will no longer bond to it.
2. Fading and Staining
Your liner will fade naturally over time as it ages and is exposed to chemicals and UV rays. You’ll want to monitor significant rust stains or algae buildups, however, as they can be difficult (if not impossible) to remove.
Another common issue is aesthetics. As liners fade, so too do their patterns. Homeowners looking to replace their pool’s liners are often looking to both brighten up their pool and update its design.
3. Wrinkling, Slipping, and Stretching
Over time, vinyl liners will lose some of their plasticity and elasticity. You might notice your liner beads in several areas or slips out of the track, symptoms that it’s stretching too much. You should also keep your eye out for loose fittings around your pool’s return jets and skimmer.
It’s best not to try to “squeeze” more life out of your pool’s liner. This can damage your pool and necessitate additional, costly repairs.
If you can find the leak, you might be able to patch it and get a few more seasons out of your liner. If you can’t find it, however, you’ll need to replace your pool’s liner. Failing to do so can cause seeping water to corrode your pool’s walls and wash away the sand beneath, creating dangerous sink holes.
What is the Process for Replacing My Liner?
Once you have determined it’s time to replace your liner, you need to take care to ensure you choose a qualified pool services company to perform the replacement.
Make sure you ask questions including:
- How long has the company been replacing liners?
- Do they use sub-contractors?
- Are they members of any professional organizations?
- Are their liners Canadian made?
It’s also important to secure a written estimate to help you compare offers.
After choosing a reputable company, you need to choose a liner pattern. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from your installer to help you choose between the variety of pool liner designs available.
After selecting a pattern, the installer will take additional measurements to ensure the perfect fit for your pool. Your liner should have some stretch, but not too much. The installer will also note any irregularities at this point.
To prepare the pool surface for its new liner, the installer will cut holes for the stairs, jets, and skimmer. Once the installation is complete, make sure you have your water tested and balanced.
What is the Best Time to Replace my Pool’s Liner?
The best time to replace your pool’s liner is in the spring or fall, as you won’t lose any of those precious summer months when you’re looking to use your pool. Spring is also usually the busiest time of year, which is why it’s important to book early to ensure the process can be completed as efficiently as possible.
Quite often you might not have the luxury of being able to pre-plan when to replace your pool’s liner. Working with the right pool services provider can mean your pool will be shut down for as few as five to seven days, letting you make the most of your pool all summer long.
At Total Tech, we are pool liner experts. Our experienced staff have been providing pool services – including liner repairs and replacements – to customers in Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, and surrounding areas for over 25 years. Contact us today to discuss your vision for your pool!