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.
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.