The vinyl liner in your swimming pool is beautiful, strong, and durable, and is designed to last for many years. However, even today’s advanced vinyl liners need to be cared for properly if you want to get the full return on your investment. But, the time and effort needed to keep a vinyl liner in top shape is really minimal once you get into a habit of running through a short maintenance checklist.
Giving Your Vinyl Liner a Little Love
Here are the things you should do on a regular basis to extend the lifespan of your vinyl liner:
- Gently brush it. To keep dirt, debris, and undissolved chemicals from accumulating on the liner, give it some attention with a soft-bristle brush or sponge periodically. How often depends on how much foreign material ends up in your pool, but you might start with once per week.
- Maintain proper water chemistry. If your pool water is not in balance, it can have a negative effect on your liner. From calcium scaling to wrinkling and puckering to accelerated aging, there are a whole host of issues that can arise. However, maintaining proper water chemistry is easy once you learn how.
- Prevent chemicals from coming in contact with the liner. As you add chemicals to keep your water in balance, be sure you do so in a way that prevents them — especially chlorine crystals — from coming to rest on the liner. That interaction can cause bleaching and deterioration. Be sure to completely dissolve your chlorine or shock in a bucket before putting it into the pool.
- Never empty your vinyl liner pool. Your liner can shrink and crack if you completely empty the pool. If you need to drain some of the water for any reason, be sure you don’t remove more than half of the total volume.
- Tend to the waterline. Dirt and oils can build up at the waterline and cause staining. Use a vinyl liner cleaning solution to keep the area at and above the waterline clean. This kind of product will also help protect the liner from the sun’s damaging rays.
- Don’t allow toys that aren’t pool-safe. Pool toys are designed to be free of corners and sharp edges for a reason. Objects with those characteristics can puncture or tear a liner. Be sure that you only allow appropriate toys in the pool.
Get Rid of Wrinkles
Another important part of vinyl liner maintenance is keeping the liner free of wrinkles. Wrinkles can occur for a number of reasons, from improper installation to water chemistry problems. But, once the underlying problem is resolved, there are a number of things you can do to remove them:
- In bare feet or while wearing soft-soled shoes, walk along the pool floor gently spreading the wrinkles with your feet. Sometimes pushing the edge of a wrinkle toward the nearest wall is effective.
- Use a plunger to pull the liner material in the appropriate direction to remove the wrinkle.
- Warm the water. Wrinkles are more likely to form and harder to remove the colder your pool water is. Cranking up the heater a bit can make wrinkle removal (and prevention if you choose to stay at the higher temperature) easier.
- Check for leaks. Small leaks in your liner can cause wrinkles, as well as other problems. Find and patch any leaks before attempting to address wrinkles.
- Get help from a pool professional. If you have a persistent problem with wrinkles, you may want to consult a professional.
If you’ve got questions about how to get the most out of your vinyl liner, your local independent Latham dealer is an excellent source of information.