3 Problems Associated with Older Vinyl Swimming Pools by Chris Ward
Vinyl lined swimming pools degrade as they get older. While it is true that most modern vinyl pools that are constructed with steel or polymer walls will last thirty to fifty years without the need for any major structural repairs there are a few common problems that may arise. In this article I will cover 3 common issues regarding Pool Remodeling in Atlanta. Some of these issues may not apply to pools in different areas of the country due to variables such as climate and soil conditions. Additionally, many older vinyl pools may have been built using wood walls instead of steel or polymer walls. Wood walls will obviously last a significantly shorter period of time than steel or polymer walls and this can be costly to repair because it essentially requires that the entire wall structure be rebuilt from scratch. In cases like this you might want to use pool renovation financing to get your pool looking good again.
The information in this article is based upon my personal observations of several thousand vinyl swimming pools varying in age from new to 50 years.
Issues with Pool Coping
After year 10 the swimming pool coping on almost all vinyl lined swimming pools will begin to degrade. The degradation of the pool coping is usually very slow and takes place over many years. By year 30 most aluminum coping and almost all plastic coping will be approaching the end of its useful life. Between year 10 and year 20 vinyl pool owners will begin to see the first signs of pool coping degradation when the incidents of pool liners coming out of the track increase exponentially. The liner track on most pools is the bottom piece of the pool coping which holds the pool liner bead in place. As the aluminum or plastic coping ages the straight edge on the liner track tends to become more blunt or rounded and as a result the track cannot hold the liner in place as well as it once did. You can usually pay a pool service company a small fee to come to your home and tuck the liner back into the track for you. A small piece of “bead lock” may be used to help keep the liner from coming back out of the track. Between year 20 and 30 vinyl pool owners may start to see the actual coping structure begin to degrade or disintegrate. When this happens it is time to have a reputable and experienced pool company replace your pool coping. This is an expensive endeavor but it is important that you hire someone who really knows what they are doing. Don’t go with the cheapest price on this project!
Vinyl Pool Liner Replacement
Vinyl pool liner replacements occur roughly every 10 years on average. There are several factors that affect the average life of a swimming pool liner. Some of these factors include chemicals such as chlorine, uv rays from the sun, continuous stress on the liner such as dogs swimming in the pool and sharp objects. The factor which is by far responsible for the most damage to pool liners is the use of chorine and chlorine shock. In a study conducted by lazydaypools.com between 2006 and 2011 which compared the amount of liner color fading between 10 new pool liners installed on pools using salt chlorine generators and 10 new pool liners installed on pools using no salt no chlorine systems (aka “drinkable pool water systems”) the following observations were made. The salt system pool liners were all faded 50% minimum below the water line. The drinkable pool water system pool liners we not faded at any noticeable amount after five years. Because liner color fading is the biggest determinate of pool liner longevity it stands to reason that by removing the use of chlorine the life of the liner should increase dramatically in direct negative correlation with the decreasing color fade over time. Only time will tell but this finding has inspired Lazy Day Pools to begin work on developing an “Ultimate Pool System” with the goal of doubling the life of each new pool liner installed. The best thing you can do to increase the life of your liner is to stop using chlorine and right now the only way to do that is to upgrade to a no salt no chlorine pool system.
When your concrete pool deck settles it can cause damage to the pool structure itself over time. Most pool decks settle at the outside edge of the pool deck over long periods of time. However some settlement issues can occur very quickly. For example, a leak in the swimming pool can wash out soil from under the concrete causing it to lose needed support. Ground water can also wash away soil. Remediation efforts such as mud jacking, french drainage, and sump drainage systems may be effective ways of dealing with ground water.
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