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How to Care for Your Vinyl Pool Liner

For the most part, pool maintenance is straightforward. However, like most things in life, there are exceptions.

For every type of pool, there’s a slightly different set of guidelines. While you can care for your vinyl pool just like you learned to care for your parents’ gunite pool, the reality is, your vinyl pool will last longer if you care for it like…well, a vinyl pool. (No surprise there.)

Here’s how to treat your vinyl pool liner so that it looks nicer and lasts longer:

So Long, Stains!

If you never say hello to stains, then you never have to say goodbye. If you’re proactive during your pool’s installation phase, your vinyl pool can benefit for years to come. One way to prevent stains is to include a layer beneath the liner and the ground. This layer serves as a barrier to prevent stains caused by growing microorganisms.

Another option is to treat the ground itself. By misting the ground with a 1:1 bleach/water solution, you can lower the chances of bacteria and fungus growing on the liner and creating stains. If you choose to go the beach/water approach, use a garden hose and spray the area three or four times. After the final spray, allow the solution to set into the ground completely before laying the pool liner.

Don’t Risk Wrinkles

Like people, vinyl pool linings wrinkle with age. And like people, pools have various options to limit wrinkles. Here are two tips for keeping the wrinkles out of your vinyl pool liner:

  1. Use alkaline sanitizers and a non-chlorine sanitizer system.
  2. Keep your low pH levels from dropping below average.

A Little Deterioration Never Definitely Hurts

While the majority of your vinyl liner is below the water line, a lot of damage can happen above the water, too. In fact, the vinyl lining above the water line is the portion that’s most likely to deteriorate.

The best way to avoid deterioration is to avoid acid-based cleaners. The combination of an acidic cleaner clinging to your pool wall while the sun beats directly on it will certainly cause early deterioration.

Sunny With A Chance Of Stretching Or Tearing

If you’re designing your own vinyl pool, choose a shape that does not have sharp corners. Corners sharper than a two-foot radius put unnecessary stress on the vinyl. Your pool builders will be forced to stretch the vinyl in order to fit the design.

Eventually, the stretched vinyl will pull away from the corners of the pool as well as the wall above the waterline. As the vinyl pulls away, it’s less durable against chemicals, UV rays and the environment.

While stretching and tearing caused by sharp corners happens over a longer period of time, the same problems can occur almost immediately if you make the mistake of emptying your vinyl pool. How does this happen? Over time, vinyl becomes brittle. and if you remove the water from your vinyl pool — even for a short period of time — the vinyl begins to shrink and will crack or tear.

Pattern Problems

One of the most noticeable parts of a vinyl pool is the liner’s vibrant blue design that makes the water look practically irresistible. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and these stunning patterns eventually fade and chip over time.

While you can’t completely stop this from happening, you can delay the process. Here are two tips:

  1. Keep the pH level between 7.4 and 7.8. Acidic water will cause the ink on the vinyl to wear off or chip.
  2. Keep your chlorine levels at or below 3 PPM to avoid fading. Of course, any time you shock your pool, the chlorine levels will go well above that, which is why it’s important to circulate the water for at least 72 hours after shocking and to keep your pool uncovered for at least 24 hours.

Take It Straight To The Pros

If you feel like you’ve been doing everything right, and you’re still having problems with your vinyl pool liner, don’t hesitate to give Hot Springs Pools & Spas a call. You can reach us at our Asheville location or our Greenville location during the week, or you can leave us a message online any time! We do vinyl liner installations, repairs and more!

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