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Can you repair your vinyl pool liner?

Can You Repair Your Vinyl Pool Liner?

Can you repair your pool liner if it’s giving you trouble?

We don’t mean to ask if you have the skills to repair it, but rather if it’s even possible to do so.

In most cases, you can repair a problem in your pool liner, depending on the nature and severity of the issue. But in other cases, liner replacement is the only option to fully restore your pool’s functional efficiency.

But how do you know when you can repair your liner, or when it’s time to shop for a replacement?

Much of it has to do with personal preference. Vinyl liners fail in one of two ways: aesthetically or functionally. If it fails aesthetically, the liner has lost its original beauty but still works. If functionally, the liner is not doing its job of holding the pool water in.

Make no mistake: the aesthetic quality of a pool liner is very important to the overall pool experience, so much so that many owners feel that their perfectly-functioning (but ugly) liner needs to be changed. Your pool liner plays a large role in the beauty of your backyard, but full replacement is still optional at this point.

When it comes to a functional fail, there is no option except replacement.

So how do you know when it’s time to repair or replace the liner? Let’s look at some common liner issues and what actions, if any, you can take to solve them.

Bleached and Faded Vinyl Pool Liners

Remember when you first opened your pool, and your liner was a brilliant blue or was adorned with a pattern you fell in love with?

Sometimes, the liner’s looks simply fade away.

Liners that are exposed to very high levels of chlorine for long periods of time will lose their colour or wash out the printed pattern. The result is a plain, bleached-out liner, making your pool look tired and worn out.

This is an aesthetic failure. The liner still performs perfectly, but offers no visual experience. In this case, there is no way to correct the issue and the liner must be replaced to restore the pool to its original beauty. 

Can You Patch a Pool Liner?

If you’re losing more pool water than usual and have confirmed that there’s a leak in your liner, you need to take action quickly before the problem gets worse.

Liners can develop leaks in many different ways. Simple things like toenails or your dog’s claws can puncture the liner. Sharp objects such as a garden shovel or pieces of patio furniture falling into your pool can cause holes or tears.

Even an aging pool liner that begins to shrink can result in rips in the vinyl.

Punctures, holes, and seam splits can all cause water loss, which means added expense for you in the long run.

The majority of pool liner rips, tears, and holes can be repaired. Most small issues can be patched and repaired underwater without draining the pool. Larger holes can also be patched but usually with a lower rate of success.

The age of the liner also plays a factor in the success of patching the leak. When liners absorb calcium over time and begin to break down due to water chemistry, sometimes it’s impossible to get a patch to adhere to the vinyl. In this case, you’ll need to replace the liner.

Our own pool technicians once applied 29 patches on a relatively new liner to save the customer the expense of replacing it. If you’re unsure about your options, always speak to a trusted professional. 

Wrinkles in Your Pool Liner

Clean lines with no wrinkles extend beyond your clothes and right into your pool liner. Just like with your dress shirts or skirts, wrinkles make your pool liner look saggy and unkempt.

Unfortunately, you can’t just plug in an iron to try and smooth out your liner. First of all, it won’t work. But more importantly, you risk electrocution!

There are more practical, effective, and safe ways to handle wrinkles in your pool liner, depending on the cause: 

  • Poor installation: If your pool liner was installed improperly, resulting in wrinkles, and is less than one year old, it can be reset and installed again, wrinkle-free
  • Poor measure/fit: If the wrinkles were due to a liner that was poorly measured and improperly fitted, the wrinkles can be cut out and glued back to remove them, but the liner will still be a poor fit
  • Improper water chemistry (very low alkalinity): There is no wrinkle fix for this, because vinyl that is exposed to harsh conditions begins to absorb water, becomes saturated, and expands to cause wrinkles (an effect we call “alka stretch”)

Remember, although wrinkles in your pool liner may not look very nice, they won’t affect your liner’s functionality. Replacement isn’t necessary in this case.

How to Remove Stains from Pool Liners

Almost as bad as bleached and faded or wrinkled liners are unsightly stains that have somehow suddenly appeared on the surface of your liner. Just like on your floors or in your bathtub, you’ll want to clean up stains in your pool liner so you can host pool parties with pride.

There are two types of stains, and each requires a different method of cleaning:

  1. Metallic stains: Metallic stain removal chemicals can reverse the reaction that caused the stain, thus removing the stain successfully
  1. Organic stains: Because there’s no chemical reversal that can help clean these tough stains, you may be able to bleach them out by increasing your chlorine level, or by applying an enzyme product

If you’re unsure which cleaning product to use, contact our store for an expert recommendation from our service team.

Replacing Your Vinyl Pool Liner

If you can’t get another season out of your pool liner, it’s time to look for a replacement.

Talk to our award-winning pool technicians at Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs. We carry only the best pool liners available and use CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology for a perfect fit.

We inspect and repair any rust and cracks in the concrete floor before installing the new liner.

We’ll refinish the stripping on your stairs and skimmer mouth for no additional charge, leaving you with perfect looking pool. Ask us how!

Lakeshore Pools & Hot Tubs carries everything you need, including vinyl pool liner repair tape and patch kits, to keep your pool liner in top working order. But when it’s time to replace your liner, call our awarding-winning team at (905) 891-8818, or visit us at 309 Lakeshore Road East in Mississauga. We promise to treat your pool as if it’s our very own while we restore its original beauty.

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