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Types of Pool Liner Damage

By Debra Durkee
There are a number of different things that could happen to a pool liner.

Many in-ground and aboveground swimming pools come with vinyl liners, and these liners can be subject to different types of damage. Proper care of the pool liner is essential if the owner is to receive many years of use, and oftentimes prevention is the best way to make sure there is no damage sustained by the liner. They can be a costly hassle to replace, and there are a number of different things that can cause this headache of a necessity.

Sagging and Shrinking

Always keep the pool properly filled.

When the liner is installed, it is stretched tight and often secured beneath the decking. Over time, the liner may begin to loosen and sag. This can cause the pool to begin to leak, and if the liner is stretched permanently, it may need to be replaced.

One of the easiest ways to keep this from happening is to keep the pool filled to its recommended levels. The pressure of the water will help keep the liner from being dragged down by its own weight.

A pool liner is meant to be kept wet, and another possible source of damage can happen when the liner gets dry. If the vinyl remains dried out for too long, it could shrink.

Chemical Damage

An attractive pool is a clean, clear, bright pool.

The right balance of chemicals is vital to keeping pool water in good condition, and it's vital to the liner, too. A vinyl liner can be home to a number of different types of bacteria, which can settle into the liner and not only go into it, but through it. This bacteria can begin to damage, rot and structurally compromise not only the liner, but the inside of the pool as well.

Too much of a chemical can also damage the liner. Chlorine can potentially bleach the color from a liner, and the chemicals, or lack thereof, in well water can also stain the liner.

Cleaning Agents

Use only cleaning products approved for vinyl.

Cleaning agents that aren't specifically designed for use in pools with vinyl liners can be rough and abrasive. These can potentially damage the surface of the liner with surface scratches, and repeated use can create leaks in the pool.

Sharp Objects

Keep an eye on Fido if he's allowed in the pool.

Sharp objects can easily rip or tear a hole in a pool liner, so it's important to keep a close eye on potential hazards. This includes the family pet. While many dogs like nothing more than a swim in the pool on a hot summer day, claws can puncture or tear a liner.

Another culprit can be ladders or slides with sharp edges: The added weight of a swimmer can easily rub on and rip a liner if these accessories aren't properly manufactured or installed.

Tree Roots

Tree roots can be problematic.

Installing a pool beside a towering shade tree might seem an inspired choice, but it can bring with a number of problems. Tree roots can be extremely stubborn, and as the tree grows they can damage the pool, and the liner, from the bottom up. Tree roots can create an uneven, uncomfortable bottom surface, stretch a liner and in some cases even puncture it.