Having access to a pool can be a luxury! However irregular upkeep can significantly decrease its lifespan.

Pool liners have a number of benefits. Not only do they cover the entire pool structure, but also help retain water and ensure a neat appearance. Furthermore, those with above ground pools can significantly benefit from a liner as it prevents the metal edges from rusting due to continual exposure to the pool water.

Although most pool liners are designed to last for years, extraneous circumstances may cause them to wear out earlier than usual. If you are wondering how long pool liners last, and whether it’s time to replace it, don’t worry.

Pool Liners

We have curated a short guide that will help you understand all of this. Also, we will tell you about the process involved in its replacement pool liners.

How Long Do Pool Liners Last?

Ideally, pool liners are made of vinyl, which provides a barrier between the structure and the water inside. Although most vinyl liners are advertised to last for two to three decades, it can be misleading. In reality, several factors can contribute to your pool liners wearing off much earlier.

Depending on the type of pool you own, a liner may last anywhere between 6 and 12 years. In the case of above ground pools, vinyl liners are expected to last for 6 to 10 years. However, with regular maintenance and care, you may be able to increase its lifespan by five more years.

On the other hand, in-ground pool liners may be expected to last for 6 to 10 years, depending on several factors. Keep in mind that incorrect specifications could also cause the liners to deteriorate earlier than usual.

Pool liner & stairs

Signs That Your Pool Liner Needs Replacement

You may be wondering what signs to look out for that tell you it’s time to replace the pool liners. Take a look at our list below to find out more about it.

1. Leaks

The primary purpose of a pool liner is to form a barrier between the underlying structure and the pool water. Without a liner, water can corrode the walls and edges of a pool, causing tremendous damage. The corrosion can lead to the walls of the structure slowly washing away the sand underneath and causing dangerous sinkholes.

The structural integrity of your pool can be sacrificed over time. Not only does this damage its look and appeal, but it can also be hazardous to those using the pool.

If you notice any leaks in the pool liner, it may be possible to patch it up on your own or with professional help. However, if you notice leaks but cannot find their source, it is best to replace the entire pool liner with a new one.

2. Cracks & Tears

Most vinyl liners are designed to last for at least a decade. However, constant exposure to pool water, chemicals and UV rays can cause it to deteriorate rapidly.

It is imperative to constantly observe the pool liner to look for cracks and tears in it. Although they may seem insignificant initially, over time they could lead to bigger problems such as leaks. If you notice any of these you should keep a keen eye on the water level of the pool.

If the water level is fluctuating, it is likely that pool water is leaking out - and you should get it checked immediately by a professional. Furthermore, if the water levels decrease by an inch or more, you may be dealing with more than one leak or tear.

It is best to consult a pool service expert about these problems. Although you may be able to patch certain smaller sections of the liner, it may not solve the problem entirely. Over time, vinyl liners become brittle and break down, hence patching it up may only be a temporary solution.

3. Wrinkling, Slipping Or Stretching Liners

The symptoms mentioned above can often be hard to detect unless you are keenly observant. However, you may notice certain areas of the pool liner wrinkling over time. Although this is mainly age-related, other factors like the chemicals used, the sun’s UV rays, or how much the pool is used can also affect it.

As such, pool owners generally tend to replace the liners to update their pool design or enhance its look. It is evident that cracked or wrinkled liners can damage the aesthetics and overall value.

Issues like a slippery liner can be hazardous to those using the pool. In fact, several pool-related accidents occur due to worn-out liners. To avoid this problem, get it replaced right away.

It is common for pool liners to lose their elasticity over time - so don’t worry. If you notice the liner beads slipping out from certain areas, or loose fittings in some places, the liner may be overstretched. Replace it at the earliest to avoid costly repairs and maintenance later on.

4. Stains & Fading

You may also notice algae and rust stains on the pool liner over time. Again, this is very common and will naturally occur with almost all pool liners. It is possible to clean the areas and make them look new again; however, it will not entirely solve the issue.

Replacement Pool Liners

If you notice any (or all) of the signs mentioned above, it may be time to replace the pool liner. If you installed the current liner about 6 to 10 years ago, it is due for a replacement anyway, so you should go ahead with it.

We recommend calling a professional pool service expert for this job. Although many pool owners attempt to do it on their own, it is not advisable.

Moreover, we recommend asking the following questions to help you better gauge their abilities and competence:

  • Where are the pool liners manufactured?
  • Does the company use sub-contractors?
  • How much experience do the company and its service experts have?
  • Asking for a written estimate of the service

The process of replacing the pool liners entails -

  • Choosing the appropriate pool liner pattern for your in-ground or above ground pool
  • Taking the correct measurements of the pool size
  • Preparing the pool surface for installation of the liner
  • Cutting holes for the jets, stairs, and skimmer
  • Installing the pool liner carefully, keeping a slight amount of stretch (but not too much)
  • Testing and balancing the pool water after installation

What Is The Best Time To Replace Your Pool Liner?

This is an essential and common question asked by most pool owners. Typically, most people use their pools during the hot, summer months. However, it remains relatively unused during the spring, autumn, or winter.

Consider your usage of the pool when deciding the best time to replace its pool liner. Also, keep in mind that spring and autumn are the most common seasons when most pool owners will replace the liners. This can immediately cause the cost of services to rise.

You may have difficulties in booking an appointment with a company due to the number of service requests it may be receiving. As such, we recommend contacting a company of your choice and pre-booking your appointment with it. Also, ensure that you ask for a written estimate beforehand, so you are not troubled by a sudden inflated bill.

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Pool Liner?

Typically, the entire process of replacing and installing a new pool liner may take about 5 to 7 days. However, this may vary depending on the company you choose, the time of booking, or the size of your pool.

We understand that pre-booking an appointment may not always be possible. However, it is best to begin researching before the summer months so that you can make full use of your pool during the time.

Can You Place A New Pool Liner Over The Old One?

It is not recommended to place a new pool liner over the old one, as it can cause further damage and quicker deterioration of your pool and the new liner. You need to redo the bottom of the pool before installing the new liner for ensuring optimal results.

Close up of pool liner

Summing It Up

Although your pool liner does not require very frequent replacement, keeping an eye on it can help you avoid costly repairs.

Keep in mind that several factors contribute to its deterioration. As long as you regularly clean and maintain a pool liner, it will last for at least a decade. Minor stains, tearing and cracks can be temporarily kept under control by patching.

As such, we recommend always calling a professional pool service. You can check for references online to find the best services in your area.

Till next time, stay safe and happy swimming!

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