05 March 2018
Relining your pool
A vinyl pool liner is used in lieu of concrete or stainless steel as a membrane to keep your water from draining away. Liner pools cost less to build, and you'll be able to see the top edge of the liner locked around the edge of the pool. However, they are subject to more wear and tear and are more easily damaged than a concrete or stainless steel pool.
If you've inherited a pool with a vinyl liner through a house purchase, once you’ve settled in be sure to have the pool serviced to ensure the liner is still in great shape. Once a liner is torn, it effectively becomes useless and will need to be replaced. Liners can also be used as a cost-effective way of refurbishing an old tiled pool (assuming the pool is still structurally sound), as they can be laid over old tiles or decayed concrete with minimal repair work required.
Not all pool owners are conscientious about maintenance. If a concrete pool has been neglected for long enough, it can crack and develop leaks. In this case, it's likely going to be an expensive fix. The concrete will need replacing, requiring an installation team, involve time and a cost that you may not wish to incur.
A great solution is to use a vinyl pool liner to create a new shell - they come in attractive styles and colours and can be installed within a matter of days. Using the exact specifications of the pool, an installation team can cut the vinyl to fit your pool perfectly and if you chose a bag liner that is made in a factory to fit your pool it is installed on a liner lock and then a vacuum is used to pull the liner into place while the pool is filling.
You may wish to replace an existing liner because it has faded. Older vinyl liners will fade and become brittle if exposed to over shocking or chemicals imbalance, meaning replacement is inevitable. Luckily, this issue is a problem of the past with the new breed of vinyl liners available. The material is made to resist UV light, and bacteria, meaning it will last for years if fitted properly. Do remember though that overuse of chemicals can still cause damage.
Relining takes time
Jim Moss, Head of Refurbishment at London Swimming Pool Company has some good advice if your pool is likely to need a new liner this season:
“Although refitting a vinyl liner is a relatively short job, it isn't completed overnight. The perception that it is a quick fix leads people to believe they can wait until spring to make enquiries. But contractors get booked up far in advance, often months ahead of the work. If you leave it too late to book a liner installation, you may miss the window of opportunity. It might be well into the swimming season or even past it by the time contractors can fit you into a schedule. A liner can be installed at any time, even during winter.”
Depending on your contractor, they may do what's called an on-site lining. This means that the vinyl liner isn't pre-cut in advance. The manufacturer will cut it to size on-site, tailor-made so it's a perfect fit. In this case, it isn't only the pool designer who needs to clear space in their calendar, it's the manufacturer too. To make sure your outdoor pool is ready for the summer, book in advance to avoid disappointment.
A new liner doesn't have to be a standard colour. There are all sorts of designs available nowadays; including mosaic patterns of various types, bold colours and even novelty options. It's also possible to have different wall and floor patterns, although it's harder to achieve a good aesthetic this way. You should also consider what thickness of liner to install. A thicker liner (site liners) will cost more, but it will be more durable and resistant to damage. It's possible for a vinyl liner to get a puncture, so a thicker one will make that far less likely to occur in the long run. Keep in mind that all pool liners, bag or site lining, are susceptible to damage by sharp objects in the pool.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool maintenance, servicing and refurbishment, so if you have a pool that’s in need of regular maintenance or a facelift, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice. If you have an older swimming pool that needs upgrading, we suggest planning your refurbishment for the autumn, so all the work is done and dusted before the next swimming season.