The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl Pools

Spring begins this week – the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the temperatures are rising. Wanting a pool to keep you cool but you’re not looking to spend the big bucks? Vinyl swimming pools are the least expensive inground pool option that can be installed within a week’s time. The smooth texture of the liner eliminates the risk of loved ones scratching themselves on the pool walls and with that ease of mind, it’s no wonder why vinyl pools are so popular! Plus, flexibility in design still allows you to create your dream retreat right in your backyard. So without further ado, let me introduce you to vinyl pools.

Design

As we discussed in our previous blog about gunite pools, the first step in building your dream pool is gathering inspiration and writing it down. Creating a detailed list of your wants for your pool with corresponding images will make it easier for your builder when you’re ready to create a blueprint. Consider our following tips when creating your list:

Vinyl pools are flexible in their shape, size, and color, so you can make any swimming pool dream a reality. There are pre-made, budget-friendly options but if those don’t match your vision, you can have a customized liner created for an additional fee. There are three types of pool liners that differ in installation: Beaded pool liners are installed onto a track, overlap pool liners are installed under a coping strip, and unibead pool liners are installed with a J-hook.
Liner type as well as thickness of your liner are decisions you will make in the design process. A thicker liner (25-30 mil) will have a higher initial cost but will stand up better to any potential damage saving you money down the road. A thinner liner will have a lower upfront cost but will face a greater risk of damage.

One last design element to consider focuses on the aesthetics of your swimming pool. As you research vinyl pools, you may notice the classic white fiberglass steps and benches. There are now various color options to match all liners such as the color coordinates series from SuperPro. With this in mind, you can create one flawless, cohesive design that displays your personality and creativity.

Installation

With vinyl pools, you have a choice of the building material – wood and concrete are options although galvanized steel or polymer are the most common choices. Material used can affect the longevity of the pool, so make sure to ask your pool builder what is best for you.  Vinyl liners are custom-made sheets of vinyl that serve as a divider between the water and your swimming pool structure. This wall panel structure is secured together and supported from behind to prevent it from bowing. The pool floor, formed by sand or a cement-like material, blends up into the wall structure for a flawless transition. Your liner is then installed and secured at the top of your pool, vacuum sucked into place, and the pool is filled. The 1-2 day filling process will allow the water pressure to keep your liner in place throughout the life of your pool. Don’t forget, your pool can be installed in about a week to have you swimming in no time! (Who doesn’t love that?)

Maintenance

Your swimming pool is installed and you’re soaking up the sun, but your liner is at risk for rips and tears. Checking for this regularly could save you big bucks and prevent any backyard disasters. If you find a leak in your liner, you can easily patch the leak with a patching glue available from your pool dealer. However, if you are concerned the leak caused further damage that could lead to cracks, fissures, or sinkholes, contact a pool professional. Unlike a concrete pool, you cannot drain a vinyl pool. The water is what is keeping your liner smooth and in place. With the pressure released, your liner can shift and bubble up. If this happens, you will need to rent a special vacuum or hire a pool professional to get your pool back to normal.

Due to the smooth, non-porous surface of your liner, you will have less algae growth in your pool saving you money on chemicals. However, algae shouldn’t be your only concern. Waterlines can be created from built up dirt and grime in your pool that can be dried by the sunlight. Therefore, it’s important to wipe the waterline regularly with a sponge to prevent any premature drying and cracking of your liner. Another concern is that chemical imbalances and the use of chlorine can fade your liner significantly after a few years. Refer to the proper chemical levels and use pool equipment designed for vinyl pools to avoid any fading or accidental tears. When fall rolls around and you’re ready to close your pool, allow your water to circulate for a few hours to prevent the chemicals from staining your liner while your pool isn’t in use.

If you think a vinyl swimming pool is right for you, get started by designing your pool, and receive an estimate from a pool professional today.