How Long Do Vinyl Pool Liners Typically Last? Exploring the Longevity and Other Benefits of Vinyl Liners
October 20th, 2020
An estimated 60,000 new residential pools and spas are installed each year across the United States according to the latest industry reports. When homeowners consider all the details involved in swimming pool purchases, their primary concerns are cost and longevity. For most, those factors outweigh style, size, and many other considerations.
Though many elements should be taken into account when designing and installing a pool or swim spa, the liner is one of the most important. This single component can make or break the appearance, functionality, lifespan, and ongoing expenses of a pool. Though liners can be made of a variety of materials, many manufacturers, installers, and owners alike insist vinyl is the best.
At Sparklean Pools, we’re the industry’s leading authorities on vinyl pool liners. From measuring and installation to customer support after the fact, our team is here to make sure you get the most out of your investment.
What is a Vinyl Pool Liner?
Vinyl is a type of plastic that’s commonly found in a wide range of industries. You’ll find anything from kitchen implements to windows and siding made of this material. It’s composed of two primary ingredients: chlorine and ethylene. While the former comes from salt, the latter is derived from crude oil. When combined, these two components give you a highly rugged and long-lasting plastic.
In terms of liners, vinyl is used for both above- and in-ground pools. Vinyl liners for above-ground pools tend to be much thinner than those for in-ground models. Both versions are extremely flexible, durable, and versatile.
Vinyl Pool Liner Benefits Compared to Other Materials
Vinyl is the most commonly used material for pool liners and with good reason. This variant of plastic offers a wide range of benefits you won’t find with other types of liners. It holds its own against concrete and fiberglass, the other popular pool liner alternatives, and even outshines those materials in many areas.
Vinyl is an affordable material for pool liners in terms of upfront investment. It’s simpler to work with than concrete and doesn’t have to be fabricated to the owner’s specifications off-site and shipped fully intact in the way fiberglass does. That means its purchase and installation costs are lower than those of its rivals.
Pool ownership comes with its fair share of ongoing expenses, such as purchasing the chemicals needed to keep the water clean and balanced. Upkeep, repairs, and pump maintenance are a few of the other significant costs involved. When you choose a vinyl liner for your pool, you can expect much lower maintenance costs than you’d face with concrete and fiberglass.
Though you’ll eventually need to replace your vinyl pool liner, the cost won’t come close to that of replacing a concrete or fiberglass liner. If the liner happens to sustain minor damage, it can easily be patched rather than replaced altogether. Maintenance is mainly a matter of taking care of the water in your pool and protecting the installation during the off season as opposed to regularly hiring professionals to perform routine upkeep.
Concrete and vinyl liners are comparable as far as versatility goes. Both give you the freedom to choose any size, shape, and style you desire for your pool. Whereas concrete is framed, poured, and molded to the pool’s specifications, vinyl is cut to fit and smoothed into place.
When you factor in the costs, vinyl is still the clear winner. Fiberglass doesn’t hold a candle to its competitors in this department. Though fiberglass inserts come in a range of options, their flexibility doesn’t come close to that of vinyl and concrete.
Concrete can be stained and stamped to create an endless variety of colors and patterns. Fiberglass is also available in numerous colors and patterns. As such, both materials give you plenty of customization options to choose from.
When vinyl liners first hit the market several decades ago, they were only available in the common turquoise color many of us readily recognize. This left a lot to be desired in terms of colors and customization. These days, though, we offer an endless lineup of colors and patterns, so your imagination is the limit.
Vinyl is a flexible material, so it can certainly be damaged under the right circumstances. Still, scratching or tearing a vinyl liner isn’t easy. Normal wear and tear won’t damage this type of liner. Fiberglass can crack under pressure. Concrete won’t bend or rip, but it needs to be resurfaced at least once every 10 years to maintain its durability.
It’s important to point out that certain factors can negatively affect the longevity of vinyl. For one, proper measurement and installation are essential from the beginning. We take extra care to measure your pool and follow proper site preparation and installation procedures to maximize the liner’s longevity.
Secondly, taking care of your pool and maintaining the right balance of chemicals in the water is crucial. Unnecessarily harsh chemicals will greatly detract from the lifespan of a vinyl liner. At the same time, keeping your pool covered during the winter months to reduce exposure to the elements will help extend the life of a vinyl liner.
How Long Will a Vinyl Pool Liner Last?
All this brings us to the longevity of vinyl pool liners. Reports vary on the lifespans of these liners, but most last between 10 and 20 years. As we mentioned, the amount of care you put into your pool can increase or decrease the amount of use you’ll get out of the liner.
Keep in mind, most vinyl liners come with 20-, 25-, or 30-year warranties. If they need to be replaced before the warranty runs out, at least a portion of the cost will be covered. Most are covered by full warranties for five years or so.
Let Us Help Create the Pool of Your Dreams
At Sparklean Pools, we’ve been installing vinyl pool liners for decades. Our team has the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure your liner lasts as long as possible. On top of that, we’re dedicated to your satisfaction. Call us or contact us via the form on our website to learn more about how a vinyl liner can take your pool to entirely new levels.