Old or incorrectly-installed vinyl liners tend to have wrinkles and creases. The wrinkles grow as the liner stretches, creating long lines in the vinyl.
These wrinkles are somewhat common — but are they bad for your pool?
It’s bad to have wrinkles in your pool liner because they’re weak spots of stretched and compressed vinyl. These wrinkles and creases can rip the liner, causing expensive leaks. Some wrinkles are too big to patch, which means the whole pool liner has to be replaced.
In this article, I’ll explain how to get the wrinkles out of your pool liner, whether or not you should worry about the creases in an above-ground pool liner, and what causes these unwanted wrinkles. Let’s get started!
How Do You Get Wrinkles Out of a Pool Liner?
To get the wrinkles out of a pool liner, follow these steps:
- Wait for a warm day with lots of direct sunlight on the pool. The vinyl stretches and is much easier to work with when it’s warm. Frigid vinyl is stiff and tends to tear if you aren’t careful. I suggest performing this process on the warmest part of the hottest day during the week.
- Wear rubber swimming shoes to get a better grip on the vinyl. Rubber water shoes help you get a firm grip on the liner, letting you push the liner in the opposite direction of the plunger. The suction and grip are the two must-have parts of this equation, so you’ll need a good set of shoes.
- Use a new and clean plunger to suction and move the liner. Place the plunger on the opposite side of the wrinkle and push it away from you. This movement pushes the wrinkle while you pull it with the water shoes. The combined push-and-pull technique is a surefire way to remove most wrinkles.
- Repeat the process until the vinyl liner doesn’t have any wrinkles. This process is a bit tiresome and repetitive, but it’s a lot better than dealing with leaks, patches, or full liner replacement. You should be able to remove most of the wrinkles in less than an hour, though.
If you want to prevent wrinkles in your vinyl liner, you can use a solar cover to protect the pool. These covers prevent the sunlight from damaging the vinyl, preserving it for many years to come.
For a step-by-step guide, watch this helpful video:
Is It OK to Have Wrinkles in an Above-Ground Pool?
It’s OK to have small wrinkles in an above-ground pool, but they should be removed as soon as possible. Large wrinkles that can’t be removed are often signs that it’s time to replace the vinyl liner. Swimming in a wrinkled above-ground pool can tear the vinyl and rip the edges, causing leaks, chemical loss, and so on.
Wrinkles often indicate that something’s wrong with the way you’re using the swimming pool. If your vinyl liner is less than five to ten years old, you shouldn’t notice any wrinkles or creases.
It’s never a good idea to forget about these wrinkles since they can cause tears and many other problems in the swimming pool.
Stretched vinyl and wrinkles around the edges often indicate that the liner is aging.
The outer material stretches and cracks from the water’s weight. It’ll eventually tear the vinyl around the skimmer, which leaks some of the water around the pool.
Unfortunately, this issue can create bubbles and massive tears under the liner.
Remember to follow the previously mentioned process to remove any wrinkles before patching the ripped liner. If you don’t, you’ll end up removing the patch when you stretch the liner back to its original condition.
Pro-tip: I recommend getting a warranty from any company that installs your vinyl pool liner. An incorrect installation can wrinkle the liner and cause all sorts of problems. These pool companies are supposed to use a special vacuum tool to suction the liner and prevent unwanted wrinkles while the pool is filling.
Why Does My Pool Liner Have Wrinkles?
Your pool liner has wrinkles because it’s old, the vinyl is stretched, the sunlight damaged the liner, or people jumped into the pool. The heavy impact of jumping or sliding in a vinyl pool will shift the liner, causing small wrinkles.
It’s important to remove these wrinkles to prevent long-term damage.
Let’s jump into the causes and solutions to these issues below.
- Old vinyl liners don’t have the elasticity that they used to. The stiffness creates small cracks along the edges and makes the liner droop. The bunched and creased liner worsens over time. Some above-ground pools last longer than others, so it’s essential to know your liner’s lifespan.
- Vinyl is a stretchy material that pulls and compresses from the weight of the water. Pools hold between 2,000 to 35,000 or more gallons of water. Since each gallon of water weighs eight pounds, it’s understandable that the vinyl stretches after several months and years of use.
- If your pool sits in direct sunlight for several hours each day without a pool cover, it will stretch and expand. The sunlight combines with the naturally corrosive pool chemicals to wear down the liner. While many pool liners are designed to handle the constant corrosion, they will inevitably wrinkle and crease.
- Jumping into the pool and landing at an angle will wrinkle the pool liner. If someone jumps off of the edge and lands on the liner while sliding, the liner will push toward the direction they jump. These small wrinkles might go unnoticed at first, but you’ll quickly see a group of tiny creases wherever people land.
As you can see, there are many reasons your vinyl pool liner is wrinkled. While some of them are much worse than others, all of these wrinkles need to be treated.
Large wrinkles from edge-to-edge or those that continuously cause leaks often call for a full liner replacement. The good news is that pool liners last a long time.