How Much Does a Swimming Pool Liner Cost?
In both above ground and inground swimming pools, liners are usually necessary and are sadly not immune to damage. While some inground pools don't require liners, many do have vinyl or fiberglass liners that can damage after a few years of wear and tear. Whether it is a tear, leakage or simply the liner coming off the track, it’s best to bring in swimming pool professionals to properly deal with the problem. Furthermore, understanding the costs involved may help you better budget for repairing or even replacing a pool liner.
National Repair a Vinyl Liner for a Swimming Pool Costs
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Table of Contents
- Average Cost of Pool Liner Repair
- Pool Liner Cost Factors
- Pool Liner Replacement Cost
- Common Inground Pool Liner Repairs
- Common Above Ground Liner Repairs
- How Long Should A Pool Liner Last
- How to Choose A New Liner
- Pool Liner Facts
- DIY or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Pro
Average Cost of Pool Liner Repair
One of the first things homeowners want to know in regards to swimming pool repairs is how much it will cost. Swimming pools, especially inground versions, are big investments, but repairing a liner isn't necessarily a massive expense. The cost all depends on the type of damage and whether the liner in the pool needs to be replaced entirely or merely repaired. On average, homeowners should expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $1,900 for a pool liner repair.
Pool Liner Cost Factors
Despite the averages, there are plenty of factors that will raise or lower your pool liner replacement or repair cost. You won’t be able to control every factor, such as the type of repair needed, but you can limit your expenses across the project.
The elements that can affect your pool liner cost are:
- Size of Pool: Larger liners cost more to produce and store.
- Thickness of Liner: Just like size, thicker liners are more expensive. Beware, thicker liners are not always ideal.
- Pattern of Liner: Any pattern will add complexity to the project. Likewise, darker liners are more expensive to repair.
- Type of Pool: Inground pool liners are more expensive to repair, install and replace than above ground liners.
- Location: The pool liner manufacture’s location, as well as the location of your home, can affect the total pool liner cost. Location will also come into play in terms how far your pool liner pro has to travel.
- Time of Year: Swimming pool pros are very busy late spring, into the summer. As such, they charge more for their services during this time of year.
- Labor: Chances are, you will hire a pool contractor to replace your swimming pool liner. Unfortunately, some pros will charge more than others.
Pool Liner Replacement Cost
In some cases, the damage to your swimming pool's liner will be so bad that no amount of repair will fix it. In that case, professionals may recommend that you replace the entire liner. While this will generally be more expensive than any other type of repair, it will give new life to your pool and new liners have an average life of 10 to 15 years. Expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,000 to replace an inground swimming pool liner, but just $500 to replace the liner in an above ground pool.
Common Inground Pool Liner Repairs
Before you can determine the cost of your liner repair, it helps to have a better understanding of the damage. Below are some of the most common inground pool liner repairs:
Most liners are thick enough to prevent major tears, but after years of use, small holes can form. If they are small enough, a quick patch kit can repair the issue for less than $200. However, if the tear is large, chances are, you’ll have to call a pool contractor.
Exposure to Sun
Most vinyl liners do not do well when exposed to the sun. Likewise, an imbalanced pool can also ruin the liner when combined with the pool. That is why it’s sometimes necessary to add a protective shield when your liner is exposed to the sun.
Improper liner or pool installation, water pressure and natural weather conditions can cause the liner to expand, contract or even make it seem like the pool is floating. It is of course not, but once the water moves back down, the liner is attached and wrinkles form.
To prevent this issue, you can install a dewatering system to keep the ground water at a minimum. If this does occur and you want to get rid of the wrinkles, you’ll have to drain the pool and reset the liner. Beware, without a pro, you may cause more damage.
The bead is the area around the pool holding the liner down. Weather can affect the bead and adversely affect the liner. You can pop the bead back into the place, but a new bead can cost up to $300.
Certain liners may start to bulge due to excessive water pressure and the weather. To prevent, use gravel instead of sand for your backfill.
No matter what type of liner you have, vinyl, fiberglass or concrete, leaks can and most likely will occur. If you have vinyl or fiberglass, you’ll have to patch it up with gravel or a special patch kit. With concrete, you’ll have to caulk the hole before resurfacing.
Your pool color will fade over time and the only way to fix is to repaint the entire pool. Clearly, this is no small project, as the entire pool has to be drained.
Common Above Ground Pool Liner Repairs
If you own an above ground swimming pool, you’re in luck. Common liner repairs are much simpler and cheaper to resolve. Nonetheless, you should still be aware of the most common above ground swimming pool liner repairs:
Whether it’s a deep scratch or some random pool object, tears and leaks do happen. To prevent a massive flood in your backyard and damage around you swimming, you must repair the leak a soon as possible. To do so, all you need is an adhesive patch. When you purchase, make sure it’s designed for above ground swimming pools.
Just like an inground pool liner, an above ground liner can discolor. In addition to weather or water pressure, failing to cover the pool when not in use can seriously damage your liner and increase your pool liner replacement cost. To fix, some paint and others replace the entire liner due to its relative low cost.
Damages to Floor
Just like the sides of your pool, damage, holes and leaks can occur on the bottom as well. While the solution is very similar, fixing holes in the bottom of the pool is not as easy. The entire pool has to be drained and you have to determine the exact cause of the issue. The leak could be coming from the liner, the pool itself or possibly, your foundation. Once the problem area is determined, you can pursue with you pool liner repair.
For extra protection, consider adding floor padding or wall foams. Both add an extra level of security to your above ground swimming pool.
How Long Should A Pool Liner Last
As we said, with constant upkeep, typical liners can last up to 15 years. However, anything beyond 10 is considered good. Inground pool liners, on average, last longer, which make sense given their higher upfront cost. To increase the longevity of your pool liner, you’ll need to:
- Maintain your pool
- Monitor water chemicals
- Cover your pool
- Fix leaks as soon as possible
- Use gravel instead of sand as the backfill
- Perform weekly checks when in use
How to Choose A New Liner
If you opt for pool liner replacement, you’ll most likely choose between vinyl and fiberglass.
Vinyl is the more popular option as it comes with the smallest upfront cost. Additionally, you can customize a vinyl pool liner to any shape and size you want. Finally, it’s smooth all the way around and hinders algae growth.
Fiberglass, on the other hand, comes with a higher upfront cost, but minimal expenses down the line. It’s also smooth on the surface and is always built off-site, making the installation process much quicker.
Vinyl pool liners have a higher lifetime cost as replacement and/or repairs are much more common. They’re also more susceptible to damage, so the roughhousing may have to take a back seat once in awhile. Finally, vinyl liners are not as valuable as fiberglass, decreasing your pool’s, and home’s, overall value.
Fiberglass does not come without its own disadvantages. Because it’s built off-site, you are somewhat limited with your shape. If damaged, fiberglass liner colors are hard to imitate, so a portion of your pool could be discolored.
Pool Liner Facts
Sadly, there are many misconceptions when it comes to pool liners. To clear the air, below are a few facts all pool owners should know:
- Pool liners do not cost $10,000
- Pool liners generally do not last over 20 years
- While tears can happen, they are not likely
- Vinyl pool liners can look just as beautiful as fiberglass or concrete
DIY or Hire A Pro?
Unlike many home repair projects, homeowners can fix and even replace their own pool liners. However, as we noted in the common repairs section, many problems occur when the liner is not installed properly or the water balance is not maintained. In addition, many repairs call for draining the pool. If you’ve never done this before, you may want to watch a pro before you take a shot at it.
Due to all the reasons above, many homeowners hire a pool contractor to fix or replace their pool liners.
Find A Pro
While pool liners are very durable, they’re not immune to damage. As such, it’s important to know the most common pool liner repairs and their average costs. This information will undoubtedly assist you as you research and find a local swimming pool pro.
Last updated on Jan 12, 2017
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