Are you thinking about adding to your home the fun and luxury of a backyard pool? You’re not alone. Especially when beaches and public pools are closed or following health and safety restrictions, a backyard pool is a private oasis that can’t be beat.
However, selecting a pool is a big decision. You want to know that you are choosing the right pool for your family, your location, and your budget. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about a vinyl pool. We’ll examine how a vinyl pool is made and how it compares with the two other main types of in-ground pools – fiberglass and concrete. Finally, we’ll give you a list of the pros and cons of owning a vinyl pool.
What is a vinyl pool?
The other two types of swimming pools we install – concrete and fiberglass – do not have a vinyl liner. Fiberglass pools have factory-molded shells that are lowered by crane into the excavated hole. These pools have a durable and smooth gel-coat finish. Although the sizes and shapes are limited, fiberglass pools often can be installed in just a couple weeks.
For a concrete pool, workers create a rebar framework in the ground. Then they spray over that framework with shotcrete or gunite. The process of installing a concrete pool can take up to 12 weeks, but you will have a customized, durable addition to your home when it is finished.
How does a vinyl pool differ from other types of pools?
Concrete pools can be designed to fit any space and can be any size or shape. When you see a pool that flows with the architecture of the house or gracefully complements its landscaping, it probably is a concrete pool.
Unlike other types of in-ground pools, a concrete pool can be enlarged, refinished, and updated. The process of installing a concrete pool can take up to 12 weeks, but when it is done, you will have a customized, durable addition to your home.
Next to concrete, the second most popular type of in-ground pool is vinyl. After they dig the hole, workers install a steel or Cinder-block wall that they cover with a one-piece flexible liner. Most vinyl pools are rectangular, with L-shapes and a few other shapes also available. A vinyl pool can be installed in about four weeks. The biggest drawback to a vinyl-lined pool is that sharp objects can rip or puncture the liner.
Fiberglass pools have a durable and smooth gel-coat finish. These pools have factory-molded shells that are lowered by crane into the excavated hole. Although sizes and shapes are limited, these pools often can be installed in just a few weeks.
How do I properly maintain a vinyl pool?
Other than routine cleaning, which all pools require, vinyl liners are easy to maintain. A vinyl pool does not require as many chemicals as a concrete pool, and contaminants like algae have trouble getting a firm hold on its smooth floor and sides.
Be sure to use chemicals and cleaning equipment designed for a vinyl pool and keep all equipment in good working order. For example, if your automatic pool vacuum has a missing brush or stays in one place too long, it could damage the liner. Also, be sure to ask your pool guests to avoid using any sharp or pointed pool toys that might puncture the vinyl.
Brushing pool walls, ladders, and corners each week will minimize any algae buildup on your liner. It’s also a good idea to use a soft cloth and your pool water to wipe away the oils and lotions that can accumulate and turn brown along the waterline.
Keep an eye out for any small tears and rips in your liner, which you can repair with patches of vinyl. Once many tears appear, or the liner becomes brittle, you should plan to replace it with a new one.
What are the pros and cons of a vinyl pool?
Let’s look at the advantages of owning a vinyl swimming pool.
Least expensive of the three main pool types
Choices of shapes (Tops Pools offers Lagoon, Crescent, Full-L, Gemini, Rectangle, Grecian, and Roman)
Large variety of patterns to choose from
Silky-smooth texture that prevents painful cuts or scrapes
Retains water and prevents leakage that could damage the pool or surrounding area
Steel panels reduce the potential for warping and bowing
And now, let’s summarize the disadvantages of owning a vinyl swimming pool.
Liners wear out and usually need replacing every five to 10 years
Higher lifetime costs compared with fiberglass pools
Slightly more susceptible to algae growth than fiberglass
Susceptible to wrinkles, punctures, and leaks
Susceptible to facing, especially along the waterline
Most of our customers comment that they like the smooth feel of their vinyl pool. If you swim in a concrete pool, you’re likely to get a skinned elbow or heel at some point, but not in a vinyl pool. That silky vinyl texture also helps cut down on maintenance and cleaning.
All of us have gained a new perspective recently on the value of spending quality time at home with family and friends. We are proud that our quality pools allow you to do just that. However, we also know that purchasing a swimming pool is a significant investment. The Tops Pools team is ready to help you make the right decision for your family.
We know pools. It’s what we do. Please contact us today with any questions or to make an appointment for a free (and firm) estimate.