Once you realize the many benefits of choosing a vinyl liner swimming pool (see Part 1), you’ll be ready to make some other important choices. Your vinyl liner pool will have a beaded liner, but that can come with a variety of features. You’ll get to choose the thickness as well as whether your liner is embossed. In addition, you’ll want to understand the major factors that impact the lifespan of your vinyl liner and make cost-effective choices that promote longevity.
Vinyl Liner Thickness
Most vinyl liners are between 20 and 30 mils thick. Also referred to as a “thou,” a “mil” is different from a millimeter; it is, instead, a 1/1000 of an inch, which roughly corresponds to 1/39 of a millimeter. Some vinyl liners are sold according to “gauge” instead, so if you’re comparing multiple liners, make sure to ask about how many “mils,” so you can make a true comparison. You can expect a typical 20 to 30-mil-thick liner to last from 5 to 9 years.
Vinyl Liner Embossing
An embossed vinyl liner will differ from a non-embossed liner in that it will have variable thickness with peaks and valleys. Measured according to their highest “peaks,” embossed vinyl liners can be difficult to compare with one another. Non-embossed liners will have a consistent thickness. An embossed 20 mil liner will be your lowest-cost option.
Vinyl Liner Longevity
While thinner vinyl liners are certainly more budget-friendly, there are reasons that many opt for thicker liners; it boils down to puncture resistance, which greatly impacts longevity. While thicker liners may more easily resist puncture, they are certainly not impenetrable. Punctures in vinyl liners are commonly made by sharp toenails, animals’ claws, broken glass, or tree branches. More often, however, vinyl liners are compromised by improper installation. When liners are installed in a way that leaves any space between the vinyl liner and the wall of the pool, dry rotting can easily result; this issue is especially common in the corners of a pool.
And that’s the real benefit of going with a thicker liner: the thicker the vinyl, the easier the liner will be to maneuver during installation, lessening the chances of failure.
Whatever vinyl liner you choose, you can extend the lifespan of your liner by making sure you follow these recommendations: have a professional install the liner, carefully maintain your pools’ chemical and ph levels, and keep pets and sharp objects out of your pool. We also recommend that everyone who uses your pool either keeps toenails clipped short or wears water shoes. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your pool’s vinyl liner stands the test of time, protecting your initial investment as long as possible.
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