Learning About Pool Construction

4 Signs Your Inground Pool Needs Attention

Homeowners with swimming pools tend to be dedicated and loyal to their inground oasis. With the benefits that a pool offers, like providing a place to exercise and socialize, you want to keep it in good shape year-round. If you've noticed some minor issues but aren't sure if they warrant repairs, here are four signs that your inground pool needs immediate attention.  

Cracks in the Walls

No one wants to discover cracks in their swimming pool. But you'll be glad to know that not all of them require immediate attention.

It's easy to confuse cracks with crazing. If your pool is made of plaster, concrete, or even fiberglass, it's not unusual to develop very small hairline cracks that creep along the surface of the pool. Crazing is particularly common on the top step where traffic is highest.

Cracks that are more serious and need to be repaired are usually spotted in the corners, where a spa meets the edge of a pool, or along the wall above the tile.

There are several ways to repair cracks. The easy method involves pushing some pool putty into the crack. But if you want a more permanent solution, you'll need to drain the water and fill it in with a suitable plaster or cement mix.

Neglecting to repair cracks can cause leaking and, ultimately, structural damage to the pool.

Malfunctioning Skimmer

Your pool skimmer isn't just a luxury item. It serves an important function of removing trash and bugs from the water. It even helps to remove oils that come from the skin and suntan lotion. Without it, some of that trash could float down to the drain and cause a blockage.

The trap door, also known as the weir, is equally important because it helps to prevent the pool water from escaping once it enters and keeps the trash from plugging up the skimmer.

Common problems with the skimmer include cracks, separation from the pool wall, and broken or malfunctioning weirs. Small cracks can usually be patched, but major ones may require a complete skimmer replacement.

Water Level Dropping

Swimming pool leaks can happen in various locations, and one of the first signs is a drop in the water level. Evaporation is common during the summer, but if you've noticed a sudden and rapid change in the levels, it should be addressed right away.

Tip: one way to tell if you're losing water due to evaporation is to place a large bucket on one of the steps of your pool. Fill the bucket to match the water level inside the pool, then mark the water line on the inside of the bucket with a sharpie or a piece of tape. Turn off the pump and check the levels 24 hours later. If the water levels are down slightly but even between the bucket and the pool, it's an evaporation issue.

Leaks can come from major cracks in the floor or wall of the pool that aren't easily visible. Or they could be coming from cracks in the underground pipes. It's best to call a pool technician who knows how to uncover the source of a leak.

Faded and Cracked Liners

If your inground pool has a vinyl liner, you probably know they're expected to last around 10-12 years. But how well you care for them ultimately determines their longevity.

Vinyl liners will eventually fade, crack, and need to be replaced. But there are times when a quick fix is in order.

If you notice a hole or small crack in your liner, you can usually patch it without draining the pool. Just be aware that patches are sometimes noticeable.

Fading is more of an aesthetic issue. If it's most visible above the water line, you can give your pool a quick facelift by adding a stick-on border, very similar to a border along the top of a wall.

Other problems like wrinkles usually crop up when the liner is first installed or when a pool has been sitting for a long period of time with no activity. And the longer they sit, the harder it is to get rid of them. You can try walking along the pool and pushing them out with the soles of your feet. Another trick is to place a clean, unused toilet plunger over the wrinkle and plunge away. The force can help flatten the wrinkles out. For more information, contact companies like Elite Pools.