How to Patch a Pool Liner: Use Proven and Quick Techniques

Want to know how to patch a pool liner? This step-by-step guide shows you how to patch a pool liner using a proven, quick method.

DIY pool liner patching is something that almost every pool owner takes for granted at some point. It’s the one task that you don’t have to worry about until it becomes a problem. At some point, something will go amiss with your pool liner; for example, it starts to leak out water.

When this happens, you’ll need to take care of the slash now before it gets larger or, worse yet, entirely. Here are some steps for how to patch a pool liner. Fortunately, patching your pool liner is not nearly as difficult as it may appear.

Keep reading to understand all you need to know about DIY pool liner repairs.

Why It’s a Must to Learn How to Patch a Pool Liner as a Pool Owner

Pool with new vinyl pool liner

If you own a pool, it’s a must that you know how to patch a pool liner. Not only do you need to know how to repair the liner well, but you also have to do it quickly.

A wrinkle in your pool can swiftly turn into a tear – and if a tear is left unchecked, it can cause a lot of damage. More damage means it leads to a costly repair. Furthermore, patching your pool liner will spare you a lot of trouble of having to balance your pool’s water every time you refill the freshwater that has spilled out.

“A new vinyl pool liner costs between a thousand and several thousand dollars (though the average cost to replace the liner is $4,500). The advantage of replacing the liner is that you will have an additional 5-9 years of worry-free pool pleasure.”

Jason, Partner at River Pools and Spas

Vinyl pools are classified into two types: above-ground and inground. In terms of leaks, each has its own set of risks.

Above Ground Pool Leaks

If your above-ground pool liner splits and leaks, water will leak until it leveled out with the tear. 

If you spot the tear near the pool’s top edges, you’ll only lose minimal inches of water. If the tear is near the pool’s bottom, you’re looking at near-total water loss.

It may not seem like a huge deal if you lose water in your above-ground pool, but it can cause the whole thing to collapse in on itself. Not to mention the toxic waste that will be spread throughout your lawn because of leaking. The water will likely do more harm than good to your backyard, turning it into a mud puddle.

Inground Pool Leaks

A leak in your inground can pose more damage. If there is a rip along the top edge of the liner, it can form a water pocket, trapping both water and air. That pocket also adds weight to your liner, causing your liner to rip even worse.

Moreover, tears and holes in your inground pool liner might result in water pockets beneath your pool deck, which can be dangerous. This can result in soil erosion and fractures in your concrete, putting the surrounding environment at risk.

Fast Fix for Patching Your Pool Liner

A man patching a pool liner

There are a few different methods for patching your pool liner. If you’re in a tight spot and require additional time to decide what to do, you may always use duct tape.

Grab your roll of duct tape, cut a piece large enough to cover the tear, and put it directly to the liner. This may be done above or beneath the surface, and it should give a good hold for a short time while you decide what to do.

Here are some other alternatives when patching your pool liner:

Waterproof Tape

A more specific method is to use waterproof when to patching the liner. This tape may seem intimidating, but it can be applied easily with a little patience and understanding.

There are two main types of tapes: rubber and fabric. Rubber may seem like the strongest choice, but it is also the hardest for an amateur to apply correctly. Once applied, it can also be difficult to remove from your liner’s surface, which makes it best suited for professionals.

Fabric tape is most suitable for do-it-yourself pool owners who need something that will hold up well without causing too much damage if removed or reapplied.

Peel-and-Stick Patches

Peel-and-stick patches function in the same way as waterproof tapes. The main difference is that they’re composed of the vinyl material that matches the color of your pool liner. Peel and stick patches also work on inflatable pool toys and floats.

Peel-and-stick patches are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, including sheets and circles. We recommend pre-cut circles since they are less prone to peel up at the edges.

All you have to do is pull out the paper backing and stick the patch over the rip. These types of patches mainly work well for minor leaks and punctures.

Patch Kits

Patch kits for pool liners are primarily used to repair significant rips and holes in the liner. Additionally, they offer a more long-term solution than waterproof tapes and peel-and-stick patches.

Patch kits often include bigger vinyl sheets and a specific adhesive for underwater use. Patch kits are available in blue or clear to suit your liner.

These also include laminated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sheets, the best material for patching the anterior pool walls.

Easy Steps When Patching Your Pool Liner

Cleaning the area of the pool as when patching a pool liner

Patching your pool liner is very important so it doesn’t get worse, and your pool doesn’t become a hazard. Here is how to patch a pool liner step by step:

Step 1. Locate the Pool Leaks

First things first, locate the leak. And once you’ve known the place of the leak, you need to size up the area to know the type of patch that you will use.

Step 2. Choose the Right Patch

The sort of patch you need depends on the location and extent of the leak. If it’s a minor leak, waterproof tape or a peel-and-stick repair will suffice. If the rip is bigger, you’ll need a decent patch kit. Make sure you have one before you start patching your pool liner.

Step 3. Clean the Area

Once you’ve decided on the material when patching your pool liner, you’ll need to prepare the area so that the patch adheres to the liner. To clean any dirt and debris from the area, use a rag, a pool brush, or a soft scrubbing pad.

Step 4. Prepare Your Patch Ready

Whatever form of patching you decide to use, make sure to have it ready before you start. That entails cutting it to the appropriate size or overlaying your waterproof tape to create a patch that will effectively cover an area that’s leaking.

You want to make sure your patch is at least a few inches bigger than the hole or rip causing the leak before patching your pool liner. 

Step 5. Apply the Patch Adhesive

Whether the adhesive is included in your patch kit, or you went the additional mile and purchased some vinyl adhesive. Ensure that the glue is applied to the back of the patch and not the liner itself.

6. Apply the Patch

Now it’s time to apply the patch directly over the hole or tear. Ensure to smooth out any seams and gently press out any bubbles with your fingertips.

7. Hold the Patch Sturdily in Place

We recommend finding something to apply pressure to the patch for up to 24 hours after you have finished patching your pool liner. Holding the patch for a day or two allows the adhesive to cure better, ensuring that your patchwork can last for a long time.

Step 8. Apply Double the Patch (Optional)

The practice of “double patching” is optional. After your initial patch has been allowed to cure for up to 24 hours, you may cut a second patch to lay on top of it for further protection. However, you’ll need to ensure that your second patch is at least two inches wider in diameter than the first.

Bottom Line

Thank you for reading this article, we hope you find it helpful! Remember, if there is any other information that you think should be included in this article, please feel free to let us know, and we will be happy to add it in.

Here are more pool-related articles that will allow you to better take care of your pool. Happy swimming!

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