Pool Liner Wrinkles: How to Prevent and Repair in an Easy and Quick Way

Removing pool liner wrinkles isn’t as difficult as you might think. Follow these simple steps.

Liners are very thin, so pool liner wrinkles are bound to form over time. The best way to prevent them is to make sure they do not form, but you should also take caution when swimming in pools with vinyl liners. It’s difficult for them to stretch. If it’s too late for that, there are some things you can do to get rid of pool liner wrinkles now.

This article will show you how easy it is to remove those annoying pool liner wrinkles quickly.

What Causes Pool Liner Wrinkles and How Can I Prevent Them?

Pool liner with wrinkles

Various factors might cause wrinkles to appear on your pool liner, but the most typical cause is severe rainfall or other sources of excessive water in and around the soil around the pool area.

When the water recedes, the pool liner returns to a different position, resulting in wrinkles.

Other factors that contribute to pool liner wrinkles include:

Wrong liner size: If a pool liner is either too deep or too large for the pool’s depth and width, the extra material will crumple and fold over, resulting in wrinkles.

Water pH is too low: Your pool liner may have shrunk significantly over the years because pH levels fell below 7.0, making the water acidic and eating away the liner.

Poor installation: When a professional install a new pool liner, it must be appropriately positioned to avoid pool liner wrinkles during and after installation. If you hire a professional installer, they should ensure that the liner is put without wrinkles.

The water beneath the liner: High water tables can cause a pool liner to float, causing it to bulge. Pool liner wrinkles might form when the water recedes. Water may also enter via slight slits in the material.

Puckering: When the pool liner puckers, it is mainly due to undissolved granular chemicals or undissolved chlorine tablets left on the liner.

Water loss: When water is pumped out of a pool liner or seeps out, the vinyl contracts, making it difficult to reinstall the liner without wrinkles.

How to Remove Pool Liner Wrinkles

Removing pool liner wrinkles

As soon as you see wrinkles in the pool liner, ensure that you take care of them before they become a permanent fixture or become extremely tough to remove. 

Apart from being ugly, wrinkles at the bottom of the pool liner can cause discomfort to your feet, so you should get rid of them as soon as possible.

Caution: “After a vinyl liner has been installed for three or more years, it rapidly shrinks and becomes brittle once water is removed. We’ve seen cases where people have drained a pool to remove wrinkles and the liner split and became so brittle you could crack it like glass.” - Holly, author at The River Pool

Step 1. Refill Your Pool

It’s common for pool liner wrinkles to form over time, primarily when the pool liner hasn’t been used for a while. If your pool’s water level is low or needs to be replenished after being left unattended for an extended time, fill the pool with new water and carefully smooth out the pool liner wrinkles as the water fills the pool.

Step 2. Stretch Out the Pool Liner Wrinkles With Your Hand’s Feet, or a Pool Brush

A simple but effective way of straightening wrinkles in your pool liner is by using your bare hands, feet, or a pool brush. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes with a soft sole, and walk along with the wrinkles, stretching them from end to end.

While your feet, hands, or a pool brush are all effective methods for removing minor wrinkles, you may need to use a swimming pool brush to remove larger, more stubborn wrinkling out.

Step 3. Use a Plunger

Get your plunger and go to the pool; this is an excellent tool for removing wrinkles from your pool liner. The plunger on the wrinkles will pull the liner in both directions, eliminating them.

Step 4. Heat Your Pool Temperature

A steamy mist coming from the pool due to heat temperature

Cold temperature is one contributing factor that could start your pool liner wrinkles forming, as wrinkles are more likely to develop in chilly water. As your first resort, heat out the water to a comfortable temperature so you can work the wrinkles out more easily with your feet, hands, pool brush, or a plunger.

Inspect the ground around your pool to see if your landscaping redirects pool water to where it is causing harm. Branches, shrubs, and bushes, as well as plants, can cause water to run into the area around your pool, causing the soil around your pool to loosen and move the ground.

If you’ve confirmed that the soil is moving around the pool, you have to shore up the surrounding ground to make sure it stops from shifting. Once the soil becomes solid enough, the ground may stop moving, which hopefully removes the wrinkles for good.

Step 5. Patch Up Potential Leaks

Check the seams on your pool liner, including the joints on the corners of your pool. Stains or cracked liners can lead to water leaks, which will also cause wrinkles on your liner.

If you have leaks, patch them up with waterproof glue to prevent water from leaking into your pool liner.

If you are still unable to remove wrinkles, there is a second option. You can call an experienced swimming pool installer to repair any damages around your swimming pool so they can remove all of those annoying crumpled walls around the bottom.

Step 6. Blow Out the Liner to Remove Wrinkles

If you have a high-volume pump, you can use it to blow the pool liner wrinkles away. To blow out the wrinkles, increase the water pressure gradually. By blowing out the wrinkles, you blow out the air between the liner and the frame. Once the wrinkles straighten out, remove the suction to pull out the air that you’ve blown beneath the pool liner.

Step 7. Replace the Entire Liner

Replacing the entire pool liner of the in ground pool

As a last resort, you can replace the entire pool liner. It’s not an easy task as it involves draining and then removing the old liner and putting up a new one. You should only deal with this option if you have wrinkles too large to be removed by hand or other methods. 

If you have reached the point that your entire liner needs replacement, we recommend hiring a professional to install the pool liner. If you are attempting to install the liner on your own, do your homework to ensure that you purchase the correct size liner and install it correctly.

Understanding Pool Wall Interactions with Vinyl Liners

While diving into your swimming pool is a refreshing experience, spotting wrinkles on the liner is a potential downer. Not only do they affect the aesthetics, but they can also cause operational complications. Fortunately, there are ways to manage and mitigate these wrinkles.

The Importance of the Pool Wall

The pool wall plays a significant role in the formation and resolution of wrinkles. If you notice a wrinkle in your vinyl pool liner, one of the common solutions is to gently push or pull it towards the pool wall. This can be done using soft rubber-soled shoes while in the pool, using your feet or hands to maneuver the wrinkle. For more stubborn wrinkles, using a toilet plunger to grip the liner and pull it towards the pool wall can be quite effective.

Differentiating Between Pool Issues

It’s vital to differentiate wrinkles from other issues like divots, dents, and bumps. These may occur under vinyl liners simultaneously, but they have distinct characteristics and causes. For example, poor water chemistry, such as low pH, can cause the liner to absorb water, stretching it and leading to wrinkles. But remember, poor water chemistry can introduce a plethora of other issues as well.

Risks to Your Vinyl Liner

Ignoring wrinkles might seem harmless, but there are inherent risks. These wrinkles can escalate into tears or holes, particularly in vinyl pool liners. Thus, addressing them promptly is not only about maintaining aesthetics but also about preserving the structural integrity of the liner.

Role of Water Temperature

Another fascinating observation is that wrinkles in vinyl pool liners are more prone to forming in cold water than warm water. Prevention is the best strategy, so understanding the relationship between water temperature and wrinkle formation can guide proper pool maintenance.

The Process of Addressing Liner Wrinkles

Addressing pool liner wrinkles is not a one-step process. It requires meticulous attention and sometimes professional intervention. Though the process of flattening vinyl with rollers, akin to a printing press, is effective, it can be tedious for homeowners and installers alike. When in doubt, seeking assistance from trained representatives can provide insights and streamlined solutions.

The Role of Sanitizers

Sanitizers, especially chlorine or salt systems, can have a unique relationship with pool liners. These sanitizers may require frequent pH adjustments. It’s crucial to be cautious, as undissolved particles from certain sanitizers settling at the pool’s bottom can cause spot bleaching of vinyl liners.

Water Levels and Pool Wrinkles

Water levels are paramount when addressing pool wrinkles. For instance, water loss, especially when it falls below 6 inches above the pool floor, can cause the liner to relax, leading to wrinkles. Additionally, factors like underground erosion or “slippage” in overlap liners of aboveground pools can also introduce wrinkles.

Environmental Factors

Last but not least, environmental factors like rain can significantly influence pool wrinkles. High groundwater levels resulting from excessive rain or plumbing leaks can saturate the surrounding soil, leading to pool wrinkles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are pool liner wrinkles a serious problem?

While they are primarily a cosmetic issue, wrinkles can make cleaning difficult and potentially hide algae growth.

How does water chemistry affect pool liner wrinkles?

Improper pH and chlorine levels can cause the liner to expand or contract, leading to wrinkles.

How long does a pool liner typically last before wrinkling?

A quality pool liner can last 10-15 years before showing signs of wrinkling, depending on maintenance and environmental factors.

Can I use a pool vacuum to remove wrinkles?

A pool vacuum isn’t typically used for removing wrinkles, as the process requires physical adjustment of the liner.

Should I avoid certain chemicals to prevent liner wrinkling?

Avoiding harsh chemicals and maintaining balanced water chemistry is key to preserving the integrity of your pool liner.

Bottom Line

Finally, it’s essential to make sure you keep your liner clean and clear of debris like leaves and grass. By keeping the liner as clean as possible, you cut down on strain on the wall that could lead to developing wrinkles.

These pool care tips may take a little more time upfront but will save you some headaches down the road. If you need any more information on how to remove wrinkles, feel free to contact us. We’re more than happy to help!

Our website features more interesting articles related to swimming pools. They will surely answer any questions you may have about your pool. We have listed a few below.

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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