How to Remove Pool Liner Wrinkles

Summer is coming, the weather is nice, and you’re ready for a swim — but you just realized your vinyl liner is wrinkled. Swimming pool liners are very thin and may look great to begin with, but form wrinkles over time.

Although liner wrinkles do not cause catastrophic problems to your pool, they can be unsightly, annoying, and difficult to get rid of. The best way to prevent them is to make sure they do not form, but if it’s too late for that, there are some things you can do to get rid of wrinkles in your pool liner now.

This article will show you to remove those annoying wrinkles quickly, so you can get back to enjoying your pool.

What is the Cause of Pool Liner Wrinkles?

There are several reasons that you might see wrinkles showing up on your pool liner, but the most common culprit is heavy rainfall or other causes of excessive water in and around the soil surrounding the pool.

When the water recedes, the pool liner goes back in a different position and wrinkles develop.

Some other reasons for pool liner wrinkles are:

  • Wrong liner size: If a pool liner is too deep or too big for the pool depth and width, the excess material will crumple and fold over, causing wrinkles.
  • Water pH is too low: Your pool liner may have shrunk slightly due to pH levels below 7.0 over the years, causing the water to be acidic and eat away at the liner.
  • Poor installation: When a professional installs a new pool liner, it needs to be placed so that wrinkles are not present during or after installation. If you have hired a professional installer, they should ensure that no creases are present after the liner is installed.
  • The water beneath the liner: High water tables can float a pool liner, causing the liner to bulge. As the water recedes, wrinkles can form. Water may also get in under the liner because of small slits in the material.
  • Puckering: When the pool liner puckers, it is usually because of undissolved granular chemicals on the vinyl or chlorine tablets that are left to dissolve on the liner.
  • Water loss: When water is pumped out or leaks out of a pool liner, the vinyl will contract and make it difficult to reset the pool liner with no wrinkles.

How do you Prevent Wrinkles In a Vinyl Pool Liner?

If you have hired a builder to install your swimming pool – especially a reputable one – they will want you to have the best experience possible. No builder wants to do a poor job because they want you to sing their praises to other potential customers.

Unfortunately, some builders do not do a good job and the customer does not speak up at the time of installation or realize that anything is wrong. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention during the installation process.

When you hire someone to build your pool, check the warranty to see if it covers wrinkles and, you will most likely see that it does not. At the very least, your builder should leave you with a new pool that is wrinkle-free, but if they do not, there are some things you can do to make your pool liner wrinkle-free.

When the contractor is filling the pool with water, you can let them know if you see any wrinkles that have formed during the process. Even if they don’t want you pointing out flaws, it’s worth it for the appearance of your pool. If the installer does not notice the wrinkles, and you do, it will save you a lot of trouble down the road.

When a professional is installing a pool liner, a red flag is that they miss wrinkles in the first place. It is an even greater red flag if they act like wrinkles are okay.

Do not sign off on the paperwork before you inspect the work that the builder has done. If they ask you to sign before the job is done, make sure you read the contract to know they have maintained your expectations of how your liner should look.

How to Remove Pool Liner Wrinkles

If there are wrinkles in the pool liner, you want to get them out as soon as possible to ensure they do not cause any damage and before they become a permanent fixture or are too difficult to remove.

Aside from being unsightly, wrinkles at the bottom of the pool liner can feel unpleasant on your feet and should be taken care of as soon as possible.

Refill Your Pool

The pool liner wrinkles will often form over time, especially when it has not been in use. If the pool water is on the low side, or you need to replace it after being left unattended for a while, refill your pool with fresh water and slowly work out the wrinkles as the pool fills.

Stretch It Out with Your Hands, Feet, or a Pool Brush

An easy way to get the wrinkles out of the pool liner is by using your hands, feet, or a pool brush. Make sure you are wearing soft-soled shoes and walk along with the wrinkles, stretching them as you go from side to side. Your feet, hands, or a pool brush are reliable ways to get rid of small wrinkles, but you may have to use a swimming pool brush to get some of the bigger, more stubborn wrinkles out.

Use a Plunger

Grab a new toilet plunger and head to the pool; it’s a solid choice for getting wrinkles out of your pool liner. By placing the plunger on the wrinkle at either side, it will pull the liner both ways and remove any wrinkles in the liner.

Increase your Pool Temperature

If your pool water is cold, that could be part of the reason the wrinkles have formed, as wrinkles are more likely to form in colder water. As a first resort, try heating the water until the liner softens so that you can work the wrinkles out more easily with a pool brush, plunger, or even your feet. Head over to my guide on the right pool temp for more info on what temperature you should be keeping your pool at.

Shore Up the Ground Around your Pool

Check to see if your landscaping is redirecting water to where it is causing damage. Trees, shrubs, bushes, even plants can cause water to run to the area around or pool area and begin to soften the soil around your pool and shift the ground.

If you notice that the soil is moving around the pool, you will need to shore up the ground surrounding your pool to make sure that it stops shifting. When you are sure that the soil is solid and will not continue to move, you can remove the wrinkles, hopefully for good.

Patch Up Potential Leaks

Leaks in your pool liner, even small ones, can lead to damage of the liner, as well as pool liner wrinkles, by allowing the water to go beneath the liner and force it up, causing wrinkles.

The first thing you need to do is find the leak, which you can do with a prefilled dye tester. To find the leak, you may have to drain the pool to patch it correctly. Once the tear is fixed, you can begin to pull out the wrinkles in the pool liner.

Blow Out the Liner

As one of the last things you want to do, drain the pool and blow out the liner using a Shop-Vac. You will need to use the Shop-Vac in reverse, blowing out the air between the liner and the frame, leading the wrinkles to be pushed out. Once the wrinkles are gone, you need to reverse the suction to pull out all of the excess air you pushed beneath the pool liner.

Replace the Liner

As a last resort, you will need to do the extreme and admit defeat. Sometimes the wrinkles won’t come out and you need to replace the entire liner. If you have come to this point, make sure that the liner is installed correctly and wrinkle-free so that you won’t have to go through the entire process or frustration again.

We suggest hiring a professional to install the pool liner to begin. If you are trying to install the liner alone, do your research to get the right size liner and install it correctly.

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The Bottom Line

You can remove pool liner wrinkles several ways, but the best defense is to not allow them to happen in the first place. Ensure you hire a professional to install your pool liner and then keep the water levels set and pH balance correct. Also remember to make sure that there is no excess water going around your pool and lifting the liner, causing wrinkles.

Calling a professional to help you remove the wrinkles from your pool liner is a good idea if you have tried everything else. With the tips above, hopefully, you will not have to call in the builders.

Questions on liner wrinkles? Let me know, always happy to help.

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