On a sweltering day when the sun feels like it’s about 10 feet over your head, there is nothing quite as nice as jumping into a pool. Whether you actually swim, float, or just submerge yourself up to your chin, once you’re in, you don’t feel like getting out for a while. A pool can be a big reason why people go on vacation. Heck, entire resorts have been built around their magnificent pools. They can also be a big draw for apartment complexes and even senior living communities.
The problem with pools, however, is that they require a lot of work to maintain and they don’t last forever. Over time, a pool’s many parts will wear down, wear out, and need to be fixed or replaced. Here are some guidelines for how long you can expect pool components to last before action needs to be taken.
The most important part of the pool is the shell, which is its foundation. Generally, this is built with solid concrete and rebar. A common issue for older pools is that cracks form in the concrete, which exposes the rebar to oxygen and can lead to rust or deterioration. The concrete shell typically lasts about 25 years before requiring resurfacing or re-tiling and can remain viable for decades so long as they are properly maintained.
Note: Some shells today are made of fiberglass, which has a projected lifespan of 25 years and may need resurfacing after about 10.
Once the shell is constructed, the liner is put on. In most cases, this is made of a thin but strong vinyl, which makes it susceptible to rips and tears. Harsh pool chemicals can also eat away at it. With proper cleaning and maintenance, a vinyl liner will last around 15 years.
Pump and motor
Pumps are necessary for circulating both water and chemicals like chlorine, and the motor enables the pump to do its job. Because the pump and motor run a lot — perhaps as much as 12 hours a day – they will probably need to be rebuilt or replaced around the 10-year mark.
A filter system is essential for keeping the pool clean. Most filters use sand cartridges or diatomaceous earth to remove dirt and debris from pool water as the pump cycles it through the system. Even with regular cleaning, these filters won’t be able to do their job properly after a while, and generally need to be replaced every 10 years.
Though not every pool has a heater, this is a pretty common feature in places like hotels. There are many varieties, including ones that run on natural gas, propane, and solar power. Because heaters may also be used quite frequently and things like chlorine wear them down, their lifespan is usually 8-10 years.
While pools can be used all year long in some places, they need to be closed for the colder months in most locations. This means they need to be covered. Like everything else with a pool, covers deteriorate due to an accumulation of stormwater, debris, or just being exposed to the elements for extended periods of time. They will need to be replaced every seven years.
When it’s time to close the pool
When you add up all the repair and replacement projects — in addition to daily maintenance — the costs and the headaches can become overwhelming. Eventually, many commercial properties with pools decide to just get rid of them. Aside from the enormous expense, there are also liability issues that can be avoided.
Even when owners decide to move on from their pools, it’s not as simple as slapping a “closed” sign on the gate. You will need to make sure the water it removed properly (most localities have laws against simply draining chemical-laden water into the local aquifer) and the hole must be safely filled in. It’s the last project you’ll have to do on the pool, but one that’s much easier with professional help.
If your pool just isn’t the attraction it used to be and the upkeep isn’t worth it anymore, get in touch with Mikula Contracting. Removing old and possibly dangerous pools is one of our specialties. For a free quote, give us a call at 973-772-1684 or send a message through our online contact form.