In-ground pools with vinyl liners are less expensive and give you more shape and size choices than fiberglass pools, but the liner can sometimes develop issues. A floating liner is one of the more common problems that occurs with this pool style. Quick diagnosis and repair can prevent costly damage and the need for a premature liner replacement.
The most common cause of a floating liner is a high water table in soil surrounding the pool. This creates water pressure beneath the liner, which pushes it up and causes it to float after the pool is filled. The problem is most common during times of heavy rainfall when the ground has become saturated.
It may look like air bubbles are forming beneath the liner. This may be a single large bubble or several smaller ones. If you notice a bubble forming, stop using the pool and take action to correct it as soon as possible. Floating liners are more exposed to weathering, which can cause damage if you don't remedy them quickly.
Diagnose the Issue
Before you can begin a repair, you must determine whether the increased ground water is a temporary or an ongoing problem. For example, if you have had record rainfall, the moisture issue will likely correct itself as water table levels go back to normal.
If the problem is ongoing, you may need to install additional drainage around the pool. A professionally installed drainage or de-watering system around the pool will route the water away from your pool, preventing future issues.
Repair the Liner
Once the ground water problem is corrected, it's time to repair the liner. In most cases, it's best to have a professional pool repair technician fix it. Vinyl liners can be torn or damaged if you aren't experienced with their proper handling.
The technician will drain the pool. They will thin reset the liner into the proper contours, smoothing out any wrinkles. Vinyl liners that are more than a few years old become stiff, so this process must be done with care to avoid tears or liner breakage. Once the wrinkles are gone, the pool is refilled. If the ground water issue is fixed, no more bubbles should appear.
Most liners have a lifespan of no more than 15 years, and it's sometimes less depending on the climate and the amount of use your pool is exposed to. Your technician may recommend a total replacement instead of resetting the liner if the liner is already approaching the end of its useful life.