The Winter of 2018 is becoming the winter that will not end. During any winter, above ground pools take a beating. The pressure of several feet of snow on top of a 10,000 pound floating iceberg can rip liners or crumple walls. Let's go over a few repair tips that pool owners can do themselves to save their summertime investment.
Wall damage in above ground pools may seem un-repairable - and in some cases it is - but, in other cases, there are methods for repairing an above ground pool that has been damaged by snow and ice. Since most above ground pool walls come in a continuous roll of sheet metal, you can’t usually just order a new panel, unless the damaged area is a separate stainless steel panel used for the skimmer and return, which is not very common.
You can generally straighten out most bent and buckled steel walls and uprights with lumber and a large hammer or maul. Start by lowering the water in the pool to a point below the damage and pull the liner away from the wall. Have a helper hold a larger kicker, a heavy 6 foot x 6 foot lumber nailed into a triangle shape, on the inside of the pool while you hammer on the outside. Applying heavy blows will flatten the wall, remove the creases, and restore the wall to full height.
In cases where the pool wall is bent, bowed, or buckled, you can use full wall height sheet metal pieces, 'glued and screwed' in place, on the inside of wall. Duct tape the wall repair sheet edges and cover with wall foam, before re-installing the pool line.
To repair pool wall panels, you'll want the best sheet metal pieces called 'flats'. Look for a 48 inch tall flat sheet of galvanized steel with thickness of 20-30 Gauge (don't bother with the 12 inch wide roll sheet metal, it is not very strong). Securing a full height piece is more work, but will add strength to the area and give you better odds for a successful pool wall repair.
When fixing crumpled or bent pool walls, it is important to first bang out the bumps with the method described above to restore the wall to full height. The skimmer holes and return holes can be drilled and cut out if needed. Secure with Liquid Nails, followed by small rivets or screws every 3 inches on both sides, and then duct tape the edges. Finish with a layer of wall foam over the area or around the entire pool wall.
Just hang in there…..summer is coming.
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