Winter Damaged Pool Wall

by Martha
(Massachusetts)

The weight of the snow buckled 4 uprights and a lower side wall in an 8ft area. If the uprights are replaced do you think the pool wall is safe to use?

Thank you.



Hi Martha. The answer would depend entirely upon the amount of damage and the extent of your repairs. All above ground pool sidewalls can be repaired. The thing to keep in mind is that the lower you go on the wall the more pressure is put on it by the weight of the water.

While a small tear in the wall, near the top, could easily be fixed with a couple layers of duct tape, the same tear farther down the wall will need a large patch.

Repairs can be as simple as taping flat stock metal over the damaged area, from inside the pool. And in most cases this is fine. The lower down the wall, the bigger the patch should be.

A repair could also consist of riveting a large piece of flat stock over a damaged area. Tape would still be used, but only to protect the liner from any exposed metal.

An even more elaborate wall repair can be made by using a section of an old pool wall. The new wall could be placed inside the existing wall and bolted into place. I would set this up so the bolts at each end were hidden behind uprights. So if the damage was in a three section area, the wall could be cut to cover five sections.

In your case, you did not mention a tear in the wall. It is very possible that a hammer on one side and a piece of 2x4 on the other would make the wall flat again. If there is no tear, or hole, it will probably be good as new and ready to reuse as is.

Yes, wall repairs are very possible, just be careful.

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Pool Winter Problem

by Scott
(Massachusetts)

Hi, First year above ground pool owner. I thought I did a good job winterizing it but evidently I didn't. It appears that I didn't remove enough water from the pool prior to closing the pool.

It is late February and I have 3 inches of ice on the cover of the pool. The ice has come through the skimmer hole. We have had some warm days and now water is leaking out of the skimmer and the pool wall is buckling a little bit. I think as the ice is moving up and down it is putting pressure where the skimmer hole is.

I want to drain some water out of the pool but I'm concerned that if the ice on the cover goes lower into the pool it will buckle the pool wall more because the ice on the cover is solid right into the pool skimmer. On top of the ice is a foot of snow. I was going to shovel it off but I'm not sure if that would make it worse. If there is any one out there that made a mistake like this and knows of a way to fix it let me know. Thank you



Hi Scott. The real trick to winterizing a pool is to get a skimmer block and then keep the pool as full as possible. Blocking off the skimmer will keep the water out of it so that it can't freeze and create the problems you are having.

winter skimmer guard for above ground pool


I'm not sure there is anything you can do except wait until all the snow and ice are melted and see what you have. You may need to lower the water level and do some wall repairs. That would be pretty simple, just remove a few top rails, straighten the wall and reset the liner.

If the skimmer is damaged it might need replace. This again should be easy.

Your damage should be minimal and repairs easy to do. Hope all works out well and you get to use the pool all summer.

Skimmer Guard

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Pool Walls Have Rippled

by Laura
(Albany, NY)

On 1/2 of my above ground 24' pool, the walls have rippled or buckled from the ice and snow - we have a ton. Half the cover was pulled into the pool, even though it was tightened and held in place w/ ropes and heavy bottles. Seemed to happen overnight. The "uprights" for the most part are ok, except for maybe 3 that have bent some.

Can my pool recover from this? Will the sides re-form when the ice melts? What will happen when the ice melts? (anything I can do?)The pool is only 3 years old, and I'm very upset.

Thanks - Laura



Hi Laura. There is a lot of this type of damage this winter caused by all the snow. You will not know the extent of the damage until everything melts and the pool is full of water and cleaned up. Some of the creases may pop out on their own and some may not. The creases that don't pop out may have no effect on the pool except a visual thing so it's pretty hard to know if there is any permanent damage.

My only suggestion is to keep the pool full of water and get it running as soon as possible. Beyond that I would need to see pictures to get a better understanding of what the pool is going through.

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Winter Pool Damage

by Pattie Fairbank
(Hamstead, NH, USA)

We have had so much snow this winter, I noticed the pool wall was caving in due to the snow on the cover & w/60 degree temps the snow was melting, so we took off the pressure by snapping the cable & letting the cover/snow go towards the middle. The wall seemed to bounce back a bit, but near the skimmer it's a little buckled, will this be okay when we open in the summer & fill it w/water??

It's only our 3rd summer w/the pool.



Hi Pattie. It sounds to me like your pool will be just fine. You will not know for sure until everything melts and the ground thaws. Keep the pool as full as possible and hopefully everything will go back into place. The worst that could happen is you will need to drain the water down a foot or so and reset the wall. This might mean removing a few top rails, straightening the wall, and resetting the liner. Not a big job, but maybe it won't have to be done.

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Winter Dented Pool Wall

by Kevin
(Springfield Ma)

I bought a pool two years ago, everything seemed ok but the liner was cheaper than paper. I did not know at the time but during the 2009/10 winter the liner popped and the walls could not hold the block of ice on the winter cover.

Now the walls in some little spots, not all, are dented and look as if its almost folding. If I hit it with a rubber hammer do you think it will support the weight on the top due to the liner and the water?



Hi Kevin. I assume you are going to be replacing the liner, in which case then yes, the wall should be just fine. You can use a mallet on one side and a piece of 2 x 4 on the other side and pound it flat. The weight of the water should be pushing out on the wall, not pulling down on it.

A liner that is to small could pull down on the wall, sometimes even enough to bend a new wall. A new liner should go in with very little down pressure and the water pushing out on the wall should keep everything in place just fine.

Below are a few pages that might help with installing the new liner.

Overlap Liners

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Vinyl Liner Replacement

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