How long do inground pools last?
Over the past few summers, many homeowners who were forced to spend most of their summers at home decided to upgrade their backyard accordingly by installing an inground pool.
Ironically, during this same period, other homeowners chose to have their inground pools demolished due to damages and the cost of renovation. Not to mention that it takes a lot of time, money and energy just to keep a pool in working order and compliant with new private pool regulations. That said, even with the utmost care, an inground pool will eventually run its course and have to be removed or renovated at great expense.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the life span of an inground pool and its components. This can help you make a more informed decision if choosing between an inground and above ground pool, whether to demolish or renovate your inground pool, or even if you are buying a home with an older inground pool.
Quebec weather conditions influence the life expectancy of inground pools
Quebec’s climate has many characteristics that impact the life of inground pools and complicate the lives of their owners. The most damaging are the numerous freeze and thaw cycles.
Frequent freezing and thawing can cause the ground under the pool to move. This can cause problems with the pipes buried in the ground, which aren’t always flexible enough to absorb the movements. When these pipes contain water and the temperature is very cold, they can freeze and crack due to increased volume.
Reinforced concrete can also suffer from freeze/thaw cycles since it is not a very flexible material. When movement occurs, the concrete can crack and expose the reinforcing bars to oxygen and moisture, which cause the bars to rust when combined.
In some areas of Quebec, hydrostatic pressure from groundwater (especially during snowmelt or after a heavy rainfall) can cause tremendous pressure on the pool structure and cause damage.
Want to enjoy your inground pool for years? Maintenance will be needed
Before getting into the heart of the matter, it is worth remembering that the lifespan of an inground pool will be influenced by the level of maintenance it receives. That is, a neglected pool may never reach its life expectancy.
For example, it is important to backwash regularly and vacuum periodically. You should also make sure that debris does not accumulate in the skimmer or bottom drain, which could cause pump failure. Finally, proper pool winterization will prevent pipes from bursting under the pressure of ice.
How long do inground pool components last?
The lifespan of a pool is not easy to define. This is because a pool is made up of several components that all have their own life expectancy.
As an inground pool owner, you can expect to replace some components after only a few years, while others may last more than 20 years.
Let’s take a look at the lifespan of the various components of an inground pool.
Life expectancy of inground pool walls or shell
Inground concrete shell pools have a number of advantages, including endless design flexibility. In Quebec, most residential inground concrete shell pools will have a vinyl liner covering the reinforced concrete, but the concrete can also be given a special finish so that there is no liner. In either case, the life expectancy will be approximately 25 years.
In recent years, however, the popularity of fiberglass inground pools has increased significantly, mainly because they do not require the installation of a pool cover. The life expectancy of this type of shell can exceed 25 years.
Life expectancy of an inground pool liner
Most inground pool liners are made of a thin but strong vinyl, which makes them susceptible to tearing from sharp objects or animal scratches. UV rays and pool care products will also reduce the elasticity and waterproofing of these liners over time, making them more fragile.
With proper cleaning and maintenance, a vinyl pool cover can last approximately 12 to 15 years.
Life expectancy of an inground pool pump and motor
A pool pump with an electric motor is needed to circulate water and chemicals such as chlorine or salt.
Since the pump and motor of an inground pool must operate up to 12 hours a day during the summer season, they generally need to be replaced 8 to 10 years after the pool is installed.
Life expectancy of an inground pool filter
Most inground pool filter systems use sand or diatomaceous earth to remove dirt and debris from the water.
Even with regular cleaning, filters lose their effectiveness over time and usually need to be replaced every 10 years.
Life expectancy of an inground pool heater
Water heaters are quite common in Quebec, thanks in part to the northern climate. There are many different types including natural gas, propane and solar.
Since water heaters can be used quite frequently and elements such as chlorine wear them out, they generally have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
What to do when a pool has exceeded its lifespan
If it is only the mechanical components of your pool that have reached their maximum life expectancy, you can decide to replace them and expect to pay a few thousand dollars.
However, if the structure has reached the end of its life expectancy, the cost of repairs will approach the price of a new pool. In fact, the inground pool will have to be demolished before a new one can be built, which usually involves concrete removal.
There is also the option of completely demolishing the old pool and filling the hole with soil, since simply filling an old pool with soil is prohibited. This type of demolition work is often accompanied by earthworks to give the yard a new look.
Trust Excavation Chanthier to demolish your pool
When an inground pool reaches its maximum lifespan and the best option is to have it demolished, our team can offer you a turnkey pool demolition service, including the feasibility study, removal of your pool and backfilling of the hole. If you wish, we can even transport the waste resulting from the work to an authorized disposal site.
Contact us to get rid of your inground pool safely before next summer!