A 34th street pool in New York City required a solution for the aging pool surface on the popular amenity. The layers of paint and rusting conditions presented a challenge to both maintenance and visual appeal.
Renovations were challenged by difficult access due to its urban rooftop location. After consultation and award, American Pool installed a PVC membrane complete with in-pool stairs, heat-welded depth markers for code compliance, and new ladders.
Aging pool surfaces in New York City have become a growing issue. The main material used to construct both indoor and rooftop pools in NYC, during the 1980s Building Boom was Carbon Steel.
After 30 years of normal operation, water can do significant damage regardless of how well the pool was maintained. Many owners are looking for new ways to renovate pools to ensure another 20 years on pool surfaces. PVC membrane installations have been a growing renovation option for more than 10 years. It was once the last resort to any structural or surface issue. Today, it is the preferred choice to resurfacing a pool for these aging rooftop structures.
PVC liners should not be confused with vinyl liners, which are commonly used in backyard pools. The PVC membrane material is installed as a flexible blanket of PVC specifically designed to line any type of pool surface. The membrane is virtually indestructible from tears and is not susceptible to staining or corrosion. PVC does not affect water chemistry in any way, unlike plaster which is known for naturally raising the pH of pool water. This type of surface can greatly reduce the maintenance cost of chemicals since it will not affect the balancing of water.
The PVC membrane application is a custom installation that is cut to fit any type of pool shape, size, or style. It can be applied directly over the current pool surface. Sandblasting or stripping of paint is not necessary, which will also reduce renovation costs. Various termination joints are welded or attached to the current pool surface. These joints will be the contact point for the PVC liner. The liner will be heat welded to each of these joints, making a watertight seal throughout the pool. Fleece material is installed under the PVC membrane to protect the liner from wear and rubbing on the pool shell. It comes in a variety of colors and designs. The material comes in smooth and non-skid surfaces for shallow areas. Racing lanes, targets and transition lines can be applied onto the PVC surface in any color. All health department-required depth markers can be heat-welded as well.
The cost of the PVC liner installation mirrors the cost of plastering a pool. The lifespan of the PVC doubles that of plaster. Pools need to be painted every 1-2 years while the PVC lifespan can exceed 20 years. This type of surfacing can pay for itself in epoxy paint and labor costs within 5 years. The warranties, depending on the installer, can range from 5-15 years.
Like any major construction or renovation project, the surfacing is only as good as the installer’s skill. All installers should have references and be able to show previously completed installations. There is the possibility of a seam opening, allowing water to penetrate the subsurface. The benefit of the membrane is that the openings can be easily detected and repaired with heat welding.