Rusty Pool Walls
In all, an above ground pool is a very worthy investment. Where else can you have decades of fun for such a small amount of money. However, eventually your investment may need may need some additional help to keep delivering the good times. It would likely last forever if it did not eventually succumb to corrosion, this includes aluminum pools and pool walls too. Regardless of the type of metal your pool is constructed of, it going to happen to most every above ground pool owner sooner or later. I am referring to the discovery you find when it comes time to replace the liner in your above ground pool. You dig and and upon the liner's removal you discover rust on the inside of the pool wall. Your heart sinks at the thought of not being able to use your pool again or the possibility of having to spend money to replace it.
Both are very possible conclusions, but more times than not the rust isn't that far advanced. Lets dive into the various degrees of rusty pool wall and top rails to help determine your next move.
Examining The Rust
Before you spend money on a new pool liner and liner accessories like wall foam, pool floor padding or cove, lets get a good look at the entire pool wall from the inside. The first thing to do is to cut out the old pool liner to you can examine the pool wall closely. You must examine the pool wall from top to bottom and all the way around. It is important to know the extent of the damage. Ultimately this will determine if you can repair the wall or need to replace it. The tools required for the exam are simple. You will need some type of scraper to remove flaky rust and a screwdriver or pick to poke at the sheet metal wall. Other helpful tools would be a spray paint, wire brush and safety goggles and gloves for safety. The object here is clear away the corrosion to see how far the rust has progressed. Scraping or brushing off the surface so we can get down to the remaining hard metal. From there poke at it with the pick or screwdriver pick to see if it will pass through the pool wall. We are simply trying to find the holes in the wall. In addition, I prefer to spray some paint onto the rusty wall areas as I go. The reason is so I can mark and see more clearly the true extent of the damage.
Summing It Up
Once I have done this it is time to sum up the damage and determine the proper course of action to take. In most cases the rusted pool wall is just surface rust and a simple scraping or brushing will remove the corrosion. This is followed up by repainting the inside of the pool wall with a rust preventive paint for outdoor metal applications. This is usually acquired at any hardware, auto supply or home improvement store and most often in a spray can. For more severe corrosion this can become a calculated risk. If there are holes rusted through the pool wall toward the bottom of the pool, this is the most dangerous, as the water weight can cause the metal pool wall to rupture and tear open like a zipper. This is especially true with aluminum pools.