Pool experts RE edition - is this pool damaged?
August 15, 2015 9:53 PM   Subscribe

We're trying to buy a house in Florida. House has an inground chlorine pool with a vinyl liner. It looks like it has issues. We've never had a pool, and we have questions.

The house looks great. But it was foreclosed on in 2008. In 2009 the potential sellers bought it. To even our untrained eyes, the pool liner needs replacing - it's pulling away in multiple places from the side, and the stairs have holes in the liner as well. We planned to address these issues

In the sellers' disclosure, they state they replaced the liner of the pool. We pulled the permit history, and see that the pool liner replacement failed its permit inspection in Oct 2009, with comments - Actually reline vinyl liner. Part of liner has already pulled loose at shallow end near house. There is no permit record after that, and the pool company that installed it has closed.

We know we need to ask for a new pool liner. But if the liner has been in need of replacement since at least 2009, what are the chances that the masonry is damaged? Should we ask them to drain the pool prior to inspection? Green, you've never failed us!
posted by heigh-hothederryo to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Response by poster: Edit: *We planned to address these issues in the home inspection."
posted by heigh-hothederryo at 9:59 PM on August 15, 2015

In your position I think I'd consider getting somebody from a local pool company (not the one who fitted the liner) to make an assessment. This is because there are some questions which only somebody who knows what they are talking about and who is able to make their own inspection, will be able to answer. For example, "Why did the original liner need to be replaced?" - it might have been low water levels leading to sun damage, it might have been vegetation growth, etc. They will also be able to advise you about whether it is a good idea to drain the pool for further inspection (sometimes it is and sometimes it is not). They can talk about different sorts of liner and liner fitting methods - it might be that a low quality liner was used or that preparation was poor. Finally an expert may be able to see additional problems you might have not considered. The problem with the liner was probably due to poor fitting or poor maintenance - either of these could mean there are potential issues with other parts of the system too.
posted by rongorongo at 1:51 AM on August 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Many home inspectors will not look at pools. Others will do only a limited visual inspection, but not do things you need (run the equipment, pressure test, inspect the drains). The stuff you can see is the least of your problems.

You need to have the pool inspected separately during your allowable inspection period. If your Realtor can't recommend someone, then contact a few reputable pool companies in your area and ask if they do inspections.
posted by 26.2 at 9:36 AM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Don't drain the pool; it doesn't work like that. It might 'pop' out of the ground and cause major damage.

Get an independant pool person to come and inspect, not someone the buyer's RE recommends. I would call the nearest, they probably serve a lot of the houses in the neighbourhood and may have seen this pool before. They can tell you what needs fixing and what your likely maintenance costs will be. Liners are one of the cheapest, quickest ways to make a pool look nice, but they have a very short lifespan so even if it was installed properly, it would be starting to show wear and tear by now.
posted by stellathon at 3:23 PM on August 16, 2015

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