“Can you just patch it? We want to get one more season out of it.”

What I wish I could say when I get this question: You want one more season out of your broken pool? Sure, and I want to play for the St. Louis Cardinals next season…so now what do we do?

What I really say: When you see problems with your swimming pool, have them fixed right away. It’s just like car maintenance – if you ignore the smaller things when they break, you will eventually end up needing to replace something much more expensive down the road. Just like the old FRAM Oil Filter commercials; You can pay me now, or pay me later. You would be shocked to know how few pool problems can actually be resolved with duct tape, silicone and epoxy.

If you have holes in your liner, the corners have not been in the coping track for a while, the liner has been popping out of the track as long as you can remember, the liner pattern is completely faded, then you are overdue.

Pool tiles falling off – Can’t you just put them back on? Sure, but there is a reason they fell off, right? Trust me once this starts it will never stop. It’s an indication there is a problem underneath with the mortar bed or bond beam you should address right away. Otherwise you run the risk of the problem becoming much larger, and much more expensive to repair.

Can’t you just patch the plaster that is popping off? Sure we can…over and over and over and over again. Once you start to see plaster bubbling and popping off in places it’s the beginning of a major domino effect. This is usually an indication the plaster is at the end of its life and becoming delaminated from the concrete shell. If we were to drain the pool and “sound” the plaster, we would most likely find 100’s of hollow places in the plaster just waiting to pop. You can definitely continue to patch the places that pop, but ultimately the pool needs re-plastering. Delaying this can cause additional damage to the pool, which will cost more to repair.

Nobody wants to spend thousands of dollars to fix something they already have. However, you need to put a swimming pool in the context of other luxury items. Ask yourself this question: How many yacht owners patch up their problems with duct tape for “one more year?” Owning a pool is a financial responsibility, and there’s a steep learning curve for pool owners that have a tendency to let things go longer than they should. Bite the bullet and get the work done. In the long term you will be rewarded.