Rusty Above Ground Pool Top Ledges
If your not fortunate enough to have a pool with resin top ledges, someday you might be facing a scene like the one pictured above. Rusted top rails or top ledges are common occurrence on older steel top above ground pools. Aside from looking bad, rusty metal rails can be dangerous too. The good news is once you know the common causes of rusted top rails you can take measure to prevent it from occurring or save your existing top rails from getting this bad. You may also save yourself a tetanus shot and a few stitches from the local ER. To help prevent this happening to you, this blog also includes the best fixes for top rails that are too far gone to repair.
Main Causes Of Rusted Top Ledges
Time, weather, use and abuse are the main causes of this problem. The very strong summer sunshine in Orlando will take it’s toll on the painted steel ledge and ruin it over a decade or so. While the sun is wearing away at the top of the rail, moisture and condensation trapped on the underside are busy eating away from beneath. It’s the bottom side the most of the rust damage is done and it goes undetected because it’s out of sight. These two issues along with dents and paint scratches from use cause the top rail to need replacing after about 10 years.
Best Ways To Prevent Pool Rust
Rust and corrosion starts fastest when bare metal comes in contact with moisture and air. Anyone living in Central Florida knows how frequently it rains in the summer months. Thing only get worse for Florida residents living at the coast as the salty air wreaks havoc on anything made of metal, so any extra attention to rust prevention will be time well spent.
The best time to prevent your pool from rusting is when you first get it. Whether it’s new or used, having all of the parts laid out makes addressing his issue easy. Any pool parts that look like bare metal can be coated with paint or rubber undercoating to cover up the bare metal and stop the rust from taking hold. Even painted pool parts can rust because they are painted before being stamped out. This typically leaves bare edges with no paint so this makes a great starting point for rust. A couple of spray cans and a few minutes of your time can save hundreds of dollars and lengthen pool live by many years.
This isn’t something that can only be done when new. Another great time to take care of any issues is during the pool liner change. Replacing an above ground pool liner in most pools requires the top ledges and underlying bracketry be removed. This is a real good time to examine these parts, clean them up and give them a coat of rust prevention. It’s also good practice to coat the under sides of the top ledges too. If you have metal stabilizer bars that hold down the pool liner, paint those as well.
Check For Rust On The Pool Wall
All though this is a little off topic it’s certainly worth mentioning. If you live in Florida you’ll probably be changing your pool liner every 5 years or so. This is all part of living in paradise and having sunshine year round. If there’s a upside to having to replace your pool liner it would be the frequent opportunities to keep on top of pool wall rust. Once the liner is out, be sure to sand down and paint and rust you see on the pool wall. This is especially true for the area around the skimmer and return jet punch-outs. This is where pool walls rust from bare edges and leaky gaskets. Stay on top of this and your pool will last much longer.
Replacing Rusty Pool Top Ledges
This is one of the most frequent phone calls we get each summer. Orlando pool owners want to replace there damaged and rusty top rails and have a hard time finding them. Sadly pool top rails are not generic and cannot be substituted for others easily. If your rails are in bad shape and need replacing, your options are limited. You will likely have to contact the pool maker for the exact replacement or make your own.
Hopefully you have some paperwork on the pool or know where it was purchased from originally. If so, take some pictures of the parts you need and show them or email them to the dealer or maker to verify they are exactly what you need. If you have no luck you may have to make your own rails from composite deck board or wood. I like the deck board idea best as the material comes in a variety of colors and resists warping nicely. The ends can be cut at an angle and butted up to each other eliminating the need for the top caps or covers.
I’ll have another blog post covering this topic in detail soon.
Above Ground Pools Installed In These Central Florida Cities
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