Rusty Swimming Pool Top Ledges Or Top Rails

Rusted or corroded swimming pool top rails and parts often become a problem for many pool owners eventually. The rust is caused by nature’s elements like moisture and sun, or from corrosive chemicals like chlorine, salt, acid etc. Over time the effects take their toll on the coatings protecting the metal parts of the average above ground pool. But there are a few things you can do to fight back and prolong the life of your pool.

Assess The Damage

Anytime is a good time to perform maintenance on your pool. However during a liner change or during your initial Spring start up is often the most appropriate.

To check for the extent of the rust upon your top ledges, just take a peek underneath them as this is usually the first place they rust. This is typically caused by condensation and trapped chlorine gas under the ledge. To clean them up simply remove the top rail, sand or scrap off the rust, and paint the rails with a good rust preventative paint. This should stop the rust in it’s tracks and extend the life of the part. This procedure can be repeated on as many rails and other pool parts that need it. Painting and protecting any metal pool part from corrosion is a good idea.

Replacement Parts

If the top rails are rusted or damaged beyond repair, then finding a suitable replacement may be your next option. In order to successfully accomplish this you must determine the make and model of the pool. If you have the paperwork this will be easy, if not some investigation techniques will need to be employed. You may have to look for stampings, labels and or stickers to help identify the pool or dealer that may have sold it when new. With this information, a search on their website may yield favorable results and your replacements can be easily ordered. If not you may have to move on to the next option.

Making Your Own Parts

To many this may sound absurd, but believe it or not there are some easy and creative ways around the rusty top rail dilemma. One of the most common and easiest ways to replace the top rails is to make them out of wood. Most often this is done by using pressure treated 1″x6″ or other sized wood planks to emulate similar lengths and widths of the damaged top rail. If you cut to the proper length, butt the mitered ends up and attach the new rails with corrosion resistant carriage bolts, you have removed the need for the plastic coping covers. These new rails are surprisingly handsome when stained.

Another great idea is the use of bamboo. Following the same basic principal, cut the bamboo down to fit over the pool for a more rounded decorative look. Other ideas I have seen included metal rails or building the deck over the top and eliminating the need for rails all together.

If the idea of making your own parts doesn’t sound enticing or your pool is just too far gone to repair, you may want to consider replacing it all together. This may sound like more then you care to spend right now, but a brand new pool or a hybrid above ground pool will last for decades in most all circumstances. A new quality above ground pool has many corrosion resistant features built in and are built to last even in the harshest environments.

The term “hybrid” above ground pool refers to the fact that many of the most rust susceptible components like top rails, frame rails and even sometimes upright posts are constructed of resin or plastic like materials that are impervious to rust. Hybrid pool models often cost more but are a worthy investment if it is within your budget. Hybrid pools are widely considered to be the “Best Above Ground Pools” for this reason.

It is also important to note that any of the pool replacements can be had without the additional costs of the pump filter system, ladder or steps, and maintenance tools that come in a swimming pool package. This “pool only” option is very popular for those needing a pool replacement only.

Helping Others

As you can see, people come up with solutions to age old problems with great creativity, and often homemade parts look more attractive than the originals. Do you have an original idea for rusted pool top rails or ledges. If so, please send us a picture or description so we can share your idea and continue to help others with similar troubles.

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