Do pool noodles disintegrate after awhile?
I can speak from experience on this topic.
We bought pool noodles when we opened the pool at our new house, and they actually lasted a couple of years. But I noticed it was reaching the end of its life when I would pick up the pool noodle and it kind of felt like I was picking up a big salty french fry. It wasn't very pleasant.
It was just sort of falling apart and "shedding" or what you might call disintegrating.
The Quick Answer
In other words, pool noodles definitely disintegrate after a year or so and need replaced.
But why do they do this?
I'll expound below for you folks who want the science.
Why do pool noodles disintegrate?
Pool noodles disintegrate after long bouts of exposure to sun and water. Particularly with the plastic used in pool noodles, this back and forth pattern of water and sun make them break down quickly, at least by plastic standards.
Pool noodles are made of a plastic material called polyethylene in the form of a foam. This foam is porous, which helps it to float, but also aids in the disintegration we see after enough time has passed.
It's also not particularly recyclable.
How can I prevent pool noodles from breaking down?
The simplest ways to preserve pool noodles is to store them out of the sun.
A pool shed or large container with a closed lid will pretty easily take care of it, which then means it's only the water breaking down the foam, which - on its own - is a much slower process.
Store pool noodles out of the sun and you'll get a lot more time out of them.
What should I do with a pool noodle that is disintegrating?
Throw it away and replace it. There's no use in trying to salvage a pool noodle that is crumbling.
Eventually, it will start coming off in chunks, which will break down even quicker.
Besides, it's not like they're hard to come by.
That's all there is to it.
A simple answer for a simple question.
If you have more questions, share them with me in the comments section below and we'll chat.
See you there.