When the liner and old foam have been removed, the walls are scraped, if necessary. The panel seams and coping are taped, adhesive is applied, and the foam is fit to the walls.
A common question is ‘Do I need foam?’ The answer is as follows:
Wooden and concrete walls: yes.
Galvanized metal walls: a qualified yes, but to explain further. Galvanized metal can rust over time, so depending upon the condition of the walls, once the liner is removed it may not appear to be needed, or may not be needed depending upon your expectations. However, the new liner has a reasonable life expectancy and during this period there is the potential for rust (or more rust) to develop. As the rust builds up, it creates irregularities that can facilitate punctures. The foam offers a barrier to this.
Stainless steel, aluminum, plastic walls: not necessary.
In any case, foam does provide a barrier between the temperature of the surrounding ground and the pool water, affording a thermal gain to the pool. However, we are not claiming you can heat the pool in the morning and retain the heat all day. Foam helps to retain the temperature but only to a degree.