If you’re planning on installing an above ground pool in your backyard, you may be wondering what to put underneath it. The right base can help ensure that your pool stays level, prevents damage to the bottom of your pool, and provides a comfortable surface for swimmers. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best options for what to put under your above ground pool.
One of the most popular options for an above ground pool base is a sand base. Sand is affordable, easy to work with, and provides a soft surface for swimmers. However, it’s important to choose the right type of sand and to properly compact it to prevent shifting or settling over time. Another option is a foam base, which provides a cushioned surface that can help protect your pool from punctures and tears. Foam bases are also easy to install and can be customized to fit the shape and size of your pool.
If you’re looking for a more permanent option, a concrete base may be the way to go. Concrete provides a solid, level surface that can withstand heavy use and extreme weather conditions. However, it’s important to hire a professional to install a concrete base, as it requires specialized equipment and expertise. Ultimately, the best option for what to put under your above ground pool will depend on your budget, the size and shape of your pool, and your personal preferences.
Preparing the Ground
Before installing an above ground pool, it is important to properly prepare the ground. This will ensure that the pool is stable, level, and safe to use. There are two main steps to preparing the ground: clearing the area and leveling the ground.
Clearing the Area
The first step in preparing the ground for an above ground pool is to clear the area where the pool will be placed. This involves removing any rocks, roots, or other debris from the ground. It is important to clear an area that is larger than the pool itself, to allow for easy access and maintenance.
One way to clear the area is to use a sod cutter or a shovel to remove the grass and topsoil. This will create a level base for the pool. If the ground is uneven, it may be necessary to remove more soil from some areas to ensure a level surface.
Leveling the Ground
Once the area is cleared, the next step is to level the ground. This is important to ensure that the pool is stable and does not shift or tip over. To level the ground, we can use a carpenter’s level or a laser level to check the ground in several areas. If the ground is not level, we can add or remove soil as needed to create a level surface.
It is important to note that the ground may settle over time, especially if the pool is installed in an area with soft or sandy soil. To prevent settling, we can use a layer of sand or gravel as a base for the pool. This will help distribute the weight of the pool evenly and prevent it from sinking into the ground.
In summary, preparing the ground for an above ground pool involves clearing the area and leveling the ground. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the pool is stable, level, and safe to use.
Laying the Foundation
Before we can start setting up our above ground pool, we need to properly prepare the ground beneath it. This will ensure that the pool stays level and stable, preventing any future problems. There are a few options for laying the foundation, including sand base, concrete base, and foam padding. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
A sand base is a popular and cost-effective option for creating a foundation for your above ground pool. First, you’ll want to level the ground as much as possible. Then, spread a layer of sand over the entire area, making sure it is smooth and level. The sand should be at least 2 inches deep, but no more than 4 inches. Once the sand is in place, compact it with a tamper or plate compactor. This will help prevent any future settling or shifting of the sand.
A concrete base is a more permanent option for your above ground pool foundation. This method involves pouring a concrete slab that is level and smooth. First, you’ll need to excavate the area to the desired depth, and then create a wooden form to hold the concrete in place. Once the form is in place, pour the concrete and smooth it out with a trowel. Let the concrete cure for at least 24 hours before installing the pool.
Foam padding is a newer option for above ground pool foundations. This method involves placing foam padding under the pool liner to create a cushioned surface. The foam is typically 1/4 inch thick and comes in rolls that can be cut to fit the size of your pool. This option is great for those who want a softer surface under their feet and for those who want to protect their pool liner from damage.
Overall, the foundation you choose for your above ground pool will depend on your budget, the size of your pool, and your personal preferences. No matter which option you choose, make sure the ground is level and stable before installing your pool.
Adding a Layer of Protection
When it comes to installing an above-ground pool, it’s important to consider safety measures to prevent accidents. One way to add an extra layer of protection is by installing a barrier between the ground and the pool. In this section, we’ll discuss two options for barrier materials: landscape fabric and geotextile matting.
Landscape fabric is a popular choice for creating a barrier between the ground and the pool. It’s a woven material made from polypropylene and is designed to allow water to pass through while blocking weeds and other vegetation. Landscape fabric can be easily installed by laying it out on the ground and cutting it to size.
One advantage of landscape fabric is that it’s relatively inexpensive and widely available. It’s also easy to install and can be cut to fit any size or shape of pool. However, it’s important to note that landscape fabric is not designed to provide a cushioning effect, so it won’t protect the pool from damage caused by rocks or other sharp objects.
Geotextile matting is a heavier-duty barrier material that provides both cushioning and protection. It’s made from a synthetic material that’s designed to resist punctures and tears, and it’s available in a variety of thicknesses and densities.
Geotextile matting is typically installed in layers, with the thickest layer closest to the pool. This provides a cushioning effect that helps to protect the pool from damage caused by rocks or other sharp objects. In addition, geotextile matting can also help to prevent soil erosion and stabilize the ground around the pool.
One disadvantage of geotextile matting is that it’s more expensive than landscape fabric. It’s also heavier and more difficult to install, so it may require the help of a professional. However, if you’re looking for a high-quality barrier material that provides both cushioning and protection, geotextile matting is an excellent choice.
Choosing the Right Material
When it comes to what to put under your above ground pool, choosing the right material is crucial. Here are some options to consider:
Pavers are a popular choice for their durability and versatility. They come in a variety of materials, such as concrete, brick, and stone, and can be arranged in different patterns to create a unique look. They also provide a stable and level surface for your pool.
Gravel is another durable option that is relatively inexpensive. It allows for good drainage and can help prevent weeds from growing around your pool. However, it is important to choose the right size gravel to avoid it being too sharp or too small, which can cause discomfort or damage to the pool liner.
Mulch is a natural option that can provide a soft and comfortable surface around your pool. It also helps with drainage and can keep weeds at bay. However, it may require periodic replacement and can attract insects.
Artificial turf is a low-maintenance option that provides a soft and cushioned surface for your pool. It also looks great and can be customized to fit your style. However, it can be more expensive than other options and may not be as durable over time.
Ultimately, the right material for your above ground pool will depend on your budget, style, and personal preferences. Consider the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.
Maintenance and Safety
Keeping your above ground pool clean and safe is an important part of pool ownership. Regular maintenance and safety precautions can help prevent accidents and keep your pool in good condition. Here are some tips to help you maintain a safe and clean pool.
Regular cleaning is essential to keep your pool water clear and free of debris. We recommend cleaning your pool at least once a week to prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria. You can use a pool vacuum or skimmer to remove leaves, bugs, and other debris from the surface of the water. You should also brush the sides of the pool to remove any algae or buildup that may be growing there.
Chemical treatments are necessary to keep your pool water clean and safe for swimming. We recommend testing your pool water regularly to ensure that the pH and chlorine levels are within the recommended range. You can use chlorine tablets or granules to sanitize your pool water and prevent the growth of algae and bacteria. You may also need to use other chemicals, such as algaecide or clarifier, to keep your pool water clear and balanced.
Fencing and Barriers
Installing a fence or other barrier around your above ground pool is an important safety measure. We recommend using a fence that is at least 4 feet tall and has a self-closing and self-latching gate. This will help prevent children and pets from accessing the pool area without adult supervision. You may also want to consider installing a pool alarm or safety cover to further enhance the safety of your pool.