Above Ground Swimming Pool Blog
Our Blog about the above ground swimming pool industry and all that it involves. Enjoy!
Landscaping Do's and Don'ts
The Do’s and Don’ts of Landscaping
Landscaping around an above ground swimming pool is something that every pool owner will be faced with. Two important things to remember when deciding how to landscape around your above ground swimming pool are that the eventuality of all vinyl liners is that they will need to be replaced and so your pool will be empty at some point and water weight will not be there to balance the weight pushing into the pool from outside the wall; and that all vinyl liners are susceptible to intrusion from ants and or termites. With that in mind let’s look into the different options available for landscaping around an above ground swimming pool.
Pea gravel/rock: One of the most widely used landscaping materials, pea gravel or rock add a stark beauty to any backyard. The fact that an assortment of colors, shapes, and sizes are available puts these ground cover materials at the top of the homeowner’s list when landscaping. Personally I love the way an above ground swimming pool looks when landscaped with pea gravel or rocks. There is just one problem that occurs with rock: when it is time to replace the liner in your pool the water must be drained. This means that there is no water weight to balance the weight of the rocks around the outside of the pool. Without that water weight the rocks push the pool wall inward and in severe cases can collapse the pool wall. To prevent this from happening make sure that when using pea gravel or rock to landscape around the pool that you do not use more than two inches of gravel or rock. Keeping this low depth of material will allow the liner to be replaced without the risk of damage to the pool.
Wood chips/pine bark: Wood chips and pine bark have been ground cover staples for landscapers for decades. While adding to the aesthetic quality of your pool these two types of landscaping materials may be hiding your pool’s worst enemy. As these materials decay they become hotspots for ants and termites to build their dwellings. Ants and termites account for 75% of the liner replacements that my company does each year. The ants and termites like to dig through the sand beneath the pool liner, presumably because the sand is much easier to dig through than dirt is. While doing this the mandibles put tiny pinholes into the pool liner. These holes in extreme cases number in the hundreds and cannot be sealed. The only option when dealing with a liner that has ant or termite damage is replacement. To combat ant and termite damage we strongly recommend that wood chips and pine bark are never used as landscaping material around an above ground swimming pool. You don’t want ant or termites around your pool so don’t provide them with a home and a food source as you are landscaping.
Pine straw: In the above ground swimming pool industry pine straw is as faithful as the sunrise. Though it’s most glaring drawback may be that it must be replaced every year or two, pine straw is one of the best ground cover materials when landscaping around your above ground swimming pool. Cheap and easy, pine straw provides an elegant look without the negative aspects of rock or wood chips.
Bottom line is that you can landscape around your above ground swimming pool with whatever material you desire, but make sure that you are aware of the pros and cons of each. Also, check your pool’s warranty information regarding how far up the pool wall you can place material. Oh yeah, and always, always treat for ants and termites.