It is hard to beat the refreshment and fun that comes with taking a dip into a cool above ground swimming pool on a hot summer day. But while the above ground pools provide a cost-effective and easy way of installing a pool, setting up one still takes quite some work.
One of the most important things you need to install an above ground pool is to level the ground. Leveling the surface allows it to sit correctly on the surface, and it should not be a complicated job if you know what to do.
In this guide, we explain the different ways of making your ground levels for these pools but first, here is why it is vital to do it.
Why It is Crucial to Level Ground for Above Ground Pools
An above ground swimming pool on a level ground looks more appealing, but besides appearance, there are 2 other reasons you need to do it.
1. It Keeps the Water Level: The water in your above ground swimming pool needs to be level to make it safe for kids. You do not want to have one deep end as it puts kids at risk. Besides safety, if the water is not level, there is a higher risk of the pool topping over as one side will be heavier.
2. Ensure Structure Integrity: Even if you have a top-quality above ground swimming pool like the Intex 26325EH Ultra XTR Pool Set, you can compromise the structural integrity if you do not install it on an even surface. Placing the pool on the uneven ground adds excess pressure to a few parts of the pool instead of distributing it evenly.
6 Ways to Level the Ground for Above Ground Pools
1. Use Crushed Rocks
Crushed rocks make a solid foundation for above ground swimming pools, which explains why they are one of the most popular methods.
If you do this method right, you can be sure of getting a level ground that will hold your above ground pool securely for many swimming seasons to come.
The most important thing you need is to choose a suitable rock type like limestone and make sure you crush it finely enough. Once you do this, you should mark the perimeter and tamp the ground to make it as level as possible.
After tamping the ground as much as possible to make it level, you should arrange the crushed rocks keenly. Make sure you use your level here and keep packing the stones until you get them to your desired height. Also, you will need to tamp them to get a smooth and level base.
2. Create a Sand Base
Sand is an ideal solution if you want a quick and straightforward method for leveling your ground without digging or investing in some expensive materials and equipment.
You can get sand cheaply in most places, and depending on the size of your above ground pool, you will not need a lot of it. Using sand makes leveling the ground even more straightforward than when working on a bare surface.
When using sand, the first step should be to mark out the exact area you need to cover, as this makes it easy to calculate how much sand you will need. Once this is done, the other steps are to fill the area with sand, spread it evenly, and then finish by compacting it.
Make sure you check the level as you compact the sand and add or remove some from any areas that are not level to ensure you end up with a perfectly even surface.
However, sand has some significant drawbacks, such as allowing critters to burrow since its particles are loose, and it also can get washed or dislodged easily.
3. Bare Land Grading
It is still possible to level your ground for an above ground pool without using crushed stones or sand by simply doing land grading. With this method, the difficultly level depends on the specific condition of the ground.
Here, you will need to ensure you grade and compact the ground and use a good level to ensure you end up with a smooth and even surface.
The process is relatively straightforward, and it starts by raking the spot you want to remove debris to ensure there will be no foreign material under the pool. Next, you should tamp the dirt and add more from different locations to fill the low spots.
Once all the areas are tamped and filled, you should water and roll it to ensure the soil is perfectly compact. Lastly, you should tamp the spot again and check the level to ensure it is even.
4. Install a Concrete Slab
Concrete always makes it easy to make surfaces smooth and level. Therefore, installing a concrete slab on the spot you want to place your above ground pool is also a good idea, and it will also create a more permanent base.
Another advantage of using a concrete slab is that you can live it with a surface that is just rough enough to keep your above ground pool in place. But, make sure it is not too rough as the increased abrasion will tear or wear out your pool material quickly.
If you prefer to use a concrete slab, it is good to invest in a good above ground pool pad like the Liner Life Pre-Cut Swimming Pool Liner Pad to minimize abrasion for a longer pool life. Some above ground pools will also come with one as part of the package.
5. Install Pavers
You can also use pavers as leveling blocks to create a level surface for your above ground pools. If you install them the right way, they will make a solid base as strong as installing a concrete slab.
You can either use the paving blocks to create a solid surface that will hold the entire pool or use a few to level out the bottom of the pool by placing them along the edges and corners.
The blocks you choose need to provide ample support for the pool and not break apart under the weight of the water. For this reason, you should avoid the temptation of using cheap wood blocks instead of actual pavers.
6. Use Solid Foam
Solid foam pads are often great for use when you have a concrete slab base for your above ground pool as they minimize abrasion. However, they can still form a good base for you on their own.
You can place solid foam directly on the ground or over the grass to create a level base for an above ground pool. If you get something thick enough, it will be an excellent base and will save you the need to dig the ground or install a concrete slab.
Solid foam comes in different sizes and thicknesses, meaning you can get something that will work for your specific surface.
Most types are polystyrene or polyurethane, and you can cut them to any shape and size you want. However, be ready to spend more as they often do not come cheap.
Leveling your ground is one of the most crucial steps when setting up an above ground pool. You need the ground to be level so you do not put unnecessary pressure on a few parts of the swimming pool and ensure it looks excellent in your backyard.
There are different ways of leveling the ground, and you should choose one that best suits your situation from our list above. Additionally, make sure you choose a good spot for the pool, as it will give you an easy time during leveling.