How to install a Pond Liner

All pond liners are best installed on a sunny dry day as the material becomes more flexible and is easier to handle.

Most people choose to have a pond in their garden not only for the relaxing sound of water but because they add a beautiful focal point. All ponds are ideal for keeping fish, wildlife and aquatic plants.

What pond liner should I use?

There are many types of pond liners available. Some are very good quality and some are more budget friendly but compromise on the quality. the best quality pond liners are Firestone EPDM rubber or SealEco (greenseal) EPDM rubber. These come in 1mm and 0.75mm thick and are considered the best due to their reliability and durability. Both rubber liners come with lifetime guarantees against elemental damage. Cheaper alternatives such as PVC and HDPE (high density polyethylene) are much thinner 0.35mm / 0.5mm but do cost considerably less to buy. Setting a budget aside and deciding on the liner quality your wanting is the first thing to do!

What preparation is needed for laying a pond liner?

Firstly once the hole is dug in the ground, you will need to remove any sharp objects that could risk puncturing your new pond liner. This includes sharp stones, twigs, tree roots or any foreign objects. Ideally, any invasive plant life such as bamboo should be removed prior to installing the liner. If the hole has water at the bottom it will need pumping out to make the liner and underlay installation easier. It may be worth digging a small hole in the pond location first to see if your going to hit your water table. If you do, it may be worth reconsidering the pond location.

Should I use sand, carpet or pond underlay?

Ideally a good quality pond underlay should be used, anything that is 150gsm or above will be sufficient. Although sand is great for the bottom of the pond, it can’t be used along the sides. This leaves room for roots to come through and puncture your liner. Carpet is often used, the only problem with carpet is that it does rot and decay over time which can also leave your new liner vulnerable to tree roots.

Remember, although your new liner may have a lifetime guarantee, this does not cover accidental damage caused by roots, wildlife etc.

How to install pond underlay

Once you have chosen a good quality underlay, its now time to install this. Sadly, the underlay does not come in a whole sheet like your liner does. They come in various lengths and are 2m in width. You will have to measure and cut your strips to cover the pond. We advise to put any spare underlay you may have on any corners or angles as sometimes the underlay can move when installing the liner. Gaffer or Duct tape is good to use to hold it in place.

How to install a pond liner

As mentioned previously, pond liners are best installed on a sunny dry day as the material becomes more flexible and is easier to handle. Usually, when receiving a new pond liner it comes in a box or plastic wrap, be very careful when opening them!

We recommend opening up the pond liner somewhere snag free and close to the pond. When the liner is fully opened your best folding in each side to the centre of the square/rectangle, so the two left corners to the centre point and then the same for the other two right corners. Do this a few times until its manageable to carry, never drag the liner! The reason we say do this is because the manufacturers fold this to what’s easier for them, trying to open up a liner inside of the pond and installing it is hard work.

Once in the pond, with no shoes on, its as simple as opening up the liner from left to right and pushing it into any corners or shelves. Once you have got this looking well its as simple as turning on the hose pipe and filling the pond. Remember, when the water goes in its going to pull the liner so make sure there is plenty of overlay. You don’t want the liner being pulled tight and not pushed against the edges of the pond, so its best to be in the pond as its filling to pull out any creases or where its become tought. Any folds in the pond can be glued down using CT1 or Gold Label sealant.

How to fit a pond liner in a raised pond

Raised ponds are becoming more and more popular these days but the process of installing a pond liner is no different to a pond in the ground. The only exceptions would be a raised pond with a viewing window. This just means extra care needs to be taken and using a mastic sealant such as CT-1 or Gold Label. Use plenty of sealant around the window section and remember to leave a good sized bead, you don’t want to push the sealant down too much leaving a thin layer.

Now that your liner is in position and is full of water its now time to trim the edges. We recommend trimming the liner with a sharp pair of scissors and leaving around 15cm. Once the coping stone or edging is installed this will be more than enough to hold it tight in position.

How do I repair a pond liner that has a puncture?

Fixing a puncture in a liner is relatively easy. The first thing you should do when you’re installing a liner is to keep some of the off cuts. If you ever get a puncture in the liner its as easy as using some mastic sealant such as CT1 or Gold Label and patching the hole up. A small patch that leaves around 4cm around the hole is large enough. Put a good bead of sealant around the square and gently push it over the hole in the liner. This will ensure a watertight seal. Sadly this method does not work with HDPE or PVC pond liners, just another reason to use a good quality rubber pond liner such as Firestone or SealEco.

Still not sure on doing this yourself?

If your still not sure you can do this yourself, why not contact JJ Landscapes and Ponds for a free quotation, we can supply and install the liner for you at an affordable price but still offer a professional service!


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