Can You Use a Tarp As A Pool Liner?

Any tarps aren’t suitable for use as pool liners. Waterproof, dense, and UV-resistant materials are needed for those that can be used. When used in a bath, some inexpensive tarps aren’t fully waterproof. A vinyl tarp, on the other hand, can be used as a pool liner. It’s waterproof, tear-resistant, and UV-protected.

Since they are lined with polyester, some tarps may be used as pool liners. Anti-leakage properties are present in the polyester used. On polyester or cardboard, the tarps have a polyethylene covering. These tarps are waterproof thanks to the polyethylene coating, and they’re solid thanks to the polyester or canvas.

A tarpaulin – popularly know as ‘tarp’ –  is a large sheet of solid, durable, water-resistant, or waterproof material, either fabric such as canvas or polyester covered with polyurethane or made of plastics polyethylene. Modern tarps are made of twisted polyethylene, which is so closely identified with tarpaulins that it has been colloquially known as ‘poly tarp’ in some regions.

Tarp Material types

Canvas, vinyl, polyethylene, mesh, fire-resistant, high-temperature resistant, military devices, and various other specialist materials are among the materials available. They are constructed of high-quality components to ensure years of dependable and trouble-free service. Light, sound, odor, temperature, heat, and toxins can all be regulated by the tarp content, which is resistant to most chemicals.

Polyethylene: A polyethylene tarp (“poly tarp”) is a laminate of knit and sheet material rather than a conventional cloth. The core is made of strips of polyethylene plastic that have been loosely woven together, with sheets of the same material bound to the top. This results in a fabric-like material that is both waterproof and resistant to stretching in all directions. Sheets are available in either low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) (HDPE). When treated against ultraviolet radiation, these tarps will have high resistance against weather conditions for years. In contrast, non-UV treated plastic can become brittle and lose strength and water resistance when exposed to sunlight.

Canvas: Canvas Tarpaulins are not fully waterproof, but they are water-resistant. While a small amount of water for a brief period will not harm them, standing water on canvas tarps, or water that cannot easily drain away from canvas tarps, will trickle through this kind of tarp.

Vinyl: Vinyl tarps are industrial-grade polyvinyl chloride (“vinyl”) tarpaulins designed for heavy-duty application. They’re made of coated yellow vinyl that’s 10 oz/sq yd (340 g/m2). This renders it waterproof and provides it with excellent abrasion resistance and tear ability. These are resistant to tar, vinegar, grease, and mildew. Vinyl tarps are ideal for agricultural, manufacturing, industrial trucks, flood barriers, and temporary roof repair.

Can I use Vinyl Tarp as Pool Liner?

Yes, vinyl tarps may be used as an alternative to a swimming pool liner. It normally refers to an above-ground reservoir. Vinyl tarps are durable, tear-resistant, 15-17 mil thick, waterproof, 13-16 oz per sq. yd, anti-UV, vinyl, anti-mildew, 3-ply cloth, and cost-effective. It is ideal for keeping your pool for several years instead of other pool liners, which are costly and do not last as long. If you want to create your swimming pool at home, ask a professional if vinyl tarps can be used as a pool liner.

Billboard Tarps’ vinyl pool liner, which can be found on Amazon, is a heavy-duty tarp with a 3-ply coated vinyl. It’s tear-resistant, mildew-resistant, and UV-protected. It is fully waterproof and would not allow water to seep into the earth. The liner is non-toxic to fish and does not leach harmful contaminants into the sea. The best thing about this tarp is that it can be used on pools of any scale. The vinyl tarp has a thickness of 22 mils. One mil (0.0254 mm) equals 0.001 inch (0.0254 mm)—the thicker the tarp, the higher the quality. This pool liner frays very little as you trim it. The tarp keeps your pool well-maintained and water retained under all weather conditions.

A vinyl tarp will not only keep water out of your pool but will also keep debris out, making maintenance simpler. Additionally, an underlay is a smart idea to add an extra layer of security to your liner. An underlay protects the tarp from sharp objects and tree roots by providing a cushion between the pool’s base and the liner.

How should I set the tarp up?

The below are instructions for putting the tarp in the pool:

  1. Be sure that all sharp things, such as sticks, branches, and rocks, have been cleared from the pool’s base and walls before putting up the tarp. If you can’t get rid of a sharp rock, even it off with a sheet of sand or dirt first.
  2. After that, lay your underlay on the pool’s base and both sides before securing the tarp in order.
  3. Remove your shoes if you need to tread on the tarp to prevent piercing them.
  4. Last but not least, lock the tarp around the perimeter of your pool.
  5. The next day, trim any excess liner, leaving a 30 cm (12 inches) overlap at the lip.

Upkeep of the Tarp and Pool

If you’ve put up the tarp, it will keep the pool running smoothly. However, it is important to remember to clean pool. This will help keep it in good shape. It will be a safe time to scrub the tarp and the pool in the spring. Clear the tarp and the reservoir with all debris or sediments that might have accumulated at the bottom of your pool.  Also, you can clear as many algae from your pool as possible daily. With the aid of a pool cleaner, you can safely and efficiently clear any excess algae or sludge. Scrub the sides and bottom of your tarp and rocks to loosen the algae. The pool’s water level will decrease due to evaporation during the summer months. So, keep your pool topped up with water daily.

Besides, you must disinfect your filters and pump daily and inspect them for clogs. Drain the pool, wipe down the tarp, and recycle it if muck and algae have accumulated. Keeping algae at bay can be as simple as adding barley straw and biomass filters to your pool. When the pool isn’t in service, clear the water pipes, sinks, and pumps.

What are the alternatives for pool liner?

Pool liners, as valuable as they are, are not inexpensive. This is why people of modest means are always on the lookout for sustainable and long-lasting options.

The positive news is that you can certainly cover your pool without using a pool liner using various fabrics and alternatives. When exposed to the weather and elements for an extended period, pool liners will break. As a result, you should use a liner with temperature, sunlight, and ultraviolet ray resistance. Also, a UV-resistant pool liner is long-lasting and robust.

Here are a few options to consider:

Polyethene Pool Liner: This is undoubtedly the most affordable pool liner on the market, and it also retains water completely. However, because of its lightweight and thinness, there are certain drawbacks to using this material. They’re also much less durable than EPDM liners and are very easy to puncture. However, if you have an HDPE lining, you won’t have these issues because it has the same feel as an EPDM liner.

Polypropylene Pool Liner: They are not only a good substitute for costly pool liners, but they are also much safer and more compact than standard EPDM liners. However, there is one significant downside of using this option: the lack of flexibility.

The only reason it costs more than its EPDM equivalent is that these liners are more durable, which is one reason why fish pool owners like them.

Waterbeds Liner: These liners have characteristics that are somewhat similar to those of a standard pool liner. A water bed liner is not less expensive than an EPDM liner, despite being thicker and more flexible.

These liners are best suited for small garden pools and should not be used as reservoir liners or even dam liners. As a result, if you were considering using it as a pool liner, it is recommended that you reconsider.


A pool in the backyard provides a lovely and relaxing atmosphere. It’s great for marine life and tropical fish, even simply as a swimming pool, but it does need treatment and upkeep. The greatest method of treatment for this type of construction is a good liner.

It is important to remember that not all tarps are suitable for use as pool liners. Some are only water-resistant and do not have waterproof protection. As a result, use tarps that are both thick and waterproof.

The most common kind of liner is a heavy-duty tarp that is sturdy enough to hold the water and other pool occupants. Furthermore, heavy-duty tarps are tear-resistant, waterproof, lightweight, and simple to handle. They are also mildew resistant and have the required thickness to reduce wear and tear.

Leave a Comment: