Can you put a Paddling Pool on Decking?
Paddling pools are great in the summer for any garden space but one question that comes up more often than not is Can you put a Paddling Pool on decking?
You can put small paddling pools on decking but you should avoid putting larger inflatable pools on decking because of their weight once filled with water.
Wooden decking is fine for baby paddling pools or small toddler pools as long as the structure is safe and well built and maintained.
The good thing about decking is that it will generally be flat and level however the negatives far outweigh the positives.
Why You Might Put Your Paddling Pool on a Deck?
There are three main reasons why you might think about putting your paddling pool on your deck.
- Decking is normally flat
- Decking is usually level
- Decking is not as hard as concrete or patio slabs
Decking is Normally Flat
If your decking has been built correctly then it should be reasonably flat. Flt ground is something that is perfect for putting a paddling pool on.
Decking is Usually Level
Another positive point about decking is that unless it has been built really badly it should usually be fairly level. Again paddling pools ideally need to be on a level surface.
Decking is Not as Hard as Concrete or Patio Slabs
Clearly, when you fall onto decking it really doesn’t feel that soft but when compared to concrete or patio slabs there is a difference. Decking is more flexible than concrete and stone so there is a degree of bounce in it. Falling onto decking therefore would not be as painful as falling onto concrete.
Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Paddling Pool on a Deck?
There are 4 main reasons why you shouldn’t put a paddling pool on decking.
- Slippery Deck
- Hidden Dangers
The main problem with putting a paddling pool on decking is down to the weight. Decking can be constructed to take large weights through the use of extra timber but how strong is your decking.
Did you know that a 3m x 1.81m paddling pool will hold approximately 1,160 litres of water? The weight of the water is approximately 1,160kg and that doesn’t include the weight of other objects you keep on the deck and the people in the pool.
Did you know that 1,160kg is approximately the weight of a Ford Fiesta! Would you drive a Ford Fiesta onto your decking, I’d suggest probably not.
When the sun comes out decking normally dries up meaning that any mold and slipperiness disappears. However, as soon as it becomes wet again decking can become lethal. Therefore unless you maintain your deck, clean it, and ensure it has a nonslip surface you could be forcing your family to dice with injury.
If you’ve ever gone flying after sliding on a slippery or slimy garden deck you’ll realise why this is a huge reason as to why it’s best not to put a paddling pool on decking.
If you don’t weather treat your decking and maintain it, you’ll find that large volumes of water splashed on it from a paddling pool could cause issues with warping.
Warping can cause a number of other issues which can be both dangerous to your family and also your paddling pool. Warping boards will normally cause screws or nails to pop out from the board. This in turn can cause splinters and screws to become sharp and dangerous. The last thing you want is to have to replace or repair your decking let alone have a loved one injured.
Do you know what is under your deck? Do you know how many joists there are and what condition they are in? Putting a paddling pool on decking can cause a number of issues. The deck can fail under the weight, beams, and joists can become rotten over time.
If you can’t see the condition of your deck, you really shouldn’t be putting too much weight on it.
Alternatives to Putting a Paddling Pool on Decking
There are several alternatives to putting a paddling pool on decking. These include putting your paddling pool on a patio, putting your paddling pool on a concrete slab, putting your paddling pool on grass, and finally putting your paddling pool on artificial grass.
At the end of the day, if you have a small paddling pool that doesn’t take very much water then you may still want to put it on your decking. If you’re worried in any way about whether you should put your paddling pool on your decking or not, then we’d suggest you don’t.
What to Put Under your Paddling Pool?
Smaller paddling pools are normally fine without anything under them but to protect them it’s best to put a pool cloth, tarpaulin, or specially designed foam pool tiles underneath.
If you decide to go ahead and still put your paddling pool on your decking then you’ll definitely want to put something under it to protect your paddling pool and small feet.
In this case, we would suggest you look at buying some interlocking protector mats. These foam mats connect together to create a soft base for your paddling pool. If you make sure they are big enough you can also create a walkway that will not only protect your children’s feet from splinters but also create a slip-free zone.