Pond Academy

How Long Do Pond Liners Last?

Pond Academy is reader-supported. Buying through links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pond liners are the foundation of your pond…

The last thing you want to do is rip it up and start over because it rapidly degraded. Which is why it’s important to choose a quality pond liner that lasts.

But how long do pond liners last?

Let’s take a look at the most popular types of pond liners and see the average life expectancy of each.

Psst! Pin This Page For Future Reference

Pond Liner Lifespan Chart

Type Average Life Expectancy*
EPDM/Rubber Pond Liners 30-40+ years
PVC Pond Liner 20 years
Polyethylene Pond Liner 20 years
RPE Pond Liner 40+ years
Preformed Pond Liners 10 years

*It is important to understand that the brand, the thickness, and the conditions your liner is exposed to will have a great impact on its lifespan. Even the best pond liner, when exposed to direct sunlight and other degrading elements, will have a shortened lifespan.

Types of Pond Liners

There are a few different types of pond liners available, each having their own pros and cons. Let's take a look at the different types of liners to help you find out which is right for your situation.

Remember, life expectancy is just one factor to look at when buying a new pond liner, so don’t just automatically choose the one with the longest average lifespan. You need a good understanding of each liner to make sure the one you pick is the best fit for your pond.

EPDM/Rubber Pond Liners

Known for their strength and durability, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) pond liners are extremely popular! They are very dynamic, flexible, and lay down nicely. They are our liner of choice at this time.

Average Life Expectancy: 30-40+ years

Aquascape EPDM Rubber Pond Liner

Aquascape EPDM Rubber Pond Liner

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

PVC Pond Liner

PVC is another popular liner choice that has been used in ponds, and even pools, for many years. PVC liners are extremely flexible making them a good choice if your pond has lots of bends and curves. Be sure to get a well-known brand that makes high-quality PVC liners or you might not be happy with the end result.

Average Life Expectancy: 20 years

Pond Boss Pond Skins Liner

Pond Boss Pond Skins Liner

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Polyethylene Pond Liner

These pond liners offer a good combination of flexibility and durability at a reasonable price. They are tear and puncture resistant, so if you expect your liner to absorb some abuse, then this might be a good option for you.

Average Life Expectancy: 20 years

PondH2o LDPE Pond Liner

PondH2o LDPE Pond Liner

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

RPE Pond Liner

Reinforced Polyethylene is a lightweight material that is extremely strong! This mix of low-density and high-density polyethylene makes one of the strongest liners on the market today. But it’s also not as flexible as the other types of liners mentioned above.

Average Life Expectancy: 40+ years

Preformed Pond Liners

A preformed liner is a rigid mold that forms the shape of your pond. They are easy to install and are the best option if you don’t have the tools or desire to sculpt your own pond.

The downside is that the fiberglass form can crack with any movement of the earth. Which is one of the reasons they have the lowest life expectancy of all the liners, to the surprise of many. Plus, you’re stuck with whatever shape the pond form is.

Average Life Expectancy: 10 years

Algreen Rigid Preformed Pond Liner

Algreen Rigid Preformed Pond Liner

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Pond’s Liner

There are many variables at play that affect the lifespan of your pond liner. By taking extra precautions to protect this essential piece of your pond, you can effectively maximize its life and enjoy your pond for as long as you possibly can.

Use Underlayment

A high-quality pond underlayment will help protect your pond liner from punctures from rocks and other sharp objects. It can also help protect your liner from any chemicals found in the soil or from insects and rodents.

While there is an added cost to using underlay, it's minimal compared to the cost of replacing a damaged pond liner!

Beckett Pond Underlayment Pre-Cut

Beckett Pond Underlayment Pre-Cut

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Limit Sharp Objects

When building your pond, it’s important to remove any sharp objects from the ground where the liner will be placed. And as mentioned above, simply using underlayment can help protect against this.

But you also need to be careful with sharp edges on substrate and landscaping rocks, as they can easily puncture your liner.

I have even seen people puncture their liner trying to secure plants and lighting in their pond! So, just be extra careful with any sharp objects in or near your pond.

Keep Kids & Animals Out of The Pond

Kids and pets love to play in ponds! I completely get the fascination. Unfortunately, that has led to many pond liners having to be prematurely replaced. Children like to poke sticks into the floor of ponds and walk through them, all of which can cause punctures. Pets and other large animals like to splash in ponds, just as they do small pools, and their claws can easily damage the liner.

The best bet is to simply keep them from playing in the pond. And if need be, you can cover your pond with a protective pond netting to keep children and animals out.

Dewitt Deluxe Pond Netting - 1/4in Mesh

Dewitt Deluxe Pond Netting - 1/4in Mesh

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Limit Sunlight

Direct sunlight is one of the main causes of a pond liner degrading over time. So, keeping it out of the sun should be a top priority. You can effectively do this by:

  • Lining your pond with an adequate amount of rocks and plants to help cover the liner that is outside of the pond’s water and in the shallow portions. Partially covering your pond with floating pond plants like water lilies will also help keep the sun from penetrating the water and hitting the liner.
  • Strategically placing trees or other structures (natural or man-made) near your pond to help partially block the sun throughout the day.

Warranty

Replacing a liner in an active pond is never ideal, but if you must, you at least want to do it while your liner is under warranty. Having to replace the liner is already enough of a sting, you don’t need to add the cost of a new one on top of that!

Plus, if you get a liner with a long warranty (20 years is common), then you know you most likely have a high-quality product.