Mole Damage to Above Ground Pool

by V Chern

We have moles in the yard. It appears that they have gotten under out pool liner in one spot. What can happen to the pool, or liner, with these tunnels that have sunk in?

Is there anything we can do so this does not keep happening?


When moles get under an above ground pool and make a tunnel, the sand drops down, the liner drops down and you have an indentation in the liner with nothing under it. That means the slightest amount of pressure from a sharp object will cause the liner to burst open, usually draining the pool very quickly.

When these holes occur it's best to drain the pool and put a piece of steel over the hole, redo the sand and refill the pool. It's not easy, but if you can do this while leaving a little water in the pool you are better off. A completely drained pool will cause the liner to shrink and shift.

If you just do the repair you will then want to get rid of the mole. If getting rid of moles is not going to be possible, you may want a more permanent solution, like putting the pool on a pad of concrete.

A less expensive, and less effective, solution is to use a layer of something like Gorilla Pad, carpet or Styrofoam under the liner.

Comments for Mole Damage to Above Ground Pool

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Jul 11, 2010
Why did this happen now?
by: Anonymous

After 8yrs of owning our above ground pool, why all of a sudden is a mole under the liner, and how do we get that mole out?


You could set traps or call a pest control person. I can tell you how to fix the pool but not how to get rid of moles. Hope you find a way.

Jul 14, 2010
Those Nasty Moles
by: Anonymous

Well, I have moth balls surrounding the pool right now. Let's hope that drives it, or them out! What a mess they are doing to the liner. It looks like the Grand Canyon!

Now, I have to figure out how to get these canyons out of the pool, and I am not willing to dump the $300.00 worth of water out, just yet. We just filled it 3 weeks ago, because we just put a new liner in after 8yrs! There has to be an easier way to fix this problem.


It is next to impossible to work the liner smooth again with it full of water. You might be able to smooth it a little bit and then learn to live with it for a while.

Jun 22, 2017
Some Options
by: brewcrew

Same problem as everyone else. Grubex on yard one year seemed to help but as someone mentioned moles also eat earth worms. Traps... I have tried many and find the Nash loop to work the best and there is no better feeling than seeing their dead carcasses. With poisons you never know for sure if you killed anything. As a deterrent I have used the castor bean oil and sprayed it around the perimeter of the pool and this seems effective but only for a limited time and would probably have to be reapplied every couple weeks depending on how much rainfall. I have considered putting in some kind of barrier but it seems like a lot of digging. I think over time no matter what defenses you employ the little critters will win out in the end. GoodLuck!

Jul 26, 2018
Gopher rut/tunnell
by: Phil

I'm here in SoCal. We don't have moles per se but definitely gophers. I've had a exterminator out and think he killed it with bait in the tunnels, but alas I have a rut/tunnel underneath my liner. Not sure how to handle it? It's been a couple months is the liner doomed and stretched in that area? Been thinking about mostly draining the pool to a couple inches when it gets cooler, then trying to get under the liner and fill in the rut with sand or at least rake the sand to fill it in. Right now it's over a 100 degrees during the day. If I wait too long is that bad?


You should be fine to wait until fall.

Jun 12, 2021
Mole spikes to the rescue
by: 30 years to the rescue

My pools in 30 years never had moles. I usually de bug my lawn early spring. Did not this year. Set up my pool and have moles. Went to Wal-Mart and bought 3 solar mole spikes with a range of 7500 feet circumference. Placed them around my pool. I have not had anymore tunneling. The spikes are placed so they overlap. Pinging every 30 seconds. Being 3 different ones, I hope the pinging is at different times. They should drive them away. At a 20$ Bill a piece, it was worth it not to to lose the water and redo the pool. I live in Michigan. I take down every year. My linner goes in the deck box on my deck. I hope I helped a lot of people. My tunneling is not very much. Did not want to take down and put up again. Good luck!

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