How Often Do Above Ground Pools Collapse? What You Need to Know

Summer is here, and families across the world are eagerly anticipating the warm weather and sunny days. One of the most popular summertime activities is swimming, and many homeowners choose to install above ground pools in their yards as an affordable and convenient option. However, the safety risks associated with these pools, including the risk of collapse, can be a cause for concern. In this blog post, we’ll explore how often above ground pools collapse and what steps homeowners can take to prevent these incidents.

What Are Above Ground Pools?

Above ground pools are temporary structures that are installed in a backyard or other outdoor area. They typically consist of a metal or plastic frame that holds up a vinyl or fiberglass pool liner. These pools are designed to be installed above the ground, which means they do not require excavation or extensive site preparation. They are often less expensive than in-ground pools and can be installed and removed relatively quickly.

Why Do Above Ground Pools Collapse?

Like any structure, above ground pools are susceptible to collapse under certain circumstances. The most common cause of above ground pool collapse is the failure of the pool’s support structure. This can occur due to a variety of factors, including poor installation, inadequate support, or excessive weight.

Another factor that can contribute to pool collapse is the weight of the water inside the pool. The manufacturers design above ground pools to hold a specific amount of water, and if you exceed this limit, it can put undue stress on the pool’s support structure. Moreover, heavy rainfall or snow accumulation can also contribute to pool collapse if you don’t distribute the weight properly.


How Often Do Above Ground Pools Collapse?

The frequency of above ground pool collapses is difficult to determine due to the lack of comprehensive data on the subject. However, pool collapses are not uncommon and can occur for a variety of reasons. Some factors that can contribute to pool collapse include:

  • Poor installation: To ensure stability and security of above ground pools, one must install them properly. Incorrect installation can cause shifting or collapsing of the pool over time.
  • Inadequate support: Above ground pools require a stable and level surface to prevent collapse. The pool may collapse if the ground beneath it is not properly prepared or if the support structure is not strong enough.
  • Age: Like any structure, above ground pools have a limited lifespan and can become more susceptible to collapse as they age. Older pools may experience corrosion, rust, or other types of damage that can compromise their stability.
  • Heavy usage: Frequent use or use by large groups of people may increase the likelihood of an above ground pool collapsing because it adds more stress to the support structure of the pool.
  • Extreme weather: If the weight is not properly distributed, heavy rainfall, snow accumulation, or high winds can all contribute to pool collapse.

Preventative Measures

There are several steps that homeowners can take to prevent above ground pool collapses. These include:

  • Proper installation: A qualified professional with experience in pool installation should install above ground pools. This way, they can ensure correct installation and adequate support structure.
  • Level ground: The ground beneath the pool should be level and stable. If the ground is uneven, it can cause the pool to shift or collapse over time.
  • Adequate support: The pool’s support must hold water weight and any extra weight from people or accessories. This may require additional bracing or support posts.
  • Regular maintenance: Homeowners should regularly inspect their above ground pools for signs of damage or wear. Check liner, support structure, and accessories for rust, corrosion, or other damage signs.
  • Proper water levels: To avoid putting undue stress on the support structure, homeowners must ensure that they do not overfill the pool with water. They should maintain the water level within the recommended range for the pool.
  • Remove snow: Remove snow from pool cover to prevent excess weight in heavy snow areas.
  • Be mindful of usage: Be mindful of the pool’s weight capacity and limit the number of people using it.
  • Brace for high winds: In areas with high winds, homeowners may need to install additional bracing or support posts to prevent pool collapse.

Additional Tips for Maintaining a Stable and Safe Above Ground Pool

In addition to the preventative measures mentioned earlier, there are several other steps homeowners can take to maintain a stable and safe above ground pool. Here are some additional tips to consider:

  1. Use a pool cover: A pool cover can help protect the pool from debris and reduce evaporation. It can also help distribute weight evenly, which can reduce the risk of pool collapse.
  2. Don’t lean or hang on the pool walls: The walls of above ground pools are not designed to support weight. Leaning or hanging on the walls can put stress on the pool’s support structure and increase the risk of collapse.
  3. Keep the area around the pool clear: Objects such as lawn chairs, toys, or other debris can put pressure on the pool walls and cause them to collapse. It’s important to keep the area around the pool clear to prevent this from happening.
  4. Address any leaks promptly: If you notice a leak in your above ground pool, it’s important to address it promptly. A leak can cause water to accumulate in one area, which can put undue stress on the pool’s support structure and increase the risk of collapse.
  5. Reinforce the pool deck: To provide additional support, you should reinforce the area around the pool with a sturdy deck or patio. This can help distribute weight more evenly and reduce the risk of pool collapse.

By following these additional tips, homeowners can ensure a safer and more enjoyable above ground pool experience. Maintaining a stable and secure above ground pool requires diligence, but the peace of mind that comes with a safe swimming environment is worth it.



Can overfilling an above ground pool cause it to collapse?

Yes, overfilling the pool can cause excessive pressure on the pool walls, which can lead to buckling and collapse.

How important is proper installation for preventing pool collapses?

Proper installation is crucial for preventing pool collapses. You should install the pool on a level surface and support it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

What maintenance is required to prevent above ground pool collapses?

Regular maintenance is essential to keep the pool in good condition and prevent collapses. Regular pool maintenance involves checking for rust, balancing water chemistry, and removing debris.

Can extreme weather cause an above ground pool to collapse?

Yes, severe weather conditions such as high winds, heavy rain, or snow can damage the pool’s walls and cause it to collapse.

How can I secure my above ground pool during extreme weather?

You can secure your above ground pool during extreme weather by draining some of the water out of the pool or using straps to hold the walls in place.

Is using a pool cover helpful in preventing pool collapses?

Yes, using a pool cover can help protect the pool from damage caused by the sun, rain, and debris. A pool cover can also help keep the pool clean and reduce the amount of maintenance required.


While above ground pool collapses are not uncommon, homeowners can take preventative measures to reduce the risk of collapse. Proper installation, level ground, adequate support, regular maintenance, proper water levels, snow removal, and mindful usage can all contribute to a safer and more stable pool. By following these tips, homeowners can enjoy their above ground pools with confidence and peace of mind.

For more information on proper above ground pool installation and maintenance, consider linking to resources from pool industry organizations such as the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) or the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF).