How do I choose a pond liner? EPDM, PVC, or RPE?

How do I choose a pond liner?

That’s a great question. Choosing a pond liner is much more than looking for the lowest price you can find. Different liner types differ in their durability, their resistance to sunlight and weather, their ease of installation, and more. It’s critical to consider your needs and research your options thoroughly before making your choice. After all, the costs involved in draining and relining a failed pond are often so high that owners simply give up on the water feature instead.

Durability: Durability is the most obvious concern. Punctures and tears can quickly empty your pond, and repairs can be difficult. PVC is most likely to tear, especially as it ages. EPDM is highly vulnerable to punctures, even during installation. RPE (reinforced polyethylene) is made with woven HDPE and reinforced with engineered geotextiles to make it by far the most durable liner available.

UV Resistance: Resistance to sunlight is also much more important than you might realize. Sunlight and UV rays travel through water, and although their strength is diminished, the effect over years is still apparent. PVC is the most vulnerable of the usual options, and it must be covered by a full 12 inches of soil to prevent degradation. EPDM is more resistant, but is not rated for full exposure. RPE is by far the most UV resistant and is available with warranties of 40 years with full exposure.

Ease of Installation: Installation for PVC is relatively simple. It’s lightweight and folds easily to fit into tight corners, but if any seams are needed, they must be glued as you work. EPDM is very flexible and can easily conform to the shape of your pond, but it’s extremely heavy and the relatively narrow sheets must be taped together on-site. RPE is about ⅓ the weight of EPDM and comes in enormous sheets that require seaming for only the largest projects. Seams are fusion welded, which provides a permanent bond.

The choice is yours, of course, but most customers are leaning towards towards the PIK Pond Liner which is RPE as the best overall balance of durability, UV Resistance, ease of installation, Price, and availability. 

RPE Liner Options: 

EPDM Liner Options: 

Pond Liner Underlayment: 

Pond liner

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