Many homeowners have a pool removal because they wish to use their yard for a different purpose. Although it may free up a significant amount of space, many homeowners are surprised to find that their yard has an unpleasant smell following the removal of an above-ground pool, particularly in cases where the pool was set up on a grassy surface rather than a patio or deck.
Here is a look at what could be causing an odor problem and what can be done to address it.
What Is the Bad Smell You Notice After Pool Removal?
The unpleasant smell you may notice after having your above-ground pool removed typically comes from decaying organic matter. Some people liken the stench to that of manure, and it smells similar due to the grass essentially composting itself. Anything you place in your compost bin, such as grass, weeds and leaves, will become wet and heavy and start to give off a smell as it decays; this is also happening to your grass when you leave an above-ground pool over it for an extended period.
All types of grass need sunlight to survive-even shade grasses that tend to thrive without too many hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. Any grass that has been sitting under a heavy object, such as a swimming pool full of water, does not receive any sunlight. This means that the grass will eventually die and start to decay. Although you may not notice this smell while the pool is in place, the odor will quickly become apparent once it has been removed.
The Smell of Decomposing Grass
The presence of oxygen works to reduce the foul smell associated with the process of decomposition, and introducing oxygen to rotting plants can help diminish this smell. Unfortunately, in addition to blocking grass from receiving sunlight, above-ground swimming pools block a significant amount of oxygen from reaching the decomposing grass, which only serves to intensify the smell that is given off from the pool.
Mold Could Also Be a Factor
Although decomposing grass underneath the pool is more than enough to permeate your yard with an unpleasant odor, there could be another issue at play that is also contributing to the bad smell in the form of mold. If mold spores were present within your grass at the time the pool was installed, the conditions beneath your swimming pool in the summer, including moisture and temperature levels, may have caused mold to proliferate. Mold’s musty odor, combined with the unpleasant smell of decomposing organic matter, can prove to be a potent combination when the pool is removed.
When you consider the fact that the bottom of your above-ground pool was in extended contact with mold and decaying grass for a long period of time, it is important to understand that it could have absorbed some of this odor and mold. Therefore, if the pool is being removed for storage and will be reused again in the summer, it is essential to clean the bottom of it thoroughly using water and mild soap and dry it in the sun, if possible. If it continues to smell after a thorough cleaning and sun-drying, you can scrub the bottom of it using a soft bristled brush with warm water that has been mixed with vinegar or baking soda.
Getting Rid of Smelly Grass After Pool Removal
Now that you know that decaying grass is the source of the smell, you may be wondering what can be done to address the problem. There are two main ways to salvage the lawn once your pool has been put away: digging up the affected area, or raking and rehabilitating it.
Digging Up the Grass
Many people find that the smell is simply too overbearing to deal with. In this case, digging up the grass is the best option as it will get rid of the smell quickly. Throw the grass away and keep it in a sealed bag until you can dispose of it, and the problem should subside rather quickly. You may wish to dedicate the area to a flower bed or build a new patio there, or you can sow some grass or lay down new sod in its place.
Rake and Rehabilitate
If you would rather not start over with new grass, you may be able to scrape up the bulk of the dead grass using a garden rake and throw it away. Then, it is simply a matter of rehabilitating the remaining area to help your lawn get back into shape.
If you find that the smell remains after trying one of the above solutions, baking soda can help. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a quart of water to make a solution. Place it in a spray bottle and spray the affected area of your yard. Not only can baking soda help rehabilitate the dead patches of grass, but it can also prevent mold growth.
Preventing a Bad Smell Underneath a Swimming Pool
If you removed your pool with the intention of replacing it with a newer one, you may be wondering how to prevent a bad smell from occurring in the future. Although there is little you can do to prevent the grass underneath an above-ground swimming pool from dying, it is possible to reduce the amount of odor the decomposing grass gives off by placing sand across the area where you intend to set up the pool.
The sand will serve to absorb the odors underneath the pool, making it the smell less pungent the next time the pool is removed. Another way of avoiding this issue is by setting up the pool on a patio or ground-level deck the next time around.
Reach Out to the Pool Removal Professionals at Dirt Connections
If you are considering removing a swimming pool or you would like to rehabilitate your yard following a pool removal, get in touch with the Northern Virginia swimming pool removal professionals at Dirt Connections.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!