According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage is one of the most common causes of homeowners insurance claims, which account for nearly 24% of all claims. Although homeowners insurance covers different types of water damage that are sudden and accidental, except for flooding, it doesn’t cover water damage that occurs over time. One example is the gradual water damage due to a leak in an outdoor or indoor swimming pool or hot tub that has been improperly installed or built.
Besides the fact that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage from gradual leaks, water damage restoration is typically a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive project. All things considered, preventing water damage caused by pool leaks is definitely easier and less expensive. But in order to prevent this type of damage to your home, you need to know exactly the problems that may occur due to pool leaks and their underlying causes.
Common Problems Caused by Pool Leaks
If you know what to look for, you can easily identify the early signs of swimming pool problems before they cause extensive damage that may affect your home. For instance, if you observe any wet spots around your pool area, or the ground around your pool is soggy, muddy, or soft, you may have a plumbing leak or a crack in your pool, which allows water to seep into the foundation and/or soil around or underneath your pool.
Uneven, warped, and/or sagging decking or paving is another sign indicating a leak in your swimming pool or underground plumbing. When exposed to large quantities of water, clay soil may become too soft to support the loads imposed by the structures above. As a result, sections of your decking or paving may begin rising and/or sinking into the ground. Regardless of the problems you observe around your pool, don’t ignore them! Besides making your swimming pool lose water rapidly, one or more cracks in your pool could damage landscaping and the foundation of your home.
The Underlying Causes of Pool Leaks
Although a swimming pool is a nice addition to any home, knowing what to expect before you actually have a pool installed or built can help you prevent a series of problems that could cost you thousands of dollars to fix. Here are the most common underlying causes of pool leaks.
A pool’s supply and return lines are usually connected to the home and buried in the ground between the home and pool. As a result, plumbing leaks can go undetected for months or even years. If a plumbing leak is left unaddressed, and water continues to accumulate near one side of your home, your foundation may start to shift and settle in an uneven fashion. This could have a domino effect on other structural components, which may adversely impact the structural stability and integrity of your entire home.
Poor Pool Construction
If you’re going to have an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard, make sure that you hire an experienced contractor to build the pool. Soil and/or backfill material that isn’t properly compacted may settle unevenly under the weight of the pool. This may cause voids to appear in the ground under the slab. If a pier and beam foundation is specified, an inexperienced contractor may space the piers too far apart, which will cause the foundation to sag. Since the slab alone may be unable to support the weight of the pool, structural cracks could start to develop in your pool, allowing water to seep into the soil near your home’s foundation.
Because clay soil expands significantly when exposed to water, the ground around and under your home could exert excess pressure on your foundation. When the water evaporates during drought conditions, the soil will also shrink considerably. This soil movement and pressure on your home’s foundation resulting from repeated expansion and contraction can lead to various foundation issues over time, including differential settlement. This will eventually cause cracks to form in the foundation, walls, floors, and ceilings of your home. Additionally, deep and/or wide cracks in your swimming pool could mean that sections of your pool have started to settle unevenly, at different rates, and/or in different directions. This could cause irreparable damage to your pool.
The easiest way to prevent water damage to your home due to an indoor or outdoor pool is to share your concerns with the contractor installing or building it. After your pool is installed or built, it’s imperative to check the plumbing system regularly and maintain your pool according to the manufacturer’s or builder’s instructions. You can also contact our experienced foundation repair experts, who not only are able to develop a comprehensive plan that will help you prevent foundation damage due to water infiltration but can also address any structural damage that has already occurred in your home. To schedule a free consultation, contact Allied Foundation today!