How Your Pool (or your neighbors) Can Hurt Your Houston Home’s Foundation

pool causing foundation repair

There is nothing as nice as coming home from work on a really hot Houston day and jumping into your pool. Maybe you do not have a pool, but you have considered building one for the family. During your research, you may have come across a few terrifying-but-true horror stories. If it made you pause, you’re not alone. It is true that pools can have a negative effect on your home’s foundation.

However, you can reduce the risks of foundation problems by educating yourself properly and hiring the right pool contractor. To learn how to prevent foundation damage due to a swimming pool, you need to read up on pool installations and the foundation issues a pool may cause. It is also a good idea to talk to friends and family members who have pools, as they will know the pitfalls of owning a pool. They may also have opinions on the best contractors to use for your project. We will go over the possible foundation issues in this article.

Improper Installation of In-Ground Pools

In-ground pools are very heavy. Hence, it is essential that they are supported well. Most of these pools are installed using piers that are similar to the piers used in the case of pier and beam foundations. However, the builder may be able to forgo the piers if he implements the right soil stabilization methods before the construction starts. If the contractor fails to prepare the ground correctly, the soil could shift under the pool. This can harm your home’s foundation, especially if the pool is placed closer to your home. 

In-Ground Pool Leaks and Water Damage

You may already have an in-ground pool and haven’t seen any major issues with it or with your foundation. Does that mean that you’re in the clear, or might there still be problems on the horizon? An in-ground pool can actually shift and not cause major problems with your foundation right away. But if you inspect the pool area regularly, you can catch issues early. By noticing problems before they get worse, you can avoid significant damage and save money on repairs.

Hairline cracks forming in the pool or on the deck are the very first signs of shifting. This can have catastrophic results if left unattended. To begin with, even a small crack may allow water to leak under your pool. As a small leak may not always be noticeable, particularly if you’re not paying attention, it can lead to water accumulation under your pool and possibly your home’s foundation. Standing water is the enemy of foundations. When you have standing water that is not absorbed, the clay soil beneath the foundation of your home will be compromised. More specifically, clay soil is susceptible to swelling and softening when exposed to persistent wet conditions. This may cause shifting and cracking to occur in your home’s foundation. 

Above-Ground Pool Damage

You may opt for an above-ground pool to be on the safe side with your home and its foundation. However, these pools are not without issues either. Homeowners tend to think they can put these types of pools up without any expertise, but they also need to be installed correctly. 

To prevent potential damage to your home’s foundation, you should consider the weight of the pool you intend to install and the type of soil underneath it. While you don’t need to dig a hole and remove the dirt as you would do when building an in-ground pool, the soil still needs to be prepared properly to hold the weight of the pool and water. Similar to in-ground pools, above-ground pools can develop leaks without the homeowner’s knowledge. Thus, doing regular inspections of these pools is also advisable.
The most important thing to remember is that a pool is an extension of your home and must be treated as such. Thus, educating yourself on the best type of pool for your family and the most qualified contractors to do the installation and maintenance afterward is critical. You can visit the Better Business Bureau’s website to check on potential pool contractors. As well, read anything you can find on the subject and ask your friends and family their thoughts on the topic.

Gathering all the information you need about building an in-ground pool or installing an above-ground pool may actually take more time than the construction itself. However, the time and effort you put forth will pay off in the end. Besides having your own pool to cool off in on hot days, you will be able to prevent foundation damage and keep your home safe and sound in your family for generations to come. To find out how you can prevent foundation damage due to different underlying causes, feel free to schedule a complimentary foundation consultation with our specialists today!

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