Owning a pool is a dream come true for many Houston homeowners, due to the extreme summer heat Houstonians experience, but before you buy a new house with a pool installed, or start digging up your yard to have one put in, it is important to understand the impact that pools can have on your home. Pool pumps and circulation systems are prone to leaking, and if the problem isn't identified quickly, it could have disastrous consequences for your home's foundation. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from unexpected leaks down the road and prevent a foundation repair in your future.
How Leaks Happen
A pool leak can happen at any time, but most pool leaks do not occur at the pool itself. Instead, the majority of leaks occur at the pump or somewhere in the circulation system hoses. Something as small as a pinhole leak in a worn hose can quickly escalate to a deluge if your pump is not shut off quickly. The problem is that depending on the location of your pump and hoses, it could be pushing water directly into your home's foundation.
Since you probably won't be able to spot a leak right away, you need to have a system in place for inspecting your pump and circulation system regularly. However, some of your hoses will likely be inaccessible, so you can't rely on a visual inspection alone. You should also be monitoring the water level in your pool and your monthly water bill to spot any spikes in water usage that might indicate a leak. Finally, walking through your yard is another precaution you can take. In an area where there is a water leak, you may start to see a rapid growth of grass and weeds, and as the leak accelerates, the plants will drown and die off. In their place, you will discover mushy, soft spots where the soil has become saturated.
Checking Your Foundation
If you have spotted the signs of a pool pump leak in your yard, it is imperative that you start an inspection on your home's foundation right away. Water that is being pumped from a pool can infiltrate your foundation in no time. Since the water is pressurized and continuous, it can wash away large amounts of dirt and soil from around your foundation, creating weak spots. Furthermore, it can seep through cracks, making them larger and causing internal flooding of the home. Once this damage has occurred, foundation repair can be extremely costly, and they may not be covered by your home's insurance depending on the cause and the coverage you have.
Protecting Your Home
The best thing you can do is make sure that your home is properly protected against leaks when they do occur. By inspecting your pool and equipment regularly, you can identify leaks before they turn into major problems. Furthermore, keeping your lawn properly watered during the summer will reduce the severity of damage when a leak does happen by keeping more of the supporting soil in place. You may also want to have your foundation treated inside and out with a water-resistant barrier. This will prevent cracking and seepage from small leaks. You should also talk to your pool designer about proper drainage around the pool pump, such as a gravel bed or other medium that will be able to direct water away from your house in the event of a leak.
As you can see, pool pumps and circulation systems do pose risk to any home's foundation, but that doesn't mean you have to give up your dreams of a perfect pool. Instead, make sure that you stay on top of maintenance and contact us today to have your foundation repaired, inspected or treated against future damage.