Can Your Pool Cause Home Foundation Issues?

Water damage is a leading cause of claims on homeowners insurance, accounting for nearly 24% of all claims, as reported by the Insurance Information Institute. While sudden and accidental water damage is generally covered by homeowners insurance, except for flooding, damage that occurs gradually over time is typically not covered. For example, if an outdoor or indoor swimming pool or hot tub is improperly installed or built, it can cause gradual water damage that is not covered by insurance.

In addition to the lack of coverage for gradual leaks, restoring water damage is a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive process. It is therefore more practical and cost-effective to prevent water damage caused by pool leaks from the get-go. To do this, it is important to be aware of the potential problems that can arise from pool leaks and their underlying causes.

Issues Caused by a Leaking Pool

With the right knowledge, you can easily recognize early warning signs of swimming pool issues before they cause significant damage to your property. If you notice wet spots around your pool area or the ground around the pool is muddy, soggy, or soft, it could be an indication of a plumbing leak or a crack in the pool structure that’s allowing water to seep into the foundation and soil beneath the pool.

Another red flag is uneven, warped, or sagging decking or paving. Clay soil can become too soft when exposed to large amounts of water, which can lead to a lack of support for structures above. Consequently, portions of your decking or paving may begin to rise or sink into the ground. It’s important not to overlook any issues you observe around your pool. Neglecting cracks or leaks can not only cause rapid water loss but also damage your landscaping and even the foundation of your home.

Causes of Pool Leaks: Broken Plumbing

The supply and return lines of a swimming pool are often linked to the home and buried in the ground between the pool and the house, making plumbing leaks difficult to detect. If left unaddressed, these leaks can cause water to accumulate near one side of your home for months or even years, potentially causing your foundation to shift and settle unevenly. This, in turn, can lead to further structural issues, jeopardizing the stability and soundness of your entire home.

Causes of Pool Leaks: Poor Pool Construction

When building an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard, it’s crucial to hire a skilled contractor to ensure proper construction. If the soil or backfill material isn’t compacted correctly, it may settle unevenly under the weight of the pool, resulting in voids beneath the slab. An inexperienced contractor may also space piers too far apart, causing sagging in a pier and beam foundation. If the slab alone cannot support the pool’s weight, structural cracks may form, allowing water to seep into the soil near your home’s foundation.

Due to clay soil’s significant expansion when exposed to water, the ground around your home may exert excess pressure on your foundation. In drought conditions, the soil may shrink considerably as the water evaporates. The repeated expansion and contraction resulting from this soil movement and pressure on your home’s foundation can cause foundation issues over time, including differential settlement, leading to cracks in the foundation, walls, floors, and ceilings of your home. Moreover, if your swimming pool develops deep or wide cracks, it may be a sign of uneven settling, which could cause irreparable harm to the pool.

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    To prevent water damage to your home caused by an indoor or outdoor pool, it’s best to discuss your concerns with the contractor responsible for its installation or construction. Once your pool is in place, it’s essential to inspect the plumbing system regularly and maintain the pool as per the manufacturer’s or builder’s instructions. You can also get in touch with our skilled foundation repair specialists who can create a comprehensive plan to prevent water infiltration-related foundation damage and address any pre-existing structural damage in your home. To schedule a complimentary consultation, reach out to AAA Foundation Service now.

    Chris Bartlett
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