As summer winds down, homeowners must check their swimming pools for leaks before preparing for the fall and winter months. Just like a house, a pool has a foundation resting on the soil, and any swimming pool leaks can significantly impact the property’s foundation. This article explores how swimming pool leaks can affect your home’s foundation and what steps to take to prevent damage.

Potential Damage from Pool Leaks

Water leaks from a swimming pool can cause significant damage to a home’s foundation. Both above-ground and in-ground pools pose risks if they start leaking, but the nature of the damage can vary.

Signs of Foundation Damage from Pool Leaks

  • Cracks in the pool structure: These can indicate parts of the pool are moving at different rates, placing stress on the foundation.
  • Rising or sinking paving around the pool: This could suggest movement in the pool or underlying soil issues.
  • Changes in soil moisture around the pool: Sudden sogginess in the soil may indicate a severe leak.

Detecting Swimming Pool Leaks

Early detection of pool leaks is crucial to preventing extensive damage. There are different methods available to identify leaks, each offering different insights into the problem.

Visual Inspection for Leaks

  • Check for visible cracks and moisture in the pool structure.
  • Observe changes in water levels and the health of surrounding grass.

The Bucket Test

  • Step-by-step instructions:
    • Fill a bucket with water to match the pool’s water level and place it on the pool’s steps.
    • Mark the water line inside the bucket with a marker or tape.
    • Turn off the pool pump and other auto-refilling devices.
    • After 24 hours, check the water levels. If the pool water level is lower than the bucket, there is likely a leak.

Issues that Can Exacerbate Pool Leaks

  • Ground collapse: Leaks can wash out soil, leading to ground collapse under the pool.
  • Voids and soil washout: Water can wash out soil, creating voids that compromise pool stability.
  • Backfill problems: Improperly compacted soil can settle or wash out, leading to further leaks.
  • Soil creep: Slow soil movement can cause long-term damage.
  • Expansive soil conditions: Soil that expands and contracts with moisture changes can shift foundations.

Common Types of Pool Leaks

Pool leaks generally fall into three categories: plumbing leaks, structural leaks, and valve malfunctions.

Plumbing Leaks

  • Causes: Often occur in the supply and return lines to pool equipment.
  • Detection: Look for higher water bills and drops in pool water levels.

Structural or Shell Leaks

  • Identifying cracks and tears: Look for visible damage to the pool shell.
  • Repairing structural leaks: This may require draining the pool and applying sealants or patches.

Valve Malfunctions

  • Common issues: Stuck hydrostatic or multiport valves can cause leaks.
  • Solutions: Inspect and repair or replace malfunctioning valves.

The Risks of Ignoring Pool Leaks

Ignoring pool leaks can lead to severe consequences, including:

  • Damage to pool equipment and structure: Unequal pressure and moisture can damage the pool.
  • Effects on the yard and surrounding property: Leaks can erode soil and damage landscaping.
  • Long-term consequences for home foundations: Continuous leaks can compromise the structural integrity of your home.

What Should You Do?

If you suspect your swimming pool is leaking, it’s essential to take immediate action to prevent further damage to your property. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Perform Initial Tests: Conduct simple tests like the bucket test or dye test to confirm the presence of a leak.
  • Inspect Visually: Check for visible signs of damage, such as cracks in the pool structure, soggy soil, or changes in water levels.
  • Monitor Your Water Bill: A sudden spike in your water bill can indicate a pool leak, especially in pools with automatic filling systems.
  • Seek Professional Help: Contact a professional leak detection and repair service to inspect and address the issue thoroughly.

For expert assistance, consider Colin Irons Pool Leak Detection and Repair. With 25 years of experience, we specialize in detecting and repairing pool leaks, helping homeowners maintain their investments and prevent extensive damage. Our advanced leak detection methods and repair solutions ensure that your pool remains in top condition, safeguarding your home’s foundation.

Regular maintenance and timely repairs are crucial to avoiding costly damages and ensuring the longevity of your pool and property. Trust experienced technicians to keep your pool in excellent shape and protect your home’s foundation.