Swimming Pool Ground Water Remediation
One of the most destructive things that can happen to an in-ground vinyl swimming pool is damage caused by ground water. In Atlanta this winter (2015) we have had so much rain that pool owners from across the state have been calling us for assistance in remediating ground water and “floating” liners. If the liner is less than 2 years old when the ground water event takes place it is possible to reset the old liner even though there is a pretty significant risk of damaging the liner during the reset attempt which then makes it necessary to replace the liner completely. If the liner is more than 2 years old we will not even attempt to reset the liner because the chances of damaging older liners during a reset is very very high.
Because of the recent rash of damaged pool liners I decided to write this article to help educate pool owners on the different ways to remediate swimming pool ground water events. Hopefully this article will be helpful but if you need a specific question answered that is not covered in this article fell free to contact us via email.
Prevention is the Best Defense
Obviously,if we can prevent ground water damage from occuring in the first place this is the way to go. The best way to prevention of ground water problems is during the pool construction project. When building the pool it is very important to have a good drainage plan. When I used to build pools ground water prevention was a very high priority of mine and I would usually double the minimum required drainage plan just to make certain that ground water would not harm the pool in the future. Keep in mind that even well built pools with great drainage plans can fail after many years of useage. Most likely, if you are reading this article, your pool is already built and you are trying to figure out the best way to move forward. With this in mind let’s discuss your options after a ground water event has taken place.
Resetting a Floating Pool Liner
Most pool owners call us with a floating pool liner problem hoping that the liner can simply be reset. The answer is yes if the pool liner is less than two years old but there are some major risks associated with resetting a pool liner. First, resetting a pool liner is relatively expensive (usually $900 to $1200). Second, there is a real risk that the pool liner will be destroyed during the reset process and if it is you will be responsible for the rest fees plus the new liner installation fee. Third, there is no guarantee that the liner won’t float again in the future as a result of another ground water event.
If the pool liner is more than 2 years old the liner has already lost a significant amount of its elastisity due to chemical degradation and the chances of a successful liner reset are so low that Lazy Day Pools will not even attempt it.
Water Table Sump Pump Installation
Essentially this is the process of installing a sump pump deep underground next to the swimming pool. When the water table near the swimming pool rises a float inside the pump causes the pump to turn on and hopefully keep the water table low enough to prevent liner floating These pump installations can be very effective but they do not come with any guarantees. On average a water table sump pump install runs around $1000. This would be the first thing I tried before replacing my pool liner or attempting to reset my floating liner. If the WTSP is effective then it makes sense to try to reset or replace the pool liner.
I am not an insurance expert but it is my understanding, from past customers, that some home owner insurance policies will cover ground water damage to swimming pools. It would be worth a phone call to your insurance agent to find out!
I hate ground water just like every other pool owner and I am working hard within my business to find new and innovative ways to deal with swimming pool ground water issues. I hope this short post has helped someone out there make better decisions regarding their pool!
Chris Ward, President
Lazy Day Pools 678-374-4426