I just wanted to write this quick post to warn all pool owners about the potential damage that Hurricane Irma can cause regarding your swimming pool. Hurricane Irma will likely dump somewhere between 3 and 7 inches of rainfall in a very short period of time across the entire State of Georgia. Obviously, this will raise the water table, or ground water, in the soil around your swimming pool. Given the fact that about ten percent of swimming pools in the State of Georgia are adversely affected each year by ground water during normal periods of rainfall…I think it is safe to say that we will see a pretty big spike in the amount of damage to pools across the State in the coming week.
In a nutshell, here is what you can expect and a couple of things you can do to help protect your pool. When the water table rises underground it causes the phenomenon called hydrostatic lift to occur. If you have a gunite pool this can cause the entire shell of the pool to lift out of the ground as much as two feet! This happens because your pool shell essentially acts like the hull of a boat and the boat starts to float…the pressure from the ground water under the pool shell literally forces the pool upward and out of the ground! If this happens it is a complete loss and the swimming pool will almost always need to be removed and replaced completely and this will cost a minimum of $50,000 to do! This can happen to fiberglass pools as well.
If you have a vinyl pool…ground water won’t destroy the entire pool but it will cause your pool liner to “float” off of the pool bottom. If your liner is less than one year old there is a chance that it can be saved but the pool liner is usually torn or destroyed in some other way when the rain stops, the ground water recedes, and the liner tries to settle back into place. A pretty significant amount of pool liners that we install each year are due to damage from ground water and we will be doing the best we can regarding pricing on replacement liners for victims of Hurricane Irma. Also, keep in mind that homeowners insurance will often cover damages from hurricanes so check your policy. If your liner is damaged as a result of Irma please call us ASAP at 678-374-4426 because I have a feeling we are going to get overwhelmed very quickly.
So what can you do right now to improve your chances? First, make sure your pool is full of water. The more water pressure you have on top of the gunite shell or the vinyl liner the less likely it will float. Second, make sure that any drainage system that was included with your new pool build is clear and flowing. For example, some pools have 4-inch black drainage pipes installed underground and these pipes are intended to drain ground water as it rises. But over the years the end of the black pipe can become blocked with dirt, vegetation, and other debris. Make sure the end of the black pipe is clear. The end of the pipe is usually located somewhere downhill from the pool.
The last thing we can do to prevent future problems is to install a Lazy Day Ground Water Remediation System. We have been developing this system over the past two years but have not yet started marketing it. I wish we could have had it on the market a week ago so we would have been ahead of Irma! We will be launching the product in the next week or two and it can be used to speed up the process of lowering the water table in your backyard (around your pool) and significantly reduce the risk of future damage. Once again, if this is something you are interested please call the main office ASAP at 678-374-4426 or email us through lazydaypools.com. We will be very busy trying to keep up with this event for several months!
The Lazy Day Ground Water Remediation System is $2000 for a normal install.
Best of luck and God Bless!
Christopher Ward, President
Lazy Day Pools