Soils Engineering on Swimming Pools
Soils engineering on swimming pools. When I think of building my dream swimming pool or spa, soil quality is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind. What do we focus on? If you’re like me, you focus on beauty, comfort, having the hottest place to cool down in the middle of summer, and the ideal spot for hosting friends and family; but no matter how you choose to build your dream space, the foundation is the key. It makes sense then that testing the quality of soil is just as important as all the beautification that will go in to creating your ideal pool and spa lifestyle.
So why should you care about the soil when you’re just going to pour in a bunch of concrete and fill ‘er up with water? Well, you’re investing in a commodity that will last you and yours for years to come if done correctly from the very start. For the amount of information you will receive to begin your project right and minimize any issues that may arise, a little soil testing goes a long way. For a fraction of your total costs, we’re talking about 10%, you can have a professional soils engineer test your site by taking a soil sample with minimal damage to the area; then send that sample to the lab to determine the components that make up the soil and the best way to create an ideal foundation for your swimming pool and spa; a process not typically performed, but highly recommended by industry professionals. By knowing the soil properties, you put yourself ahead of the game in planning and avoiding the most common structural failures, such as concrete swimming pool and spa foundation issues.
Let’s look at some examples of how testing the soil before construction can help in the planning and construction of a new pool or spa:
If the soil is full of salts or organic elements, it can adversely affect the structure of the pool, especially the metal components, by causing oxidation of the materials. Removing these components creates uniform soil content, which is ideal for building the foundation shell of your pool.
If the soil is loose you risk experiencing shifting and settling around the structure, causing cracking in the foundation.
If the soil is not ideal for drainage, you may end up with too much moisture in the surrounding areas, causing soil expansion, and ultimately cracking. The suitability of the soil is extremely important for creating a safe place to build a pool foundation.
It is clear that the safety and quality of the pool foundation starts with what you are building on. The strength of the pool structure depends on the components of the soil. By investing in soil engineering, you are preparing for, and in many cases preventing, foreseeable problems in the construction of your pool.
So instead of just digging a hole, pouring in a foundation, and risking future structural damage, make the investment in testing your future swimming pool or spa site. A little money towards investigating the quality of ground components can prevent you from dumping more money into maintaining your pool or spa in the future.
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