A swimming pool is a great addition to any home. Who doesn’t love a nice refreshing dip on a hot summer day? A pool is also a great social spot. Whether it’s a friendly barbecue, a birthday celebration, or an old-fashioned pool party, pools can be a main attraction for family and friends. If your pool is heated, or if you have a heated spa or hot tub, a winter dip can be a wonderful way to relax. Of course, owning a pool comes with a certain amount of responsibility. While a pool can be lots of fun, it can also be a hazard, especially for children. To make sure your pool is safe, it pays to get it inspected from time to time. If you plan to purchase a home with a pool, getting a pool inspection can save you some serious headaches and massive bills down the road.

When to Get Your Pool Inspected [infographic]

Pool Inspection for New Home Buyers

Buying a home is one of the largest purchases most people will ever make. With that kind of money at stake, you want to be sure you know what you’re getting. That’s why anyone who is planning on buying a new home should hire an inspector before signing any papers. A professional home inspector will perform a top-to-bottom investigation of the potential purchase. The full inspection will uncover any potential problems with the home’s construction or current condition. 

Sometimes, an inspector’s findings are severe enough to cause you to walk away from a purchase. In that case, you can be very glad you hired an inspector before getting into a real mess. In other cases, a problem with the home may not be enough to break the deal. However, even minor damage can be a bargaining chip. If a home is in need of repairs, buyers can often negotiate on the purchase price to make up for the cost of doing the repairs themselves. In other cases, the purchase may be contingent on the seller making the necessary repairs.

If you are purchasing a home with a pool, you should include the pool in your inspection. Just like the rest of the house, the pool can suffer regular wear and tear, and it’s good to know just how much attention it needs. In addition, a swimming pool that is in poor repair can pose a serious risk of injury. Pools with inadequate safety features can be an invitation for trouble. Also, most local governments have regulations about pool safety, so you want to make sure the pool is up to code. Finally, even non-safety issues can lead to large repair bills, so you want to know what you are dealing with.

Pool Inspection for Homeowners

Even if you already own your home, you may want to get your pool inspected. A pool is a wonderful addition to your home. It gives you the opportunity to swim, relax, and enjoy it with friends. If you’re a responsible pool owner, you will also make sure that the pool is well maintained. Whether you do it yourself or hire a company to do it for you, pool maintenance is non-negotiable. A pool needs regular cleaning. The water needs to be tested and balanced. Pool equipment, like pumps, filters, and heaters all need to be kept in good working order. A pool is both a source of fun and responsibility. But no matter how well your pool is maintained, everything ages.

Over time, a pool may develop some issues that need repair. Some problems are obvious, like a broken heater or pump. But other issues may be harder to spot, like a slow leak or crumbling deck. If you have a diving board, loose screws and tiny cracks can make it unsafe to use. Sometimes, these problems can go unnoticed, creating unsafe conditions without you knowing.

If you own a pool for long enough, it is guaranteed to need some repairs eventually. That’s why it pays to get it inspected every few years. How often you get the pool inspected depends on its age. Older pools need to be inspected more often, while a new pool may only need an occasional review.

What to Look for Outside the Pool

A full pool inspection will take a detailed look at every aspect of your pool. An inspection starts with a walkaround. The inspectors will move around the area outside your pool looking for specific issues.

One area to inspect is the deck. The deck is the area around the pool. In most cases, the deck is made of cement, tile, brick, or stone. A pool inspector will take a hard look for any potential damage. They will inspect any grout to make sure it is in good condition. The inspector will also check the angle of the deck. A properly angled deck should direct any water that splashes out of the pool away from the pool and towards a drain. Over time, the soil under your deck can settle, causing an improper slope or even an uneven surface. The inspection will also look for proper drainage and damaged drains.

Another area to inspect outside the pool is the coping. Coping is the area immediately around the perimeter of your pool. It is usually somewhat decorative and distinct from the deck. An inspector will check for any chipping, cracks, or crumbling grout. Loose or damaged coping can pose a danger, as many swimmers will use the lip of the coping as a support to get in and out of the pool. Shifting coping is also another warning sign of settling soil.

Continuing their check outside the pool, an inspector will take a good look at all of the pool equipment. The pump, the filter, the heater, the chlorinator, and any other external components will get a thorough inspection. The inspector will look for cracks, corrosion, or worn parts. They will also check for deteriorating connections in pipes or dried and cracked gaskets that could lead to leaks.

What to Look for Inside the Pool

Inside the pool, the inspector will look carefully at the lining of the pool. If a pool is lined with plaster or tile, the inspector will look for any cracks or potential leaks. If a pool is lined with vinyl, the inspector will look for tears, bubbles, and creases. All of these issues would require repair to keep the pool in good condition.

Railing, ladders, and other metal components will be checked for corrosion or loose connections. Over time, screws and bolts can corrode or come loose. A loose or damaged bold on a railing or ladder is an accident waiting to happen and should be replaced as soon as possible.

If you have pool lights, an inspector will make sure that they are in good condition and functioning safely. Electricity and water don’t mix, so if there is a problem with any electrical component in the water, it should only be fixed by a licensed electrician experienced in pool equipment.

Drains, skimmers, returns, and other openings that let water in and out of the pool will be checked for damage or clogs.

Professional Inspection

Where should you turn for pool inspection? If you are buying a home and have hired a home inspector, talk to them about the pool. Pool inspection is a specialized type of inspection, and many home inspectors don’t inspect pools. In many cases, they will do a cursory examination of the area around the pool. If you are buying a home with a pool, make sure that you have a full inspection of the pool. You may have to hire a separate professional, but it is worth the money. Problems that a general home inspector misses could lead to hefty repair bills or even serious bodily harm. This is not a place to save a few bucks.

For quality pool inspection, try one of our TrustDALE certified pool repair and maintenance companies. These are people who work with pools day in and day out, so they know what to look for. And when you work with TrustDALE certified businesses, you can be sure you are getting a great service at a great price.

Dale's New Book:
Don't Get Scammed: Get Smart!