Florida homes with a concrete deck round a pool can be susceptible to pool deck sinking or concrete cracking. This pool deck sinking, or cracking could be caused by leaks in the in-ground pool, poor compaction, underground voids or soil erosion due to flooding from tropical rainstorms. In most cases, foundation failure is created by the shifting or settling of dirt that’s directly underneath the deck and its base. One of the most common factors that cause voids and sinking dirt is erosion.
When the earth that’s underneath the surface erodes, it can cause underground voids, which leaves no support for the concrete deck. This article is going to look at the dangers of eroded earth and its effects on concrete decking around swimming areas, and the most effective way to have them fixed.
Eroded Earth Can Cause Havoc on Concrete Pool Decks
There are a lot of homeowners and HOA organizations that don’t realize the negative effects that eroded earth can have on their concrete pool decking. Not to mention, it can also wreak havoc on the structural integrity for their buildings as well. Eroded earth typically happens when an excessive amount of groundwater or rainwater comes in from multiple places. The most common place where it’s quickly noticed is on the topsoil around the perimeter of a deck or structure.
When the topsoil is being eroded, the dirt below the surface of the topsoil can also be affected. It gets worse when a dry spell occurs after a heavy washout because the dirt will shrink due to a lack of moisture, which creates spaces or gaps for water to enter and flow. When the dirt beneath the topsoil erodes, it creates a void that no longer can support anything built above it. This shrinking and shifting action of dirt will eventually lead to a settlement, and heavy decks like a concrete pool deck will sink.
Not only does sinking dirt causes a concrete pool deck to sink, but it can provide groundwater a network of channels to flow into other areas like adjacent buildings. When this happens, the ground around your building or home can also become eroded. This will also create dips and spaces in the ground that allows groundwater to pool. The groundwater is more apt to seep through any porous concrete material or gaps, often times creating more problems for the building owner.
How to Tell if Your In-Ground Pool is Out of Level
If your in-ground pool is unlevel, shifting of the in-ground pool may cause the concrete deck around it to crack or lift. In-ground pools are extremely heavy, and when they shift, they can create damaged coping and open gaps on the concrete deck. Making sure that the in-ground pool is level will help to determine if this is the root of the problem.
The best way to check is to measure the water lines in relation to the grout line that runs horizontally along the edge of the pool. If the distance is one inch on one side, it should be the same all the way around. If you take a tape measure and go around the entire perimeter and discover that one side is two and a half inches and the opposite side is one inch. You have a serious problem on your hands, and you should contact a soil remediation specialist as soon as possible.
What Happens When the Weather Changes?
Groundwater can expand when the weather changes and can create significant pressure on concrete and paving stones, which results in more damage and cracking. If the cracks in the concrete are not addressed, every year that passes by will make things worse and add to the expense of having it restored or replaced.
During the summer when the concrete goes from cold to very hot, it can cause contraction and expansion in the concrete. Therefore, it is important to have expansion and control joints installed in the concrete when it’s first constructed.
When are the Services of a Ground Improvement Contractor Required?
If your concrete pool deck has reached a point where moisture and settling have caused significant damage to your concrete deck slab or the paving stones, it’s time to call a ground improvement specialist before the cost of restoration becomes a financial expense that could seriously impact your cash reserves. There are a variety of solutions to fix eroded earth underneath concrete pool decking. A ground improvement specialist can utilize the best methods to lift and stabilize a concrete pool deck to ensure a solid base.
Polyurethane Grouting is the Safest and Most Effective Way to Repair Sinking or Cracked Pool Decking
Polyurethane Grout is a foam resin that is applied by a professional technician. The technician carefully monitors the application for the correct amount of lift. Polyurethane Grout expands and has a high compressive strength that ensures that your pool decking is solid as a rock. After the resin foam has cured, the strength of the grout can support any structure. Polyurethane Grouting (Chemical Grouting) uses a high-pressure injection technique to fill narrow crevices, pores, and loose soils that could cause settling issues.
The Polyurethane Grouting (Chemical Grouting) procedure is the safest and most accurate method of filling voids and densifying loose soils that exist within 10 feet of the surface. The sooner you treat the issue with Polyurethane Grouting, the better since you will stop the progress of the erosion immediately. The impermeable formation that results from polyurethane grouting gives long-term stability to the treated area. If you wait too long to treat, the cost of treatment can increase since much more labor and materials will need to be used for the project.
Why is A Ground Improvement Specialist the Best Option?
When it comes to foundation work and concrete pool decks in Florida, you need someone who has experience in the topographical earth that’s native to the Sunshine State. Heavy rains and tropical downpours are quite common in this area and so are voids in the soil; therefore, it’s always a good idea to utilize the expertise of a remediation specialist for your specific problem.
A ground improvement specialist can save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs. Knowing the exact degree of your problem is how you lower the cost to have it restored back to a stable and safe condition. A ground improvement specialist can also help you determine what types of reinforcement support will work the best and explain the difference in cost and other solutions for your concrete pool deck problems. If you feel that you have soil issues under your pool deck, feel free to contact the soil remediation experts at Helicon today for a No-Obligation Evaluation.