Although we haven’t had the harshest winter in our history, it has definitely been harsher than the last few years. These low temperatures have resulted in a higher than normal amount of freeze damage to area swimming pools. Most of this damage has occurred at the pool equipment pad area—pumps, filters, heaters, pipes, etc.
There are two extreme weather events that can cause freeze damage to pool components, and we have experienced both of them this winter:
- Long periods of time with temperatures at or below freezing—Depending on where you live, we had somewhere between 75-85 hours of at or below freezing temperatures beginning on December 31st and ending on January 3rd. This is the longest period of time that we have been at or below freezing in many years.*
*Note: In the past 20+ years the record is January 30-February 5, 1996, during which we experienced 136 consecutive hours below freezing. The record for consecutive number of hours below freezing in the DFW area is 295 consecutive hours, which took place December 18-30, 1983.
- Extremely low temperatures—We had a low of 3 degrees on Wednesday, January 17th. According to my research, this is the lowest temperatures that we have had in 28 years (the winter of 1989-1990).
As you are probably already aware of, water expands by approximately 9% when it is frozen, therefore anything that is full of water and freezes can potentially be damaged. Therefore, it would probably be a good idea to check to see if you have experienced freeze damage. Following is a course of action for checking for freeze damage and then taking the necessary steps to get the problem solved:
- Turn all of the pumps on and visually inspect to see if you have any leaks.
- If you see leaks, turn the pumps off and give us a call at (940)384-7665 to schedule repairs. Do not wait until the weather warms up to get repairs made, as we are very busy and it doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon.
- Most underground pipes are deep enough that they do not experience freeze damage in this region, but, just in case, check the yard for wet spots. If you have a wet spot in the yard, you could have an underground leak, which needs to be repaired.
One question that we often hear is whether or not freeze damage to pool equipment is covered under homeowners insurance. I decided to ask an insurance expert, Jeff King of Ramey & King Insurance, some questions about freeze damage to pool components. He recommended that homeowners check with their insurance company, but he said the following is correct in most cases.
- Is freeze damage to swimming pools and swimming pool equipment covered by homeowners insurance? “In most cases it is not covered, but the resulting damage would be covered. An example would be: the pipe freezes and busts, water leaks from the pool equipment area to the house and warps the floor. With that being said, some homeowners have added mechanical breakdown to their policy, and if they have, then the damage to the pool equipment would likely be covered.”
- What is the deductible in most cases? “The damage is covered under the ‘all other perils deductible’, which is usually $1,000 or 1% of the home value.”
I am hopeful that you did not experience any freeze damage, but if you did, hopefully this information answers some of your questions. If we can help you further, please give us a call at (940)384-7665.