We have just experienced a very dry spring (March-May), which is typically our rainy season. Some areas in Dallas/Fort Worth have received some heavy rainfall at times but overall, it has been very, very dry in Denton. This is not a good sign as we head into the typically very hot dry months.
The north Texas area tends to have pockets of fairly expansive soil—soil that contracts when it gets dry and expands when it gets wet. Therefore, extremely dry, hot periods can really dry out the soil—causing it to contract. When it finally does rain, expansion of the soil will take place. Whatever is in contact with the soil during this time of contraction and expansion also experiences movement. This movement can damage not only pool decks, but also roads, house foundations, driveways, sidewalks, and patios.
Although swimming pool builders working in this area use cushion sand and steel rebar in the construction of their pool decks, these pool decks still require your attention to help prevent raising, settling, and cracking. In addition, this movement can also damage the expansion joint (either called the mastic joint or the deck-o-seal joint) between the deck and the pool, which needs to be checked periodically.
Pool decks are not warranted against this raising, settling, and cracking. Depending on the moisture content of the soil, this raising or settling can be up to an inch or two. Although it is next to impossible to completely avoid some movement in your pool deck, consistent soil moisture content is the key. Avoiding extremely wet or extremely dry soil conditions can help prevent movement. During pool ownership the following tips may help you avoid some problems:
How to avoid having soil that is too dry
- During extremely dry times, be sure to water your yard enough to avoid the separation between the soil and the pool deck. This separation can cause movement.
How to avoid having soil that is too wet
- Do not allow drainage to fall towards the pool deck.
- Pay close attention to sprinkler heads that are up against the pool deck; they can erode the cushion sand under the deck, causing the deck to move.
Remember that consistency is the key – try to avoid soil that is too dry or too wet.
Gohlke Pools hopes you enjoy the rest of the summer and that your pool is getting plenty of use!
If you need pool care, weekly maintenance pool service, pool equipment repair, renovations, or outdoor living backyard upgrades we are here to help. Additionally, the retail pool supplies store and showroom are open 7 days a week throughout most of the year.