If the home you are thinking about buying or selling includes a swimming pool then having an independent home inspector check the condition of the pool makes a lot of sense.
There are two inspection aspects for swimming pools:
- The condition of the swimming pool and related equipment.
- Compliance with the local swimming pool safety regulations, standards and bylaws. Safety is the concern of everyone – and any inspector checking any property should check, advise and report on any violation of safety standards.
Inspecting the shell, coping and surrounds
Unless the pool is empty, the inspection of the pool shell is limited to the surround, the coping and the upper level of the pool shell. However if there are defects, then cracks, leaks or delamination of the lining can often be observed below the coping, or in the area of the skimmer box. If the pool water is dirty the inspection will be even more limited.
The home inspector should report on the observed condition of the pool shells, coping and tiling or other paving around the pool.
An important element of a gunite or concrete pool shell is the concrete “ring beam”, which is a perimeter concrete beam which provides strength for the pool shell and provides a bearing surface for the coping. It is important to provide an expansion joint between the ring beam and coping and the pool surround (usually a tiled or paved area). This movement joint is an important interface between the pool and the paving surround. If the expansion joint is not properly installed, then cracking of the surround, or in extreme cases, cracking of the ring beam, may often result. The pool expansion joint should be caulked with an elastomeric sealant.
It is not the home inspector’s job to verify that the pool pump, filter, lights, chlorinator, heater and any other equipment is functional or effective. Pool pumps and filters normally operate on a timer switch and the inspector should merely record whether the pool water was clear and whether the pump was running at the time of the inspection.
The inspector should observe and report on the external condition of this equipment, the manner in which the equipment is housed and also on the external condition of the electrical distribution board.
Checking the safety of a pool or other water features
SANS 10134 which is the National Standard for Safety of private swimming pools defines a swimming pool as “any structural vessel capable of containing water to a depth of greater than 300 mm.” 3.1.13.
South African National Building Regulations
The National Building Regulations regarding pool fencing for public safety regulations require that the owner or occupier of a property containing a swimming pool must ensure that access to such a swimming pool is controlled.
SANS 10134 Safety of private swimming pools, was extensively revised in December 2018 and places emphasis on the “responsibilities” of owners and occupiers of property where a swimming pool is located to provide “protective enclosures” and “protective devices” (pool nets and covers) to prevent children from drowning.
Cost of a swimming pool inspection
A pool inspection normally forms part of an inspection of the entire property. If a client requires only a pool inspection, then the client can request a pool inspection quote here.
If you require any other services or information from HouseCheck then please go to our home inspections services page