Many homeowners are familiar with the beauty and enjoyment that inground pools provide, but few are aware of the factors that can cause an inground swimming pool to sink. These underlying issues can lead to serious structural damage and safety concerns.

By learning about the common causes of sinking swimming pools and preventative measures to take, owners of inground swimming pools can avoid encountering costly, unexpected repair projects in the future.

4 Factors That Can Cause an Inground Swimming Pool to Sink

  1. Soil Conditions
  2. Drainage Issues
  3. Poor Construction
  4. Neglectful Maintenance

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Soil Conditions

Various soil issues, such as erosion, expansion, and compaction, can undermine the integrity of the pool’s structure. When soil erodes away from the pool’s base, it creates an unstable foundation that can eventually give way, causing your pool to sink.

Backyard swimming pool with sloping ground

Additionally, soil expansion and compaction can cause the ground beneath the pool to shift, affecting its stability and alignment. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the soil on which your pool is built can adequately support the weight and maintain its stability over time.

Small backyard swimming pool with soil erosion issues

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Drainage Issues

Another factor that can cause an inground swimming pool to sink is poor drainage. Water accumulating around the pool can erode the supporting soil, leading to sinking and other structural damage. Inadequate landscaping, including a flat or improperly sloped yard, can prevent water from properly draining away from your pool area.

Small backyard swimming pool on flat lot

Similarly, a malfunctioning or poorly designed drainage system can fail to redirect water away from the pool. Improving the yard’s slope or implementing proper drainage systems, such as French drains or catch basins, can solve these problems.

Poorly functioning backyard drain with pooled water


Poor Construction

Poor construction techniques and materials can also lead to structural issues.

Ideally, soil compaction will ensure the ground can bear the pool’s weight, and using high-quality, durable materials will contribute to the pool’s longevity and stability. According to Forbes, the average cost of installing an inground swimming pool in the US is $35,000, but using poor materials isn’t a smart way to save money long term.

Backyard swimming pool under construction


Neglectful Maintenance

In addition, pool owners cannot neglect routine maintenance. For instance, cracks and leaks can form in the pool shell, causing water to seep through the concrete and erode supporting soil.

Drained residential swimming pool

When inspecting your pool, look for signs of cracking, leaks, or shifts in the pool’s alignment. If you discover any issues or are unsure about your pool’s condition, it’s best to call a professional pool repair service to assess the situation and perform repairs.

Cracked cement surrounding swimming pool

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Ways to Repair a Sinking Pool

If you notice your pool sinking, act quickly to prevent damage from worsening and to keep your pool area as safe as possible. There are various ways to repair a sinking inground pool, and the right method depends on the cause of the problem and environmental conditions.

For example, polyurethane foam injection improves soil conditions by filling voids beneath the pool, stabilizing the ground and preventing further sinking.

polyurethane foam injection under sinking cement


Closing Comments

Soil conditions, drainage issues, improper construction, and neglectful maintenance practices can all cause a swimming pool to become destabilized. By understanding these contributors, pool owners can take preventative measures to avoid structural damage and safety hazards. Monitor the pool regularly and seek professional help at the first sign of sinking to ensure the longevity and safe enjoyment of your investment!

Backyard swimming pool surrounded by trees and grass


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