It’s a terrifying thought; the ground suddenly sinking below your feet. Sinkholes can vary from a few feet to a hundred acres across and less than 1 to more than 100 feet deep. While they can happen suddenly on the surface, it often occurs because water that has been steadily flowing and dissolves the rock underneath the soil. This begs the question, can a pool leak cause a sinkhole?
Yes, a pool leak can absolutely cause a sinkhole.
How can a pool leak cause a sinkhole?
A sinkhole can occur whether you have an inground pool or an above-ground pool. A pool that is allowed to leak into the foundation underneath can lead to a very large, very dangerous sinkhole. In fact, leaking water is the main cause of a sinkhole.
Sinkholes start developing a long time before they actually appear. That is why it’s so important to detect a water leak early on! Early detection of a water leak in your pool will save you loads of money, time, and most of all, headaches.
Both naturally-caused and man-made sinkholes are most common in areas with underground rock containing limestone, salt, or gypsum, which covers 40% of the United State’s bedrock. However, those many areas are buried at great depth. States that are most prone to sinkholes are Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
What causes a pool to leak?
There are many reasons for leaks in swimming pools.
General wear & tear
Pumps and motor problems
There are different risk factors for the different types of in-ground pools.
Vinyl pools are pretty much a 100% guarantee to leak. Tears in the vinyl’s lining are the most common cause for a pool leak with this type of surface. Simply sharp objects hitting the side of the pool can cause a tear. Vinyl is easy to patch but must be treated immediately.
Penetrations and seems (drains, lights, skimmers) in the linear are entirely underwater, causing more potential for leaks.
While fiberglass pools rarely leak, it can happen. This would be a result of a crack in the laminate.
A fiberglass pool is a one-piece structure entirely made out of fiberglass materials. It’s structurally flexible so it’s able to move and shift with the environment. It’s very thick and durable.
Additionally, fiberglass pools have no seams. Holes are cut through the shell at the exact right size and are sealed with 100% silicone. This warrants a very low failure rate as well.
Concrete is not airtight and leaks can happen when there is a structural crack.
Cavities are created in the structure and sealed with plaster, therefore, skimmers, lights, and drains are prone to leak.
What to do if you have a sinkhole
If you’ve found a sinkhole, follow these steps to resolve the issue safely.
1. Keep away from the sinkhole! The structural integrity of the ground beneath your feet has given way. It’s especially important to keep children and pets away from the area.
2. Fence off the area. Make sure everyone in the area is aware of the hole and the fence is visible in both daytime and nighttime.
3. If you suspect the sinkhole is resulting from a leak in your pool, call a leak detection company. It’s vital to stop the leak as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
4. Contact your insurance company. You may find that your insurance company covers both the inspection of the sinkhole as well as repair. However, you may find out they cover neither. This will help you budget for the right course of action.
After your professional leak detection company fixes the leak, the sinkhole should cease to grow. Simply fill the hole with dirt or sand, depending on the landscaping of your home. If your sinkhole is more serious and you’re experiencing damage to concrete, stone, or pavers, contact your insurance company.
Can A Pool Leak Cause A Sinkhole?
Yes, a pool leak can cause a sinkhole. However, this issue takes a long time to actually come into fruition and isn’t very likely. There are various ways you can detect a pool leak including; a spike in your water bill, having to add more than 2 inches of water to your pool per week, and fluctuation chemical levels. If you suspect you have a leak, contact the Leak Science experts today! We are proud to service fast and efficiently.