When buying or selling a home, you may have to deal with a pool inspection. A thorough professional pool inspection lets buyers know about the condition of the pool and its mechanical processes so you can enjoy your pool and yard in peace.
Just as you would inspect an entire home before you purchase it, you need to do the same for your pool, because easy to detect issues, which, if left unnoticed could become costly to repair. Therefore, it's best to know what you're getting into when it comes to the pool at your potential new home.
If you are a pool expert yourself, you may consider doing the inspection yourself, but for most people, it is best to hire a pool inspection professional.
What is Included in a Pool Inspection
A pool inspection includes a lot of different aspects. Before you get a pool inspection done, ask your inspector what is included in their inspection of the pool.
Pool inspectors make sure that your fun in the sun will stay amusing and not worrisome. The types of safety aspects they may check for include ensuring that electrical wires are far away from the pool, and that walkways around the pool do not pose a hazard for slips and trips.
Pool inspectors check fencing and latches, if any are present, to make sure they are functioning properly so no one accidentally ends up in the pool who shouldn't be there. Fencing should be of a certain height so that kids can not get in unexpectedly, and the design should pose a challenge for a little ones to climb over. The exact height required by local laws can vary.
Pool inspectors are not required to make sure your outdoor space is in line with local laws and ordinances as they relate to pools, so that is something you may have to look up yourself or with a code inspector. However, pool inspectors may be knowledgeable on this topic so you can always ask them for information or look it up online.
Interior of Pool
Some pools have vinyl liners inside of them. These devices help contain the water inside the pool, making sure it does not seep out. A tear in the lining could require a costly repair.
Other pools are finished with one of several types of plaster. Inspectors check the plaster to make sure there are no cracks that could lead to a serious issue in the future, though some cracking is normal. They will also inspect any decorative or functional tiling inside the pool.
Many pools have lights inside the pool. The inspector should make sure that these function whether they are old fashioned light bulbs or newer LED lights. They will check for condensation inside pool lighting fixtures, which can lead to mold or mildew issues. They may also be able to let you know what type of lightbulb you need.
Tile & Decking
The deck of your pool is where a lot of the action happens. Sure swimming is fun, but so is lounging by the pool. Kids love to play or relax while dipping their toes in and sitting on the edge, so the edge of a pool is part of the inspection. Inspectors will check out the "coping" which is the area directly around the pool. Typically, it is 12-18 inches wide and made of some kind of hard material like concrete, brick, or natural stone. Chips in the coping can lead to tripping hazards or debris in the pool.
The decking is any hard surface beyond the coping. You should have that inspected for damage and stains just like the rest of the pool area. Make sure the inspector checks for proper drainage for rainfall and any tilts or pitches in the decking.
The Rest of the Yard
Inspectors look at the rest of your yard for safety and quality issues around the pool. They check the position of the roof gutters to make sure rainwater won't drip into the pool often, and natural features of the surrounding land that could affect your poolside enjoyment.
A saltwater pool is a luxurious option that offers lower levels of chlorine needed to sanitize and thus less maintenance overall. However, the presence of salt can cause corrosion. Inspectors need to pay special attention when looking at saltwater pools and spas.
The pump is an essential piece of equipment for your pool. It circulates water around other devices like filters and heaters to keep your water clean and warm. Without a functioning pump, a pool will not be usable for long! Inspectors check whether the pump is working, and check that it is properly secured and the wiring is solid.
There are several different types of pool filters but they all do the same thing: clean and sanitize your water. Without one, a pool can quickly become a mess! Making sure the filter is solidly in place, and all the valves that lead to the filter function properly is an important job for an inspector.
Not all pools have heaters, but it is an important feature in ones that do. Inspectors may assess if the heater is the right size for your pool and verify that it is actually working. Heaters can be costly, so knowing that it is working will give you peace of mind.
Pools are fun spaces that may have accessories like a diving board, infinity edge or fountain. Some accessories are useful for cleanliness and maintenance, like a pool cover. Inspectors typically check such items to minimize surprises in the future.
When it comes to diving boards and slides, pool inspectors check for rust or deterioration leading to sharp edges that can cause injuries. In fact, most pool inspectors may even recommend that you have these features removed because of potential risks and liability.
Automation & Remote Control Function
Modern pools may have automation and remote control features. Inspectors can test these features and make sure they are working.
What Pool Inspection Does Not Include
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a pool inspector is not required to inspect the pool at times when conditions like bad weather could cause damage to the pool equipment. It does not include water quality testing, the testing of anything that is already not working properly or the suitability of a pool for accessories like a diving board or slide. Before committing to a pool inspection, be sure to get an understanding of what is or is not included in the inspection.
Cost of a Pool Inspection
The cost of a pool inspection can range from $250 to $600 but varies based on a number of factors including where you live, the size and condition of the pool and the surroundings that need to be examined. Some home inspectors may bundle services leading to a much lower price for the pool inspection. When you hiring a home inspector, you can ask them if they have the appropriate training and certification to conduct a pool inspection.
Keep in mind, it may be worth it to pay a little more for a great inspector you can trust. Putting out a few more dollars for peace of mind is nothing in comparison to the years of happy summers your family will enjoy outdoors at the pool.
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