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Thread: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

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    Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    We just finished a rather extreme Canadian winter and our 2 year old pool has an issue that I am looking for advice with.

    Attached are 2 pictures showing a bulge in the pool wall that appeared about 4" above the ground. This is visible around the entire pool. The bending of the uprights is only where the pool wall has pushed out and bent them. I do not believe this to be a snow load issue. The pool had less snow on it this year than last year. I was talking with a local pool supplier/installer and they mentioned that they know of about 30 pools with this same issue but would not provide any insight as to the cause. The pool was winterized as we have done in the past (and as I have helped do since I was a kid) - water was drained to just below the jet and a winter cover installed.

    My first question is the cause of the damage. I am concerned that repairing or replacing the pool may be futile if the same damage occurs again next winter. Any ideas as to the source of the problem would be greatly appreciated.

    Secondly, can this type of damage be repaired? I have spoken tot a few people who say just fill the pool and see if it holds. I'm pretty handy so I was considering disassembling the pool, pressing the pool wall as flat as possible and smoothing the bends in the uprights/replacing those that can not be fixed. Does anyone have experience with this sort of repair that they could share (other than the obvious amount of work that is involved)?

    Thanks for any help that can be provided.

    JR
    Attached Images Attached Images
    24' above ground pool; 1 HP jacuzzi pump and sand filter

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    I would guess frost heave. Is the frost out of the ground right now? I would wait to see what happens when the frost is gone. You may need to take down the pool are re-level.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    This is definitely frost heave and you are not the first to post about it this year. One other poster was worse than yours as his pool was damaged beyond repair. His walls looked like an accordion.

    Wait until,the ground thaws and disassemble the pool, straighten what you can and reassemble the pool.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Is there any way to avoid frost heave, or is it luck of the draw? I've seen so many of these posts and it makes me a bit nervous.
    27k gallon 33' round, partially buried 22" Sandman sand filter, 1.5hp 2 speed TidalWave pump, Pentair 'Lil Shark with leaf canister, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Thanks for the feedback! Frost is mostly gone now (those pictures were form 2 weeks ago). The pool has not recovered any and the thing that surprises me is the symmetry of the damage all the way around the pool.

    On to repair... is there a recommended method to fix the wall? My current plan is to roll the wall out on the lawn and work along the wrinkle from one end to the other with 2 pieces of hardwood and some C-clamps to flatten the wall. I expect this may remove some of the ridging in the wall which I am worried may reduce the strength.

    Not sure if flipping the wall upside down is feasible (changing skimmer location and reversing the bolt pattern at the joint or adding additional bolts at the bottom) or would be of any benefit. Concerned that the greater pressure at the bottom and the weakened wall may result in a blow out.

    Looking for advice or previous experience with this type of repair.

    Thanks again folks.
    24' above ground pool; 1 HP jacuzzi pump and sand filter

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBuggy View Post
    Is there any way to avoid frost heave, or is it luck of the draw? I've seen so many of these posts and it makes me a bit nervous.
    Frost heave happens anywhere there is a hard freeze during the winter. Once the ground freezes it moves upwards as it expands. This is due to the fact that water expands when it freezes and the ground holds a lot of water in the soil. This is the whole reason for deep footings in northern climates. Frost can do some pretty amazing feats. My neighbor had a new concrete driveway put in last summer and the contractor did not put any expansion joint material between the garage footer and the new driveway. When the concrete driveway lifted from the frost heave it also lifted the front of the garage about 2" as the concrete was keyed to the foundation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jredman
    Just wondering, does this pool have foam coving or is it sand coving?
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    It has foam coving. If I'm going to tear it down it will probably go back up with sand coving. I suspect that the coving has at least something to do with it - Maybe not... but I know my father's pool has sand coving and it's been up since I was a kid and has no issues this spring. Also, he used high density styrofoam under the base while mine is the white styrofoam.
    24' above ground pool; 1 HP jacuzzi pump and sand filter

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Foam in a pool has nothing to do with the way the land behaves during cold weather.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Foam in a pool has nothing to do with the way the land behaves during cold weather.
    You keep telling me this but I have a theory on what might be happening and this is why I asked the question. So far every one of these damaged pools has the foam coving. But, since you are the expert I doubt you will want to hear my opinion so I will move on and not ask the question any more
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Well what's your theory? I just don't see how foam can heave the ground. Cold weather does that.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    I do understand that frost heave is the movement of the ground. My question is why some pools are affected by it and some are not. Perhaps I worded it poorly.

    OP - Someone else just shared a device that he made to straighten out his crumpled pool wall. It was very clever and looks to have worked quite well. Might be worth a shot! I have no idea if the walls could or should be flipped though.
    27k gallon 33' round, partially buried 22" Sandman sand filter, 1.5hp 2 speed TidalWave pump, Pentair 'Lil Shark with leaf canister, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Thanks for the heads up on that tool. Since my damage is easily reachable (one the pool is disassembled) I was planning on using 2 pieces of hardwood and some c-clamps to flatten the wrinkle. Less to build.
    24' above ground pool; 1 HP jacuzzi pump and sand filter

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    Good luck n let us know how it comes out.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Winter pool damage around entire pool base

    whats the device my pool damage looks exactly the same as yours so i disassebled mine with plans on straightening it out if there is something i can use to straighten it without having to pound it out im all ears
    thanks

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