Pool deck drainage matters for the safety of those using your pool and also for the health of the parts of your pool that should not be exposed to standing water. Slippery pool decks and wet pool support structures can both lead to accidents and injuries as well as damage to the pool itself.
Effective pool drainage is key to keeping your pool and the surrounding landscape and decking safe and secure for the long haul. If you have been having issues with your current pool deck, or you are getting ready to install one, you need to know about the right ways to install pool deck drainage.
If you are ready to learn more about the right way to install pool deck drainage systems, read on for more information!
Why is Deck Drainage Important?
It might not seem like drainage is necessary for your pool deck, you need to be able to keep your pool deck clean and free of standing water for safety reasons and also for the health of your pool’s overall support structure. Remember that splashing is not the only cause of water standing on your pool deck, and rain and other precipitation can lead to standing water issues that are hard to attend to if the right drainage is not in place on your pool deck.
Even if you live in a place that is largely sunny and you are not expecting issues with lots of water standing on your pool deck, you should still make sure to have good deck drainage in place surrounding your pool. Preventing outside water from entering the pool and keeping visitors and your family safe from slipping and falling is critical when you own a pool.
Things to Know Before Installing Pool Deck Drainage Systems
There are some considerations that you need to think about when you are planning to install pool deck drains. You might have to get creative if your pool is already in place and you have realized that your pool deck drainage system is not working in an ideal fashion. Always try to consider these items before you start installing drains or building a pool deck if possible.
· Consider the Slope
The slope of the deck and the drainage field has a large part to play in the effectiveness of your drainage system. Gravity is a big help with drainage processes and you should make sure that you are using gravity to help you with your drainage system’s function.
Grading and planning for gravity to work to drain the deck are important and you will want to be sure that you have a grade of ¼ inch per foot of drain length. You might need more grade than this for your unique needs, but this is a good starting point for your overall drainage plans.
· Slope Direction
This matters just as much as the angle of slope that you have used. You want the water to run away from items like your yard or your plants and away from walkways and other patio spaces. It is no good to just drain the water off the pool deck and onto plants that will be harmed by the chlorine or standing water. Likewise, having standing water in another part of your yard is not very helpful.
Having a valley drain design can help send water from the deck and your patio out to a single drainage location. You might have a catch basin or another drainage solution to help funnel this water into the desired location away from your pool and from your yard.
· Consider Your Yard Design
If you have a really large yard that would be damaged by the drainage that you are moving away from your pool, you might need to have a professional come in and connect your pool drainage to a drain field or other drainage solution away from the rest of your yard. This process can be expensive but well worth the money if you want to preserve the health of your yard.
Making sure that you are not just dumping water onto your lawn or another location that is landscaped can make a big difference to your overall pool drainage experience.
Types of Pool & Deck Drainage Systems
There are three main solutions for your pool drainage needs. These are the best options to choose from and you might have a combination of all three types or only need one to keep dirty water from getting back into your pool and to prevent standing water in your yard.
These drains are quite common at pool locations and you have probably seen them more than once or twice near this kind of space. These are long and narrow drains that are protected with a slotted cover that allows water to run down into the drain through the slots. The gaps in the drain cover are quite small so that people do not catch their bare feet in them and so that debris and plant mess does not get into the drain and clog it.
Slotted pool drains are often needed in your overall pool draining solution, no matter what other drainage solutions you need to employ to get your pool deck to be water-free. This is an affordable and attractive means to funnel water off the pool deck and away from the edges of the pool. These drains are great at pulling in water that should not be standing on your deck and they are discrete and attractive.
This kind of drain comes in many sizes and shapes and you can often add designs and custom features to your slotted covers if you wish.
These are a classic drainage solution design that works really well to handle the runoff from your pool drainage system. They are often inserted into the landscaping near the pool and they can filter out the pool drainage across a wider area or a drain field. This kind of drain design makes it possible for your yard or drain field to handle the volume of water that is being removed from your pool deck without creating standing water or lakes of water in your lawn and other areas.
French drains are very affordable and are quite easy to install. This is why they are a common standard for this kind of drainage solution. They have the added benefit of being easy to disguise within your landscaping as well.
Spot drains are circular in shape and can be installed directly into your pool deck. These are used at a collection point that is intended to funnel water down a slope into the drain. This is a big help if you have a very large pool deck that tends to collect water at a low point anyhow.
These drains will be connected in much the same way as a slot drain to a drain piping system beneath the deck where water will be removed to a drain field or another location. These are very affordable drains that do not stand out like a sore thumb in your decking and they are very effective at their job. They often come in various sizes and you can get custom covers for them as well.
Signs That you Should Redo Your Pool Deck Drainage System
If you already have a drainage system in place, but you think it could be performing better, here are some signs that it is time to redo your deck drainage:
1. Standing Water
This is always the first sign that something is not right with your decking drainage system. A good drainage system that is working properly will drain off standing water and you should never have puddles of water standing on your deck surface.
There could be reasons that your drainage system is not working related to clogged drains or broken drain lines and these items should be diagnosed and repaired. If the grading of your deck drainage system is wrong, you might need to consider reworking the entire system to remove standing water.
2. Draining to an Incorrect Location
This can happen if you do not have a properly installed French drain or other drainage solution to funnel water away from your yard. Broken drain lines can also lead to water that is not running to the right location. Make sure that all of your drainage pipes are directed to your desired drain field and that this drain field has enough soil and pebble and gravel material to handle the runoff that is coming from your pool deck.
If the drainage that you have in place is not sending water to the right location, you might have issues with the grade and slope of your drains as well as the drainage piping itself.
3. Damage to Pipes and Grates
Damaged piping and grates that you can see immediately should be replaced right off. No matter what kind of drain you have installed in and around your pool deck, you need to make sure that all drain covers and drains are free from damage and obstruction if they are going to work properly. Damaged parts of your drainage system will always lead to issues with drainage near your pool deck.
4. Damaged Landscaping
If your landscaping is showing signs of standing water or you have plants that are dying from getting too wet, it might be time to check that your overall drainage system is behaving as it should. You should always avoid sending too much water onto your softscape as this will just make another safety issue or kill your grass and other plants.
Damaged landscaping can be salvaged by redirecting your drainage system to a better location, or changing out the landscaping in question for items that can handle ponding or high water tables. In most cases, you will simply need to adjust the slope of your drain field, but you might need to relocate the entire drainage solution that is causing this problem to prevent the death of your entire yard in this area.
5. Water Near Your Foundation
This is a problem that should cause immediate concern if you see it. If the pool water seems to be draining back to pond against the foundation of your home, you need to correct this issue right away. Standing water against your home’s foundation can lead to your entire home being undermined and water damage in the lower levels of your home.
In some cases, pool water can be running down under the pool and into crawlspaces and basement rooms. You should always check a few times a year that there is no water that is running down through your deck to collect against your home’s foundation. If this is an issue that you are experiencing with your deck drainage system, you need to seek solutions and repairs to your pool drainage right away.
Your Pool Deck Drainage System Must be Installed Correctly
No matter what kind of pool you have installed on your property, you will need the right pool drainage in place to prevent damage to your pool deck, your home, and your yard. Being too casual about the pool deck drainage that you have in place can lead to major issues with your yard, your pool, or your home.
Using this guide, you should be able to start designing the perfect pool drainage system for your needs or you could be considering ways to make your existing drainage system much more effective. Always reach out to a professional if you feel that you need help planning and creating the drainage system that keeps water off your pool deck. This is an important part of the safe use and installation of any pool, and you want to be sure that your pool drainage is completed correctly.
Creating the right pool drainage solution is important for the overall lifespan of your pool and the safety and beauty of your pool deck and surrounding areas. Contact a Dura Trench representative to help plan the ideal drainage solution for your space.