Last month we discussed some of the factors that go into having a healthy home. But when it comes to home health, especially in Florida, we always need to take extra-special care when it comes to residential pools.
A home swimming pool is an excellent amenity that can greatly affect your home's value. If done right and well maintained, a pool is a major selling point because of the physical, recreational and cosmetic benefits it brings to your property.
But there's a lot that goes into pool maintenance, and if it's not properly maintained, a pool--perhaps more than almost any other part of your home--can be a massive red flag. That's the counterpoint to a big, valuable amenity like that: A poorly maintained pool can actually negatively affect a property's value and even deter buyers. And most of all: A bad pool is exceptionally dangerous.
The good news is, if you inspect your pool early, you can address issues before your pool becomes an actual money pit. Here are some of the things I consider when performing a home inspection on a property that includes a swimming pool.
Safety: Drowning is, of course, a major concern, especially if your household includes children, elderly persons or people with physical disabilities. Does your pool conform to the 2019 Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act, which includes statutes on pool barrier requirements as well as safety options? A residential swimming pool in Florida must have its own independent wall or barrier that's at least four feet high and far enough away from the edge of the pool that, if it's compromised, a person will not immediately fall in.
Foundation: As with all concrete foundations in Florida, pools can be compromised when the ground shifts, causing dangerous and costly cracks. Hopefully your pool was properly built to lessen these chances.
Equipment: Are the rails, steps, edges and drains all secure? Are there uneven surfaces in the surrounding area that people might trip over? Is the pool cage stable and strong enough to withstand storms? Do the door latches work?
If you're lucky enough to have a pool in southwest Florida, then you're no doubt enjoying one of the most popular amenities out there. Just be sure you're not shooting yourself in the foot by letting this valuable home feature turn into an expensive detriment. Take care of your pool, and it will continue to take care of you.