If you are purchasing a home with a swimming pool, the safety and condition of the pool is just as important as the rest of the house. A pool is a great feature in a home, and often adds to the value of a home. But a pool that is not in good condition can be a money pit. So it’s important to get a full inspection of a pool before you purchase a home. Knowing what to look for with a pool inspection will make you more confident in your inspection and help you make an informed decision when you are ready to buy.
Why You Need a Pool Inspection
Purchasing a home is a big decision. A home is often the largest purchase you will ever make, so you want to make sure you are investing in a home that is in good condition. If there are any problems with the home, you need to know up front, as that will affect the closing of your home purchase.
To make sure that both the buyer and the seller are aware of any possible problems with the home, it is standard practice to have the home inspected by a professional home inspector. Your home inspector will do a complete check of the home and create a report that outlines any issues they may find. Issues with a home can become negotiating points in a closing. Sometimes the seller is expected to make the necessary improvements. Other times the buyer may forgo the repairs in lieu of a discount on the home price. Either way, knowing what is going on with a home you plan to purchase is a vitally important part of the purchasing process.
If the home you are purchasing has a pool, the swimming pool adds a whole new area of concern for a home inspection. There are many issues that could affect a pool. Some are minor issues with simple repairs. Others could require significant work and expense to resolve. Some issues could even affect the safety of the pool and the people using it. A detailed knowledge of the condition of the swimming pool is a huge factor in the final terms of a home purchase. Just like necessary home repairs, necessary pool repairs can be a negotiating point in a closing. The severity of the issues and the cost of repairs will affect the conditions of sale and may even affect the final sale price.
Can My Home Inspector Inspect a Swimming Pool
Whether a home inspector can inspect your pool depends on the inspector. Some home inspectors specifically do not inspect pools. This is usually due to liability issues.
Sometimes a homeowner may find issues and damage that a home inspector missed. Since the purchase of the home was based in part on the inspector’s assessment of its condition, issues that were missed could end up costing the homebuyer lots of money. And where there are costs involved, there are lawsuits. To deal with the potential for lawsuits, many home inspectors carry errors and omissions insurance. Errors and omissions insurance for a home inspector is like malpractice insurance for a medical professional. It helps to protect an inspector in the case that they make a mistake in their job that opens them up to legal liability.
When a home inspector purchases errors and omissions insurance, the plan may not necessarily cover pool inspection. This is due to the particular nature of pool problems. If a home inspector misses problems with a pool, the error could result in some very large bills for the homeowner, or even serious injuries and deaths. Since the liability for a swimming pool is so high, many insurance agencies do not include it in basic errors and omissions coverage. If your inspector isn’t properly insured against liability, they will probably not be willing to inspect and guarantee the condition of a swimming pool.
Another approach that some home inspectors use it to do a limited inspection of a swimming pool. In this case, the home inspector protects themselves from liability by clarifying what they do and do not inspect in writing. The inspector usually stipulates that their inspection is brief, superficial, and only serves to determine if further inspection is necessary.
When You Need Professional Pool Inspection
If your home inspector does not inspect pools, or if their inspection is limited, you will need to get a professional pool inspector. These are professionals who are specially trained in pool inspection and know what to look for. They are experts in pool safety and function and carry all the necessary insurance to back it up. Working with a professional pool inspector will give you a much better idea of the condition of the swimming pool, including all of the equipment and the surrounding area.
Unless you have a home inspector who specializes in pool inspection, it is probably a good idea to bring in a pool inspector. Because problems with pools pose so many risks, both financial and personal, it is worth bringing in an expert. If your home inspector misses something that leads to an accident, they will not be the only ones liable. You could be liable for any injury on your property. And if that injury is due to some amount of negligence you could be in real trouble. Failing to get a proper inspection could be considered negligence. So rather than open yourself up to injuries and lawsuits, it is worth bringing in a professional with specific expertise.
What Does a Professional Pool Inspection Include
A professional pool inspection should be pretty exhaustive. Typically, the inspection will begin with a thorough walk-around of the pool area, looking for any issues with the pool deck, the coping, and the mastic that connects the two. The walk-around will also check the area around the pool for appropriate safety features, such as secure fencing and properly latching gates. The inspector will also inspect the pool liner and foundation for any leaks, cracks, or other damage.
All of the hardware in and around the pool will also be checks. That means inspecting drains, lights, handrails, and ladders to make sure they are properly installed and safely in place. If there is a diving board it will be checked to make sure that it is properly secured to the deck and has no cracks or other signs of damage or weakening. In addition to the pool itself, a pool inspector will inspect all of the pool equipment. This includes filters, pumps, heaters, plumbing, timers, and any other electrical components involved in the pool’s functioning.
The goal of a professional inspector is to determine what damage, if any, is affecting the pool. They also make note of any possible repairs or replacement parts that will be required to bring the pool into full working condition. When the inspection is complete, the inspector will prepare a full report, outlining their findings. This report will document any necessary repairs and can be used in closing negotiations when purchasing the house.
Where to Get a Professional Inspection
There are different places to get a professional inspection. One possibility is to get a home inspector who also specializes in pool inspection. This will usually come with an additional fee. Another method is to seek out a pool inspection company that does nothing but pool inspections. This also comes with a fee, but can be well worth the investment.
One great way to get a pool inspection is to contact The Pool Butler. We bring the same high standards of quality and customer service from our other work to every pool inspection. When you get a pool inspection with The Pool Butler you can rest assured that we won’t miss a thing. That’s because we do pool maintenance and repair every day. So we know what breaks down and what to look for. If you are in the market for a pool inspection, look no further. Contact the pool butler today for a free, no-obligation quote.