Building a new pool is an exciting time! As you witness the pool construction process, you are able to see your dream pool come to life before your eyes. As we’ve discussed before, fall and winter are the ideal seasons for building a pool here in Central Florida; however, many homeowners wait until Spring and summer to make outdoor upgrades. While there is no BAD time to build a pool, spring and summer bring wetter weather with them, which can disrupt the pool construction process. In fact, the Weather Atlas reports that from May to mid-September, Orlando has the highest amount of precipitation all year round, averaging between 3.6″ and 7.3″. Even though the temperature may be warm and pleasant, bad weather makes a surprise visit almost daily. Knowing up front what happens when inclement weather delays the construction process can make the bad news easier to digest as you’ve set realistic expectations. What is often confusing and a bit frustrating for pool buyers is that delays may be longer than the inclement weather’s duration. Unfortunately, one day of rain does not equal a one-day delay. Here are some of the key reasons why.
How Construction is Affected by Wet Weather
Construction sites need to be dry – and that takes time
From the beginning of the pool building process, a dry construction site is required. Heavy machinery is used, such as an excavator, and in order to drive over the ground without getting stuck in mud, the soil must be as dry as possible with minimal moisture. Due to this, especially in the spring and summer months, it may take several days to weeks for the ground to be ready. The length of time it takes the ground to dry depends upon local factors as well. If the ground contains more clay, the water will take longer to evaporate. If the ground contains more sand, water evaporates more quickly. According to the University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), soil in North and Central Florida is mainly sand, while the Panhandle’s soil contains significant amounts of clay.
Other recent weather also plays a role. If it rains a week before pool construction is set to begin, then that means water has seeped into the ground. Construction starts a week later and then rain comes again. Since there was existing moisture in the ground from the week before, the dry-out period will take longer than it would have if the ground was previously completely dry.
Rainfall, excavation and plumbing
If the excavation phase has already taken place, then there is an “open hole” in your yard. When the wet weather comes, rainwater may get trapped inside the hole and potentially stay put in the deepest part of the hole. If this is the case, a crew will need to come and drain the water, adding an additional step to the process, further slowing the pace of construction. While this hole is still open, it is vulnerable to rain which can cause other issues. If the soil in the hole is soaked by showers, it is susceptible to crumbling and falling into the bottom of the hole. As soil is knocked loose, it creates a muddy mess in the excavated site.
An open hole is also affected by the status of the pool’s plumbing. If you’ve gotten to this phase of the pool construction process, a trench has been dug around the pool-hole’s perimeter which will house the pipes. If this trench is still open when the rain comes, the trench can fill with rain and potentially cause a collapse of the pool walls, called a cave-in. A cave-in is something you don’t want, and neither does your pool builder!
Unexpected or heavy rains and “cave-ins”
We are very in tune with the weather forecast and radar here in Central Florida, so proactive steps can be taken to avoid cave-ins. Pool builders may use flashing (application of a thin coat of gunite on the interior of the hole) if heavy rain is anticipated or cover the hole with tarps if the forecast calls for lighter precipitation. However, when heavy rain is unexpected or a forecasted drizzle becomes a downpour, advanced measures are not always an option. If the excavated hole is hit by unexpected heavy rains, the dirt walls may fully or partially cave in, creating piles of mud. If this happens in your backyard, construction schedules definitely take a hit.
The “domino effect” of bad weather
Pool builders typically have multiple jobs going on at once. When rain falls on several pool sites, it can create a domino effect on the construction schedules for everyone. This can also occur when you aren’t even expecting it, a phenomenon known as a “sunshine delay”. If it doesn’t rain at all at your house, a downpour may be happening in another part of town, delaying the crew from finishing work on another pool. This, therefore, holds up the construction crew from arriving to work on your pool.
Pools by Bradley is Here for YOU
Weather delays can be trying for everyone involved – the homeowner and the builder! Rest assured that we want to finish your pool as soon as possible too, but most importantly we want to maintain quality by not taking risks during the construction process that could negatively affect the end result. Everyone here at Pools by Bradley lives and breathes our mission of designing and building your ultimate outdoor pool atmosphere. We intend to inspire you to improve the recreational time you spend with your family and friends in your new outdoor environment. Our motto is “take care of the customer and everything else will take care of itself”. When you choose Pools by Bradley to help you build your dream pool, you can rest assured that you’re choosing the very best. As a local family owned and operated company founded in back 1996, we have received numerous design awards and honors. Pools by Bradley is rated as one of the top 50 pool builders in the U.S., plus recognized as the “Best Pool Company” in Orlando by Orlando Magazine several years in a row! We offer custom built pools and spas with additions ranging from water features and lighting effects to rain curtains and water slides…the sky’s the limit! Contact us online or call us today at 407-323-7496 to see how we can help you build the pool of your dreams!