Bad Weather: Pool Construction’s Worst Enemy

Bad weather is pool constructions worst enemy! As you can imagine, Spring and Summer are our busiest times of the year — and that’s because the weather is just right for pool construction and landscaping design! We LOVE this time of year because it means that our talented team can get to work without delay the majority of the time. Unfortunately, we operate in an area that encounters multiple seasons with varying weather events that can wreak havoc on our construction plans. From rain showers to freezing temperatures, here’s everything to keep in mind!

Although knowing what could happen (and why) may not make your pool completion date come any quicker, it can make unexpected weather events and the sad news of extended timelines a little bit easier to understand. It’s always important to remember that before Mother Nature can bring you—or any other swimming pool buyer— sunny days by the pool — she has the potential to  rain on your construction parade. Unfortunately, weather delays are something that all pool contractors and some of their clients will have to face.

Wet Events: Rain, Snow, or Floods.

Rainfall, snow, or unexpected seasonal floods can negatively impact a job site in many ways, especially during the earlier stages of construction (i.e. after any excavation, and before we apply concrete through our shotcrete or gunite process.)

With shotcrete or gunite pools in particular, “wet events” are an unpopular, yet common, topic.

What can be confusing and particularly frustrating for pool buyers everywhere is how delays can be longer than the duration of the inclement weather. In other words: one day of rain does not equal a one-day work stoppage in construction. Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons why:

  • Pool building requires a DRY construction site. After rainfall, and before crews can proceed, the soil needs to dry out so that only minimal moisture remains. The ground must also be hard enough for heavy machinery, such as excavators, to drive over it without getting stuck in the mud.
  • Depending on backyard conditions, the ground itself can take several days (and even weeks) to be ready. Local factors may extend or reduce the time needed. For example, if your project is in an area of the Lower Mainaldn where the ground contains more clay, water will tend to hang out longer in the soil before evaporating. However, if the ground contains more sand, residual water can evaporate more quickly.
  • Past and present weather conditions may compound on top of one another. Let’s say that a week before pool construction began, there was rain or melting of ice or snow—either of which meant that water seeped into the ground. Now, a week later, construction is underway. Rain comes again. Due to existing moisture in the ground, the dry-out period will take longer than it would have had the ground not already been damp.
  • Excess water can damage an excavated pool hole, collapsing its walls if not allowed the proper time to dry. When the pool hole walls collapse and the falling soil spills out in a substantial portion of the hole, it’s called a cave-in. You don’t want one, and neither do we!!

Even when conditions are dry, wind’s forces can still interfere.

In addition to delays created by rain or snow, wind can sideline progress. Even after the concrete phase and the solid pool shell is in place. In particular, the phases involving the pool’s interior finish and the decking may have to be postponed.

For example:

  • Crews cannot apply the plaster finish during gusty winds that could blow sand, leaves, or other debris into the smooth, freshly applied material. Another issue is that high winds could cause the plaster material to dry out too quickly. That can create what’s known as check cracks—a series of tiny, spider-web like flaws.
  • The same goes for any kind of concrete decking, whether it’s poured, troweled, stained, or stamped. Concrete needs to set and properly cure — without the wind introducing unwanted matter that could blemish its appearance.

Weather events can lead to the “domino effect.”

Another harsh reality to consider is the domino effect. Typically, pool experts like us have multiple jobs that are simultaneously under construction. When it showers on several pool sites, even a modest downpour can throw a cascading wrench into construction schedules for everyone. This domino effect even can occur when you would never expect it.

  • In the construction industry, there is a phenomenon known as the “sunshine delay”: Even if a single drop does not fall at your house, a downpour in another part of town may waylay crews from finishing work on another pool. That in turn, holds up the crew’s arrival to work on your pool!
  • Keep in mind: Even if your project is the only one currently under construction with your builder, the domino effect could still hit you. Pools under construction by other companies can ripple over to your project.
  • Tt’s common industry practice for companies like ours to use subcontractors who specialize in certain trades, such as concrete suppliers or electricians. Subcontractors work on multiple projects. As a result, its crews might take longer to reach your job due to problems on ones belonging to projects at other pool companies. The one thing you can trust is that we’ll always work together to get your job done right!

Be patient, and try not to worry. Your project is always on our minds!

Naturally, weather delays can be frustrating for anyone waiting for their new pool to be completed. And like you, we want nothing more than to see your project come to completion as soon as possible!

We’ve been in the landscape, pool contractor, and retail business all our lives. Our father started the company over fifty years ago in East Ontario in 1971. We have extensive experience in the industry, and we have completed a large variety of different jobs, from residential pools, commercial pools, grading, landscaping, creating or repairing water features, hardscaping, and artificial turf.

Experienced builders like us will always want to ensure the integrity of your pool construction project and final structure — even if that means taking longer. Maintaining quality requires not taking risks during construction that could adversely impact the end result!

A pool is a lovely backyard investment. If done correctly, it can add beauty and value to your home and give your family and friends years of enjoyment — which makes any extra waiting worth it!



Have questions about this post? Please do not hesitate to get in touch!

GRN is built on a foundation of excellent craftsmanship partnered with a strong work ethic, if you have a in-ground pool construction project in mind that you want completed, and you want it done the way YOU vision it, call us today. We’re here to help you every step of the way!