Robert Lamoureux | Scoping out a drainage problem around a pool

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question: Hi Robert, my name is Jordan. I’m a first-time homeowner, newer to Santa Clarita (and California) and understand that the summers get extremely hot. We purchased a home with a pool, the first time I’ve been responsible for the care of a yard with a pool. There has been a ton of rain and I’ve noticed that there are areas where the water is pooling/backing up, on the deck around the pool. So far there isn’t any flooding that is harming the home, but I foresee that this is going to be a problem in the future.  

It seems as though the drains are working somewhat, but not as they should be. What do I do, as these drains are encased in concrete? Not an easy task, even for someone who is somewhat handy, to get to these. Do you have any advice for me? I’m willing to do work myself but honestly, I don’t know where to begin on this one.  

Thank you in advance for any insight you can give. 

— Jordan 

Answer: Jordan, congratulations on being a new homeowner – the biggest investment (and smartest), most people will make in their lives. Good on you, for already wanting to take care of it. First things first, if you purchased a home warranty, I’d look at that first and see if something like this is covered. Never hurts to verify, just in case.  

If that is not the case, I would recommend that you get a plumber out to scope the drains with a camera. This process takes the guess work out of it, telling you exactly where the failure is and where to dig. Your deck drains go from the pool area down to curb, most likely. That entire run is a possibility for where the blockage is.  

If you’re lucky then it is just debris inside the pipe, causing the backup. In this scenario, they can likely use water/pressure to blow out the debris and clear the blockage.  

Worst-case scenario, there is a break in the line possibly where tree roots penetrated and are causing this issue. In that case, the area where the roots have invaded, will need to be dug up, cut out and replaced. I’ve seen this time and time again, where properties in Santa Clarita are loaded with trees, and all too close to a pool.  

If this is the case on your property, do yourself a favor and reduce the risk of more damage in the future, and eliminate the invasive trees. There are plenty of other options for beautiful landscaping plants and trees that are not invasive to drains. Best of luck to you. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].           

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