We have decided to write about this topic because we want to give the customer as much information as possible in order to make the best decision for your home. One of our biggest priorities at ZL Construction is your safety, the safety of your family and your home. Our team is very knowledgeable on the potential hidden risks or safety hazards on the jobsite. Experience and knowledge is the difference between a licensed contractor with liability insurance and an unlicensed person attempting to do a pool removal. Below we have outlined the common factors of a pool removal that a licensed and insured contractor would have experience dealing with.
- Fully licensed bonded and insured
It is always important to carry worker’s compensation insurance. As a consumer you should always ask for proof of insurance beforehand. For example, about 50 percent of the time we drive down the side of the house with our equipment to access the pool area. And 99.9 percent of the time we drive past a gas meter. Imagine if that gas meter was hit by the equipment causing metal to metal contact which creates sparks. There is a possibility that those sparks can catch fire and your house can burn down. Our crew is trained to avoid the gas meter and mark it properly.
- Properly maintained equipment
Big trucks can be dangerous and out of the control items if not maintained properly. Unfortunately job site accidents are all too common and can be easily avoided with routine maintenance.
- It can cost you a penalty from the city or county if discovered
If the city discovers that you are attempting a project that requires both a permit and a licensed contractor to execute, it could cost you a penalty or large fee.
- Capping gas lines
Another important step that is often overlooked by those who are less experienced. About 50 percent of the pools we encounter have heaters that run off of gas. Those gas lines need to be correctly capped and marked back at the gas meter to avoid any future mishaps. If the gas line is unmarked and accidentally hit, there could potentially be a tremendous volume of gas leaking into your backyard.
- Cutting electrical wires properly
Cutting wires and simply leaving them hot in the ground is very dangerous yet a very real possibility when using an unlicensed company. You need to properly disconnect at the main panel and cap lines off.
- Demolishing a pool properly
We know how to properly demolish a pool which is why we are a company with a legal license. Unfortunately we have seen pools that were not demolished correctly. On many occasions our team has had to come in and fix the situation. You should always make sure that you do something right the first time around so you don’t wind up having to do it again.
- Properly pumping out the pool water
Chlorine is not good for storm drains need to be properly pumped so that is goes through a sewer treatment plant before it can be recirculated.
- Punching holes in the bottom of the pool
Proper drainage is one of the most important factors in a pool removal. For a partial pool removal it is necessary to punch holes in the bottom of the pool cavity. As a rule of thumb, you can never have too many holes.
Dirt is a big part of our pool removals and we pay a lot of attention to where this dirt comes from. We source our own dirt which means we know what exactly is in this dirt. “Dirty” dirt may sound like a contradiction but dirt can easily be contaminated with trash, chemicals and contaminants that are harmful to your family and pets. Always ask and check dirt that is being brought to your home.
- Unrecognized fill
Throwing yesterday’s haul load of stucco and miscellaneous construction material at the bottom of the pool is not considered proper fill. For example I have seen a pool filled with construction debris like sheetrock, tile, plaster, stucco and even garbage.
- Directly dumping the dirt from the dump truck into the pool
This is a problem we encounter with unprofessional and unlicensed companies. Remember the dirt needs to be compacted in lifts to achieve proper compaction as the pool is gradually filled.
- Proper compaction is key
Using a bobcat’s wheels just to roll the dirt back and forth is not the proper way to achieve compaction. You need to use proper soil compaction equipment to make sure that the ground will not sink over time. A proper backfill is always compacted to 90% or more.
- Properly grading the pool backfill once it is done
This goes along with proper compaction. You never want water coming towards the house when it rains therefore the grade should always slope away from the house.
- Proper clean up
Being mindful of cleaning the area properly is key for project close out. Many cities do not allow pressure washing on streets because it is bad for the environment to power wash dirt off the street into the storm drain gutter.
For ZL construction, these are no brainier cautionary steps that we take during every pool removal project. But hiring someone who is uninsured, unlicensed and inexperienced can lead to disaster. If you want your pool removal to run smoothly and safely please contact the experts at ZL Construction today for a free estimate.