Pool Deck Drainage Basics

Determine how proper drainage is fundamental in keeping your pool deck beautiful and functional for years

Regardless of your budget or tastes, the pool’s structural engineer will dictate which deck materials are acceptable for your yard. Many sites and soil conditions require the collection of surface water to prevent soil movement or the swelling of expansive soils that can lead to structural damage, heaved decks, or site instability.

Planning the type and locations of drains is critical. Area drains tend to result in a deck with highs and lows that cause chairs and tables to wobble. Linear, channel, and slot drains allow for a flatter deck with a slight slope that promotes sheet drainage. Under no circumstance should water stream off the deck and into the surrounding landscape. The runoff will flow back under the deck, undermining it, promoting frost or clay soil heave, and creating hydrostatic uplift conditions under the pool.

While laying out the deck drainage, downspouts and other elements that drain water onto the surface must be included in the design. Controlling and directing these sources will keep your pool deck clean and free of moss and algae. The pool decks must drain away from the pool and structures to prevent flooding during a heavy storm and to avoid major structural damage such as dry rot of sub-floors, water in crawl spaces, or black mold in the walls.

Photo courtesy of HydroScapes, LLC; photography by of Scott Sandler

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