The risks of installing a portable pool on the terrace or roof

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The surveyors advise not to exceed 30 centimeters in-depth and take into account the slab and the year of construction of the house

Temperatures rise, summer is approaching and the forced confinement that we have experienced due to the coronavirus is coming to an end. Three factors that will surely multiply, together with the economic crisis, the presence of portable swimming pools in a good number of Spanish homes. Rising temperatures and the economic crisis accentuate this dangerous trend.

But is it advisable? How safe is this growing trend? Where to install the pool? What dimensions should it have? What factors should we take into consideration?

Be careful, because it is not a matter to be taken lightly. The consequences can be unpredictable, especially if the intention is to install the inflatable pool on some floor of a building, and especially on terraces and balconies, according to the Madrid Surveyors Association.

The specialists of the Technical Cabinet of this institution insist that the characteristics of the slab that will support the weight of the pool with bathers inside must be taken into account. ” The slab, as a structural element, is designed for certain overloads of use. For example, to hold shelves, furniture, beds, meetings for a meal and similar examples,” says David Arias Arranz, member of the Technological Advisory of the College of Madrid Surveyors.

This admitted overload depends largely on two factors: the year of construction of the building and the type of slab structure. The older it is, the greater the limitation, taking into account that the calculation of the overload of the applicable regulations of the time, in very old buildings, could not even have been taken into account. In these cases, the risk may be higher and the need for analysis high.

According to David Arias, “the type of structure that makes up the floor is another fundamental element since its resistance to overload varies enormously. A wooden floor is not the same as a concrete one, a steel one or a mixed one”. Furthermore, according to this expert, “it is important to know the structural state of the building in case it had any previous pathology, such as injuries, cracks, reinforcements or rusted steel beams.

Taking into account all these factors, caution and common sense advise, according to the Association of Surveyors, that the overload of the slab ranges between 200 and 300 (at most) kilos per square meter. Therefore, the depth (height of the water surface) should not exceed 20-30 centimeters in use in building floors and terraces, something important to take into account because the volume and weights are very different depending on the number and characteristics (children, adults …) of the bathers in the pool.
And the location? According to David Arias Arranz, “the edge areas of swimming pools are the most unfavorable. You should try to place them in the areas where the beam and the column meet. Let’s imagine a trampoline: if I stand on the edge (as if I were going to jump) it curves (It bends). On the other hand, when I am at the beginning of it (embedment) it does not deform at all “.

If the pool is to be installed on a low floor, in contact with the ground, “we can be calmer,” indicates this rigger, “since its characteristic resistance (what it holds) is perfectly acceptable for any seasonal or temporary pool (the typical removable seasonal ones), being able to reach 60, 70 and up to 80 centimeters in height without a problem “.

In any case, the College of Surveyors of Madrid recommends having a technical architect to analyze and evaluate all these parameters, because in extreme cases we could witness an unforeseen misfortune.

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