Martin Lepin and his wife Marie-Claude Marchand live in Greenfield Park on the South Shore near Montreal. In 2017, they purchased a semi-inground pool at a cost of $19,000. The couple believes in Trévi, which manufactures, sells and installs its own pools.
For me, it’s a crush! It wasn’t an inground pool that I wanted, this was itMs. Marchand said.
30 years without problems on the ground
Martin and Marie-Claude are nevertheless concerned about the design of these semi-inground pools, which suggest that part of the wooden panels are buried in the ground. They question the goddess who assures them that their pool will not move and not to worry.
” He said, “No, listen, don’t worry! It’s western Canadian red cedar, it’s a wood that doesn’t rot, and it’ll last 30 years in the ground without a problem.” »
Other owners ensure that their vendors quote a lifespan of at least 20, 25 years and sometimes more.
However, said Benoît Hudon, president of Trevi Fabrication The Invoice The lifespan of its wooden pools is estimated at around 15 years, the same period as the warranty provided.
A hole and rot
In the spring of 2022, five years after the pool was installed, Martin will clear the rocks around the structure to apply protection to its wooden panels. It was here that he found a hole big enough to see through his pool liner. Several other panels were also damaged by rot.
There is no wall inside, it’s actually wood that contains the pool. This is the structure that came under attack after five yearsMartin Lepine laments.
A technician sent by Trévi will perform a water test to determine the pH level. According to Benoît Hudon, president of Trévi Fabrication, the pH level can be a factor in rotting.
According to Martin Lepin, Trévi tries to put the blame on the customer by saying:
You are not taking proper care of your water where
Your water is not well balanced.
If we are to believe the numerous testimonies reported by the Facebook group, he is the only one who offered this claim.
My cedar pool is rotten! It includes more than 80 owners of Trevi wooden pools.
As Trévi is unwilling to provide us with this data, it is impossible to know how many of these pools have been sold or the number of pest complaints. However, Trevi estimates that a very small percentage of sold pools have problems.
And in the 2014 brochure, it was mentioned
To date, Trévi has manufactured more than 7,000 cedar pools.
Benoit Hudon refuses to say it’s a design flaw, but admits that some of his wooden pools have premature wear, mainly from 2012.
” For many years, it worked very well, it worked well. Then, in 2012, there were changes to environmental laws in terms of raw material components and wood treatment. We realized that wood treatment was less effective than before 2012. This is part of the explanation. It’s not all, because it’s really case-by-case. Is this the cure? Is this an interview? Is it water treatment? Soil drainage? Every case is unique. »
In 2018, Trévi ended production of its cedar pools to focus on composite products.
Wood and moisture do not mix
When in contact with the ground, cedar, it is not very good, says Marc Oudjean, full professor in the Department of Civil and Water Engineering at Université Laval and holder of the Teaching Leadership Chair in Sustainable Wood Structures. According to the professor, no wood has infinite natural durability and no wood is indestructible.
He notes that using a membrane to prevent the wood from coming into direct contact with the ground is a good option, because it definitely is
The first enemy is moisture from the groundMr. Oudjene argued.
Then the chemical treatment of the wood affects its durability. Although western red cedar is a species with good durability, if left untreated and in contact with the ground, it will have a hard time getting past ten years. With that, Mr. Oudjen explains.
And the treatment must be at least class four, meaning factory treatment under pressure, for example, as other wood pool companies do. However, the treatment recommended by Trévi should be applied by the owner prior to installation, followed by burying another portion outside the ground every two to three years. What did Martin Lepine do?
” Preservative, if it is applied by brush or spray, is definitely not worth anything, because in fact it does not treat deeply, it only deals with the surface. »
Warranty that decreases over the years
Trévi technician Marie-Claude Marchand and Martin Lepin recommend waiting to replace their liner in a few years, before considering the possibility of replacing some boards or installing steel panels screwed into the wood.
A far-fetched solution to satisfy the couple. However, its swimming pool is covered by a 15-year guarantee. Especially since waiting means that as the years go by, the portion covered by the guarantee will decrease. Thus, Trévi’s predicted portion decreases every year. For example, after 10 years, the customer is entitled to only a 35% rebate on the cost of replacement materials, but nothing on labor, delivery or landscaping repairs.
Marie-Claude Marchand and Martin Lepine finally accepted a secret proposal from Trevi, with which they were satisfied. Moreover, several owners have reached an agreement with Trévi in recent weeks.
We made proposals, we honored promises and moreMr. Hudon confirms.
Employers have recourse under the CPA
Marie Annique Grégoire, a law professor at the University of Montreal, predicts that this guaranteed percentage will decrease significantly each year, and the average consumer said.
Your pool is guaranteed for fifteen yearsIt does not need to be understood as such
A guarantee, in the end, is that his pool isn’t really guaranteedGrégoire is wailing to me.
According to her, employers are better protected by the Consumer Protection Act (LPC), which has provisions including Section 42.
When a merchant makes representations as to quality, duration, he is bound by these representationsMary Annique Gregoire explains.
” So, if the pool is completely rotten after five years, it is clear that the consumers have recourse under the law. »
According to Me Grégoire, another advantage of LPC over warranty is that the consumer can claim damages including labor to carry out repairs. The consumer is entitled to it regardless of what is written in the contract, as the guarantee takes precedence over the Consumer Protection Act in any case, she pointed out.
Collective Action: A Better Option?
I am a big believer in the power of unity and yes, they can benefit from taking collective action, points out Mary Annique Gregoire. Each person doesn’t have to file a claim individually, which brings some peace of mind because you don’t have to manage the stress of your file. On the other hand, delays can be longer than an appeal to small claims court because a class action is a slightly more complicated process that requires prior approval. And there are attorneys’ fees to be taken into account in the calculation.
” We may not discover the damage done. But, sometimes, against peace of mind, people love it and unity is strength! »
Journalist Catherine Tremblay and director Jean-Francois Vezina’s full report will air on the show on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. The Invoice.