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Trevi in ​​murky waters with wooden pools

Trevi in ​​murky waters with wooden pools

Martin Lieben and his wife, Marie-Claude Marchand, live in Greenfield Park on the South Beach near Montreal. In 2017, they purchased a semi-indoor pool at a cost of $19,000. The couple trust Trévi, who manufactures, sells, and installs their own swimming pools. Me, it’s a crush! It wasn’t the indoor pool I wanted, it was this poolMrs. Marchand says.

30 years in the land without problems

However, Martin and Marie-Claude are concerned about the design of these semi-subterranean pools which means that part of the planks are buried in the ground. They ask the seller who reassures them and tells them not to worry about it, and that their pool won’t move.

Martin Lépine owns a pool in Trevi wood.

Photo: Radio Canada

He said, “No, listen, don’t worry! It’s western Canadian red cedar, it’s a wood that doesn’t rot, and it can last 30 years in the ground without a problem.” »

Quote from Martin Lépine, owner of a wooden swimming pool Trevi
Trevi Woods Pool Owners.

Martin Lieben and Marie-Claude Marchand have problems with their wooden pool rotting.

Photo: Radio Canada

Other owners confirm that their sellers have stated an age of at least 20, 25, and sometimes more.

However, Benoit Heddon, President of Trévi Fabrication, said: The invoice After the life of wooden swimming pools is estimated to be about 15 years, which is the same as the warranty period offered.

pit and mold

In the spring of 2022, five years after the pool was installed, Martin removed the stones around the structure in order to apply protection to its planks. This is where he discovers a hole large enough to see the pool liner through. Many other panels were also damaged by rotting. There is no wall inside, it is really the wood that holds the pool. It’s the temple that’s under attack after five yearsMartin Lieben, sorry.

Rot ate in the wooden pool that Trévi sells.

A rotting hole in the wooden structure of Trevi Pond.

Photo: Radio Canada

The technician dispatched by Trévi performs a water test to determine the pH level. According to Benoit Heddon, president of Trévi Fabrication, one of the causes of rot can be the pH level.

According to Martin Lieben, Trévi thus attempts to put the error on the client by saying: You didn’t take good care of your water where Your water is not well balanced.

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And he is not the only one who has benefited from this argument, if we believe the numerous testimonies transmitted by the Facebook group. My cedar pond is rotten! Which includes more than 80 owners of Trevi wooden baths.

It is impossible to know how many of these complexes were sold or how many complaints about rot, because Trévi did not want to provide us with this data. However, Trevi estimates that a very small percentage of the complexes sold ran into problems.

In a pamphlet dating back to 2014, it was mentioned To date, Trévi has produced more than 7000 cedar tubs.

Benot Hudon, President of Trévi Fabrication, answers questions from

Benot Hudon, President of Trévi Fabrication

Photo: Radio Canada

Benoit Hudon refuses to say this is a design flaw, but does admit that some of his wooden pools have had premature wear, especially since 2012.

For several years, it worked very well, it worked well. Then, in 2012, there were changes in environmental laws, in terms of raw material components, and wood processing. We realized that wood processing was less efficient than it was before 2012. That’s part of the explanation. That’s not all, because it really is case by case. Is this the treatment? Is this the interview? Is it water treatment? Is it earth drainage? Each case is unique. »

Quote from Benot Hudon, President of Trévi Fabrication

In 2018, Trévi ended production of rice pods to focus instead on composite products.

Wood and moisture do not mix

When in contact with the ground, rice, it is not very goodsays Marc Augen, Emeritus 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 unlimited natural durability and no wood is non-perishable.

He points out that using a membrane to prevent the wood from coming into direct contact with the ground is a good option, because it is sure to The first enemy is the moisture that comes from the earthMr. Oudjene argues.

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Then there is the chemical treatment of wood which affects its durability. Although western red cedar is a species known to have good durability, if it is not processed and in contact with the ground, it is very difficult to exceed ten years. With that, Mr. Oudjene explains.

And the treatment must be at least Class IV, which means treating the plant under pressure, for example, as other wooden pool companies do. However, the owner had to apply the treatment recommended by Trévi before installation, and then every two to three years on the part that was outside the ground, and the other part was buried. What Martin Lieben did.

The preservative, if applied by brush or spray, is certainly worth nothing, because in fact it does not cure in depth, it only cures on the surface. »

Quote from Marc Eugene, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Civil and Water Engineering at Université Laval

Warranty diminishes over the years

The Trévi technician recommends that Marie-Claude Marchand and Martin Lepin plug the hatch and wait for their lining to be replaced, within a few years, before evaluating the possibility of changing a few panels or installing tensile steel panels into the wood.

A solution far from satisfying both spouses. However, its pool is covered by a 15-year warranty. Especially since waiting means that the more years go by, the less part of the warranty that decreases. Thus, the portion assumed by Trévi is decreasing every year. For example, after 10 years, the customer is only entitled to a 35% discount on the cost of replacement materials, but nothing on labor, delivery or landscaping repairs.

Marie-Claude Marchand and Martin Lepin finally accepted a secret offer from Trévi that they said they were satisfied with. Furthermore, several owners have reached an agreement with Trévi in ​​recent weeks. We’ve made suggestions, respected guarantees and moreconfirms Mr. Hudon.

Holders of the right of recourse under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement

Marie-Annick Gregoire, professor of law at the University of Montreal, estimates that the percentage of this guarantee decreases a lot, from year to year, and that the average consumer who has been told Your swimming pool is guaranteed for fifteen yearsHe wasn’t necessarily able to understand that A guarantee that, in the end, his swimming pool will not really be guaranteedGregoire, sorry for me.

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According to her, owners are better protected under the Consumer Protection Act (LPC) which contains provisions, including Section 42. When the merchant makes representations with respect to quality, as to duration, he is bound by those representationsMarie Annick Gregoire explains.

Thus, if the swimming pool becomes completely rotten after five years, then it is clear that consumers can take recourse under the law. »

Quote from Marie Annick Gregoire, Professor of Law at the University of Montreal

Another advantage of LPC over warranty, according to Mr. Gregoire, is that the consumer can claim compensation, including labor, to move forward with repairs. The consumer is entitled despite what may be written in the contract, as the warranty can in no way take precedence over consumer law, she explains.

Teamwork: a good option?

I am a firm believer in the power of unity and yes, they may benefit from collective action, as Marie Annick Gregoire thinks. Not everyone will have to file a lawsuit individually, which brings peace of mind, because you don’t have to deal with 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 somewhat more complex procedure and requires prior authorization. There are also attorney’s fees that must be taken into account when calculating.

We may not find all the damage done to us. But sometimes, against peace of mind, people prefer it and loneliness is strength! »

Quote from Marie Annick Gregoire, Professor of Law at the University of Montreal

The full report will be broadcast by journalist Catherine Tremblay and director Jean-François Visina on Tuesday 11 October at 7:30 pm. The invoice.