Building a Pool Deck For Above Ground Pools
An above-ground pool is an investment. A quality, well-taken care above ground pool can last a family upwards or 25 years. So, of course, you want to beautify and elongate this investment. When it comes to building an above ground pool deck for family comfort and fun, there are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare, design, and build a deck.
When your yard can already accommodate an above ground swimming pool, there isn’t much you need to do for the ground around the pool when building a pool deck. However, there is still quite a bit of planning that goes into the process. Typically, the pool deck will be built onto one side or all-around an above ground swimming, giving your family somewhere to rest when they are not actively using the pool. An above-ground swimming pool deck should come right up to the edge of, but not connect to, the pool itself. It should be safe, secure, and stand on its own alongside the pool.
Measure twice and cut once when you are deciding how much material you need to build a deck and keep in mind your pool’s size and the equipment around it necessary to keep the pool running. Make sure to plan for waterproof materials, and if you use wood in your design, keep in mind that the deck may need to be power-washed often.
Choosing a Design
Fortunately, for choosy homeowners, there are plenty of design options and plans to apply to your above ground pool deck. While there are standards for the average above ground swimming pool deck design, the colors and designs that you use depend on your preference, when your pool is open (year-round or seasonal in the spring and summer months), and the design of your home or the pool itself.
The materials used for above ground pool decks should coordinate with the materials and colors of the pool. If your pool matches the design of your home or yard, keep the pool deck along these lines. A consistent color scheme will help the pool deck look more cohesive rather than sticking out. The most popular building material used for above ground pool decks is wood, with redwood and cedar being quality choices, due to its durability and ease of use in DIY projects. However, the wood used for a pool deck should be correctly stained and sealed to prevent water damage. Other materials used for pool decks include composite or aluminum because these are tested and true waterproof materials that allow water to slide away, creating no hazardous puddle situations.
After a beautiful and vibrant pool design comes to mind, put into terms of safety. Make sure there is enough room to safely walk, with 3 feet being the appropriate standard, to maintain that your above ground pool deck is secure enough for your family to use freely. Install safety railings around your pool deck, and these should typically be at least 36 inches, or three feet above grade. The balusters must be 4 inches or less apart, and the deck should have a lockable gate to keep children and pets safe.
Designing a deck for your above ground swimming pool is a complicated process. From the initial design and choosing the best materials to maintain a safe deck for your family, there is plenty to consider from beginning to end.
Simple Above Ground Pool Leak Repair
Installing an above ground swimming pool in your backyard is an investment in your family. Not only can it be a budget-friendly option, but it is also easy to maintain and, with proper care, a high-quality above ground swimming pool can last over 25 years. As well, if you move to another house, you can easily disassemble an above ground swimming pool so it can be set up elsewhere. One common issue to look out for to prolong the life of your pool is leak repair. Luckily, leak repair for an above ground pool is simple with the right information and tools in hand.
Above ground swimming pools typically use vinyl liners, which can last up to 12 years. You can get the most out of your pool liner by keeping it covered when not in use. A common source of pool leaks is a rip in this liner caused by sharp objects cutting into the pool edges or the floor. This can be something as simple as a stray rock, tree branch, broken toy, or even a piece of glass. Even one tear in your pool liner left for a period of time can drastically reduce the life of the liner. If you notice a leak caused by a tear in your pool liner, it can be easily repaired with a patch kit, especially for above ground swimming pools. Patches aren’t a long-term solution, but they can last a while if repaired correctly.
Another common leak around an above ground pool is a skimmer leak. The skimmer for an above ground pool pulls water from the pool through the filter system – when it is good working order. If you opt for a large pool, you may need to install more than one skimmer based on the square footage of the pool. The most important parts of a pool skimmer are the lid, the removable basket, and three valves. A skimmer will catch debris before it enters the filter. However, it can become damaged or loosened and cause a leak. One common skimmer lean occurs when the edges loosen, and water is pulled through the sides as well as the mouth. If you see the pool’s water levels dropping quickly and leveling off around the mouth, you likely have a skimmer leak.
Pump and Filter
Every above ground swimming pool has a pump and filter – they are necessary to keep your pool clean and prolong its life. When your skimmer is clogged, it can cause the pool pump to leak. This can be repaired by first turning off the pool pump and removing the skimmer and cleaning out its contents. Your pool pump may also leak if air enters the pump instead of the intended water. When air is pulled into the return lines or intake, this reduces the filtered water from properly returning to the pool. Pressure builds in the lines. One way to prevent this is to make sure the pump and filter both stay dry. If there is a leak in the seal shaft, turn off the pump and call a professional. In this case, it is more than clearing the clog.
When it comes to repairing common leaks in your above ground pool, you don’t often need to consult a professional. However, it is better to be safe than sorry. Attempting to fix a complicated leak or more significant repair on your own can be costly.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Above Ground Pool
When it comes to purchasing a pool for your family, it is no small investment. However, not every backyard swimming pool has to be a customized in-ground swimming pool. These higher-end swimming pools increase the value of a property, but they are not feasible for everyone’s budget. If you want to purchase a swimming pool for your family with budget, size, and customization in mind at once look into purchasing and installing an above ground swimming pool in your backyard.
What is An Above Ground Pool?
An above ground swimming pool is a non-permanent swimming pool that can be set up in most backyards, coming in a variety of sizes. A homeowner can purchase an above ground pool for anything from $500 to over $20,000, depending on the size, features, and materials of the pool. Unlike the several weeks of construction that it may take to build an inground swimming pool, an above ground pool can be set up in just a few weeks and taken down at the end of the season if necessary. If you move, you can take an above ground pool with you to be set up on your new property.
How Long Should My Above Ground Pool Last?
One of the best factors about purchasing an inground swimming pool is that it can last “forever” with proper care, but in truth, an above ground pool can last just as long at less than half the price. The average lifespan for an above ground pool is between 10 and 20 years, although this can depend on the model you purchase. For some more expensive, higher-end models, you can see your well-maintained above ground pool lasting nearly 40 years. While this is not the norm, it is a possibility for those pool owners who do all they can to take care of their investment in an above ground swimming pool.
How Much Will My Above Ground Pool Cost?
As mentioned, the initial cost of an above ground swimming pool can vary based on the pool you choose for your yard. They do not often cost over $20,00, and the average cost of most models is between $7,000 and $8,000. Some homeowners also opt for the additional cost of a pool patio, pool deck, or other landscaping around an above ground swimming pool. However, despite how much the initial cost is, above ground swimming pools cost less for maintenance in the long term. They need about half the water of an in-ground pool, and so you will need to spend less on chlorine, other pool cleaning chemicals, and tools, and you will spend less time cleaning the pool itself. And, unlike an inground swimming pool, an above ground pool will not affect your home’s property taxes.
Is An Above Ground Pool For Me?
Above ground swimming pools, because of their versatility in size, material, and setup, are best for any homeowner who does not want a swimming pool to be permanent or affect their property taxes. Especially if you spend upwards of $20,000 on an above ground pool, you want to be able to take it with you if you move. Whether you choose an inground or above ground pool, remember to look at your budget, your lifestyle, and what is best for your family.
How to Keep Above Ground Pools Clean
It can seem like an impossible job to keep an above ground pool clean, but with proper care and attention you shouldn’t have any difficulties with keeping your new purchase in the same condition as when you first picked it up!
There are a number of different methods which you can use to keep your pool clean and hygienic, which can work alongside a water filtration unit. Some of the easiest and most efficient summertime solutions are listed below.
Every pool, from those found in commercial swimming centers to your above ground unit, should be sanitized before use to ensure that the water is free from harmful bacteria. The most common water sanitizer is chlorine, added to the water at an incredibly low concentration.
Chlorine works by targeting and destroying the cell walls of bacteria, before proceeding to break down the cell’s structure and the enzymes that keep it running. This oxidizes the bacteria and leaves them incapable of harming us.
For chlorine to work, the pool’s pH must be monitored carefully to ensure it stays between pH7.0 and pH8.0, with pH7.4 being the ideal (this is the same level of alkalinity as tears).
Chlorine is far from being a wonder-compound, however. The same properties that allow it to attack bacteria also mean that it can attack our skin cells, which can leave certain people feeling itchy and irritated after a dip in chlorinated water. The smell of chlorine can also be an aggravation, and it will make you ill if swallowed, so always keep a close eye on young children (but this should be the case in any pool).
Some alternatives to chlorine have been developed however their efficacy is strongly debated among sanitation experts. Chlorine is also inexpensive and readily available in tablet, granule or stick form.
A shock treatment is when you dose the pool water with a very high, sudden concentration of chlorine. This will break down harmful chloramines as well as preventing algae from growing in your pool.
Washing the Pool By Hand
It is highly recommended that, during the hot summer months when your pool is in use most often, you scrub down the walls and floor at least once a week to prevent the buildup of grime. It is a simple but highly effective way to ensure that bacteria don’t stick around in your pool.
An above ground pool skimmer is also an essential bit of kit for any pool owner, allowing you to easily remove any debris or dirt which may have settled on the top of the water in your pool before it can begin to cause a buildup of bacteria. Don’t dismiss the simple things!
When the pool is packed away for winter, you should not put off keeping it clean. If left to fester, your pool will be a cesspit of sickness the next time that you open it up.
- Remove all pool equipment, including the ladder, and store it somewhere dry.
- Check that the pH, calcium concentration and alkalinity are all correct (pH7.0 to pH8.0, 250-400ppm and 80-120ppm respectively)
- Add a winter chemical kit and run the filters for one hour
- Lower the volume of the pool and cover with a winterized cover or inlet
- Drain the pool hoses and filter tank and discard the old cartridge filter. Store the cartridge holder in the dry with your other equipment
- Cover the pool and ensure that it is fully sealed
By taking care of your above-ground pool to the best of your ability, you can enjoy it for years to come.
Swimming: Secret To Burning Big Calories
Swimming laps burns a respectable 476 calories per hour. But why settle for just that? Take your water workout from OK to ultimate with these five simple tips from Mark Schubert, head of the U.S. National Swim Team and seven-time Olympic swimming coach.
1. Rev it up
Keep your heart rate at around 80% of your max for as much of your workout as you can. (To estimate your target rate, subtract your age from 220 and multiply by 0.8.) To ensure you’re staying in the zone, stop after every 10 to 15 laps and use the pool clock to count your pulse for six seconds; tack a zero onto the number. Vigorous swimming can torch up to 680 calories per hour, based on a 150-pound woman.
2. Play around
Swim with a toy, such as a kickboard, hand paddles, swim fins, or a foam buoy that fits between your legs. Most pools have them, or you can buy your own at a local sporting-goods store. Not only will you burn more calories, but you’ll tone arm and leg muscles, too.
3. Mix it up
Break up your laps into what pros call a ladder. Swim the following segments with 15 to 30 seconds of rest in between each: one lap, two laps, four laps, six laps, four laps, two laps, one lap.
Nothing burns calories better than swimming fast. But you don’t have to speed through your whole workout to get the benefit. Try doing one length easy, then one length fast; two lengths easy, two lengths fast; and so on. Or divide your workout into four to six segments and swim one fast lap at the end of each.
5. Rest less
No more than 10% of your water time should be spent loitering in your lane. Try cutting your rests in half, until you’re pausing just 10 seconds between laps or intervals.