ROSIE ON THE HOUSE
Put safety first by considering a pool facelift that goes beyond aesthetics
May 11, 2023, 3:00 PM
Maybe you are thinking it is time for your pool to get a face lift as it is looking a little tired. Rosie on the House Certified Partner, Michael Sandoval with Above and Beyond Pools has some food for thought. There are many aspects of your pools environment that should be examined with an eye to either upgrade or repair.
There are many reasons to update, remodel, or even rebuild your pool. Michael tells us the most typical reason to remodel a pool is that it is 20 years old or more and homeowners want an upgrade.
As it is National Water Safety Month, it is a good time to talk pool safety while considering any updates for your pool. The condition of your pool effects the safety of all the pools users.
Pool Deck & Surfaces
Decking can deteriorate over time making the surface pit and crack. This could lead to anything from stubbing your toe, or creating a trip hazard that could end up in an injury. There are a lot of ways the deck can be either repaired or replaced with a new deck. Michael shares with us several newer products replacing the old concrete surfaces.
Porcelain tiles and Travertine tiles are quite popular and can really spruce up a pool deck. The surface is nonslip and durable and can extend throughout the entertainment area of your yard. Talk to your pool contractor about the alternatives available in your climate zone.
Other surfaces that merit a looksee are the plaster surface in your pool. If it is peeling, discolored, or even cracked, there could be a problem. Most surface deterioration in the pool indicates some level of failure in the pool’s structure. At the very least it is unsightly. At worst, not addressing some of these issues can lead to further breakdown that can be hard or expensive to repair. Loose decorative tiles can indicate movement behind the tile that may be the precursor to a leak.
Pool Equipment & Lighting
Inspect all the pool’s systems from pumps and filters, to cleaning systems, ladders, diving boards, and lighting.
Pool pump system and filters. With energy costs what they are today, if your system is out of date, you definitely want to look at an upgrade. Variable speed pumps are required for all new installations today. They run much more efficiently and can save you some money.
Drains: Check around your drains. Is there any evidence of cracking or movement? Are your filters working properly? When this system is not working well, the pool can become unusable, unsafe, and hard to maintain. Also, make sure your drains are VGB compliant. This pertains to suction entrapment. When something or someone becomes stuck to a drain or suction fitting in a pool or spa, there can be catastrophic results. It is a serious hazard, particularly for children, who are too small to break away.
Lighting: We all know that electricity and water are not compatible when swimming. Your lighting systems should be periodically checked professionally. Upgrading to new LED lights is very popular when remodeling pools. They offer quite a variety of options and colors to set the mood for a party or for relaxing. These pool lighting systems can integrate well with the surface lighting throughout your yard.
Pool Ladders: Ladders are used for entering and exiting the pool. We put our weight on them as we pull ourselves out of the water. The last thing we want is for them to come loose. Check to make sure they are not wobbly and that the surfaces they contact are not cracking.
Slides and diving boards: These are less common but are fun to have. Check the connections to see if they are loose. Check the board itself for any signs of deterioration. Cracking, peeling of fiberglass or other plastics can cause injury and may indicate it is time for an upgrade.
Insurance: Be sure to check with your insurance company to make sure that diving boards and slides are covered under your policy before you install them (or if they are already in place). Theresa Chrest of Phocus Insurance Services, a Rosie on the House Certified Partner, says to check with your insurance company to see if an insurance rider is required for these items. Trampolines can also fall into this category.
If you are at all unsure of a condition or problem you observe, call one of the Rosie on the House Certified pool partners to for an inspection. Better safe than sorry.
Take a look around your entire pool compound. One of the principal pool safety features on your property is the fence. This is designed to keep people, particularly children, out of the pool area when unaccompanied.
There are laws and regulations regarding pool access. Be sure to check the regulations in your municipality to make sure your pool area complies.
We can’t have a pool without this major safety device in place. Take a few minutes to inspect the fencing itself for any signs of deterioration or picket failure. Most importantly, check the gates. Are the latches working properly? Do they close automatically and securely latch? You, as a homeowner are responsible for making sure the pool is secure. This also means looking at access to the pool from your home. We hear of many tragedies each year. So, check your locks and latches — lives depend on it.
Make sure that objects are not stacked against the fence that would enable a youngster to climb up and over the fence. This applies to your perimeter wall as well.
There are many different reasons why we remodel pools. From buying an existing home with a pool and wanting to make it ours or updating the aesthetics of an older pool, remodeling our pools can be a good idea. Safety is one of those really good reasons to remodel, repair, and update our pools.
Let us all be reminded about our individual diligence regarding our children and pools. As one of our beloved Valley weathermen used to say, “And remember, watch your kids around water!”
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions & comments.