Pool barriers aren’t just luxurious accessories for your pool. While a great pool fence does enhance its appearance and make your pool look like an exclusive haven of luxury and comfort, it’s actually a very important safety and security feature. That goes for your pool nets and pool covers, as well.
Without each of your pool barriers in good condition, your pool not only looks less appealing, but it can also be a hazard for children, pets, and yes, adults who “wander” onto your property without you knowing. All of which you can be held liable for.
The best way to prevent those issues and keep your pool barriers in good condition is to maintain them.
Today, we’re going to look at all three of the main types of pool barriers, and we’ll go over the general pool barrier maintenance practices you need to commit to for long-term functionality and safety.
Let’s get started.
Maintaining Your Pool Fence
Your pool fence is probably the easiest barrier for you to maintain. After all, it’s just a fence, and if you purchase the right fence, its maintenance requirements will be rather few and far between.
However, it’s still your pool’s first line of defense against unwanted guests and horrible accidents. So, you definitely want to take good care of it.
Here are 3 primary types of maintenance that you need to perform and when they’re necessary.
1: Regular Cleaning and Inspections
Just keeping your fence clean and giving it a quick glance regularly will go a long way toward preserving its appearance and structural integrity.
Luckily, this is really easy.
Try to schedule a regular general cleaning just like you would clean any other part of your home.
This is easy. Use a mild soap and water, scrub the fence down and loosen up dirt and debris, grab your hose, and spray it down. With wooden fences, which aren’t very common, it’s largely the same process, but you don’t want to do anything that’s going to damage the sealant used to protect the wood. Luckily, most pool fences are vinyl or metal. So, that’s not a problem.
However, make sure you don’t use a pressure washer. A vinyl fence is prone to being damaged if you turn your pressure washer up too high, and even a metal fence can have the paint blown off or damaged by one. Just a normal garden hose is enough as long as you stay on top of a decent cleaning regimen.
For regular inspections, just make sure to look at the smaller details of your fence whenever you clean it. If you’re walking past any other time, just take a glance and make sure you don’t see any damage. There are situations when you need to really inspect the fence, but typically, this is enough.
Of course, you don’t need to do either of these as frequently as you mop or dust your mantle in your house. This is something you should do around once a month during the swimming season, and try to do it on good days during the off-season.
2: Non-Standard Maintenance Tasks
This is the middle-ground between an emergency situation and your basic cleaning routine, but it will help you prevent a lot of more serious issues.
If weather conditions kick up a lot of dirt and debris, snow or ice forms in your area, or something else out of the usual happens, that’s when you perform this type of maintenance. It’ll usually be necessary during the off-season.
Make sure you inspect your fence whenever any of those things happen, and if dirt and grime are building up on it, make sure you clean it soon.
This is also a good time to make sure any sealants or paints aren’t chipping. If they are, make it a point to quickly get that taken care of to prevent further damage.
This is also when you need to perform more detailed fence inspections. Check the base of each fence support to make sure it’s firmly grounded, make sure there are no loose panels, and generally check all the hardware and small details to make sure your fence is in good order.
Doing this helps you catch small issues early, and you won’t have to worry about bigger issues as much.
3: Handling Major Problems
Finally, you have to make sure to get on top of major issues quickly. Unfortunately, this is less of a form of maintenance and more of a repair job. You’ll want to call a professional out in most cases.
These are situations such as major storms damaging your fence’s structural integrity, age finally causing the fence to start falling apart, and similar issues.
It’s important to not try to fix this yourself. Your pool fence is too important, and it needs to be repaired or replaced properly to ensure that it works.
Maintaining Pool Covers
Pool covers are a little more complicated to maintain than a fence. You can’t just wash it off and make sure nothing needs repairs.
There are also different types of pull covers. You can have a cover that’s simply a plastic sheet you stretch over it, or you can have more complex covers that automatically fold over the pool with the press of a button.
The maintenance steps can be slightly different for either type, but in general, the following tips will apply to whatever type of pool cover you have.
1: Proper Storage
This isn’t a problem with the automated covers you push a button and they retract. They’re designed to store themselves, essentially. With those, there is a special tip we’ll get out of the way first. Make sure you winterize them if you live in an area where it gets very cold or snow is a threat. While the cover itself is fine, the system that extends and retracts it probably isn’t.
For standard pool covers that you have to manually put over your pool, make sure you always store the cover clean and properly folded or rolled depending on how it was when you purchased it. You should also have a case or proper storage solution to keep vermin from destroying it.
This isn’t difficult, but a lot of pool owners simply pool it off, enjoy their time in the pool, and leave it crumpled up somewhere until they remember it exists. That is a good way to end up replacing it early.
2: Keep It Clean
Just like anything else, your pool cover will generally last longer if you keep it clean. Luckily, this is super easy.
While you’re cleaning your pool area and maintaining your fence, just take a moment to spray it down and wash away any dirt or debris that builds up on it.
However, unlike a fence, which will sit in the sun all day after you wash it down, your pool cover will have seams and creases that water can sit in and degrade it or otherwise cause issues. If you have an automated pool cover system, keep it open until it dries completely. If you have a removable cover, keep it stretched out and allow it to dry before you return it to its storage area.
This will keep your pool cover looking luxurious and well-maintained, but it will also prevent stains and degradation over time. Even water-resistant materials will eventually start to look faded or wear out if you let debris build up on them.
3: Replace Appropriately
You don’t need to replace your pool cover frequently, but there is clearly a time to replace it. If you start to notice that it’s getting worn out, stretching, developing holes, or anything like that, invest in a new one. Those problems will only get worse.
Not only that but if you continue using it, it probably won’t function as intended. Holes will allow debris to get into your pool, and that debris will be trapped in there until you remove the cover, in a worst-case scenario, the cover might not be sufficient enough if someone falls in.
Again, this is less of a problem with most automated covers on higher-end pools. However, if those have fabric or plastic sheeting components, it’s still something you need to take care of.
Maintaining Your Netting
Net covers are just like your standard pool covers, but they’re large nets. These can be used on their own, or they can be used as a secondary layer underneath your normal pool cover.
A pool net cover is mostly designed to prevent accidental drownings. Some nets have very tight weaves that prevent most debris from entering the pool, but none of them are 100% debris-proof.
Maintaining them is similar to normal pool covers.
1: Keep It Clean
Netting material, usually nylon, is pretty resistant to the effects of dirt and grime, but you still want to avoid letting that stuff build up.
You can start by not laying it on the ground or doing things around it that can get dirt on it. That dirt and grime can build up around the spots where the netting weaves into itself, and it’s a pain to clean off.
If it does get dirty, a simple spritz with a hose is typically enough.
2: Avoid Abrasive Surfaces
A net is essentially a bunch of tough threads weaved together in a pattern. As such, each of those threads can become damaged if something abrasive comes into contact with them.
Don’t drag the net across the yard to put it up, hook it onto sharp edges around your pool, or otherwise expose it to any type of surface that can abrade the lines of the net.
If you fail to do that, some of the lines can get severed, and the net can start to unweave. This creates a big mess, and the net won’t function as intended. Since its main purpose is to prevent accidental drownings, that can be catastrophic.
3: Fold or Roll Properly
Never bunch your net up and drag it around. Keep it organized, and store it in a manner that won’t let it get jumbled.
Pool nets aren’t as prone to getting tangled as other nets with far larger holes, but they can still be a pain to unravel if you don’t keep them organized. As we all know, anything that adds a bit of complicated stress to a fun activity tends to be ignored, and you really don’t want to stop using the net just because you made it an inconvenient experience.
4: Replace the Net When It’s Damaged
There aren’t really any net repair services for pool nets, and you shouldn’t try to rig your own repair up.
Carefully inspect your net with each use, and if you see fraying or breaks that can impact its ability to function when needed, get a replacement as soon as possible. It’s another expense on a long list of expenses no one wants to deal with, but it’s not too much, and it is a major safety benefit. This is particularly crucial if you have pets, children, or anyone else who is likely to go around your pool when you’re not around.
How Often Should I Practice These Methods?
How often you need to do these things really depends on which type of barrier you’re maintaining.
For a fence, you need to schedule a day every couple of weeks or once per month throughout the main swimming season. During the winter and fall, when no one is going around the pool, you can switch to a more relaxed schedule and simply inspect the fence to see if it needs it.
However, with both nets and covers, the stuff we mentioned should be done every time you use the barrier. They’re simple tasks, and problems can arise at any time. So, try to implement their appropriate care techniques into your normal usage habits.
Get the Best Pool Barriers from Pool Guard USA
Of course, one of the best ways to extend the longevity of anything is to buy the best version of it you can find. For pool barriers, that’s the barriers offered by Pool Guard USA.
All of our pool safety products are made to the highest quality standards, and you can trust that they’ll last a long time. Contact us today.