Which material to choose?
– Wood represents 74% of the best above ground pools market. A success that can be explained by its naturalness and its ability to integrate into all environments. Offering good resistance to the weather, it is guaranteed for 10 or even 15 years at some manufacturers (Bluewood): species treated in autoclave (pine, acacia) or exotic (teak, bangkiraï). It is advisable to favor wood from managed and renewed forests (FSC or PEFC label).
– Composite wood. A savvy blend of compressed wood fibers and recycled PVC, it is becoming more common (“Brasilia” from Nortland, “Davao” from EDG) and cheaper than solid wood. On the comfort side, its perfectly smooth appearance eliminates any risk of splinters.
– The wood effect reinforced concrete is a patented process (Christine Caron Pools). Combining aesthetics and reliability, it does not require any particular maintenance. The panels are assembled by hand (without lifting gear) and are adjustable.
– Steel is a very strong material and guaranteed for 10 years. Formerly “raw”, its appearance is today the subject of many improvements from manufacturers: dressing with friezes, resin, etc. (EDG).
– The dynalon textile is also a patented process (Zodiac). It is a stiffened textile (profiled wooden bars) and, therefore, extremely resistant, which allows to have large “soft” pools. A dressing can be made using a wood or stone facing (Zodiac).
– PVC. The self-supporting PVC models consist of a triple-layer fabric with inflatable belt. This is by far the cheapest and easiest option to install for small pools. The filling tends to the wall: the basin rises at the same time as the water level. There are models in all sizes. The largest pond models are reinforced with stainless steel support bars.
How to secure it?
The law requiring the owners of a private pool to secure (fence, alarm, tarpaulin …) does not apply to models above ground. However, the risks of drowning are unfortunately not reserved for underground pools. This is why caution remains in place. Some manufacturers offer retractable outdoor ladders locked by a padlock, preventing young children from accessing water unattended. Blankets that enclose the edges are also a safety feature, provided they are routinely installed after each swim. The alarm systems are only applicable to stable pools: wooden structures with a rim of at least 25 cm. They are recommended for all above ground pools surrounded by a deck or terrace.
In addition to the structure and equipment, the kits include all the equipment needed to operate the pool: floor mats, filtration system, skimmer (skimmer surface), pump, indoor or outdoor ladder (stainless steel or wood) and coping wood models. According to the manufacturers, several other accessories can be included in the basic offer: cleaning kits, summer and winter covers, projector, programming clock to activate filtration, etc. Finally, comfort can be improved with a heating system, swimming against the current, a decorative liner frieze, a wooden deck to enter and exit more easily from the water, etc.
– The cleanliness of the water is obtained through the filtration system, to be completed by a manual or automatic cleaning of the walls. In small pools, a manual vacuum is enough to remove small and large debris. For medium and large models, robot cleaners are often offered with the kit or available from manufacturers of cleaning products.
– The disinfection of the water passes either by a chemical action with chlorine, or by products with active oxygen. Chlorine tablets purify the water and clean the filter. Active oxygen acts more gently: it is odorless and irritates neither the eyes nor the skin.
– The water line is cleaned with a non-polluting product (“Pool liner cleaner” by Star Brite), which can also be used before impoundment on the entire liner.
– An insect repellent based on essential oils is certainly optional, but it is a guarantee of additional comfort.