Spring is an excellent time to clean and repair pool fences, ensuring they are in a tip-top condition before summer.
Not only do you want your pool fence to look great, you also want to be certain there aren’t any potential problems that relate to safety, like broken latches or upright posts that have rotted or been unseated or have become misaligned.
Design of Swimming Pool Fences
Swimming pool fences are manufactured from the full range of fencing materials including wood, PVC, metal, and chain link. Irrespective of the material used, the design and manufacture must comply with state, county, and/or local authority laws, by-laws, and regulations. These are designed to prevent children, animals, and non-swimmers from gaining access to pools when they aren’t in use. Most importantly, if the design incorporates horizontal slats, these must not form a “ladder” that anyone could use to climb over the fence.
In Georgia, residential pool fences must be at least 4 foot high and no more than 4 inches off the ground. Openings must not be any bigger than 4 inches in diameter, and gaps between vertical slats may not be wider than 1¼ inches. Chain link fencing may not have openings that are larger than 1¼ square inches. Horizontal slats must be at least 45 inches apart or on the pool side of the fencing.
Gates must open outwards and must be both self-closing and self-latching.
If repairs are necessary, it is essential that the approved design is maintained. For instance, if upright posts are leaning out of alignment, you can’t just brace these with additional horizontal rails. If the latch doesn’t close properly it will need to be replaced.
Cleaning and Repairing Pool Fences
A good spring clean should start with a thorough examination of the fencing. Look for dirt and fungal or algae growth as well as structural damage.
- Mold and algae are more likely to form on painted or vinyl surfaces. Remove with a household detergent or proprietary cleaner.
- Mud and sand can be hosed off. Do this before checking for wear and tear or damage.
- Check wooden posts for rot just above ground level. If the post isn’t absolutely firmly embedded, and moves when pushed, there might be rot below the surface of the ground. This will require urgent action, although you might be able to replace just the rotten part and bolt and brace a shorter post to the bottom of the old one.
- Check the alignment of posts using a spirit level to make sure they are still plumb and square. Wind, frost, and unstable or very soft soil can all affect posts over time. The state of any badly aligned posts will determine whether they need to be replaced or simply reset in concrete.
- Check for loose rails and siding. If the fence is covered with plants, make sure that shoots, tendrils, and even small branches haven’t started to work their way into the fence structure. Again, it may be possible to repair some elements while others might need to be replaced.
- If the fence is painted check for bubbles, blisters, and peeling paint. These sections should be scraped and then patched with new paint. If a painted pool fence has been allowed to deteriorate, the whole structure may need to be stripped and repainted.
- Wooden fences that have been stained and/or sealed should be resealed annually.
- Check metal fences for rust. This can usually be scraped, sanded, or removed with a commercial product. These areas should be recoated with a rust-resistant finish.
- Check chain link fences for holes or other damage.
If you maintain your pool fence regularly, chances are there will only be minor cleaning and repair work required this spring. But sometimes major repair work is needed, in which case call the Georgia-based Natural Enclosures Fence Company for advice and a free quote!