All About Swimming Pool
Different Types of Swimming Pool
The techniques used and the models available in the private pool market are extremely varied depending on budget, on space available, on access to the pool, etc…
Overall, installers propose 4 general types of a pool :
- Natural pools: also known as bathing ponds, these pools are simply dug in the soil. There is usually an ecological filtering system made from aquatic plants integrated into the pool. These pools need no special administrative formalities and are not subject to property tax.
- Above ground: this general term comprises models which vary from inflatable pools to pools made from wood. What they all have in common is that they are either posted on the ground or partly-buried in the soil. In theory, their installation needs little or no excavation work. They are usually delivered in ready-to-use kits. As they can be technically dismantled and moved around, they are not subject to property tax and don’t require any special administrative process.
- Polyester molds: the technology of these pools is totally mastered today. They are molded in one piece in factories which use the same methods as those used in naval construction. Their dimensions are limited by the problems of transporting them. Their shape is fairly standardized. Their installation requires that the ground is excavated beforehand and that the site is rendered accessible for delivery. Once the mold is installed, the sides of the pool must be fitted with copings whose function is to maintain the pool in the ground. These types of a pool are durable and therefore require planning permission from the local authorities before installation. They are also subject to property tax.
- Concrete pools: these are the top of the range in private pools. They are built using different techniques like precast concrete, reinforced concrete, breeze blocks, etc.. The owner can choose the shape of the pool – it can be at ground level, or have small artificial islets, etc.. Dimensions vary according to the space available. You should count two months between the digging of the hole and the fitting of the lining (tiles, liner or paint). These highly weather-resistant pools require planning permission and are subject to property tax.
Swimming pool facilities
The swimming pool is an excellent place to relax in. To make the most of your pool, the facilities around it, like the copings, the edges or the surrounding paved area should be aesthetic and practical to use.
These facilities should bring together practicality, fun, good taste and security. When choosing a pool, you should first consider the delicate balance between these elements. Even a standard pool can be personalized by a wise choice of facilities.
These facilities can differ greatly, depending on your desires. The choice of wooden surroundings, which give a natural, rustic effect, has been in fashion in recent years, giving the pool a convivial touch. But be careful…wet wood can be slippy! And if the surface isn’t flat, puddles will form and wood in constant contact with water will quickly age and become tarnished. Wooden planks require regular maintenance if you wish them to keep their original color. Concrete is less “warm” and isn’t as pretty to look at. Reconstituted stone tiles are better, as they are easier on the feet and porous enough to stop slippy puddles from forming.
The copings should not only be nice looking but should also be soft to touch, especially if you have children! The sides of the pool should be curved and smooth, otherwise, children will get scratched every time they get out of the pool! Particular attention should be given to irregular-shaped concrete pools. A careful mixture of concrete, wood, and grass can give a beautiful effect. Artificial islets, fountains, and cascades will also add to the beauty of your pool. The correct choice of materials will make the pool a pleasure to look at. For example, the cascades can be decorated with natural stones or rocks, which give a wild, natural effect to the pool.
Either way, the pool should be perfectly integrated into its surroundings. The same goes for the pump house, whatever the size, which should be integrated into the enclosing walls of the pool or into an adjacent building. It could also be built with the same materials as the surrounding buildings. Note that it is strongly advised to keep natural elements like lawns and trees at a distance from the pool, as they need to be protected from being repeatedly soiled every time someone gets out of the water.
Swimming pool liner
The liner is a PVC coating system for pools. It is an inexpensive way to waterproof the pool. It has the advantage of being comfortable to walk on and is long-lasting.
The pool liner has revolutionized the construction of swimming pools. It is the most popular way of coating pools throughout the world. Before it appeared, it was expensive and complicated to waterproof a pool.
Liner a highly resistant PVC coating. It consists of a large pocket which is fitted flush against the walls of the pool, and as it is flexible it can is efficient even for pools with irregular shapes. It is easy and inexpensive to install and is perfectly leakproof. It is kept in place by the weight of the pool’s water. It is pressed against the walls of the pool, thus taking its form, and it is soft and smooth. The pool must always be filled with water, as it is the water pressure which holds the liner in position.
There is a very wide range of pool liner. The least expensive are the thinnest ones, having a thickness of 0.45mm. minimum. The most expensive can be up to 0.85mm. thick. The thicker the liner, the longer it lasts.
Generally speaking, a good liner will last around 10 years. If your pool is used intensively by children, you can opt for a liner which is reinforced by the presence of a sheet of polyester which is inserted between two sheets of PVC.
Many colors are available, depending on the manufacturer. Sky blue is the classic color, but liner with decorative prints are becoming more and more popular, giving a touch of originality to the pool. Friezes can also be added to plain or printed liners to personalize them even more.
All liners on the market are treated with polyvinyl chloride, a perfectly resistant material, which protects them from the effects of ultra-violet light, allowing them to keep their color longer. Other treatments, like that against the development of fungi, can be added. You can also treat against bacteria, staining, abrasion (by applying a varnish), and so on…
The overflowing swimming pool
The overflowing swimming pool is a beauty to behold. The horizon line melts into one of the sides of the pool. The optical effect is spectacular, especially if the horizon is made of water!
What makes this type of pool particularly aesthetic is the optical illusion it gives: one of the sides of the pool melts into the horizon line ! To achieve this 3D effect, this side is not visually limited by a coping. The pool thus overflows on one side to give the impression of infinite space.
This type of pool differs technically from a standard pool by its filtration system and the absence of a coping. The traditional skimmer is replaced by a system of channels protected by a grating or by a secondary pool on a lower level out of which the water to be filtered is pumped and redirected towards the main pool. The water circuit is therefore different and necessitates a powerful pump because of the difference in the levels of the two pools and because of the amount of overflow needed to provide the optical illusion.
The type of overflowing pool you can create is limited only by your imagination. Apart from the imaginative and aesthetic aspect of this type of pool, the main advantage of it is to provide bathers a water surface which is always clean. All floating particles are pushed to the overflowing side of the pool. The main pool, therefore, gets less dirty than a standard pool. The grease from sun lotion, for example, which tends to deposit on the surface of the water by bathers is quickly evacuated into the secondary pool.
Another advantage is that the pool appears to be bigger than it actually is! However, this type of pool is much more expensive than a standard one.
The reasons for this are:
- the pump must be powerful enough to take in the amount of water necessary to provide a nice optical illusion.
- a system of floodgates must be installed to stop the bathing pool continuing to empty itself into the secondary pool in the event of the pump breaking down.
- a secondary pool with a capacity of at least 5% of the main pool must be built – this adds to the total cost of the pool considerably.
- a specialist must be consulted to ensure that the horizon line melts into the overflowing side of the basin, thus guaranteeing a perfect optical illusion.
The installation of a pool must meet both technical and aesthetic demands. Before starting work on it, the ideal location should be carefully thought over.
Going for a swim in your pool is a special time in the year. The location of the pool is, therefore, a choice not to be rushed into. Exposure to the sun is the first criteria to be considered. Avoid putting the pool too close to the house or to a wall, as these will put the pool in the shade at some time of the day. The more the pool is exposed to the sun, the warmer the water temperature will be.
The same goes for exposure to dominant winds – if the pool is in the path of northern wind, this will quickly cause the water temperature to drop. On top of this, getting out of the pool will be a rude awakening, rather than a prelude for a siesta!
The pool should also be located far from trees. Trees not only bring shadow, but also unwelcome guests like birds, which will quickly soil the clean pool water. And in the autumn, the leaves will fall into the pool, making it difficult to keep it clean! Add to these constraints the need for privacy from the neighbors and the desire not to damage the aspect if your house, you soon discover that choosing the location of the pool is not an easy task!
Flat, well-drained ground
Apart from the technical and aesthetic aspects considered above, the physical make-up of the ground must be taken into account. The pool should ideally be placed on flat, solid ground. Even if it is possible to install a pool on the sloped ground, the water flowing downhill towards the pool will cause untold headaches! And if water flows beneath the pool, it will become more and more unstable over time.
For pools made of concrete, the drainage beneath them is very important if you wish to avoid cracks in the structure. For molded pools, the water pressure beneath the floor of the pool may also cause irreparable damage: the mold could be pushed out of its pit by the pressure of the build-up of water underneath.