Swimming Pools in the '90S

By Schall, Fred | Journal of Property Management, May-June 1990 | Go to article overview

Swimming Pools in the '90S


Schall, Fred, Journal of Property Management


Today many multiple family properties encompass inground, commercial swimming pools. This presents the manager with the challenge of maintaining a vital seasonal facility.

Many changes in swimming pool technology have occurred over the last few years. It has, therefore, become imperative that the manager perform a survey of the aquatic facility each year before opening. You may wish to perform the inspection with the pool manager and pool service company, if you utilize these services.

Fencing

It is important the pool area be surrounded by an adequate, four-sided fence. It is preferable to have fencing that children are not prone to climb. Fencing should be set back far enough from the pool area so that, if climbed, it does not act as an elevated surface for children and teenagers that want to dive.

Aluminum fencing is probably the most desirable type of fencing since it is durable and relatively maintenance free. However, individual conditions and circumstances should be taken into account in selecting fencing.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that the drowning deaths of children under five years of age is the largest cause of fatalities after automobiles. Good pool fencing with self-latching gates will certainly slow active toddlers. During your inspection, verify that the fence is in good repair and the gates operate properly. The self-latching mechanism should be four feet above ground.

Signs and markers

Since the pool will be used by your members as well as their guests, it is important to have up-to-date, adequate signs and markers. There is a debate regarding what constitutes adequate" and what types of signs and markers will help prevent serious accidents.

Each property manager must survey the market and determine which signs and markers are state of the art and will conform with their particular pool wi usage patterns. It must be remembered that no sign will stop an impulsive youth acting irrationally and bent on self destruction. Standards covering commercial pools, which address marker size and placement, are available from the National Spa & Pool Institute (NSPI).

The pool rules must be posted at each entrance to the pool area and should include prohibited and permitted activities, hours of use, when lifeguards are on duty, and so forth.

In recent years, a lot of attention has been devoted to studying diving boards and pool slides. The current standards require slides to be placed in water of moderate depth (about 5 feet) and diving boards rated for specific depth/size configurations. This may require relocation of your pool slide or replacement of the diving board.

It should be verified that diving boards and their fulcrum spacing conforms to the profile of the diving area of your pool. A sign instructing proper use of the diving board and the "steer up" concept should be mounted in the diving board area. Pool areas other than diving board locations should be marked "No Diving-Shallow Water."

Pool finish

Most commercial pools are concrete with a cement-type plaster. In time, this surface will become stained and discolored, and will need renovation. There are a number of paints and finishes available for pools. These include chlorinated rubber, water-based paint, epoxy, fiberglass, and polyester resin.

Uncoated plaster finishes are falling from popularity, as plaster reacts with chemicals and causes the pH to fluctuate. The epoxy finishes have grown in popularity due to their smooth, non-porous surface which does not stain. However, the epoxy finishes and chlorinated rubber require a long curing period and must be applied to an absolutely dry surface.

The water-based paints are not as difficult to use and have gained in popularity due to their forgiving nature. No solvent vapors escape during curing and water-based paints are easy to clean. Also, these finishes can be expected to last two to three years. …

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