Do you find it difficult to navigate through the process of acquiring a new swimming pool enclosure? Which criteria do you use to choose pool enclosure materials? I know a number of homeowners who have given up on this process. They leave it all to a swimming pool contractor.
This shouldn’t be the case.
I think you need to participate effectively in the entire process. From design, material selection to commissioning. It is the only way to get a long-lasting, efficient and eye-catching pool enclosure.
Most people perceive it to be a difficult process. The truth is, choosing the right material is as simple as ABC.
It’s time you need to learn how to select quality swimming pool enclosure kits. Whether you are a homeowner or a pool contractor. In this article, I am going to outline a simple and effective way to go about this process.
Remember, low quality material is a swimming pool safety hazard. Your pool will collapse and may be cause injuries. This is not what you’d like to see.
So, here is what I want you to know:
Best pool enclosure materials for the structural component – Extruded Aluminum
Do you know what the structural component of a swimming pool enclosure is?
In case you are new to swimming pool enclosures, this is what I am talking about:
This is basically the section that holds the glazing material. I will talk about the glazing material shortly. At times, we refer to it as the frame of the swimming pool.
Whenever a swimming pool collapses, we have to question the quality/credibility of the frame. I will be straight to the point here.
I recommended extruded aluminum for any swimming pool enclosure structure. It doesn’t matter whether you need:
- Retractable/telescopic swimming pool enclosures – one you can open and close at the time of convenience. You may have an outdoor or indoor experience depending on the position of the cover.
- Fixed swimming pool enclosure – the roof cannot be open. You can only have an indoor environment.
As I highlighted in my Pool Enclosure Installation Guide, assembling the aluminum structural component is the very first step.
But, why is quality important? And, how do you determine the quality of extruded aluminum rods?
A simple and easy way is to acquire all these aluminum rods from a reputable company. One that has a good track record in the market.
An example is Excelite, which acquires its aluminum products from Dolle Group. A company with over 10 years in the aluminum processing industry.
For instance, a 6005 aluminum alloy is highly recommended for track beam of a fixed pool enclosure. This because it allows for wider spans. More importantly, it has higher tensile strength. It is unlike the 6063 aluminum alloy with less tensile strength.
Of course, swimming pool enclosure manufacturing companies are guided by certain codes and regulations, besides certain environmental conditions.
That is, a swimming pool enclosure requirements in Orlando, Canada (snow prone area) or Arizona (tornado prone area) requires stronger structural components.
Factors that determine quality of aluminum
- International building codes and standards, e.g. the swimming pool enclosure ASTM standards.
- Local, county or state requirements, e.g. New York highlights specific requirements for pool enclosures
- Rated wind speeds – most enclosures are wind rated to 230km/hr.
- Maximum load – a quality pool enclosure should withstand about 900kg distributed in a 1.5m radius.
To achieve this, the extruded aluminum rods must pass specific test requirements. The most common tests that determine the strength and quality of aluminum rods include:
- Tensile strength test
- Hardness tests
- Impact tests
- Deformation tests
- Bending test
- Creep tests
Of course, all these must conform to the ASTM, ISO, EN and JIS testing requirements and standards.
As you can see, the process may look cumbersome but, it pays off in the long run. You may not have quality equipment to conduct these tests. A reason why I recommend only a reputable company.
Normally, a company that offers a 15 year warranty for aluminum structure of the swimming pool is an ideal option. It is because they trust the credibility and performance of their products. Excelite is a good example.
Swimming pool cover material – solid polycarbonate sheet
Why solid and not hollow polycarbonate sheet?
This is one question most of my clients, especially in snow prone areas ask when installing their pool enclosures. Obviously, their argument is that the hollow polycarbonate sheet provides better insulation properties. Well, I don’t dispute that fact.
But, why do I insist on using a solid polycarbonate sheet as the primary pool enclosure materials?
A solid polycarbonate sheet has a high impact resistance. It is virtually unbreakable. Such swimming pool enclosures are suitable for places that experience hurricane, tornado or snow. Your swimming pool will be protected throughout the seasons thereby, extending the swimming season.
Again, solid polycarbonate sheets offer a reasonable insulation. It will also reduce heat lost by conduction thereby saving energy costs.
Like extruded aluminum rods, testing polycarbonate sheets require sophisticated equipment that you may not afford. You need to purchase these solid polycarbonate covers from a reputable company that offers a 15 year warranty.
In most cases, a polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure come with a 15 year warranty. However, the cover is designed to last for more than 25 years.
These pool enclosure materials come in different tints. You can choose from tinted, blue, yellow, etc. For this reason, you can achieve the desired level of privacy.
Swimming pool accessory materials
During the installation process, you may require fasteners such as screws or rivets. Fasteners are manufactured from high quality aluminum or stainless steel. This is to avoid problems associated with rust, commonly seen in zinc fasteners.
You will find that serious companies will have their unique branded fasteners. This is actually the case for Excelite that uses Excelite™ fasteners.
Remember, the rail system is constructed from anodized aluminum. This allows for seamless and smooth traction. Also, the swimming pool enclosure door is constructed from solid polycarbonate sheet and extruded aluminum rods. It comes with a self-latching door locking mechanism.
In short, the primary pool enclosure materials are solid polycarbonate sheets and extruded aluminum rods. This is not by chance, but is based on quality tests and strict quality control procedures.