Outdoor pools, a beloved staple of summertime leisure, offer a refreshing escape from the heat and a perfect setting for recreational activities, relaxation, and social gatherings. These expansive bodies of water, situated in various settings such as backyard gardens, resorts, or community centers, provide an invigorating and enjoyable experience for swimmers of all ages.
Whether swimming laps for exercise, playing water games with friends and family, or simply basking in the sun by the poolside, outdoor pools offer a versatile space to unwind, stay active, and create lasting memories. In this article, we will dive into the world of outdoor pools, exploring their popularity, maintenance essentials, safety considerations, and the myriad of ways they bring joy, well-being, and a sense of connection with the great outdoors.
Outdoor Pools Benefits
Outdoor swimming pools have several advantages, but a few of the more significant ones are as follows:
Swimming is a great form of aerobic exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and strengthen muscles. Swimming in outdoor pools can also provide additional health benefits, such as:
- Exposure to natural sunlight, can boost vitamin D levels, improve mood, and regulate circadian rhythms.
- Fresh air, which can improve respiratory health and reduce the risk of infections.
- Reduced irritation to skin and eyes, as outdoor pools typically use fewer chemicals than indoor pools to maintain water quality.
- The enhanced immune system, as outdoor pools can expose swimmers to beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that can help fight off infections and allergies.
According to the CDC, swimmers have about half the risk of death compared with inactive people. They also report enjoying water-based exercise more than exercising on land. Outdoor swimming can also help people sleep better, increase metabolism, and increase fertility.
Outdoor pools can also enhance the appearance and value of a property or a community. They can add beauty, charm, and character to the landscape, and create a focal point for outdoor activities. Outdoor pools can also be customized to suit different preferences and needs, such as:
- Size and shape: Outdoor pools can range from small plunge pools to large lap pools, and they can be designed in various shapes, such as rectangular, oval, kidney-shaped, or free-form.
- Style and features: Outdoor pools can reflect different styles, such as modern, rustic, tropical, or natural. They can also have various features, such as waterfalls, fountains, jets, slides, diving boards, or lighting.
- Materials and finishes: Outdoor pools can be made of different materials, such as concrete, fiberglass, vinyl liner, or natural stone. They can also have different finishes, such as tile, plaster, pebble tec, or quartz.
Some examples of outdoor pool styles are shown in the table below:
|Natural||A natural pool is a swimming pool that uses plant life to maintain the water instead of chemicals. They use walls, filters, and plant life to keep the water clean. They are environmentally friendly and do not irritate skin or eyes.|
|Modern||A modern pool is a swimming pool that has a sleek and minimalist design. They often have geometric shapes, straight lines, and sharp edges. They may also have features like infinity edges or LED lighting. They are stylish and elegant.|
|Tropical||A tropical pool is a swimming pool that has a lush and exotic design. They often have curved shapes, natural materials like rock or wood, and features like palm trees or waterfalls. They are relaxing and inviting.|
Outdoor pools can also provide social benefits for people who like to swim with others or host events in their backyard or community. Outdoor pools can:
- Encourage family bonding: Outdoor pools can be a great place for families to spend quality time together, play games, teach kids how to swim or celebrate occasions.
- Promote community engagement: Outdoor pools can be a great place for neighbors to meet each other, socialize, share resources, or organize activities.
- Support recreation and leisure: Outdoor pools can be a great place for people to relax, unwind, have fun, or enjoy hobbies like reading or gardening.
Outdoor pools can also be used for various purposes like fitness classes (e.g., aqua aerobics), sports (e.g., water polo), therapy (e.g., hydrotherapy), or education (e.g., swimming lessons).
What are some disadvantages of outdoor pools?
Some of the disadvantages of outdoor pools are:
- Seasonal limitations: Outdoor pools can really only be used during good warm weather (unless you use a pool heater), so they are more limited in terms of when they can be used compared to indoor pools.
- Maintenance requirements: An outdoor pool requires more regular cleaning to remove debris, leaves, and insects, which can clog the filter, affect the water quality, and increase chlorine consumption.
- Cost: An outdoor pool may have higher initial purchase and installation costs than an indoor pool, depending on the size, style, and features of the pool. An outdoor pool may also increase the insurance costs and the utility bill of the property owner.
- Risk of equipment failure or damage: An outdoor pool may be more vulnerable to weather conditions, such as storms, hail, or frost, which can damage the pool equipment or structure.
- The attraction of unwanted animals and insects: An outdoor pool may attract animals and insects that may pose a nuisance or a threat to the swimmers, such as mosquitoes, bees, snakes, frogs, or raccoons. A natural pool, which uses plant life to maintain the water instead of chemicals, may also attract more wildlife than a conventional pool.
- Potential safety hazards for children and pets: An outdoor pool may pose a risk of drowning or injury for children and pets who may wander into the pool area unsupervised. Therefore, an outdoor pool should have proper fencing, gates, alarms, or covers to prevent accidents.
How can I protect my outdoor pool from weather damage?
There are some ways to protect your outdoor pool from weather damage, such as:
- Running your pool filter at night or continuously when the temperature drops below freezing. This can prevent the water from freezing inside the pipes or equipment, which can cause cracks or leaks.
- Installing a freeze protection device or a pool controller that can sense the outside air temperature and turn on the pool pump or other equipment when needed. This can automate the process of preventing freeze damage and save energy.
- Painting your pool’s bottom white or using a light-colored finish. This can reflect the sunlight and keep the water cooler, which can prevent algae growth and evaporation.
- Dropping ice cubes in the pool or using a pool chiller. This can lower the water temperature and make it more comfortable for swimming in hot weather.
- Keeping your pool cover off as much as possible. This can allow the water to breathe and prevent algae growth, chemical imbalance, or chlorine degradation.
- Considering getting shade for the area above the pool. This can reduce exposure to UV rays, which can damage the pool surface, equipment, or water quality.
- Making sure your pool equipment is elevated off the ground on a pad. This can prevent flooding, corrosion, or dirt from damaging the equipment.
- Making sure your sprinklers are not hitting the equipment. This can prevent rust, corrosion, or electrical issues from affecting the equipment.
- Planting shrubs around the equipment to protect from sun, wind, or rain. This can also improve the appearance and noise level of the equipment.
What is the best way to clean an outdoor pool?
The best way to clean an outdoor pool depends on the type, size, and condition of your pool, but some general tips are:
- Skim, brush, and vacuum your pool weekly, at a minimum, to keep debris out of your water and your walls clean.
- Use baking soda paste as a gentle cleaner for tile or vinyl liner when you brush.
- Use an automatic pool cleaner or a robotic pool cleaner to save time and effort.
- Establish daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules for cleaning, treating, and replacing parts of your pool.
- Keep all chemicals on hand so you can quickly treat a problem.
- Run the pool filter for at least 8 hours each day to prevent algae buildup.
- Clean the filter twice a year and replace it every 1 or 2 years.
- Use bleach as an alternative to chlorine for sanitizing your pool if you run out of chlorine tablets or granules.
- Scrub stains with vitamin C tablets or lemon slices to remove metal stains from the pool surface.
- Toss in a tennis ball or use pantyhose as a skimmer filter to absorb oils and fine debris from the water.
- Skim with a window screen or a broomstick if you don’t have a skimmer net available.
- Consider getting shade for the area above the pool to reduce UV damage and evaporation.
Outdoor pools are swimming pools that are located outside of a building or structure. They offer many benefits for people who enjoy swimming or being in the water, such as health benefits, aesthetic benefits, and social benefits. Outdoor pools can also be customized to suit different preferences and needs, and they can enhance the appearance and value of a property or a community.