Insurance companies require pools to have a fence around them in order to reduce liability. Pool fences, of course, have to have a gate so you can get to the pool without having to jump over the fence. If you're putting a new pool fence in, here are some tips to help you select a good pool gate for it.
Make Sure the Fence Meets Your Insurer's Requirements
Insurers have different requirements for pool fences. You'll want to limit your search for a gate to pool gates that meet your particular insurance company's requirements; otherwise, you may risk compromising your homeowners coverage. Specifically, look to see whether your insurance provider has any requirements regarding the following:
- the height of the pool gate or fence
- the material of the pool gate or fence
- the spacing of bars in the pool gate or fence
- the size of the pool gate or fence
If there aren't any requirements specifically for a pool gate, follow the requirements for the fence. The gate is part of the fence, after all.
Look for an Automatically-Latching Pool Gate
To make sure your pool gate isn't accidentally left open, look for a model that automatically closes and latches. Springs should swing the gate closed, and the latch should immediately secure the gate once it's closed. These features will help ensure the gate is properly closed every time someone goes through it -- even if they're too busy to think about actually closing the gate.
Consider the Maintenance Required
Some pool gates are easier to maintain than others, for each of the materials that pool gates are made out of has its own maintenance requirements. For example, a chain-link pool gate made from stainless steel might require very little maintenance, since it's both strong and already is resistant to rust. A wood gate that's painted, in contrast, might need to be repainted every few years. Additionally, if a ball is thrown at a wood gate, a board might break and have to be replaced. A chain-link gate will likely not be damaged by the impact.
Consider how much maintenance each of the pool gates you're comparing will require. If you plan on doing the maintenance yourself, find out how long it takes to do the required work. If you expect to pay someone to do the maintenance, get a couple of estimates so you know how much you can expect to spend on maintenance for the gate. For more information, talk to a professional like Finelli Architechtural Iron & Stairs.