If you own a pool and are considering a retractable pool enclosure, you’ve come to the right place!
Retractable pool enclosures offer many benefits, such as protecting your pool from debris, extending your swimming season, and saving on maintenance costs.
In this ultimate buying guide, we’ll cover the essential factors you need to consider when choosing the perfect retractable pool enclosure.
1. Benefits of Retractable Pool Enclosures
There are several advantages to installing a retractable pool enclosure, including:
A pool enclosure acts as a physical barrier that can help prevent children and pets from accidentally falling into the pool when it’s not in use. This significantly reduces the risk of drowning or other pool-related accidents. TPEC Pool enclosures come with security locking mechanisms, providing pool owners with greater control over who has access to their pools.
A pool enclosure significantly enhances the cleanliness of a swimming pool by acting as a protective barrier against external contaminants. By keeping out leaves, dirt, debris, and insects, the enclosure reduces the frequency of pool cleaning and maintenance tasks. Additionally, it prevents the growth of algae, which thrives in sunlight, by providing shade and reducing direct sunlight exposure to the pool water. This helps maintain a more balanced chemical composition, contributing to a healthier and more hygienic swimming environment.
Pool enclosures offer notable energy efficiency benefits that can lead to significant savings on utility costs. By providing insulation and reducing heat loss from the pool water, enclosures help maintain a consistent water temperature, which in turn reduces the energy consumption required to heat the pool. Additionally, enclosures can minimise water evaporation, resulting in less need for constant refilling and reduced water heating costs.
Extended Swimming Season
A pool enclosure enables pool owners to extend their swimming season considerably, even in regions with variable climates such as Melbourne, Sydney and inland regions.
Despite our sunny reputation, most pool owners in Australia would be lucky to use their pools for even half of the year. Melbourne only has around 91 swimming days a year, and Sydney receives around 177 swimming days a year, according to weatherspark.com.
With an enclosure in place, the pool area is protected from the cold, helping to maintain a more comfortable temperature both in and around the pool. As a result, swimmers can enjoy the pool even on the coldest winter days. Additionally, pool enclosures also make swimming in mornings and evenings more attractive.
A pool enclosure offers valuable UV protection, shielding swimmers from harmful ultraviolet rays and enhancing the overall safety and comfort of the swimming environment. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to sunburn, skin damage, and an increased risk of skin cancer, so it’s essential to take precautions while spending time outdoors.
Pool enclosures are typically constructed with transparent or translucent polycarbonate, which is treated and designed to filter out a significant portion of UV rays. The high-quality polycarbonate panels used by TPEC Pool Enclosures, for example, can block up to 98% of harmful UV radiation, while still allowing natural light to enter the pool area. This creates a bright and inviting swimming environment without the risk of excessive sun exposure.
In addition to protecting the health of swimmers, the UV protection provided by a pool enclosure offers other benefits as well. It helps prevent the fading or degradation of pool liners, decking, and furniture, extending their lifespan and maintaining their appearance. Moreover, it can reduce the need for chemical treatments related to algae growth, as UV radiation is one of the factors that promote algae proliferation.
By incorporating a pool enclosure with UV protection, pool owners can enjoy a safer, more comfortable swimming experience while also preserving the longevity and aesthetics of their pool area.
A pool enclosure can add significant value to a home, both in terms of property value and desirability when selling or renting. Prospective buyers and tenants are likely to appreciate the advantages of an enclosure, making your property stand out in the competitive real estate market. Moreover, the improved energy efficiency associated with pool enclosures can be an attractive feature for prospective buyers or tenants who are conscious of their environmental impact and utility expenses.
Because pool enclosures enable you to swim all year round, they are fantastic for holiday rental properties. Pool enclosures increase bookings and occupancy, especially outside of peak season, which means you can achieve higher nightly rates and increase your rental income!
2. Types of Retractable Pool Enclosures
There are various types of retractable pool enclosures available, including:
A low retractable pool enclosure is a type of pool covering that features a sleek, low-profile design and the ability to open and close as needed. Its unique design allows it to blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, providing a subtle yet effective solution for pool protection. One of the primary benefits of a low retractable pool enclosure is its minimal visual impact on the backyard, preserving the open and spacious feel of the outdoor space. Additionally, the low-profile design is often more cost-effective and easier to install than larger, more elaborate enclosures. Despite its compact size, a low retractable pool enclosure still offers many of the same advantages as its larger counterparts, such as improved safety, reduced maintenance, extended swimming seasons, and energy efficiency.
A medium retractable pool enclosure is a versatile pool covering option that offers a balance between size and functionality, making it suitable for a wide range of pool types and backyard spaces. With its moderate height, a medium enclosure provides ample headroom for comfortable swimming and relaxation while still maintaining a streamlined appearance that complements the landscape.
The retractable feature allows pool owners to open or close the enclosure in a variety of positions depending on the weather conditions, seamlessly transitioning between an indoor and outdoor swimming experience. Its spacious design can accommodate poolside furniture and accessories, creating a pleasant and versatile environment for swimming, relaxation, or entertaining guests.
A high retractable pool enclosure is a spacious and elegant pool covering option that provides maximum comfort and versatility for pool owners. With its generous height and expansive interior, a high enclosure creates an inviting, room-like atmosphere that can accommodate not only swimming but also leisure activities, exercise, or social gatherings. The retractable feature
enables pool owners to open or close the enclosure as desired, offering the flexibility to enjoy an indoor or outdoor swimming experience depending on weather conditions.
The benefits of a high retractable pool enclosure extend beyond the typical advantages of safety, reduced maintenance, and extended swimming seasons. Its ample space allows for the inclusion of additional amenities such as poolside seating, dining areas, or even exercise equipment, transforming the pool area into a multi-functional living space. Furthermore, the high enclosure’s elegant design can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a property, making it a statement piece that adds value and visual interest to the landscape.
A lean-to pool enclosure is a space-efficient and practical pool covering option that is designed to attach to an existing structure, such as a house or garden wall. This type of enclosure extends outward from the structure, providing a protected area for the pool while making efficient use of available space. Its design allows for seamless integration with the existing architecture, creating a cohesive and harmonious appearance that enhances the overall aesthetics of the property. Additionally, a lean-to enclosure can provide convenient access to the pool area directly from the adjacent structure, adding an element of practicality and convenience to the pool experience. For homeowners with limited backyard space or those seeking a pool covering solution that integrates seamlessly with their existing property, a lean-to pool enclosure is an attractive and functional choice.
3. Key Considerations for Choosing the Right Enclosure
To find the perfect retractable pool enclosure, consider the following factors:
Size and Space
When choosing a pool enclosure, it’s essential to consider the size of the pool and the available space in your backyard. An enclosure designed to meet your specific needs will provide ample room for swimming and poolside activities while fitting harmoniously within the available space. Additionally, consider the potential uses of the enclosure beyond swimming, such as entertaining or relaxation, and select a size that accommodates these activities comfortably.
Style and Design
The style and design of your pool enclosure should complement your property and meet your aesthetic preferences. Choose an enclosure that harmonises with the existing architecture, considering the shape, materials, and colours. Additionally, consider your preferences for light, visibility, and privacy when selecting the transparency of the enclosure. Customization options can help create a unique and personalised enclosure that meets your specific requirements.
Budget and Costs
Budget considerations play a crucial role in selecting the right pool enclosure. Determine your overall budget, taking into account the initial cost of the enclosure as well as pool maintenance and energy savings. Weigh the benefits of any customization options or additional features against your budget constraints to make an informed decision.
You should compare the build quality and availability of frame styles between different suppliers. It is better to select a pool enclosure that provides the best fit for your pool and one that is built to last. Some cheap pool enclosures will only have a two year guarantee as they are made with thin, low quality aluminium frames, polycarbonate panels and nylon rollers.
It is best to select a pool enclosure constructed from high quality materials and one that comes with a product guarantee to match. TPEC Pool Enclosures offer a guarantee of 7 years for their aluminium frames and up to 15 years for their polycarbonate panels. This is one reason they are considered to be the best pool enclosures in Australia.
Safety and Security
Pool enclosures can significantly enhance the safety and security of your swimming pool area. Consider enclosures with lockable doors, sturdy construction, and materials that can withstand weather elements. Assess the safety features provided by different enclosure designs, and choose one that meets your specific needs, especially if you have young children or pets.
Ease of Maintenance and Durability
The choice of materials and design will impact the ease of maintenance and durability of your pool enclosure. Opt for materials that are corrosion-resistant, low-maintenance, and able to withstand weather elements. Consider the small things such as the quality of the rubber seals and flaps, as well as the roller wheels and the fittings and fixtures around windows and doorways. TPEC pool enclosures don’t cut any corners, all of the parts are of the highest quality so you can trust that they will last. A durable enclosure will not only save you time and effort in maintenance but also offer long-lasting protection for your pool area.
4. Materials for Retractable Pool Enclosures
Retractable pool enclosures are made from various materials, the main ones being, aluminium, polycarbonate, stainless steel, nylon and rubber.
Aluminium is used in the construction of pool enclosures due to its lightweight, strong, and corrosion-resistant properties. Its versatility and durability make it an ideal choice for creating sturdy, long-lasting structures that can withstand various weather conditions.
In the construction of pool enclosures aluminium is typically used for the framing or supporting structure. This includes the main beams, columns, and supporting elements that form the skeleton of the enclosure. Aluminium profiles are often designed to interlock and connect, making it easy to create a seamless and stable framework.
High-quality pool enclosures use thicker and better-quality aluminium to ensure increased strength, stability, and durability. Thicker aluminium profiles provide greater resistance to bending or deformation under stress, which can occur due to hail, strong winds, or other extreme weather conditions.
The best enclosures are typically made from marine-grade aluminium alloys, most commonly 6063 T6 or 6061 T6. These alloys are known for their excellent strength, corrosion resistance, and suitability for outdoor applications, making them ideal for pool enclosure construction.
The aluminium frames of pool enclosures are painted with a powder coating to provide an additional layer of protection against corrosion and to improve the appearance of the structure. Powder coating is a durable, environmentally friendly, and UV-resistant finish that bonds to the aluminium surface, creating a smooth and attractive finish. This coating helps to prolong the life of the enclosure by protecting it from the elements and preventing oxidation.
In addition to the powder-coated aluminium frames, anodised aluminium tracks are used along the ground for retractable pool enclosures to move along. Anodising is an electrochemical process that forms a protective oxide layer on the aluminium surface, enhancing its corrosion resistance and making it more durable. Anodised aluminium tracks provide a smooth, low-friction surface for the enclosure to slide on, ensuring smooth and reliable operation over time.
Polycarbonate is a highly versatile and durable material used in the construction of pool enclosures, offering numerous advantages over traditional materials like glass. Polycarbonate is a low-maintenance material that is resistant to corrosion, discoloration, and weathering. It requires minimal upkeep, making it an ideal choice for homeowners looking for a long-lasting, hassle-free pool enclosure solution. It is around 200 times stronger than glass, making it highly impact-resistant and less susceptible to damage from external forces. Polycarbonate is also lightweight and flexible, so it can be easily shaped to various frame profiles, allowing for more complex and visually appealing enclosure designs.
High-quality polycarbonate provides excellent UV protection, blocking up to 99% of harmful UV rays. This feature helps protect swimmers from the sun’s harmful effects and prolongs the life of pool equipment and furnishings by minimising UV-related damage. UV stabilisation also ensures the polycarbonate material itself lasts longer and resists yellowing, brittleness, and degradation over time. Polycarbonate sheets offer improved insulation compared to single-pane glass, with twin-wall polycarbonate having an R-value of around 1.6, making it nearly twice as effective at retaining heat. This energy-efficient material helps maintain a comfortable temperature inside the enclosure and reduces heating costs.
Additionally, polycarbonate can reduce noise transfer by up to 18 decibels, creating a more peaceful environment. Available in various thicknesses, types, and colours, polycarbonate sheets can be customised to meet specific design requirements and preferences. Thicker sheets offer better insulation and impact resistance, while colours and tints allow pool owners to select the desired level of privacy, solar control, and appearance. Polycarbonate panels are available in various levels of transparency, ranging from clear to tinted or opaque. This allows homeowners to customise the appearance and light transmission of their pool enclosure to suit their preferences, whether they desire a bright, open space or a more private, shaded area.
Stainless steel is an important material used in the construction of pool enclosures due to its strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Its properties make it an ideal choice for various components and fittings, ensuring a long-lasting and low-maintenance enclosure.
Stainless steel is commonly used for various hardware components and fittings in pool enclosures, such as hinges, brackets, bolts, screws, and fasteners. These components are critical for maintaining the structural integrity and functionality of the enclosure. Stainless steel’s corrosion resistance and strength make it an ideal choice for these parts, ensuring they remain durable and reliable over time.
In high-quality retractable pool enclosures like TPEC Pool Enclosures, stainless steel is used for the wheels and bearings that enable the enclosure sections to slide or roll open and closed. These components need to be strong and resistant to corrosion, as they are exposed to moisture, chemicals, and friction during operation. Stainless steel offers the necessary durability and low-maintenance properties, ensuring smooth operation and a long lifespan for the retractable system. Lesser quality enclosures use nylon wheels which have some similar properties but tend to wear out and require replacement much more often.
Rubber and Nylon
In the construction of high-quality pool enclosures, rubber plays a significant role as a sealing and buffering material. Premium pool enclosures use a high-grade rubber, such as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), which is known for its durability, flexibility, and resistance to weathering, chemicals, and UV radiation. This type of rubber is ideal for use in pool enclosures, as it can withstand the harsh conditions typically found in these environments, while maintaining its sealing and buffering properties over time.
High-grade rubber is used for various purposes in pool enclosures, including sealing joints and gaps between enclosure sections, preventing water, air, and debris from entering the enclosure. It also acts as a cushioning material to protect the enclosure components from impact and abrasion, ensuring the overall longevity of the structure.
In contrast, cheaper enclosures may opt for nylon instead of high-grade rubber for seals and flaps. While nylon may initially offer some cost savings, it is less suitable for long-term use in pool environments. Nylon tends to be less resistant to chemicals, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations, which can cause it to become brittle, crack, or degrade over time.
This can compromise the sealing and buffering capabilities of the enclosure, leading to increased maintenance costs and a shorter lifespan for the structure. TPEC Pool Enclosures always use high-grade rubber components. Opting for cheaper alternatives, like nylon, may result in decreased performance and a shorter lifespan of an enclosure due to its lower resistance to chemicals, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations. Investing in a high-quality pool enclosure that uses premium rubber materials is a smart choice for pool owners seeking a reliable, durable, and efficient enclosure solution.
5. Additional Features to Consider
When choosing a retractable pool enclosure, consider the following additional features:
Some enclosures offer motorised operation, an appealing feature for pool owners seeking convenience, comfort, and flexibility. One of the primary benefits is the ease of operation, as the enclosure can be opened or closed with the simple push of a button, eliminating the need for manual labour. This makes it particularly appealing for individuals with limited mobility or those who prefer not to engage in the physical effort required to operate a manual enclosure.
There are some potential drawbacks to consider with automated retractable pool enclosures. The most notable is the higher initial cost, as these systems typically come with a higher price tag compared to their manual counterparts due to the additional technology and components involved. Additionally, automated enclosures may require more frequent maintenance and servicing to ensure the motorised components remain in proper working order. Furthermore, an automated pool enclosure can only open and close in a linear order, so the ability to move segments independent of each other is lost.
Pool enclosures have various locking mechanisms which ensure safety and security. Each segment of an enclosure has locking pins to keep it in place and the end segments have additional end-lock pins which provide additional support to the overall structure.
Another common locking mechanism is the plunger lock, which features a spring-loaded mechanism. When pushed, the lock secures the door or panel in place, and a key is required to unlock it. This type of lock provides an additional layer of security compared to standard keyed locks.
Latching mechanisms are also frequently used in pool enclosures. These consist of a latch that holds the door or panel closed and can be disengaged with a simple push or pull action. In some cases, latching mechanisms may include a key-lock feature for enhanced security, ensuring that the enclosure remains safely locked when not in use.
Pool enclosures often incorporate various ventilation features to ensure proper airflow and maintain a comfortable environment. One common feature found in pool enclosures is the use of vents or vent windows. These strategically placed openings can be manually opened or closed, allowing fresh air in and letting stale air out. Depending on the design of the enclosure, these vents can be positioned in the walls, roof, or both.
Another aspect of pool enclosure ventilation involves sliding doors or panels. Many enclosures have these components, which can be easily opened to create a larger opening. This promotes better airflow and provides a more open environment when desired. Retractable enclosures offer an additional advantage, as they can be partially or fully opened to deliver excellent ventilation and flexibility in controlling the indoor climate. By opening individual sections or the entire enclosure, users can create the desired level of airflow and natural light.
High-quality pool enclosures offer various customization options to suit the preferences and requirements of individual buyers. One of the most important aspects is the ability to design enclosures that fit pools of various sizes and shapes. Whether you have a small, compact pool or a large, irregularly-shaped one, a custom enclosure can be tailored to your specific needs.
In terms of style and design, pool enclosures come in a range of styles, including low-profile, medium-height, high-profile, and lean-to designs. Buyers can choose a style that complements their home’s architecture and meets their functional requirements. Additionally, material and colour choices provide further customization options.
Enclosure frames are typically made of aluminium, which can be powder-coated in a variety of colours to match the aesthetics of your property. Similarly, polycarbonate panels used in enclosures can be selected in different colours, tints, or transparency levels to meet your desired appearance and privacy needs.
Glazing options also contribute to the customization possibilities. Polycarbonate panels are available in various thicknesses and configurations, such as compact or twin-wall. Buyers can choose the type of glazing based on factors like insulation, durability, and appearance. Ventilation and access are other crucial aspects of custom enclosures.
Specific ventilation features like vents, sliding doors, windows and lift up ends can be included to provide optimal airflow. Additionally, buyers can choose the type and location of doors or entry points to suit their preferences and pool layout.
6. Maintenance and Care Tips
Proper maintenance and care will help ensure your retractable pool enclosure lasts for many years. Here are some tips to keep it in excellent condition:
- Clean the enclosure with a low powered pressure washer to remove any dirt or grime. Never wipe an enclosure with a cloth and avoid using abrasive cleaners, as they may scratch the surface.
- Inspect the tracks before moving the segments to make sure they are free of leaves and debris. To clean the tracks use an air-blower, vacuum or hose the debris out with water to prevent the segment rollers from wearing out prematurely.
- Inspect locking mechanisms for signs of wear or damage. Lubricate moving parts as needed to ensure smooth operation.
- Check the seals and gaskets for signs of wear or damage. Reputable suppliers like TPEC Pool Enclosures provide post-sale support to assist with any replacement parts.
What is a retractable pool enclosure?
A retractable pool enclosure is a structure that covers a swimming pool and can be opened or closed to allow for indoor or outdoor swimming. It consists of a series of interlocking panels and a track system for easy movement.
How does a retractable pool enclosure work?
Retractable pool enclosures work by sliding the panels along a track system, either manually or with the help of an automated motor. This allows you to open or close the enclosure as desired, providing flexibility and adaptability to different weather conditions.
How much does a retractable pool enclosure cost?
The cost of a retractable pool enclosure varies depending on the size, materials, and custom features. In Australia prices typically range from $30,000 to over $100,000 for larger, high-end enclosures.
What are the benefits of a retractable pool enclosure?
Benefits of a retractable pool enclosure include extended swimming season, energy efficiency, improved safety, and reduced maintenance costs. They also offer UV protection and can add value to your property.
What materials are commonly used in the construction of a retractable pool enclosure?
Common materials used in retractable pool enclosures include aluminium frames, polycarbonate panels, stainless steel rollers, and rubber seals.
Can a retractable pool enclosure be customised to fit my pool’s shape and size?
Yes, retractable pool enclosures can be customised to fit your pool’s shape and size, accommodating various dimensions and configurations.
How long does it take to install a retractable pool enclosure?
The installation time for a retractable pool enclosure depends on the size and complexity of the project. Most residential pool enclosures take between one to five days to complete.
Can a retractable pool enclosure withstand strong winds?
High-quality retractable pool enclosures are designed to withstand strong winds and heavy snow loads. They are engineered with robust materials and structural support to ensure durability and safety.
How do I maintain and clean my retractable pool enclosure?
Retractable pool enclosures are very easy to maintain and can be occasionally hosed down with a low powered pressure washer. This will remove any surface debris and keep the tracking system clear to reduce wearing of the rollers.
What are the different sizes and shapes of retractable pool enclosures available?
Different types of retractable pool enclosures include low-profile, medium-height, high-profile, and lean-to designs. Each type offers unique benefits, aesthetics, and functionality.
Can a retractable pool enclosure be installed on an existing pool or only on a new pool?
Retractable pool enclosures can be installed on both existing pools and new pools, as long as the pool area meets the necessary requirements for installation.
Are retractable pool enclosures energy-efficient?
Retractable pool enclosures are energy-efficient, as they help retain heat in the pool area, reduce evaporation, and minimise the need for pool heating systems.
A retractable pool enclosure can be a valuable addition to your home or business, offering safety, cleanliness, energy efficiency, and an extended swimming season.
By considering factors such as size, design, materials, and additional features, you can find the perfect enclosure to suit your needs and budget.
At www.tpecpoolenclosures.com.au, we offer a wide range of retractable pool enclosures to meet your unique requirements. Browse our selection and contact us today to get started on creating the perfect pool environment for you and your family.