When installing a pool, there is a handful of specific features you need to consider that you may not even realize exist. One such feature your pool contractor will discuss with you includes pool coping. Pool coping is not required for all pools. In fact, it is only really necessary if your pool is made from concrete. Concrete pools are beneficial in that the material is strong and can be fabricated to meet any size and shape requirement. However, it also is susceptible to problems, both in terms of safety and physical appearance. This is where pool coping comes in.

Pool coping is like the trim of the pool. This is the small lip area that overhangs the top of a pool. It may be a lip that curves over the edge and extends back onto the walkway for a few inches, or it is built right into the top of the pool. If you have a concrete pool, coping may not only be recommended but required by local law as well. Due to this, make sure to consult your pool contractor so you know exactly what kind of build requirements are in place. Although, the pool contractor will more than likely go over pool coping with you to make sure you are completely up to date with the modern standards.

With pool coping, you should not look at it as an added expense or feature you're required to add on. You need to look at it as a way to improve the aesthetics of the pool. It's the accent point of the pool, giving you the ability to add another level of personal touch to this outdoor installation. Now, there is a number of reasons pool coping is important (outside of it possibly being the law in your area). Three of the most important reasons why pool coping is important are maintenance, aesthetics, and safety. So, before selecting a pool design or settling on the shape and appearance of your pool, make sure you consider these three specifics, and talk the overall construction and physical appearance over with your pool contractor ahead of time.

Maintenance


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Over the course of enjoying your pool, you and everyone else in the pool will splash. With every splash, there's a little less water in the pool. So eventually, all those cannonball dives into the pool will cost you. Putting more water into the pool doesn't just mean pulling out the garden hose and topping off the pool. You need to calibrate the pool water with and likely add in more chemicals to ensure it remains at the desired chemical level. However, with a pool coping, the overhanging lip of the pool helps prevent some water from splashing out. By keeping more of the water in you'll avoid needing to fill in the pool as frequently. This will, in turn, save you money by not having to add in more water and save you the time it takes to deal with all the chemicals.

When dealing with the hard edges of concrete, you are more likely to suffer chips, cracks, and breaks in the material. If you push off the corner, it applies direct pressure to the corner which increases the possibility of damaging the pool. If the pool is damaged and you don't notice it, the chipped section might grow worse. It may also allow more water to leak out, which not only ends up on the top of the concrete but may begin to seep into the foundation around the pool. A wet foundation can eventually result in the ground around the pool shifting. If the land shifts, the pool might crack. And if the pool cracks, there are many other issues you will be forced to deal with. A crack in the pool likely means that you will need to drain the pool, patch the crack (if not pour an entire portion of the pool), refill the pool with water, balance out the chemicals (which takes another few days) and potentially miss out on the entire process of enjoying your pool during the warmer months of the year.

Pool coping will also help your pool maintain its shape. If you have a square pool, this is less of an issue. However, if you have a pool that curves or has a more unusual shape, there is a greater possibility of the pool shifting, which again leads to cracks and other problems with the pool. The pool coping though helps strengthen the pool, helping also to avoid cracks and shifts that will cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to repair. The pool coping also protects the pool from possible water damage. Pools with unique designs also have unique problems. The curves in the pool's design put odd pressure on the surrounding wall. This pressure is not equally distributed, as would be the case if you had a rectangular pool. However, with this shape, you'll have the weight distributed all over the property. There is a good chance that one side of the property will not be as strong as the opposite side. With the help of the pool coping, none of this will be a problem and you'll be able to enjoy your pool for a long time, without spending a substantial amount on new pool upgrades.

Aesthetics


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Even if you need to have this kind of a feature installed onto your pool for safety reasons, it doesn't mean you should look at it as just a means to an end. In fact, you should look at it as a way to set your pool apart from the other pools out there. This is because while the construction of your pool might consist of concrete, which many other pools will use, not all pools will use the kind of look you're going for with your pool coping.

The pool coping can act as a decorative element to your pool. Whether you decide to incorporate a look from your outdoor patio, the house itself, or you're more interested in something unique and unusual, there is a style option perfect for your needs.

Continuous decking right to your pool is boring and having it go from bland concrete right to the water doesn't do much in the means of appearance. The pool coping is the added design feature you don't realize you love until after it's installed.

There are a number of different material options available when considering pool coping opportunities. Some of the materials you should consider when working with your pool contractor include limestone, flatstone, brick, travertine, and slate; of course, there are plenty of other options as well. Tell your contractor the particular look you're going for and what you want the finished product to look like. From there, your pool contractor will help you finish up the pool of your dreams.

Safety


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Whenever it comes to installing a pool there are a number of safety precautions you need to follow. These safety precautions are not just for you but to prevent others from outside your property of walking into the pool. It also helps avoid issues with animals accidentally falling into your pool.

In terms of pool coping, there are specific safety concerns you need to consider when installing a new pool on your property. First, when using concrete as a construction material, there is often a hard edge to it. When dealing with a wet, slippery surface, the last thing you want to have is a hard edge somewhere. This opens you and everyone else using the pool up to potential injury. The rounded edge also prevents any kind of cutting when climbing out of the pool or jumping in. By pushing off a rounded surface, you'll avoid any kind of cuts. However, if the pool used a hard edge, this would increase the potential of cutting yourself. Bleeding in the pool is a quick way to end swimming fun for everyone.

The material used with the pool coping is also different from the concrete. It is a non-slippery material, which reduces the possibility of falling into the pool or slipping off of the pool when holding onto the edge.

In order to keep swimmers safe, no matter the location of the pool, the size or the kind of pool you have, if it is built from concrete you must have pool coping installed. Even if it is built from another material, pool coping is beneficial and a valuable investment to consider.

Conclusion

The pool coping acts like the trim of a pool. It gives you the ability to add instant attention to the pool. It is an accent point designed not only to improve the level of safety in your pool but also gives you some creative freedom in designing the pool. Be sure to talk over the different available options with your pool contractor and, from there, you can decide what works for you, what will work with your landscaping and what fits into your budget.

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