A child's pool can be a convenient and exciting way for children to beat the heat during warm, summer months. These small, controlled environments are an ideal location for young children to learn the basics about swimming and pool safety. If you are thinking of placing a pool outside your home, you should first consider the location. If you have an existing deck, this may seem like just the right placement for your pool; however, some dangers are involved with this practice.
Along with the potential for the deck to crumble under the weight of the deck, other risks are involved as well. For example, wooden decks can become warped and rotted over time when exposed to the excess moisture caused around swimming pools. While decks are designed to withstand some moisture, standing water can cause mold, increase mosquito activity and cause other damage to the deck.
Depending on the size, a child's pool can be too much for a deck to handle. If a deck becomes damaged as the result of a child's pool, the case is not always that the deck is built improperly. In fact, the deck may have just been pushed beyond its capacity and became overloaded. Even if the water in the pool is shallow, the pool can contain thousands of gallons of water, which is a tremendous amount of weight and strain on the structure.
If you're worried about whether or not your child's pool should be placed on a deck, err on the side of caution. Instead, find an open space on your lawn or a concrete slab that can support the weight of the pool. If the pool is a major installation and not just an inflatable pool for very small children, you may be required to check with your home insurance provider for rules stipulating your coverage of the pool. Also check any deed restrictions to ensure a child's pool would not be a violation.
A single cubic foot of water weighs over 62 lbs.. Safety codes stipulate that a deck should only hold 40 lbs. per square foot. Most children's pools hold much more than one cubic foot, but even one foot is in violation of this number, which does not include the weight of children in the pool or adults monitoring the activity.