Benefits and Disadvantages of Swimming Pool Screen Enclosures

Updated on February 20, 2018
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Rob is a licensed pool service industry professional with over 20 years of experience.

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About Screen Enclosures

Screen enclosures are typically made entirely of aluminum material. Lightweight and durable, swimming pool screen enclosures can have many useful benefits. This usually comes down to the individual homeowners' preference since this is not necessarily the best idea for all swimming pools. In this article, we'll take a look at the pros and cons of a screen enclosure as well as cost.

The Benefits of a Screen Enclosed Pool

When most people consider a screen enclosure, usually one of the first reasons that come to mind for having one is: "It keeps the bugs out". That reason alone is one of the top benefits of an enclosure. There are many other ways a screen enclosure can enhance your swimming and outdoor living space experience. Let's take a look at some of these benefits.

  • More Shade - The screens on the enclosure let plenty of sunlight in while preventing direct sun. This light filtering quality is not only healthier than being directly in the suns UV rays, It's also more comfortable.
  • Child Safety - Helps better secure children and keep them within view
  • Leaves and Debris - Another great advantage. No leaves!
  • Atmosphere - Creates a sense of privacy or personal space
  • Bugs and Other Rodents - Screens do a great job keeping out the bugs, mice, snakes and most other pests.

This Pool Needs No Screen Enclosure

Open Infinity edge pool. Not screened in
Open Infinity edge pool. Not screened in | Source

What to Consider

While the advantages of a screen enclosed pool are enticing, other factors must be taken into consideration. These include landscape/deck configuration, location, cost and personal preference.

  • Landscape and Deck Configuration - How large is the general pool area and deck that would be enclosed?
  • Location - Location meaning, wide open area or a lot of leaf-shedding trees around?
  • Personal Preference - Many people enjoy the open, tropical paradise as seen in the photo of the infinity edge pool. Others prefer more dense foliage surrounding the deck and swim area
  • Cost - Cost will vary depending on the contractor, size and design. This can range anywhere between $6.00 and $15.00 per square foot of material. Average fair cost would be $8k to $10k for an average to decent size enclosure. There are both on-sight fabricating construction or prefabricated construction options available.

This Pool Would Benefit From a Screen Enclosure

Leafy pool that could use a screen enclosure
Leafy pool that could use a screen enclosure | Source

Disadvantages of a Screen Enclosure

Screen enclosures are not always the best thing to have. They can require frequent maintenance. Here are some examples:

  • Torn or Damaged Screens - Screens will need replaced. Most enclosure peaks are directly above the pool. The screen panels above the pool can be difficult to replace and could require scaffolding over the pool.
  • Mold and Mildew - The enclosure will develop mildew over time and needs to be pressure washed sometimes as frequently as twice per year.
  • It's a "Cage" - Although an advantage of the closure is a sense of privacy/personal space, the adverse effect would be feeling "caged in." The term "pool cage" may sound familiar.

Aluminum Screen Enclosure Wind and Weather Durability

Since the screen panels are large, Strong wind doesn't cast much strain on the frame of the aluminum structure. If the frame has been secured and anchored properly then it will take a lot of wind before any damage or failure occurs. In the event of a major hurricane there is a high possibility of severe damage to the enclosure. A strong tornado could easily destroy it.

Screens will need replacing occasionally from rips or tears in the screens, or from evaporating pool chemicals causing the screen material to become brittle and tear. The pre-painted aluminum usually lasts for years before needing to be re-painted.

Questions & Answers

  • Can I pressure wash the swimming pool screens myself? And if so, what tips can you give? Also we have pine needles poking through the top screens. It’s a hard to reach area but maybe a leaf blower for that? Could too much blowing cause damage to screens?

    Yes. You can certainly pressure wash the screens. Keep in mind that the older the screens are, the more brittle they become because of chemicals evaporating off of the pool. Try not to use a high-pressure machine (PSI rating below 2500 would be sufficient). Pine needles? I see that all the time. They are difficult to remove, and many people just live with them poking through the top screen panels. You could replace the ceiling screens with a fine mesh screen material to prevent this.

© 2018 Rob Hampton

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