Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina all have relatively similar pool fence codes and adhere to three basic guidelines regarding proper installation and layout of pool fences:
1) All pool fences are to be at least 4’ in height
2) Fence gates must be self-closing and self-latching
3) Pool fences can be no higher than 2” from off the ground, making for a minimal gap between the bottom of the gate and the ground
Selecting the right pool fence material is important, and no matter which material is selected, the three aforementioned regulations must be met. The following section will delve into the four different types of pool fence materials that are commonly used, and some of their nuanced requirements to meet state pool fence codes:
1) Wood Fence: Pool code states that the fence verticals must have gaps spacing no farther than 1 ¼” apart when the space between the horizontal support rails is less than 45”. This restriction is meant to keep someone from gaining foothold and scaling the fence.
2) Vinyl Fence: A popular choice due to its maintenance free quality, moisture resistant properties, and lifetime warranty. Vinyl fences come in white or tan and in three styles that meet pool code:
- Privacy: Provides complete seclusion, ranging in heights from 4’ to 6’
- Semi-privacy: Provides 80 % privacy, also ranging in heights from 4’ to 6’
- Picket fence: Typically chose for its aesthetic appeal. Picket pool fences can vary in height depending on the back rail spacing (45”) and specific picket style. Heights are commonly 4’ to 5’
3) Aluminum Fence: A popular choice for sharply-dressed pool enclosures, aluminum pool fences are also maintenance free with a lifetime warranty and come in a wide range of styles and heights to meet both customer needs and pool code. Like wood and vinyl fences, aluminum verticals must have gap spacing no farther than 1 ¼” apart when the space between the horizontal support rails is less than 45”. Furthermore, aluminum fences must have a closed top and bottom rail with no protruding pickets. This is to avoid the likelihood of someone climbing over or crawling under the fence from getting impaled.
4) Chain Link Fence: These fences require the fabric to be in 1 ¼” diameter diamonds to prevent foothold for climbing.
As mentioned earlier, regardless of fence material, all pool fences must adhere to the three basic guidelines: at least 4’ tall; must have self-latching gates; bottom must be no higher than 2” from off the ground. Picking out what’s right for you may seem like a daunting task, so feel free to contact Hurricane Fence for any of your pool fence-related questions.
Article contributed by Michael Fugere.