Paving around a pool is a great way to keep your water cleaner and more free from debris. Without grass, dirt, and plant matter so close to the water, grass clippings and fallen leaves find their way to the patio surface instead of becoming something else to skim from your pool. However, many parents with kids hesitate to pave their poolside area because of the fear that a running child on a slippery surface can increase the chance of accidental drowning. paving a poolside area mean that you must risk slippery surfaces? Not necessarily. Here are the pros and cons of paving poolside, and what it takes to have all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks of a hardscaped area near water.
What Causes Slippery Surfaces?
Paved areas around pools are very popular in the southwest, where the air is dry and little vegetation is around to fall and rot on an unkempt area. However, in the Northeast, sea air, humid temperatures, and the regular alternating hot weather with rain, new problems appear. The slippery surfaces are due to growth on the paving. Moss will appear on areas with moisture and shade, and algae can make these surfaces slippery if there is sun and constant water. Rotting grass clippings or fallen leaves can create a moldy surface, too, if they are left in an area where they can’t dry thoroughly or aren’t cleaned off. Water on a clean paved surface will be less slippery than a rainy street or sidewalk.
How Do I Prevent Slippery Paving?
Like any yard component, paved areas that are maintained will not be slippery. Regular cleaning of pavers will keep them free of growth, and therefore free of slipperiness. In addition, proper planning can make this a much lower maintenance surface to clean. Some tips to make this less slippery include keeping gutters above the paved surfaces clear of debris so overspill doesn’t constantly drip and wet the pavers. Also, creating a small shrub barrier between a cut lawn and the pavers will keep most of the clipped grass from landing on your patio. Using a leaf blower after mowing can accomplish this as well, but won’t stop the grass that comes with tiny running feet from lawn to patio. Finally, locating your paved pool area in the sunniest place possible will not only keep mold from growing in the shade, but will also keep both patio and pool more free of falling leaves. If you are still concerned about slippery running on the pavers, some well placed obstacles like planters and chairs may be enough to break up any running momentum that can result in a child putting him or herself in danger.
Is This Too Much Maintenance?
A paved area requires less time to maintain than a lawn. A good sweep or leaf blowing instead of a mow, and an occasional good wash with soap and water (spring and fall are often more than enough to keep it looking good and clean).