On the hottest days of the year, the family swimming pool can seem like a sparkling, blue oasis beckoning the entire household (and most of the neighbors) to take a dip in its cool depths. However, even the most refreshing pool can use a bit of freshening up itself from time to time. Innovations in pool care and design happen constantly; every year, companies in the pool industry work to develop new products to make the backyard pool safer, easier to maintain, and more fun for the whole family, and even small changes to your pool routine can make you fall in love all over again with the deep blue.

Safety and Security

Keeping the pool a safe environment for everyone on the property is a chief concern for homeowners, and the industry frequently responds with products designed to keep the pool area protected and still offer an element of aesthetic appeal.

Pool covers for the off-season are required in many municipalities to reduce the chance of small children falling into the pool unnoticed, and solid pool covers are starting to gain in popularity over mesh for their durability, increased functionality, and ease of use. In addition, manufacturers have begun to up the style factor by offering solid pool covers in a range of colors to complement outdoor decor.

Vinyl liner pools have recently become more popular in residential use due to their comparatively low installation and maintenance costs. The increased use of textured and printed vinyl in floor, stair, and interior pool bench areas not only offers new design options, but it also decreases the chances of slips and falls. Textured patterns allow for better foot gripping and increased stability when entering and exiting the pool as well as better position maintenance when seated.

An unattended pool can be an enticement to uninvited guests, but having an eye on the area at all times can be difficult. While never to be used as a replacement for adult supervision when the pool is in use, an outdoor security camera can assist in watching over the pool area and keeping unwanted visitors—from other people’s pets to pool moochers—away from your backyard oasis.


Keeping up with maintenance can be one of the most daunting parts of swimming pool ownership. It seems there is always something to clean, adjust, or skim to keep the pool looking its best and ready for use. The pool and spa industry is constantly developing ways to lighten the workload for a pool owner, and some of the newest products are looking like future MVPs in the pool upkeep game.

Just as robotics is beginning to be used indoors on floors, similar technology could be patrolling your pool. The first solar-powered robotic pool skimmer has been designed to remove debris from the surface of the water in addition to adding chlorine through an on-board dispenser. It operates on solar power, making it an ideal companion in the heavy-use season.

So far, there hasn’t been a robot developed to clean the pool filter, but the introduction of instant filter cleaner has made the job speedier and a lot more painless. With a spray-on formulation that eliminates the need for long soaking, instant pool filter cleaner can have your filter cartridges deep cleaned and ready for use in as little as five minutes.


The whole point of a pool is to have a fun, relaxing place for you and your family to hang out and enjoy the water, the weather, and time together. Lots of new products have popped up to make the pool area the place where everyone wants to be.

Plain old diving boards are being upgraded to combination diving platforms with water features. These boards can take on the look of hardscaping around the pool and provide a sturdy, built-in launch pad into the pool. They could also offer a visually appealing waterfall when not in use for diving.

Pool noodles are practically a requirement for an afternoon of good times in the water, and some new models offer the same safety and fun with a new twist. Zoo Noodles are the latest line of multitasking pool play items—cute creature shapes that float and squirt. Colorful, durable, and appealing to children and adults alike (each creature can float up to 200 pounds), Zoo Noodles could be the perfect new pool toy to adopt for your water world.

For the ultimate poolside upgrade, consider adding a stand-alone sauna to your pool area. Typically constructed of solid wood in a variety of sizes and customizable designs (some companies even make home models out of recycled wine barrels), home saunas offer the luxury of a spa visit with the convenience of not having to leave the house. Stand-alone saunas also have the advantage of not requiring any alterations to your home’s structure to be able to enjoy the benefits.

The family swimming pool can be one of the most valuable areas of the home, not for what it adds to the property value, but for the value it adds to the family. With a few new upgrades from time to time, the pool can be refreshed and remain a focal point of good times and fond memories for years to come.

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Sources: Aqua Magazine; Coldwell Banker; Pool & Spa News; Pool & Spa Outdoor.

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