A Summer Outdoor Retreat

Four Problems You, as a New Pool Owner, Should Understand

Maintaining a swimming pool is no easy feat when you’re not familiar with all of the details. A swimming pool needs to have frequent testing, care, and maintenance to ensure that the water is clean and safe. Understanding some of the warning signs of trouble will help you to identify problems and deal with them before they become severe issues. You can’t see the pool bottom. If the pool water is murky and cloudy, the problem is probably caused by incorrect pH levels. The pH of the water can be altered by recent rainfall as well as many other things. Your pool-care test kit should have pH test strips that you can use to check the water. If the test shows that the water is too alkaline, the pH may be the problem. Treat the water with sodium bisulphate until you restore the pH to its recommended level. There’s debris building up in the pool. If your pool water is full of debris, this is a likely sign that you’ve got problems with the pool filter. If the filter is clogged, it won’t clear out particles in the water the way that it should. Rinse the pool filter out weekly and flush the pump and filter system regularly to avoid this. The water is foaming. If you approach the pool and notice foam accumulation on the surface of the water, this may be the result of an algaecide treatment. If you’ve treated the pool with an algaecide, your water may be suffering with after effects. Invest in an anti-foaming treatment from your pool-repair technician, then ask about a quality algaecide that won’t foam. Your water appears brownish or teal in color. Brown or teal coloring in the water is usually the result of heavy mineral saturation. You can have the water tested by a specialist to evaluate the actual mineral concentrations. High levels of iron often cause brownish or rust-like colors in the water while copper can actually produce a teal hue. Once you have the mineral-testing results, you can talk with your local pool-repair shop about how to treat the water to restore its balance. As a new pool owner, you’ll want to understand these common issues. If you are concerned about keeping up with pool maintenance and water testing, talk with a local pool-maintenance and repair contractor such as All-American Pools about having them handle the work for you. […]

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How To Find The Cause Of A Swimming Pool Leak

If you have noticed that whenever you go out to use your pool or clean it, the water level seems to be gradually sinking, it might be due to a leak. Water evaporation is normal, so having the water go down slowly isn’t unusual. However, some leaks are more obvious and cause the water to decrease drastically in a short period of time. Here are some ways to locate the swimming pool leak. Check the Level of Water Loss Before you look for the source of the leak, you should first determine if you actually have a leak. This is important because some water loss is normal. It is sometimes difficult to know when it is a level that is too rapid for regular evaporation of water or splashing from swimming. You can use a bucket of water to check how quickly the water is leaking out of the pool. Fill a bucket with water, mark the level where the water is being filled up to, then place it right next to the swimming pool. Now mark the level inside the pool where the current water level is. Wait a day or two, then go out to check the water levels. If the bucket of water has not lost as much water in that amount of time as the pool, your pool probably has a leak. Use a Dye Tester An easy way to find the source of a swimming pool leak is to use a dye tester. This is done when you think the leak is from inside the pool and are having difficulty finding it, such as having fittings that are loose or a crack in the bottom of the pool. The color of the dye will immediately be drawn toward areas with cracks and holes, and places where they might be a leak. You will first drop the dye into the water, working in small sections. Watch how the dye disperses and if the color goes toward a specific area. You might find cracks in the pool shell or close to certain tiles. Inspect the Exterior Pool Surface If you are not able to find the source of the leak on the inside the pool with the dye test, it might be with the exterior mechanisms. A good way to find where the leak is coming from is to find moisture near fittings. For example, you might […]

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3 Tips For Extending The Life Of Your Hot Tub

Purchasing a hot tub is an awesome investment that can provide enjoyment and relaxation for you, your family, and your friends. However, because hot tubs are such a big investment, it is important that you take great care of yours so that it lasts you for a long time. This article will discuss 3 great tips for extending the life of your hot tub.  Place It Under A Covered Area Rather than having your hot tub exposed to the elements, place it under a covered area. While this can’t protect it from all types of weathering, it definitely stops the sun, the rain, snow, hail, etc. from weakening and/or damaging your hot tub. Many people will have a certain spot built into their patio for their hot tub, and will have an overhang that covers it. You could also create a gazebo to place your hot tub in, and it would have the same protecting effect.  Purchase A Sturdy Cover For It Rather than getting a cheap tarp or another weak cover for your hot tub that likely won’t last long or do a very good job, instead spend a bit more to purchase a more structurally sound cover. These covers are not going to be blown off in the wind, and will secure themselves into place around your entire hot tub. Also, if a child were to climb up on the hot tub cover, it would support their weight, and drowning or suffocating in the cover would not be possible.  Drain And Clean It Regularly  In order to keep the chemicals in your hot tub balanced, it is a good idea to drain your hot tub every 3-4 months. During this process, you will want to scrub all of the slime and mildew out of your hot tub, and also try to remove some of the hard water stains that have built up. Also, make sure that you replace your filters during this time as well, to ensure that they are working properly once you fill your hot tub up again. However, keep in mind that you should be cleaning your filters each month, between replacements. Once your hot tub is clean, you will want to refill it, then put in all of the necessary chemicals. Also, be sure that once the hot tub is clean and chemically balanced that you check the chemical levels regularly to make sure […]

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Types Of Material To Replace Your Pool’s Interior Surface

If your pool is up for repair, it may be time to consider another type of surface for the interior part of your pool. Plaster is the most common type of material, but it is not the only option you have. Two other choices available include pebble and quartz. In order to know what is best for your home, you will want to know how they compare and you will want to talk to the contractors. Plaster As mentioned above, plaster is the most common type of material used for the interior of pools. It offers a very white smooth surface that highlights the pool water’s color, but it can be colored just as easily. When you want a different color interior, contractors will mix dye in with the plaster to change the color. While it is the most common and least expensive, it is not the best choice. Plaster is nothing more than cement mixed with marble. This makes it porous and prone to stains, bacteria, and mold growth. In addition, it will require more chemicals to be used in the water to offset the plaster materials. Pebbles To combat the stain and bacterial growth, many pool contractors offer pebble aggregate mixture. This mixture is added to the plaster and helps extend the life of the pool surface from five to 10 years to closer to 20 years. They are much easier to maintain, even though they cost more initially. Finally, the color of pebbles can be varied so you can be left with a pool that mimics the appearance of a stream or a bed of a lake. Quartz The last type of surface material found on the interiors of pools is quartz. Similar to the pebble surface, quartz surfaces take the plaster base and add a quartz aggregate. Quartz is naturally a very hard and durable material, making it excellent at repelling stains. While it does not last as long as pebble pools, closer to 15 years, it does offer you the ability to have a very durable surface. This is ideal in pools that will be used heavily, or year round. Just like plaster and pebbles, quartz aggregate can have color mixed in to create a variety of colored pools. Now that you know the three main types of pool materials, you have an improved ability to talk to your repair contractors. Your contractors will help […]

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Shotcrete Use In Building A Swimming Pool

 When you buy an above ground pool, or an insert for an in-ground pool, you are getting a manufactured design, so your pool might not be as custom as you want it to be. If you want a truly custom pool, then consider using shotcrete. Choosing an in-ground pool style made from shotcrete offers you various advantages over other materials: What Is Shotcrete? Most concrete is mixed off site and then brought to you in a truck. Before this concrete can be used, workers have to build forms to hold the concrete. In contrast, shotcrete comes as a dry mixture, which is mixed with water at an application nozzle. This concrete is then sprayed onto the surface to be coated with shotcrete. What Are the Advantages of Shotcrete? When you use normal concrete, a high volume of water has to be mixed with the concrete to keep it malleable until you have a chance to get it into the forms. Once in place, this water evaporates, and your concrete loses volume. This can lead to cracking if contractors do not plan joints at specific distances. Shotcrete, in contrast, has a lower volume of water, so when it dries, there is not as much loss of volume, so cracking is less of a concern. A pool with fewer joints is easier to maintain than a pool with a multiplicity of joints.  Further Advantages There is a limit to the types of forms you can build; thus, when you use pour-in-place concrete, your pool designs are limited to what the contractor can build. On the other hand, when you use shotcrete, there is no need to use forms. You can shoot the concrete mixture onto a horizontal or vertical surface; you can even shoot it onto a ceiling. To provide rigidity, rebar frames are created, and then the shotcrete is applied. No matter what you ask for—undulating walls, pirate ships, a grotto, pillars, a climbing wall, etc.—contractors should be able to make it with shotcrete.  A fiberglass insert can look tacky, and a manufactured pool that looks like every pool in your neighborhood may not capture your personality. When you set out to make a family pool, you should consider using shotcrete to create more than a pool. You can create an entertainment center with rope swings, slides, climbing walls, grottoes, and anything else that your family would enjoy. If you have more […]

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How To Make Your Pool Safer

Running a commercial pool comes with many responsibilities and choices. There are several things that you can do to make your pool operations smoother and safer.  Automate Your Pool Systems Having the wrong mix of chemicals in your pool can obviously be problematic. The amount of chemicals needed varies throughout the day, depending on the amount of patrons and the amount of rain falling into the pool, among other factors.  Human error can be a problem when you are mixing chemicals for the pool, so consider getting a pool automation system. These systems monitor the pH and other factors, and then they automatically add more chemicals to the pool. In this way, you can get a good control over chemical levels, even as the number of patrons shifts throughout the day.  Get the Right Equipment The type of safety equipment that you’re required to have will vary based on your state and the type of commercial pool. However, there are a few items that every pool should have in order to keep guests safe. For instance, drain and filter covers can prevent patrons from getting injured. Track lighting around the pool can help guests see the edge of the pool, so that they don’t fall in by accident. A good alarm system is another important factor; in order to prevent break-ins and drowning, someone should always be on call to deal with alarm emergencies.  Choose High Quality Staff Having great lifeguards is crucial to the success of your business. It isn’t enough for lifeguards to have the right training; they also need to have a strong commitment to their jobs. This is why it’s important to hire for your lifeguard jobs in a way that will find you the right staff. You can talk with a place like Aquatic Management for more information on lifeguards. Choose lifeguards with experience and maturity, and be sure to train them in-house before they are given the responsibility of protecting your guests. Regular performance evaluations are also key; you can observe your lifeguards at random intervals to make sure that they are doing their jobs well.  You may also want to vet your lifeguards for practical knowledge of safety procedures. It’s easy to forget certain hard skills involved in CPR and first aid responses without practicing them, so give your lifeguards plenty of training sessions throughout the summer to refresh their skills. A commercial pool […]

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3 Things To Consider When Choosing Which Type Of Above Ground Pool To Install

This is the time of year when many people are opening their pools and getting ready for their favorite outdoor activity during the hot weather months. Those who do not already have a pool often have them installed at this time of year as well. There are many different sizes and varieties of above ground pools available. However, it is important to give some thought to the style of pool you will install. These are some things to consider when choosing the best type of above ground pool for your family. How Much Property You Have to Work With One thing you will want to consider is how much of your own property you will have available for installing the pool. Once an above ground pool is installed and has remained in place for an extended period of time, any grass that had been on the ground usually dies. If your pool crosses over onto your neighbor’s property and kills his grass, this could result in a not-so-friendly reaction from your neighbor. If you are unsure if all of the area the pool will be installed on belongs to you, you may want to have the property surveyed before installing the above ground pool. Who Will Use the Pool Most It is also important to think about who will use the pool most frequently. If you have a family that includes both children and adults, most likely all family members will enjoy swimming and playing in the pool. If you have young children that may not be experienced swimmers, you may want to choose a pool that is not terribly deep. If only adults who are excellent swimmers will spend time in your pool, you can choose a deeper pool if you prefer. However, there also needs to be safer, more shallow areas of the pool in case you have visitors that may need to avoid the deeper area. How the Pool Will Be Used Will the pool be used only for recreation, or will it also be a place for practicing swimming laps? If you have an avid swimmer in your family who will want to swim laps, you may want to consider having a wider, more rectangular shaped pool installed. Do you plan on having frequent pool parties when you will invite several friends and family members over? If this will be a regular part of your spring […]

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3 Pool Maintenance Mistakes That Could Cost You Big Time

Having a swimming pool is a wonderful luxury; what could be more relaxing than coming home after a stressful day and taking a relaxing dip in your own pool? Of course, owning a pool also comes with a fair amount of responsibility, as pools don’t maintain themselves. In fact, there are a few seemingly harmless pool maintenance mistakes that could actually end up costing you big time in the long run. 1. Ignoring Minor Damage It might be tempting to ignore that small crack in your skimmer basket, or the tiny hole in your vinyl pool liner, but even seemingly minuscule problems can turn into huge issues when left untreated. Never overlook even the most minor of damages to your pool; buy a patch kit to fix that hole in the liner, replace that skimmer basket, or make whatever small repair you need to make now. It’ll give you added peace of mind and save you a lot of money and frustration down the road. If you don’t know how to complete a swimming pool repair yourself, contact a professional in your area. 2. Running Equipment 24/7 Another common mistakes many pool owners make is that of letting their pool equipment run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In reality, pool pumps, filters, and other equipment don’t really need to be run overnight, especially if you cover your pool each evening or when it’s not in use. Keeping all of that equipment running all the time not only wastes money, but leads to premature wear and tear on the parts (which aren’t cheap to replace or repair). 3. Failure to Monitor Chemicals One of the most important aspects of maintaining a pool is making sure its chemical levels are kept properly balanced; this means testing your pool water and adding chemicals daily. If you’re going to be away from home for a few days, ask a neighbor to take care of your pool for you, or hire a professional. Otherwise, you’ll come back to pool water that’s not safe for swimming and will have to spend a fair amount of money and time getting those chemicals balanced once again. In a worst case scenario, you could even end up with algae blooms in your pool, which are no walk in the park to get rid of. Avoid these pool maintenance mistakes and you can save yourself a great deal of money and […]

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5 Ways To Make Your Inground Pool The Best Pool In The Neighborhood

Having a swimming pool in your backyard is a luxury on its own, but what can help it increase home value and appeal? There are plenty of additives that help make the pool stand out to help with this. On top of this, these additives are going to make your pool the best one in the neighborhood making your home the go-to place for the pool parties. Here are five ways to do this: 1. Adjust the Temperature One of the most common problems that pool owners have is that they don’t get much use out of the pool at all because the water is too cold to enjoy. Heating your pool may cost a bit more in energy costs, but in the end will be worth it since you will then be able to get more use out of it and have your guests enjoy it, as well. To lower the costs on heating, you can even use a solar blanket, which attracts potential homebuyers, as well since pool costs are a major concern when trying to sell your home. 2. Add a Slide Adding a slide to your pool is great for kids and since most potential homebuyers that have kids are attracted to homes with pools because it provides some great entertainment during the summer, you can be sure that it will add appeal and value. Just be sure that you have enough concrete space to add a slide to ensure that you don’t take up too much space in your yard that it becomes more unusable.  3. Buy Water Sport Games If you have any athletes in the family, purchasing water sport games can be a great way to keep them entertained and ensure that they continue to get exercise. This also provides a great piece of entertainment during pool parties that get more people in the pool.  4. Add a Fountain Adding a pool fountain to your home is another way to increase value and attractiveness to your home. A fountain is especially attractive to homebuyers who may not have kids and want to use the pool more for relaxing, especially on hot days. The fountain will add some serenity to the yard and even adds a bit of elegance.  5. Consider an Inflatable Pool Cover Swimming season, unfortunately doesn’t last all year long. To change this, you could consider purchasing an inflatable pool cover, which […]

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The Hidden Dangers Of Dirty Pool Water

Swimming is a great form of exercise and a great way to just relax and enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re the owner of a swimming pool, consider yourself lucky. Make sure you also consider yourself responsible. Being the owner of a pool comes with the responsibility of keeping your pool clean. When you fail to keep your pool clean, swimming isn’t just a less than pleasant experience, but it also comes along with a number of dangers. Familiarize yourself with these risks to highlight just how important professional cleanings are. Recreational Water Illnesses Some of the more common recreational illnesses attributed to dirty water include diarrhea and skin and eye infections. Unlike some other threats, you don’t have to swallow water that is contaminated to develop one of these illnesses. Simply coming in contact with the contaminated water or breathing in mist from the water puts you at risk. One of the primary reasons that recreational water illnesses are so dangerous is the fact that they are often resistant to chlorine. Unlike some contaminants that are eliminated immediately after contact with chlorine, it can take chlorine days to eliminate recreational water illnesses from the water. In order to quickly eliminate these types of germs, a more aggressive treatment is necessary, such as those offered by a pool maintenance professional. A pool maintenance professional can help rid your pool of these germs and help you maintain the right chlorine level to prevent this type of issue in the future. E. Coli Bacteria Another major risk factor associated with a dirty pool is E. coli. This type of bacteria is found within the intestines of most humans. Inside the body it doesn’t cause much harm; however, when it is introduced through fecal matter, it can make an individual gravely ill. Particularly if you have small children swimming in your pool who are not potty trained, you could be at risk for contact with this bacteria. Any child that is not properly potty trained should be wearing a swimming diaper before entering the water. In terms of adults, all adults should thoroughly wash their hands after using the restroom and entering the pool to ensure particles of fecal matter are not transferred into the water. A combination of these preventive practices and professional cleanings can significantly reduce your risk. Make certain you are keeping your pool clean. Working with a pool management […]

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