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Posts by Mark Battalini

Benefits of Deep-Water Exercise

The benefits of exercising in deep water has been known for centuries and forms the basis of many therapeutic practices in the modern world. Dozens of public gyms and community pools have initiated water aerobics classes that have been met with great enthusiasm and success.

Always be sure and consult with a physician before beginning any type of exercise routine. Pool owners already have everything they need to take advantage of aquatic workouts. The exercise is appropriate for all age groups.

Low Impact

Swimming is a low-impact exercise, but don’t discount its benefits, particularly for individuals with arthritis or healing from injuries. Water buoys the body’s weight, reduces the effects of gravity on the body, and makes it easier to move. Aquatic exercise also reduces the potential for injuries.

The buoyancy of water means individuals are only supporting a percentage of their normal body weight. For instance, standing in waist-level water reduces the gravitational force on the body by 50 percent, while neck-level water reduces the force of gravity by about 90 percent, depending upon the body’s density. 

Strengthens the Core

Exercising in deep water is great for strengthening the core and that adds stability to the body. It’s an effective exercise for anyone, particularly seniors and pregnant women. A stronger core enhances flexibility, improves balance and posture, and supports coordination that can actually aid in reducing accidents and falls.

Full Body Workout

Swimming in deep water utilizes all the muscles in the body and burns a significant number of calories. It’s an effective form of exercise for those with a wide range of chronic illnesses and disease ranging from COPD and osteoporosis to cardiac conditions. Water is also an excellent form of resistance training.

Stress Relief

Water creates a massaging effect as the body moves through it that’s relaxing and relieves stress. Water-based exercise improves circulation to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body and aids in sleep.

Competitive Edge

Those that regularly utilize deep water exercise to improve athletic abilities and endurance include hikers, mountain climbers, bicyclists, and weight lifters. It’s an important part of training for many professional athletes and it’s equally effective for recreational and amateur athletes.

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Why Add a Spa to your Pool Plan

Spas are becoming an increasingly common feature in swimming pool plans and they have a variety of benefits. Most people typically imagine an enclosed space, but in South Florida they’re essentially open-air pools that attach directly to the swimming pool. They provide a warm and inviting oasis where you can relax after a swim. They also add value to the home and enhances pool design.

A spa can even be added to an existing pool. The modern aquatic features are installed below-ground just like the pool. They’re attached to the pool, but the pool is separated from the swimming pool with a dam-like wall. Spas have a variety of therapeutic benefits and you’ll wonder why you waited to have one installed.

Pain Relief

The warm water of your spa provides welcome relief from the aches associated with strenuous exercise to the pain of arthritis. They’re equally appropriate for recovering after an accident. Spas can be designed with jets that help soothe the body while you relax in any position that best accommodates your body.

Exercise

A spa isn’t just for relaxing. It can also act as a therapeutic place to exercise. The water buoys the body and reduces the stresses of gravity. You can move more freely in water for an effective low-impact workout that’s also effective cardio. You can even add light weights if you’d like for a more intensive exercise routine.

Circulation

Heated water supports overall wellness and is particularly beneficial for improving circulation that enhances the body’s own innate healing abilities. A spa aids in helping the body pump essential oxygenated blood. Improved circulation benefits the entire body.

Sleep

A spa is great for promoting better sleep. The heated water warms the body and facilitates mental relaxation similar to what happens when your body prepares for slumber. Just be careful and don’t fall asleep in the spa.

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Resurfacing: Give your Pool a Whole new Look

There are many reasons why you may need or want to resurface your in-ground pool. As it gets older, cement can begin to erode, exposing the original plaster structure. That rough surface can trap dirt and debris. It will make the pool appear dirty, dingy and unappealing.

Even more importantly, it’s the waterproof layer that’s essential to maintain the integrity of the pool’s structure. Resurfacing can also be used to update the look of your pool. There are dozens of colors, textures, and even jewel tones from which to choose that are highly attractive.

Diamond Brite

Diamond Brite is a popular option and a type of exposed aggregate. It’s fade-resistant, slip-resistant, and available in multiple colors. Diamond Brite is resistant to staining, pool chemicals and scratches. As it ages, the finish is less likely to show any imperfections that may develop. You also have the choice of pebble and quartz type finishes that are harder and more durable.

Plaster

In terms of lifespan, white plaster typically lasts from 5-15 years depending on how often the pool is used, the amount of chemicals employed, and the care the pool receives over time. It’s a good choice if you have a large pool and you’re on a budget. Plaster can also be dyed, but with white plaster, the signs of wear and usage are more visible. 

Pebble Aggregate

Pebble finishes are attractive and slightly rough to provide greater purchase on the bottom and sides of the pool, but it’s not abrasive. You can even have beads added to a pebble finish for a slicker texture. Pebbles are embedded in plaster for a rougher surface that will feel as if you’re walking on the bottom of a stream or creek bed and it’s aesthetically pleasing.

Tiles

If you choose tile, they’ll be applied by hand and can be used to create mosaics and patterns. Materials include ceramic, glass, stone and quartz. The tiles are offered in a variety of sizes and colors and can even be crafted into images.

Colors Count

One thing you’ll want to consider when selecting a resurfacing option is what color you want the water to look like. The color of pool water changes depending on the depth of the water, chemicals, and even the angle of the sun as it hits the water. The color of the finish will have an impact on the amount of light that’s absorbed and reflected, which will have an impact on water temperature throughout the day.

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Planning a Pool to fit your Style

A pleasing pool doesn’t just happen. It’s a project that takes careful planning and takes your desires, budget, and lifestyle into consideration. Pools can be constructed and installed in a myriad of shapes and sizes to accommodate any space. A swimming pool is also a major investment and proper planning with a pool professional ensures the finished product will be exactly what you want.

Budgetary Concerns

The first step is to understand your budget and how much you have to spend on a pool. Before getting too excited about your new pool, talk to at least three pool installation specialists to obtain an idea of the type of expenses involved before moving forward. The shape and size will impact costs.

Land Considerations

The attributes of your property will have an impact on where, how and even if an in-ground pool can be installed. Your yard may require significant prep work to prepare the site for installation and that can significantly impact the time required and cost involved. Retaining walls may need to be erected or hills might need to be leveled.

Access to the site may be a problem and that will also affect the cost. The soil may present a risk for an in-ground pool, but not for an above-ground pool. You may have to choose between an above-ground model, no pool, or an alternative such as a spa.

Zoning

Every community has specific zoning regulations governing the type of features and additions that can be made to properties. There are also a variety of safety equipment and measures that must be provided when you have a pool. It’s a good idea to investigate zoning requirements before you set your heart on a specific size or type of pool.

Features and Options

You’re going to have a wealth of features and options from which to choose that you can include in the pool set up. You can select from different finishes, colors and textures of the pool itself, along with LED mood lighting, stereo options, and pool heaters. Traditional swimming pools and saltwater options are available, along with fountains and built-in waterfalls.

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Pool Heaters Make Swimming an All Year Activity

Even in South Florida, there are times when the water in pools can be too cold to swim in comfortably. The solution is a pool heater. The only question will be what type to use. Individuals can choose from electric heat pumps, a gas model, or an environmentally-friendly solar option. Each will heat swimming pool water to temperatures that enable people to use their pool year-round for health, fitness and recreation.

More Family and Friends Time

When it’s possible to throw a pool party with 80-degree water temperatures, even in December and January, it’s a natural invitation to find creative ways to share. A warm pool provides an attractive venue for holiday parties and ways to spend time with children home from college during winter break. A heated pool means you can also swim at night, even when temperatures fluctuate.

Health and Fitness

A heated pool is especially beneficial for anyone with bone and joint conditions. Water buoys the body and reduces the force of gravity, thereby making movement easier and less painful. It’s also an excellent form of low-impact aerobic exercise that utilizes all the muscles in the body. There’s no need to go anywhere for water therapies with a heated pool in the backyard.

Enhances Value

A pool heater is an easy way to enhance the value of properties and increase the ROI on the pool. There’s no need to close and cover the pool in the autumn with a pool heater.

Consult with Professionals

There are exact calculations that will need to be performed to ensure the right size heater for the volume of pool water. An experienced pool professional will be able to make those calculations that will be specific to the type of pool heater to be installed. The experts can also provide information on the different types of heaters and recommend the one that will best fit the needs of the individual.

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pool leak detection

Services that Should be Included in your Maintenance Package

One of the best things about pool maintenance is that those services can be left to professionals. They have the knowledge, experience, and training to ensure every aspect of your pool is handled efficiently and effectively. However, you should be aware that maintenance packages can vary significantly among pool services.

Pool maintenance encompasses much more than simply monitoring pH levels and adding chemicals. Some companies provide a set number of services at specific intervals, while others tailor pool maintenance packages to the needs of the individual. The following are basic services that every pool maintenance package should include.

  • Check pH, alkalinity, and related chemical levels
  • Add chemicals when appropriate
  • Provide green pool clean up
  • Examine filters and clean or replace as necessary
  • Skim leaves and debris from the pool surface
  • Provide leak detection services
  • Ensure pumps and pool heaters are working optimally and provide replace/repair services
  • Remove and vacuum algae from the walls and bottom of the pool, along with slides and ladders

There are also other services that pool professionals offer that are specialties. Saline-based pool systems are becoming more popular and not every pool service is familiar with them. The salt-based pools have some different requirements and it’s important that you ensure that the pool service you select is experienced with those types of systems.

Superior pool companies also provide equipment sales and installation, along with pool repairs. The companies may also be able to provide pool installation, remodeling, and renovation services. There may also come a time when you want to consider resurfacing your pool and professional pool service will have the expertise to do so.

In areas with hard water, it doesn’t take long for mineral deposits to collect on pool surfaces. Pool professionals can provide an acid wash to remove those deposits and aid in minimizing staining.

Most important of all, make sure the pool professional you hire for maintenance and service work is trained, certified and licensed to perform the services for which they’re contracted.

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Pets in Pools? Pros and Cons

Many individuals share their pool time with their canine companions. A great many dog breeds enjoy the water and there are benefits and disadvantages when allowing dogs in the pool environment.

Exercise

Swimming is a low impact aerobic exercise that can be as beneficial for dogs as it is for their human companions. Younger and high energy dogs can burn a lot of energy through swimming. The buoyancy of water supports movement for older dogs and those with joint conditions. When attended by a human, the pool can be therapeutic for canines recovering from injuries and surgery.

Pool Chemicals

Chlorine and other pool chemicals can result in watery eyes or a burning nose in dogs. It can dry out their coat and adversely affect their skin. Dogs should be rinsed off with warm water after getting out of the pool. Swimming also increases the potential of dogs developing an ear infection.

Pool owners should also know that dogs can bring more debris into the pool than humans, especially long-haired breeds. Loose hair will come off in the pool and that will have an impact on filtration systems.

Damage to Liners

Dogs have sharp nails that can damage pool liners and pool toys. Even trimmed, well-groomed nails can be injurious to swimmers due to the way that dogs paddle to stay afloat.

Dog Safety

Unlike people, a dog won’t automatically know how to exit the pool and it requires training to teach them where the exit is located. A pool that’s not equipped with steps or a shelf-type entry will be a death trap for dogs. They won’t be able to climb a ladder and will simply swim until they’re exhausted.

Any dog that enters the water should be wearing a canine life jacket. The same safety measures should be taken for dogs as for small children. Never leave dogs unattended in or near a pool and ensure they can’t gain access to the pool through safety fencing. Don’t use a floating pool cover. Children, dogs, and other pets don’t understand that it’s not a solid surface and can easily become trapped under a floating cover.

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Trees to Avoid Planting Near your Pool

Planting trees near your swimming pool can aid in creating specific landscaping effects for a more inviting environment. In addition to leaves, some have pollen, blossoms, seeds, and fruits that will fall in the pool and add to maintenance costs. It will also make the pool unattractive and may even render it unusable. The following are trees you’ll want to avoid near your pool.

Evergreens

An evergreen may seem like a good alternative to traditional leafy varieties – until you consider that they shed needles at an amazing rate. Those needles can fall or be blown into the pool and carried in on damp feet. The trees also emit sticky pitch that’s difficult to remove.

Fruit and Nuts

Trees that bear fruits or nuts should be avoided whether they’re trees that are considered domesticated or those found in the wild. Fruits and nuts attract insects, wildlife, and present a hazard for people who can trip, fall, and be injured. Fruits and the husks of nuts will also stain pools, concrete and other surroundings.

Invasive Roots

Some tree species have invasive roots that actively seek sources of moisture – including your pool. They can grow through the sides of pools, erode the soil around the pool, and damage and destroy underground plumbing. Willows, aspens and cottonwoods are water seekers.

Big Bloomers

Trees that produce big blooms are beautiful to behold until they begin to drop their petals into the pool. The resulting debris can be considerable. Southern magnolias are well-known for their gorgeous blooms and messy aftermath.

Thorns, Spikes, and Spines

Some trees develop thorns as they mature, while others produce seeds with thorny coverings. Sycamores and sweetgum produce seeds with spiky coverings that are painful if stepped on. Hawthorns, honey locusts and acacias sprout thorns.

Messy Seeders

The catalpa tree is a messy seeder and the northern variety is even worse than the southern version. The long seed pods open to release clouds of fluffy seeds that can resemble a snow storm when blown about by the wind. Their flowers also create a mess when they drop and the seeds pods are unsightly when they fall on lawns and in pools.

Weak Limbs

Silver maples and Bradford pears are just two species that tend to have weak branches that break and fall in the wind. They can cause a significant amount of damage if the branch is large, while a continual rain of small twigs is equally annoying.

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pool repair

Why you Shouldn’t Ignore a Pool Leak

A pool leak is never good news and if the escaping water is a small amount, you may be tempted to think it’s just a normal decrease in the pool level and add water. While water levels will decrease over time, they’re typically very gradual. Having the services of a pool professional isn’t a luxury in these situations – it’s a necessity. The professionals will be able to identify potential problem areas before they become critical.

Expense

A small leak today can cost you much more to repair in the future and you may even have to replace the entire pool. Leaks only get worse and you may find that it has undermined the surrounding soil, necessitating emergency landscaping.

The need to add water will also increase your utility bills and you’ll be spending more on pool chemicals to maintain the appropriate pH levels. Leaks can also corrode pipes, damage filtering systems, and cause the underlying soil to shift that can lead to pipe breakage.

Property Damage

Even if you have the leak repaired relatively quickly, a significant amount of water may have already escaped. Depending on the local terrain, it may be flooding other areas or pooling underground. You could find yourself paying for damage done to surrounding properties and local fines. Pooling water can also result in muddy areas that increase the risk of slip and fall accidents on the property.

Environmental

The water in your pool is a mix of chemicals that can harm the environment. Pool water can kill fish and wildlife, damage habitats and native species, and leads to the production of greenhouse gases. Depending upon the chemical composition, it can affect algae blooms.

Hire a Professional

Even if you don’t have a pool professional perform regular maintenance on your pool, it’s a good idea to have your pool checked at least once a year by specialists. They’ll have the technology to go over your pool inch-by-inch to identify any existing leaks or areas that can present a problem in the future. They’ll also have the expertise to repair the damage.

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Pool Supplies Every Pool Owner Should Have

Many individuals choose to perform maintenance on their pool themselves. Keeping a pool clean, sparkling and healthy will require a familiarity with a range of chemicals and their proper application. There are also basic tools and equipment that every individual should have. The following are pool supplies that every individual should have.

Chemicals

Anyone with a pool knows how many chemicals are required to maintain pH balances, kill algae, and keep pools sanitized for a healthy environment in which to swim. There are also chemicals to shock pools, clarifiers, chemicals to remove stains. Test strips are also needed to determine if there are imbalances that need to be rectified.

Gates and Fences

Every pool is required to have a fence that children can’t climb under or over and an automatically locking gate latch to prevent drowning. It can also be helpful to place an alarm on the gate and specially designed pool motion sensors are available.

Pool Brush

This is an essential cleaning tool, but be careful to select the right head for the type of pool finish. There are brushes that are equally appropriate for concrete and plaster pools, while others are used for vinyl lined pools only. One of its most important functions is scraping algae off the side after the pool has been treated with an algaecide. Some are equipped with a magnetic edge to retrieve missing jewelry.

Pool Cover

A pool cover will keep debris out of the pool when it’s not in use and it’s an important safety feature that helps prevent accidents. Solar pool covers will use the power of the sun to help warm the pool water.

Skimmer

This is a flat net attached to a long pole, enabling owners to remove debris floating on the surface of the pool such as insects, leaves and flower petals. It’s also effective for reaching pool toys that have floated out of reach or that have sunk to the bottom.

Vacuum

A manual vacuum designed for pools allow people to reach the bottom, sides, and hard to reach corners to remove any slime, algae or residue that’s built up in the pool. A robotic cleaner is another option. While a robotic cleaner isn’t an absolute necessity, they’re very convenient and save time. The robots can clean the bottom, sides and even steps, depending on the model, while owners are sleeping or at work.

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