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Posts by Mark Battalini

pool cleaning

Things to Consider when Hiring a Pool Service Company

One of the easiest and most convenient means of keeping swimming pools sparkling clean and always ready for use is to hire a pool service company. A swimming pool represents a significant investment and it requires far more than dexterity with a vacuum to be a pool professional. The following are things to consider when hiring a pool service company.

It’s absolutely essential that the selected pool company holds a current license from the state, that only certified technicians are employed, and it’s been in business for several years. Make sure the company is insured, bonded and doesn’t hesitate to guarantee its work in writing.

Many people hesitate to hire a pool company in the mistaken belief that it will be too expensive. A reputable pool company offers reasonable rates and offers flexible maintenance and cleaning schedules. Some pools will require more attention than others based on multiple variables. Its money well spent for anyone that wants to spend more time enjoying their pool and less time on maintenance.

Pool companies will be required to apply chemicals appropriately to address issues ranging from maintaining pH levels to green pool cleanups due to algae growth. Fresh water swimming pools and salt water pools are maintained differently and pool technicians must have the knowledge and experience to rectify problems in either type.

Maintenance services encompass more than simply cleaning. Pool owners will want to hire a company that has access to the latest technological advances to detect leaks, perform acid washes, perform repairs, and provide resurfacing if needed. The pool technicians should be able to provide equipment maintenance and installations that includes pool heaters and filtration systems.

For those that have spas incorporated into their pool, the technician should understand the special needs of a spa and be able to offer the same type of services as for pools. A professional pool service company will be able to perform pool installations. It will provide equipment sales, pool installations and remodeling, and property management services for a complete solution for any individual or commercial enterprise.

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Benefits of Adding a Waterfall to your Pool

Waterfalls are restful to listen to and beautiful to behold. They’re an elegant addition to the pool, add character, and they offer a variety of benefits. A waterfall doesn’t need to be large or ostentatious to be effective, create a focal point, and breathe new life into the pool area.

A waterfall can easily be incorporated into the original pool build and they can be retrofitted to existing swimming pools. It’s essential that you work with a pool specialist throughout the process to ensure it’s structurally sound and accommodates the aesthetics of an existing pool. The following are the little known benefits of adding a waterfall to your pool.

Algae

The moving water of a waterfall helps significantly in preventing the growth of algae. Pool water moves as it’s filtered, but not to the extent that a waterfall provides. The more motion water has, the less likely algae will grow in your pool.

Beautifies

A waterfall can be incorporated into a corner of the pool, free-floating versions are available, along with those that can be anchored at the bottom of the pool. No matter which style you choose, waterfalls can be adorned with color-changing lights to provide an additional level of safety and set the mood for your outdoor space. It’s an easy way to update the look of your pool.

Filtering

Your normal pool filtering system will be the primary way in which debris is removed from the pool. While a waterfall is not replacement for a well-maintained filtering system, the moving water in your pool from a waterfall will be cleaner.

White Noise

People around the world have found the sound of running water one of the most soothing and relaxing of auditory experiences. The sounds from a waterfall act as a form of white noise with the power to help you destress and relax.

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Pool Deck Materials Matter

The decking that surrounds a pool is an important part of the pool environment. It sets the tone, character and style of the swimming area and will be where tables, chairs, and other outdoor furnishings will be placed. However, not all pool decking is the same and there are some factors to consider when choosing pool decking.

The materials used in pool decking will have an impact on the people using the pool. Decking materials have function and performance requirements that are far different than an ordinary patio. A pool professional can provide invaluable assistance in choosing the decking materials that best fits individual needs.

Heat Retention

In Florida’s abundant sunshine, pool decking can soak up a lot of heat. The surfaces can become extremely hot and result in burns to the soles of the feet. Individuals have a number of materials available that offer superior levels of reflectivity. For those that have their heart set on a specific material, there are decorative overlays that substantially reduce the amount of radiation and heat absorbed.

Maintenance

No one wants to spend time on maintaining the decking when the pool is so inviting. Concrete is one of the most often used materials for pool decking and while there are pavers and tiles aplenty, they’ll can often require more maintenance than concrete. The selected material will need to be able to withstand constant exposure to pool chemicals, heat, and water without degrading.

Slip Resistance

Splashing and water spillover from pools are to be expected, but it can also lead to a very slippery surface that can result in falls and injuries. The decking can be hazardous for everyone and particularly dangerous for children, the elderly, and anyone that has partaken of alcoholic beverages. Footwear can fail to gain traction on wet surfaces just as easily as wet feet. Slip resistance should be a priority for every pool owner.

Space

A good rule of thumb for a rectangular pool is decking that extends a minimum of four feet on both sides and eight feet on the ends to provide ample space for walking and lounging around the pool. Some materials will cost more to cover the same amount of space.

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Why is my Pool Turning Green?

The water in your pool can change colors for multiple reasons. When it turns green the most common culprit is algae. There are other causes of green pool water that you may not have even considered, but will succeed in ruining your pool experience.

Algae

If the appropriate amount of chlorine isn’t maintained within the pool water, algae will begin to grow and the entire volume of water can transform into a green quagmire within a day. A swimming pool with an algae bloom isn’t safe to swim in and can make you ill. An additional concern is if chlorine levels aren’t maintained at the correct levels, the algae-laden water can provide an excellent breeding ground for disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes.

Filter Problems

Algae can also form if the power and size of your pool pump and filter are too small for the amount of water it’s cleaning. Clearing the pool of algae can take varying amounts of time, depending upon the type of filter that’s in use. It can take a week with a sand-based filter to completely clear the algae from the pool. If you have a cartridge filter, you may need to clean the cartridge every day until the pool water returns to normal.

Metals

Copper is another common cause of green pool water and can originate from a variety of sources that include cheap algaecides, from water sources, and even copper heating elements of pool heaters. It’s a problem that will get continually worse if left untreated.

The greening of pool water in this situation typically happens when a pool is shocked. If present in sufficient amounts, the metal(s) will oxidize, resulting in green pool water. Blond hair will also turn green when excessive levels of metals are present.

Pollen

Pool water can also turn green or a greenish-yellow from pollen falls. The good thing about the situation is that pollen isn’t harmful or dangerous – unless you have severe allergies. Even if you don’t have plants close by the pool, pollen is easily blown about by breezes and can drift into your pool.

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Great Waterproof Footwear

Waterproof footwear represents a good investment for anyone that spends time in the great outdoors or works where contact with water is always possible. The footwear is equally beneficial for those that live in climates that receive a significant amount of rain. The right footwear keeps feet dry and won’t be ruined should an unanticipated water hazard occur.

Waterproof footwear typically costs more, but it also lasts longer. There are dozens of brands from which to choose and styles range from flats and sneakers to boots. One thing that individuals should be aware of is the difference between waterproof and water-resistant.

Waterproof shoes have a coating that won’t let moisture pass through, but the coating does degrade and weaken over time. The footwear also tends to keep perspiration trapped inside unless it has a means of ventilation.

Water-resistant shoes will repel a certain amount of moisture, but not all. The best waterproof footwear is a personal choice and individuals should keep in mind the following when making their selection.

  • Support is critical and should be paired to the activity whether it’s walking, running, hiking, or working. Don’t choose footwear simply because it’s waterproof.
  • A waterproof liner allows moisture to escape and provides breathability.
  • Footwear with built-in odor control can be particularly attractive for those that regularly walk, run, hike, or work in wet conditions.
  • Waterproof footwear is typically constructed of leather, Gore-Tex or GTX material, or rubber.
  • Many consider leather the best material base for a waterproof shoe for its ability to breathe but don’t discount other materials.

The choice of the best waterproof footwear is a subjective one and the preferred brand will be dependent on multiple factors desired by the wearer. For the ecologically minded, there’s also a 100 percent vegan sneaker that’s lightweight, breathable, and has anti-odor abilities built-in. Waterproofing doesn’t rely on a coating – it’s integrated directly into the knit of the shoe.

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Does UV Clothing Really Work?

When people think of wearable tech, they automatically envision products like smartwatches and fitness trackers. The wearable technology industry has expanded significantly and one of the most popular products on the market is UV clothing. The biggest question for most people is “Does UV clothing really work?”

The short answer is yes, but there are variables that can affect effectiveness. The majority of UV fabrics are designed to provide a protective factor of 50 or more against UVB rays and the protective ability lasts for 2-3 years. UV clothing is available in pants, shirts, and hats that more closely resembles high-end fitness or leisurewear for a stylish look.

UV clothing is created by treating the cloth with substances that either absorb or reflect UVB rays to minimize the amount that reaches the skin, combined with a very tight weave. To qualify for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, UV clothing must provide an ultra-violet factor (UPF) of at least 49.

A rating of 30-49 is considered good, while a rating of 50 or more is excellent. Clothing with a rating of 15 or below isn’t considered UV protective. Tightness of the weave or knit also affects the protective power of the clothing. The protective factor diminishes if the clothing is worn while wet.

UV clothing does minimize the amount of ultraviolet rays from the sun that reach the skin. Sunscreen will still need to be used on exposed areas of skin. The following are tips when choosing UV garments.

  • Always look for a UPF rating
  • Choose garments with the most dense weave
  • Red and blue colors work best at blocking UVB rays
  • Nylon and polyester materials are better at disrupting rays
  • UV clothing that fits tightly reduces its effectiveness
  • The tighter fabric weave increases heat, so check for items with ventilation options

UV clothing can be especially beneficial for children and people that burn easily. The garments are equally advantageous for individuals that work outside, are on the water or snow where light reflects, in equatorial regions, or at high elevations. The clothing is also helpful for individuals taking some types of medications that increase sensitivity to the sun.

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Commercial Pool Safety

Water cleanliness is important in home pools and it’s critical for commercial pools. The department of health has set forth specific rules and regulations governing every facet of public pools ranging from fencing to chemicals. It includes any swimming pool or wading pool, used by the general public, along with those operated by health spas. Depending upon the number of people that’s served, some homeowner association pools may also fall under those guidelines.

Pool water must be regularly sampled and the appropriate chemicals applied in the correct amount. The pH balance must be maintained and chlorine levels achieved to minimize contamination by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The Florida climate makes swimming available year-round and maintaining a commercial pool is a constant and ongoing concern.

Owners of commercial pools are typically focused on providing guests with an enjoyable experience. They often lack the time, knowledge, and certification needed to keep a pool in optimal condition and that can lead to expensive litigation if someone becomes sick.

That’s where the services of a professional pool company are indispensable. It’s money well spent. An added bonus is that the professionals have the tools to scan for defects and areas of potential trouble in the future, along with the specialized knowledge required for commercial pools to ensure they meet all safety codes. No establishment wants to have their pool closed or the costly fines for non-compliance issues.

Anyone that operates a commercial pool wants to provide a quality pool environment for guests. That means a pool that’s clean, safe, and hygienic. A professional pool company is a solution. They can test, apply chemicals, clean and identify potential problems, and maintain all facets of pool filtration systems.

The standards for pool water safety are especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Florida Department of Health has determined, through guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that the virus is rendered inactive with proper application of chlorine or bromine concentrations within the water. Pool professionals can ensure a safe experience.

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How Water Temperature Affects the Body

Whether an individual is getting a drink of water, taking a shower, or swimming in a pool, the temperature of the liquid has a definite effect on the body. It affects the biological and chemical reactions within the body. Water temperature affects the body in a myriad of ways, some of which may seem contradictory. Fortunately, the human body is a wonder of bioengineering and able to adapt.

Drinking cool liquids help reduce internal body temperature. Cooler water is transferred through the stomach and into the intestines quicker than warm beverages for faster hydration. The ideal temperature for drinking water is between 50 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a guideline closely followed by professional athletes and studies have demonstrated that water temperatures of 60°F is the optimum temperature for initiating a sweat response and rehydration.

Warm water has the surprising ability to aid in fat burning and curbing appetite. Warm water mobilizes molecules within the body when ingested and makes it easier for the digestive system to burn calories.

The temperature of the water when swimming is important as it can affect the core body temperature and heart rate. When immersed in water of 102°F, moderate cardiovascular stress and hyperthermia take place. While few people will encounter those temperatures, it’s a good example of how water temperature can affect body function. The average temperature of a shower is 112 degrees, but doesn’t cause as much stress on the body since exposure is shorter in duration.

Conversely, swimming pool water kept at less than 78 degrees Fahrenheit will leave swimmers shivering when they emerge as the body tries to warm itself. Whether swimming in a pool or the ocean, water temperatures of less than 70°F makes breathing more difficult. During Olympic competition, water is maintained between 77 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Top 5 Things that Destroy Pool Chemistry

There are a number of factors that can disrupt and destroy the chemistry of a pool. A swimming pool is its own self-contained ecosystem that requires monitoring and the correct application of chemicals to keep it clean, healthy, and sanitary.  Anything that enters the pool has the potential to alter and destroy pool chemistry – and it can be expensive to correct.

People

When people use a pool, they bring a variety of unseen elements with them that includes sunscreen, makeup, dead skin cells, bacteria, fungi, and viral contaminants. Those all increase with the frequency with which the pool is used and the number of individuals that are swimming.

Sunlight

Rays from the sun reduce the amount of chlorine in a pool, allowing bacteria and algae to grow. Sunlight can easily reduce the amount of chlorine by up to 90 percent in just two hours when the pool water is directly exposed on a highly sunny day. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun breaks down chlorine, allowing it to gas off into the air.

Rain

The rainwater that falls in your pool contains acidic properties that will affect pH balances, alkaline levels, calcium and other chemicals. Heavy rain can significantly dilute the chemical balance of a pool. It’s further compounded if runoff from a house, porch or deck gets into the pool. The pool chemistry will also need to be tested and adjusted if individuals need to add water to the pool.

Vegetative Material

When removed right away, leaves won’t have a substantial effect on the pool water. However, if they’re left very long they’ll begin to use chlorine, stain the pool, and can result in an algae bloom. Even if there aren’t any plantings close to the pool, leaves and pollen can easily be displaced by the wind where they will be deposited into the pool. The same is true of mulch.

Too Many Chemicals

Maintaining the correct ratio of chemicals can be a balancing act. Adding too much, not enough or the wrong chemical can lead to pool chemistry that only a professional can remediate. Any of those situations can also result in injuries, and even emergency situations, if swimmers breathe them in or swallow even small amounts of pool water.

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Summer Pool Maintenance is Essential!

Pool maintenance is a must in the summer and the watery oasis may need more frequent attention depending on its usage and weather conditions. In very hot weather, a pool’s chemical balance can change quickly and it will be affected by a number of variables.

Increased Usage

For those that have large families or entertain frequently, summer pool maintenance is especially important. Each time someone gets in the pool, they bring along with the dead skin cells, sunscreen, and a myriad of normally occurring bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The levels of all those elements increase as more people use the pool or people use it more often.

More Debris

Trees, bushes, flowers and grass shed leaves and pollen throughout the summer that will find its way into the pool. It’s important to skim any large debris from the pool to help the filter work more efficiently and ensure it doesn’t get blocked. A weekly check is critical. The task may need to be performed even more often if there are a lot of plantings very near the pool. It can help to remember that the pool’s filter works much like the kidneys in the human body to filter waste.

More Algae

No one wants to swim in an algae laden pool and it’s more than just an aesthetic concern – it’s also a health issue. There are a number of factors that will have a bearing on algae growth including warm temperatures, pH balance, and sunlight, all of which cause algae to flourish. Poor water circulation and incorrect pool sanitation measures also have the ability to contribute to algae growth.

More Chemicals

Inexperienced pool owners often try to compensate for problems by adding more chlorine. That chemical and others have specific uses within the pool environment and should only be used for the issues for which they were intended. Too many chemicals or in the incorrect amount will cause an imbalance in pH levels, causing swimmers’ eyes to burn, irritation of the nose and throat, and even a burning rash.

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