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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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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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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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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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Commercial Pool Maintenance

Anyone that operates a commercial pool knows how stringent the rules are for cleanliness and hygiene. To obtain that superior level of sanitation, a variety of actions must be taken weekly and monthly to ensure the safety of all that will use the facility.

Commercial pool maintenance is a complex, complicated and highly-technical service. It requires scientific knowledge and experience that only a specially certified pool technician can provide to ensure all health, safety, and code requirements are being met.

Those operating a commercial pool at their facility are focused on the customer experience. A pool is an integral part of that, but owners have little time to devote to balancing chemicals or the equipment needed to conduct detailed inspections. That’s where the services of a commercial pool maintenance company will save time, money, and ensure guests won’t see a “pool closed” sign.

Chemical Balances

In addition to pH levels, calcium and chlorine, there are other types of chemicals and elements that must be maintained in a delicate balance to ensure the pool ecosystem is safe and hygienic. Proper chemical balances will be affected by the pool’s water source, the number of people using the pool, and even how sunny or cloudy the weather is. A pool professional can test the chemical levels upon each visit and adjust them accordingly.

Pool Cleaning

Cleaning a pool is far more complicated than simply running a robotic cleaner around the pool. Commercial pool maintenance includes specialized pool vacuuming and a thorough brushing that reaches every corner. Tiles and filters will also be cleaned. Pool filters are the first line of defense for a sanitary pool and that requires regular cleaning and emptying of baskets.

Inspections

A commercial pool technician will have the knowledge required to perform detailed pool equipment inspections and make repairs if needed. It’s an essential service that will minimize the potential for break-downs before they can occur. Inspections of the pool itself are critical to identify even the smallest of cracks, peeling or leaks.

Hire a Specialist

Maintaining a commercial pool to ensure it meets health, safety and code requirements requires specialized knowledge. A certified pool specialist will be able to detect potential problems, areas of concern, and will utilize state-of-the-art equipment, techniques and strategies to maintain pools at the highest level of cleanliness. Attributes that commercial pool owners should also seek in a pool company include resurfacing and remodeling services should those services become necessary.

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green pool cleanup

Common Pool Maintenance Mistakes

Everyone wants to save money, but a DIY approach to the swimming pool isn’t necessarily a good idea. It can actually cost you money in the long run, make the pool unusable, and cause damage. The following are some of the most common mistakes that people make when trying to service the pool themselves.

Automatic Pool Cleaner

A robotic cleaner may sound like a time saver to remove algae, but it only succeeds in pushing it around the pool. The mesh bags used by automatic cleaners quickly become clogged and instead of capturing algae it’s simply stirred up within the pool.

Brushing

Failure to give the pool a thorough and regular brushing results in scum build-up that’s unpleasant and unhygienic.

Calcium Content

Balancing the calcium hardness in the pool extends the life of everything from the vinyl liner to the filter. Too much calcium will make the water cloudy.

Filter

You want the pool to look clear and sparkling and to obtain that appearance the filter should be run a minimum of eight hours each day. Less than that and the water can become contaminated with all types of unwelcome elements.

pH Levels

The pH level in pools requires close monitoring to ensure the water is appropriate for swimming and to prevent damage to equipment. A pH level that’s too acidic will damage filters, pumps, heaters, vinyl liners, automatic pool cleaners and solar blankets.

Shocking the Pool

Pouring “pool shock” directly into the pool can set up a chain of events that will be expensive to repair. Pool shock is concentrated chlorine. When poured directly into the pool, t sinks to the bottom and bleaches the vinyl liner, which then becomes brittle. It’s only a matter of time before the liner fails and leaks occur.

Testing

There are a number of things that a pool should be tested for each week beyond the pH and alkaline levels. To ensure a safe and sanitary pool, you’ll need to test for calcium hardness, salt, copper, iron, and chlorine.

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Can Germs be Spread in a Swimming Pool?

For many people, the sight of a pool with sparkling blue water is equated with a clean and hygienic environment. What many don’t realize is that pool water doesn’t have to be dark, murky or discolored to be filled with bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites.

Chlorine is regularly added to pools to help control the growth of germs, but it also requires time to work. The effects aren’t immediate and some parasites are highly resistant to chlorine. If someone swims in a pool with a contagion, it can easily be spread to anyone else that uses the pool no matter how much care is taken to maintain waters in a hygienic manner.

The human body can be host to all sorts of germs, sometimes long before an individual even show symptoms. When it comes to swimming pools, the most common types are those that result in gastrointestinal distress and the typical transmission vector is fecal matter. The germs found in pools pose the greatest risk for children, the elderly, and people that are pregnant. It’s particularly dangerous for those with a compromised immune system.

Swimming is an activity that’s fun and healthy. There’s no reason that anyone should deprive themselves of the pleasure of a pool. However, germs are everywhere and there’s no way to avoid them or completely eradicate them from personal environments, but there are steps that can be taken to control them.

The potential for infection is just one of the reasons why the services of a pool professional are invaluable for mitigating the spread of germs via the pool. A professional is aware of the specific hazards associated with pools and is able to treat the water with the right chemicals at the correct time to maintain the cleanest and most hygienic environment.

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Is a Saline Pool Better for your Body?

One of the biggest trends in the world of pools is the saline swimming pool. They’re an alternative to traditional pools that require large amounts of chlorine to maintain the health and hygiene of the water. A saline pool still contains chlorine, but in much smaller amounts.

Some research indicates that saline pools may be healthier, simply due to less exposure to the chemicals required to maintain a traditional chlorinated pool. A combination of chlorine and ammonia is often present around the surface of swimming pools. Since there’s far less chlorine in a saline pool, it can be better for those with allergies or asthma and less likely to cause lung inflammation.

Many integrative medical professionals recommend saline pools over chlorinated options for skin detoxification and lessening of skin inflammation as it provides an antimicrobial effect. In traditional Chinese medicinal practice, saline pools are said to lower stress and have a calming effect on the nervous and immune systems. Salt water also acts as a natural exfoliator on the skin, which can have a beneficial effect for people with skin conditions ranging from acne and psoriasis to eczema.

Lower chlorine levels than traditional pools means that saline pool water is gentler on the eyes and skin of swimmers. An added benefit is that saline pools typically won’t turn hair green or give it a bleached out appearance.

It’s important to understand that a saline pool isn’t the same as swimming in the ocean or soaking in the Dead Sea. A saline swimming pool will still need regular checks, adjustments and maintenance the same as a traditional pool. The chemicals and processes of a saline pool are different than that of a chlorine pool, making it essential that owners obtain the services of a professional to ensure the water is tested and maintained correctly.

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Why Your Pool Needs Chemicals

You hear a lot about chemicals when you own a pool. They’re designed to perform very specific actions in a pool environment and applying too much, too little, or at inappropriate times can create problems that only a pool professional will ever be able to solve and rectify.

Prevent Unwanted Growth

Without the proper chemicals to check the growth of bacteria and other microscopic life forms, your pool can become a petri dish of undesirable organisms that will affect the health of anyone using the pool. Skin cells, body oils, sunscreen and other substances wash off in the pool every time someone swims. A sanitizer prevents pools from becoming a swampy lagoon.

The Right pH Level

Maintaining the appropriate pH level is accomplished with chemicals. A pH level that’s too high or too low will result in symptoms ranging from stinging eyes to skin rashes. Water can become cloudy, scale will build up, algae can proliferate, and sanitizers will be ineffective.

Staining

The calcium, iron and other chemicals in your water can stain your pool with rust, yellow or green hues, depending on the chemicals. The potential for staining is higher if you live in an area with hard water or you fill the pool from a well. Specific pool chemicals can be used to soften the water, which will also help to prevent unsightly staining and cloudy water. Another issue with naturally occurring chemicals in the water is that they can corrode metal pipes.

Crystal Clear Water

No one will be swimming in your pool if the water is cloudy or murky. Clarifiers are used to keep pool water clear, clean and sparkling for an environment that’s inviting to any swimmer.

Creating a Healthy Pool

There are many chemicals used to maintain a pool in pristine condition. Some require testing of the water first before adding them, while others should never be mixed together. If you’re unfamiliar with the chemicals, their uses, or are inexperienced – call a pool professional and set up a regular schedule of maintenance. They have the experience and knowledge of chemicals needed for a healthy pool.

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