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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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Pros and Cons of Pool Screens

If you own a pool, you may eventually think about having a pool screen installed for any number of reasons. Pool screens can provide a variety of benefits, but there are also drawbacks and they may not be an ideal solution for every pool owner.

There are some factors you’ll need to consider, such as the location, any unique configurations you might need, the size and space requirements, along with the cost and your personal preferences. If there are a lot of trees that shed their leaves that might be a problem when it’s time to remove them from surroundings.

Cost is something that will vary by size, design and contractor. Pre-fabricated options are less expensive, but allow little leeway for customization. On-site fabrication is also available. It allows for highly customized enclosures, but you’ll also incur more costs.

Benefits

A pool enclosure offers additional safety for children, pets. They also work to keep unwanted insects from visiting and they keep out rodents, snakes and similar types of pests. They prevent leaves and other debris from entering the environment, which means your pool pumps and filters work easier.

A pool screen also offers privacy, along with shade and protection from wind. They let filtered sunlight in, while preventing entry of harmful UV rays. The entire environment is more comfortable and lends itself to entertaining if desired.

Drawbacks

In some situations, a pool screen wouldn’t be a good fit. Screens do get torn and damaged, requiring maintenance or complete replacement. If it’s an overhead screen, scaffolding may be required for repairs to be made. Panels will also attract mold and mildew over time that will have to be removed by pressure washing every six months or so.

Pool screens provide a sense of privacy, but they can also feel like a cage. That’s especially true if you spend a lot of time in one. It’s definitely not a solution for anyone that feels uncomfortable in enclosed spaces.

Ordinary wind won’t place much of a strain on the panels if they’ve been properly secured. A hurricane is an entirely different story and there’s a strong possibility that the pool screen will sustain damage that can be costly to repair. However, the aluminum frame that’s typically used can last for years before it needs to be re-painted.

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Don’t Neglect Your Pool in the Winter

Winter in South Florida doesn’t mean the same as it does in the frigid north when it’s time to winterize your pool. It’s still important that you not neglect your pool for the winter season and that it’s properly prepared. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about draining it, which can cause a whole other set of problems.

The first step is to give your swimming pool a complete and thorough cleaning. It will prevent the buildup and growth of algae that can block pumps. The same is true of leaves and similar debris. Leaves can result in staining of the pool’s finish. All surfaces should be scrubbed and any debris that’s fallen to the bottom should be vacuumed.

Chemicals play a role that’s just as important for winterizing as when the pool is in use. One week before you plan to close the pool, the same chemicals you’d normally use in the summer should be applied.

Even though you won’t be using the pool, you’ll still need to run the pump for six hours a day to circulate the water in the event that you need to add additional chemicals at any time during the winter. In the unlikely event that temperatures dip into the freezing range, keep the pump running day and night to prevent icing and damage to plumbing.

Be sure to detach ladders and handrails, remove toys, and any item that could collect rainwater. It will eliminate a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes – they can lay eggs in areas as small as a bottle cap full of water.

You’ll definitely want to use a swimming pool cover to reduce the need for cleaning and chemicals. Make sure there are no holes or gaps where debris can enter or a child could slip under the edge.

A pool cover doesn’t provide safety if a child or pet happens to walk on it. The addition of a pool net is something that every pool owner should consider to prevent accidental drowning while the pool is suspended for the season.

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pH Destroyers

The pH level of a pool is more important than most people realize. It ensures that the pool is clean, sanitary, and safe for use. Maintaining the proper pH levels aids in keeping pumps and other components working properly and from becoming damaged or corroded.

Even with careful monitoring, there are some things that will adversely affect pool pH levels and owners have no control over them. It’s just one of the reasons why it’s important to have a pool professional perform regular checks and maintenance.

Wind

While wind won’t directly affect pH levels, it can indirectly deposit chemicals and other types of contamination from a neighbor or other nearby sources through drift. Owners should be especially vigilant in areas where spraying or aerial dusting is conducted for pests such as mosquitos, gypsy moths or Japanese beetles.

Rain

A summer rain can drop a significant amount of water into a pool. It dilutes chemicals and disrupts pH levels. After it rains, it’s not uncommon to see an algae outbreak or the water become cloudy. The same things can occur by replenishing pool water levels with water from sources such as well water.

UV Rays

The sun’s rays can contribute to heating a swimming pool, but quickly rising temperatures in pool water due to UV rays can reduce chlorine by up to 90 percent. Bacteria breeds more quickly in warmer water and the pool will deplete its chlorine content more rapidly. There are chemicals that can be used to reduce the effects of UV rays, but they should only be applied by a professional.

Pollen

In addition to aggravating allergies, pollen in the pool creates an increased demand for chlorine that will result in a pH imbalance.

Sun Screen

The use of sunscreen is necessary, but it also dissolves when worn in the pool and reacts with the pool’s chlorine and other chemicals. The more sunscreen that’s in the pool, the more unbalanced pH levels become and owners may notice their pool water becoming cloudy or swimmers may complain of eye irritation. The same is true of haircare products cosmetics.

Usage

The more swimmers there are that use a pool and the frequency with which they do so, will contribute to a pH imbalance.

Staying Safe

The health of a pool is dependent upon many factors, including pH levels. A balance ensures safety and sanitation for swimmers and less cost for owners. A pool professional has the experience and knowledge to keep pools healthy, sparkling clean, and maintain a proper pH balance.

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