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Pool Lighting

Backyard Nightlife: Why LED Lights are Awesome

Lighting for the backyard is one of the most often overlooked features for safety and entertaining – and it can be one of the most frustrating. The lighting provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for sharing good times with family and friends, but can also attract unwanted insect pests. LED lighting technology provides a myriad of illumination advantages over traditional bulbs and an LED alternative exists for every type of existing fixture.

Saving Money

One of the biggest attractions of LED lights is that they’re much cheaper to operate than traditional bulbs. They’re 80 percent more efficient and don’t use as much electricity.

Versatility

LED lights are available in multiple colors, allowing homeowners to customize their backyard decorating and take control of their illumination solutions in any situation. They encompass the full light spectrum, enabling individuals to create distinctive looks for any themed event.

Longer Life

The average life span of LED lights is approximately seven years and the longevity can even extend up to 10 years or more, depending upon differences in usage. As a result, they require very minimal levels of maintenance. LED technology doesn’t use filaments and they’re not glass-based, making them more resistant to bumps, shocks, vibrations, and fluctuations in temperatures.

Safety

LEDs produce more light with fewer fixtures than traditional bulbs and provide greater visibility for family members and guests. They can significantly reduce the potential for trip and fall accidents. They emit a fraction of the heat of ordinary light bulbs and remain cool to the touch, meaning they can be used in areas where children and pets frequent.

Eco-Friendly

Aside from using less power to operate, LEDs minimize light pollution. They cast illumination specifically where they’re directed without “bleeding” out into adjoining areas. LED lights can be recycled and don’t contain toxic components such as mercury.

Fewer Insects

One of the great things about LED lights is that they don’t emit the type of UV light that insects find attractive so there will be fewer bugs fluttering around – and everyone wants that!

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Hosting a Safe Pool Party for Kids

Every parent knows how quickly children of any age can get into mischief. Youngsters are curious and have no comprehension of the dangers a pool can present. For anyone planning on hosting a pool party for kids, there are a few basic tips that should be followed to ensure everyone has a happy time but remember that safety should always be the top priority.

No Unaccompanied Children

This should be clearly stated when you issue the invitations. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. It may seem harsh, but make it clear that unaccompanied children will not be allowed to attend.

Have a Lifeguard

If there’s someone that can be trusted to act as a lifeguard, ask them to do so. If no one is available or willing to take on the responsibility, hire one from a reputable company.

Establish Health and Safety Rules

Set safety rules and make sure that each parent receives a copy of them when the invitation is issued. It will help reduce problems on the day of the event and be sure to post them on the premises where they’re easily seen. Some basics include no diving or running in the pool area, and no food or drinks are allowed in or near the pool. All children that aren’t potty trained must wear a swim diaper.

Stock up on Essential Supplies

It’s inevitable that children will arrive without floaties or sunscreen. Floaties are essential for any child that has limited swimming experience or skill. Sunscreen is equally important. Children are at increased risk of sunburn in the late morning and early afternoon, and the potential increases due to the sun’s rays being reflected from the water in the pool.

Take Regular Breaks

Even though children are surrounded by water, they can easily become dehydrated. Make sure everyone takes regular breaks and they have plenty to drink. Get everyone out of the pool periodically and offer them juice and tempting frozen treats.

Prepare for Potential Emergencies

Despite the best laid plans and precautions, the potential still exists for an emergency. Hosts should be trained in CPR, have a fully stocked first aid kit ready, and keep a phone close to hand. It’s also a good idea to check and make sure the event is covered by the homeowner’s policy.

Prepare the Pool

A pool party is no fun if there’s algae growth or the pH levels are off. To ensure that the water is perfect for swimming on the day of the big event, consult with a pool specialist. Explain what’s needed and when the celebration will take place. A pool professional can ensure that the water is sparkling clean, safe, and inviting for the party.

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pool cleaning

Making your Life Easier with a Pool Maintenance Company

At some point, every pool owner will contemplate hiring a professional pool maintenance company. While you may only look at the financial outlay, there are many factors to consider. Hiring a pool maintenance company has a multitude of advantages.

No Chemicals to Keep on Hand

Pools require chemicals to keep its appearance sparkling, control the growth of algae, and maintain the proper pH balance. Maintaining those chemicals securely and inaccessible to children and pets will require a locked storage space. A professional pool maintenance company provides the required chemicals so there’s no need to keep them on the premises.

Time

Time is one of your most precious resources and few people want to spend that time caring for the pool. If you must endure long commutes or are frequently away from home, you simply don’t have the time to adequately care for the pool. A specialist will keep it in pristine condition and ready for you to enjoy the moment you walk in the door.

Maintenance and Inspections

Keeping a pool in optimal condition requires testing pH levels, knowing what chemicals to use, and when to apply them. It involves regular cleaning of filters, maintenance of heaters and plumbing, and inspections for damage. Pool owners can learn by trial and error, or hire a pool company that has specially trained experts that can perform all of those jobs quickly, efficiently, and correctly the first time with advanced technology.

Repairs and Resurfacing

If you want your pool to remain in top condition, hire a professional. They can address staining or provide an acid wash if applicable. The specialists will be able to detect existing problems as well as potential areas of concern. A full-service pool company will be able to make repairs or completely resurface the pool as needed.

Investment in Quality

With a professional pool maintenance company, you’ll be able to spend your time on more pleasurable pursuits with the knowledge that your pool is always ready and in top condition. Hiring a pool maintenance company is convenient, cost effective, and a smart way to protect your investment.

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Pool Renovation: Surfaces to Consider

Today’s swimming pool owners have a wealth of options available for a pool renovation. The appearance of the backyard pool is important from an aesthetic perspective, but it also affects cost, renovation time, and longevity. Individuals can select from dozens of colors, no matter what material they decide upon for their renovation.

Fiberglass

A smooth finish and resistance to ground shifting has made fiberglass a popular option for pools. It’s longer lasting than plaster or concrete, and resists staining from chemicals and algae. It can be applied over other finishes.

Diamond Brite™

Easy to maintain, it cures quickly and can be acid washed periodically to maintain its brilliance. It’s comfortable on swimmers’ feet, resists staining and fading, and is one of the most durable on the market. The finish is created with natural quartz and is resistant to damage from chemicals, the elements, and sunscreen. It’s also easy to clean and maintain.

Pebble

This is a good choice for those that want to create a natural look and is particularly inviting when surrounded by plants and other greenery. A pebble finish is resistant to chemicals and stains, doesn’t require grout, and is quite durable.

Plaster

For those that simply want to update the finish on their pool, plaster is the most economical but it also requires more maintenance and will require periodic re-plastering or painting. Exposure to pool chemicals, the elements, and even sunscreen can cause discoloration and lead to deterioration. A highly decorative glass bead aggregate is also available that gives water a shimmery appearance.

Quartz

Long lasting and durable, quartz feels smooth to the touch for swimmers and makes cleaning the pool easier. Quartz also enhances the play of illumination on the water, whether it’s mood lighting or sunlight.

Tile

While tile can take a considerable amount of time to install and is one of the more expensive materials, it has the benefit of lasting for many years. Individuals can choose from tiles of porcelain, ceramic, stone and even glass. They can be arranged in multiple designs and patterns for an artistic look. Glass is the most expensive, stone gives a textured feel, and ceramic and porcelain can be hand-painted.

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Small Pools for Tight Spaces

If you’ve always dreamed of having a pool but don’t think you have the space, there’s good news. There are a wide variety of small pools that are making a big splash with homeowners across the nation.  You can choose from in-ground, above-ground, and pools that can be installed indoors and outside.

Properties are getting smaller and compact pools are the perfect solution for narrow or small lots. They provide all the pleasure of a pool for cooling off, relaxing and entertaining for those that don’t have the space to install a standard 20×40 pool. Small pools have expanded the range and options for homeowners. They’re being placed in front yards, garages, extra rooms, and even as the focal point of a central courtyard.

It’s important to understand that the small pools of today are typically not for swimming in the traditional sense. They’re hybrids that are shallower and combine the benefits of a pool with a spa and can be used for relaxing or a centerpiece for entertaining. Their small size means that homeowners can often have the luxury of a pool with other elements such as decks and patios.

As pools have evolved to accommodate small spaces, they’ve picked up a variety of names to differentiate between them and their larger cousins. Small pools are called everything from wading pools and cocktail pools to plunge pools or a shortened version known as a spool. The different designations are typically used to identify the usage.

Compact pools can be customized in a myriad of ways. Specialized shapes can be created that accommodate the specific needs of the property, such as oddly shaped and unused corners of the real estate. Small pools can be raised or sunken and the only limitation for a small pool is the imagination.

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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 a Solar Pool Heater makes Sense

With Florida’s temperate climate, it may seem counterproductive to install a solar pool heater, but it’s actually a smart investment, particularly for those that use the pool infrequently or don’t utilize it as often as they’d like. It ensures that the pool water will be at the optimal temperature anytime people are ready for a swim.

Even with Florida’s mild winters, temperatures can dip low enough that pool water becomes too chilly for swimming. A solar pool heater utilizes the power of the sun that’s freely available. It’s an environmentally-friendly way to reduce the cost of gas and electricity that’s normally used to heat pools.

An added bonus is that a solar heater can work efficiently for up to 20 years, twice as long as traditional electricity-based systems. Depending on the heater model and size of the pool, a solar pool heater can pay for itself in 1.5-7 years.

The heaters enable anyone to swim year-round, even if the area experiences an unseasonal dip in temperatures. A properly installed solar heater that’s appropriate to the size of the pool can maintain water temperatures at an average of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit under normal weather conditions. Typical operating temperatures will also depend on the orientation of the solar panels, how often the pool is used, and by the number of swimmers.

Each solar pool heater system is specifically designed for the individual pool. It will require the services of professional that can calculate all the variables involved to deliver a heating system optimized to meet the desires and expectations of the pool owner.

A solar pool heater represents one of the most cost effective ways to warm pools. They have very little ongoing expenses in terms of operational costs and require little maintenance. Today’s solar heaters encompass manual and automatic controls and can even be operated with an app on mobile devices for complete convenience.

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pool cleaning

7 Reasons to Hire a Pool Maintenance Company

A swimming pool is a lot of fun. It can also require a significant amount of time on your part for maintenance. If you’re unfamiliar with the type of chemicals it needs, when to apply them and appropriate amount, you can end up damaging the pool and making it unusable. There are multiple reasons why homeowners should hire a professional pool maintenance company that include the following.

Saving Time

For those that travel frequently, have children, and other pressing obligations, finding the time to use the pool can be a problem, let alone cleaning and maintaining it. A professional pool maintenance company can perform all the tasks needed in a fraction of the time required by the average homeowner.

Expert Knowledge

A pool maintenance company has the specialized knowledge required to perform a variety of tests on the pool water and apply the correct chemicals at the optimal time to maintain pH levels, minimize the growth of algae, and keep water sparkling bright.

Regular Maintenance Schedule

A pool maintenance company will do more than simply clean the pool and apply chemicals. The company will place the pool on a regular schedule of maintenance to head off situations before they can become problems.

Comprehensive Inspections

Older pools can develop hairline cracks, chips, and other defects. A pool maintenance company will inspect the floor and walls of the pool during maintenance procedures.

Pool Repairs

If a defect or crack is found during an inspection, pool professionals are able to provide the complex and complicated repair services or complete resurfacing if needed. They’re also experienced in the repair and replacement of pool pumps, filters, heaters, and plumbing.

Customized Service

Services can be customized to the desires and individual needs of the homeowner. All pools aren’t the same, nor do they require the same services on the same schedule.

Peace of Mind

Nothing can compare with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the pool is always in optimal condition and ready to use.

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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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