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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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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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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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Great Summer Reads for Poolside

Relaxing by the pool with a good book is one of the benefits of having a pool. While some people choose to catch up on classic works from every age, others prefer something lighter, shorter, or stories that will immerse them in another world. The following are just some of the books that have won popularity for reading by the pool, in no particular order.

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry – The only thing a romance writer and a literary fiction writer have in common is writer’s block, no money, and living in the same neighborhood. Until they strike a fateful deal.

“Craigslist Confessionals: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers” by Helena Dea Bala – The author ran an ad on Craigslist inviting people to share their secrets. Everyone has a story to tell and respondents tell all in the book.

“Oona Out of Order” by Margarita Montimore – Oona turns 19 and finds herself living in her 51-year-old body at the stroke of midnight. A stranger in her home discloses that she’s destined to live her life out of order and will jump to another point in her life on each birthday.

“Parakeet” by Marie-Helene Bertino – A bride-to-be is visited by her dead grandmother in the form of a parakeet. The bird directs the bride on a discovery of self, an exploration of matters long buried, and the path to true love.

“The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead – Based on the real life reform school in the Jim Crow South of the 1960s, Nickel Academy is an eye-opening look at the horrors that occurred there and they’re not always easy to digest.

“The Secret Women” by Sheila Williams – Three different women have recently lost their mothers and meet at a yoga class. As each go through their mother’s belongings, they discover secrets about the women that raised them and come to a better understanding of themselves.

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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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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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