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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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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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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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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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The Perfect Temp all Year Long

A heater is the ideal solution for a swimming pool if it’s going to be used year-round. They keep the water at an even temperature, allowing people to swim, stay fit, and entertain whenever the mood strikes. There are different types of swimming pool heaters and individuals will have to make a decision on which is best for their particular situation.

Solar Pool Heaters

Powered by the sun, solar pool heaters can be real energy savers and pay for themselves in 1.5 to 7 years, depending upon prevailing electricity costs. They can be extremely cost-effective. A solar pool heating system involves the installation of solar panels, typically on the roof of your house.

They’ll require a specially designed system to accommodate the size of the pool, the temperature owners want to maintain, and the orientation of the solar collectors. There may also be specific codes and regulations governing their usage. Solar heaters typically last longer than heat pumps and gas heaters and can also be used to cool the pool.

Gas Pool Heaters

A gas pool heater operates on natural gas or propane and has the benefit of heating pools faster than solar options or a heat pump when water is initially heated. They provide on-demand heating and remain the most popular method. A knowledgeable professional will be required to determine the appropriate size of the system.

An expert will factor in humidity levels, night temperatures, wind exposure, and the volume of water to be warmed, along with the desired water temperature. Scaling in the heat exchanger or burner can reduce efficiency over time.

Heat Pumps

They’re energy-efficient and utilize heat from the surrounding air to warm the water. They’re particularly effective in warmer climates, but not when the air temperature is 50 degrees or less. A professional is required to determine the size pump that will fit the volume of water to be heated and for the desired temperatures.

Temperatures can fluctuate due to multiple factors ranging from the time of day, the number of swimmers, seasonal variations in ground water temperatures, and the amount of water that may have been replaced in the pool due to splashing and evaporation. They can also be combined with solar elements.

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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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Hair Maintenance for Swimmers

Few things are quite as enjoyable as a languid swim on a hot day. People that spend a significant amount of time in the pool will notice that their hair may be taking on some damage. The chemicals used to keep pools clean and hygienic can take a toll on hair, but there are some precautions everyone can take to minimize damage.

Most public pools require that people shower before entering the pool. It removes skin cells that can pollute the water, but it’s also important for hair. Fully hydrated hair absorbs less chlorine while swimmers are in the pool. Chlorine damages hair by leaching away natural oils, leaving it dry, brittle and rough. Hair that is damaged will experience more split ends and lose its sleek, glossy appearance.

Exposure to copper in pools that’s been oxidized by chlorine can also result in a green cast to hair that’s been highlighted, dull out brown hair, and adversely affect color-treated hair. It’s always a good idea to protect hair by wearing a swim cap. For those with long hair, a braid won’t prevent exposure, but it will help keep hair from tangling.

After exiting the pool, rinse hair off immediately to remove as much of the chlorine and other chemicals as possible. There are specialized shampoos on the market designed specifically to remove chlorine from hair. Clarifiers can also be helpful in removing chlorine. Don’t forget to use a comb, not a brush, to gently remove tangles and prevent additional damage.

Swimming in the ocean or an in-land lake also poses risks for hair from salt, UV rays, and other contaminants. No matter where people are swimming or how often, it’s a good idea to take the time for some pampering from a haircare professional. They can provide treatments to reinvigorate locks, address issues with discoloration, and recommend products for specific needs.

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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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