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South Florida pool maintenance

Drowning Prevention: Home Safety Tips

A backyard pool is one of the first things that people think of in connection with drowning prevention, but it’s far from the only danger. There’s a multitude of water-related hazards around the home that aren’t even on the radar of most people. The majority of threats affect children, but the elderly and disabled are also at increased risk. Even skilled swimmers can drown.

As little as .067 ounces of water per pound of body weight entering the lungs can result in death. It occurs when the liquid enters the voice box, causing it to spasm and close. It’s a situation that can occur several hours after an individual is originally affected. The following are some essential tips to minimize the potential for drowning.

Never Leave Children Unattended

Youngsters should always be within arm’s reach of an adult anytime they’re near water. Drowning is the primary preventable cause of death for children ages 1-4 from pools, ponds, lakes, and even small streams.

Know how to Swim

Teaching children to swim is one of the best ways to prevent drowning. That doesn’t mean that adults should relax their vigilance.

Eliminate Distractions

Everyone should put away their phones when they’re around water. It only takes a moment’s distraction for disaster to strike. The tip applies to adults watching children and for the safety of adults themselves. Alcohol is also a distraction that should be avoided.

Water Containers

All tubs, buckets and kiddie pools should be emptied as soon as they’re no longer being used. Children less than a year old can drown at home from water left in a bucket.

Install Fences

Every pool and hot tub should be encircled by a fence at least four feet in height to prevent an accident, along with a gate that locks automatically. It’s also helpful to install an alarm that will alert individuals should the gate be opened.

Toilets

Children can and do drown in toilets. They’re fascinated by the water and if they lean far enough, they can tip over into the toilet with no ability to right themselves. Toilet seat locks are available and it’s a good idea to keep bathroom doors closed.

Know CPR

CPR is a skill that everyone should know, along with how to respond to various types of emergencies. Always keep a fully stocked first aid kit on hand at home, along with a shepherd’s crook or life ring with a rope if there’s a pool. It’s always better to be “over-prepared” than risk a life.

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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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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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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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Decorating the Pool Area this Season

Decorating for the holidays is a fun and colorful tradition that can take many forms. Anything that can be adorned with bright lights will be and Florida swimming pools are no exception. It’s not surprising that pools would get a taste of the holiday spirit. The climate enables people to celebrate and entertain outside around the pool, even if they’re not swimming.

Trimming the Trees and Bushes

One of the easiest ways to create a Christmas-themed wonderland is by trimming the trees and dressing up the greenery around the pool area. Large inflatable ornaments can be purchased to hang from larger trees. They can also be inflated and decoratively tossed in the pool. LED light nets are available that can be artfully draped over bushes.

Lighting the Way

Lights are an important part of the season and homeowners can choose from light strands with bulbs in multiple shapes that can be strung throughout the pool area. Rope lights are also an option, though the glow is muted compared to traditional lights. Icicle lights take their name from their shape and are always popular. Setting lights to twinkle mode will allow them to reflect off the water for additional effect.

Outdoor Inflatables

Whether it’s Santa on a sleigh, a snowman or a snow globe, there are dozens of inflatable Christmas-themed “statues” with which to decorate. The bigger-than-life inflatables also come in popular movie characters with a holiday touch.

Floating candles

For simple, elegant and eye-catching decorating, consider candles floating in the pool. Just don’t use candles and inflatables in the pool at the same time!

Imagine It

Most holiday themed decorations in December are centered around Christmas, but don’t forget the possibilities for New Year’s Eve entertaining. Streamers, inflatables, balloons and other brightly colored decorations are available for New Year’s. The beauty of the season is that New Year décor can be combined with Christmas around the pool to encompass the full spirit of the season.

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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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