Adding Value to My Home

3 Essential Improvements That You Will Want To Do When Opening Your Pool

Soon, it is going to be time to open your pool. While, the process of opening your pool may be a series of basic steps, there are also some improvements to consider. With things like a solar water heater or new filtration system, you can get more out of your pool. Improvements like a chlorine dispenser or automatic cover can also make maintenance easier. Here are some of the essential improvements that you may want to consider when you get ready to open your pool this summer: 1. Installing An Automatic Cover To Reduce Maintenance One of the biggest chores that you may have to keep your pool clean is fishing debris out. This is often wind-blown debris that comes from trees. To prevent this problem, you can add an automated cover. The cover can be used all year and allow you to close the pool when there is more of a risk for wind-blown debris contaminating the water. This is especially useful when nearby trees are pollinating, which can cause water to turn green and algae to grow quickly. 2. Add A Solar Water Heater For A Longer Swimming Season And Comfort Water temperature is important and cold swims are not that fun. This is why you may want to consider adding a solar water heater to provide heating for your pool. This is an affordable an energy efficient way to keep your pool warm, even during cooler days. The solar water heater can also help to extend the swimming season, allowing you to enjoy your pool into the early fall when many other pools are closing due to the water being too cold. 3. Chlorine Dispensers And Filtration Improvements That Make Maintenance Easier Keeping the chemical levels in your pool just right is another difficult task that you will be doing all summer. To make this task easier, there are chlorine dispensers that can automate this task. The floating dispensers are affordable but do not do the best job at chlorinating your pool. Instead, talk to a pool service about installing a dispenser with your filtration, which will evenly distribute the chlorine in the water as it is needed. In addition, you may want to consider updating your filter if you have an old cartridge system. These are some of the improvements that you will want to consider if you are looking for improvements to your pool this […]

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Troubleshooting Tips For Your Swimming Pool Pump

Your pool pump is the heart of your swimming pool. It’s the brains of the operation, pumping water in, then moving it into the filter, where it is cleaned and sent back into your pool. Without a pool pump, your pool would be more like a swamp. This means you need to take good care of that pump to keep it working properly. But what do you do if you have a problem with your pump? See below for some common issues and how to troubleshoot to repair the problem yourself. Leaky Pump A leak in your pump can be a number of problems. It could be a hose on the pump, a broken empeller o-ring in the housing or a bad seal. Check the hoses first, then turn the pump off and take the lid to the pump off to check the seal and empeller o-ring. If the empeller o-ring is broken, check your local pool store for a replacement part. If that wasn’t the problem, clean off the threads around the lid and replace it to see if that was the problem. Pump Not Pulling In Water If you don’t see water going into the pump, check the skimmer basket in your pool. There may be too much debris in the basket. Turn off the pump and then empty the basket (this is something you should do daily to prevent the debris from getting sucked into the pump). If that wasn’t the problem, take the hose off that runs from the skimmer basket to the pump and check it for any clogs or holes. Also check the pump basket to look for debris, as this can slow the water going into the filter and being pumped back into the pool. Pump Is Noisy If you notice that your pump is noisier than normal, it could be that your pump has taken in too much air. If this is the case, you’ll be able to see a large air bubble in the clear pump lid. Check that you have enough water in your pool. A good rule of thumb is that the water is about halfway up the skimmer hole in the side of your pool. If it’s below that line, water may be getting pumped in and it’s getting air instead. If that isn’t the case, try to turn your filter to the “waste” setting for a few […]

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Designing A Pool With Elderly Relatives In Mind

Having access to a private swimming pool can be exciting. If you want to add a pool to your property, it can be beneficial to think about everyone who will be using the pool during the design process. If you have a lot of elderly relatives and friends that would enjoy spending some time in the water, you should take the special needs of these swimmers into consideration as you design your pool. Here are three design features that can make your swimming pool more user-friendly for the aging loved ones in your life. 1. Choose a decking material that will provide a non-slip surface. The decking material that you will install around your swimming pool can have a significant effect on how safe your pool is for elderly relatives to use. Since older people are more prone to falls, providing a non-slip surface for them to walk on will help you eliminate potential injuries. Rubber decking is a great option for your pool design because not only will it provide traction on a surface that will likely be covered with water, but rubber can also provide a softer landing than cement or other decking materials in the event your aging loved one does slip and fall while walking around your pool. 2. Eliminate stairs leading into and out of your pool. When designing your private swimming pool, you should take the time to consider how accessible the water will be for your aging relatives. Pool stairs can be difficult for senior citizens to navigate, so eliminating stairs and incorporating a beach entry in your pool’s design can be beneficial. Beach entries gently slope into the water, eliminating the need for steep stairs that could serve as a source of injury for the elderly. In addition to providing safe access to the water, incorporating a beach entry into your pool’s design can also make your private pool more aesthetically pleasing. 3. Include deep water in your pool design. If you really want to allow your private pool to serve as a space that can be beneficial for your aging loved ones, be sure that your pool’s design features a deep end. Deeper water gives senior citizens the ability to participate in water aerobic activities, which can be beneficial in helping the elderly maintain their health. Exercising in the water reduces the amount of stress placed on the joints, making your […]

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What You Should Know About Inground Swimming Pools

Have you been thinking about getting an inground swimming pool constructed but have no clue what you want? It is a good idea to put a lot of thought into different design options so you will be satisfied with the results of your investment. Take a look at the article below for the answers to some of the questions that you might have about inground swimming pools. What is the Best Material for an Inground Swimming Pool? You have the option of investing in an inground swimming pool that is constructed out concrete, fiberglass or vinyl. The material used should be based on your needs, as each of them can offer different benefits. You should consider a concrete swimming pool if you want an array of design options, as you will have the ability to get the shape constructed in any way that you desire. A fiberglass swimming pool is a good option if you want fast construction to be done and a surface that is coated with a gel that makes it resistant to stains. If you want a swimming pool that has a lot of character, vinyl is the ideal option due to the array of patterns and colors that you can choose from. Does an Inground Swimming Pool Require a Lot of Maintenance? It is important for an inground swimming pool to receive regular maintenance if you want to make sure the water is safe enough to swim in. For instance, the level of chlorine is one of the most important aspects of maintenance because it is used for killing bacteria. However, there are automatic swimming pool cleaners that are also able to keep bacteria under control. The automatic cleaners give you an advantage because you can get away with using less chlorine in the water, which can reduce eye irritation. Another advantage of an automatic pool cleaner is that it can soften the water to prevent a limescale problem. Will Obtaining a Permit Be Necessary for an Inground Swimming Pool? It is common for each city to have regulations in place for inground swimming pool construction that might require a permit. The regulations can vary based on where you reside. Contact the city about the building and zoning rules that you must follow so you won’t end up getting fined or have to get rid of the swimming pool. For instance, getting a swimming pool constructed […]

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Spa Safety 101: The Rules Of Keeping Your Children Safe

There is nothing more soothing than sinking into a spa at the end of a tiring day, but even just a spa can be a dangerous thing when you have little ones. Of course, it is always a necessity that you never leave children unattended in the spa, but there are other safety rules to keep in mind as well. To make sure that your kids stay safe around your spa, there are safety rules that must be followed. Here are a few that you should keep in mind to make sure your spa is less of a safety hazard when you have children in the home. Make sure your spa has a drain cover. When the drain is left open, the suction can be enough to pull small children below the surface of the water and may even be strong enough to hold them there or entangle their clothing. Talk to your spa service professional to make sure that your spa has an adequate drain cover that will prevent this from being an issue. Most modern spas are already fitted with drain covers that are approved by the Pool and Spa Safety Act, but older spas may not and will need to be retrofitted. Install a fence or gate around your spa. It is not uncommon for a spa to be situated right on a back porch or patio where it would be easily accessed by a child who slips outside unnoticed. Even if your spa is arranged on your patio or back porch, it is best if it has a protective fence or gate around it. The fence or gate should have either a safety latch that your little ones cannot operate or a lock that can only be opened with a key. Additionally, the safety gate should be a substantial height to prevent a child from being able to climb over. Install a lockable spa cover. Keeping a cover on your spa is a must to conserve energy and keep the heated water hot, but you can also invest in child-proof spa covers that actually lock in place. This is an incredibly important feature to have if you have little ones because they will not be able to open the cover on their own. Check with your spa supply store for a locking spa cover, which may utilize either latches or actual locks that must be opened […]

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4 Things You Need To Know About Different Kinds Of Pools

If you are considering installing a swimming pool on your property, you are probably wondering what the best option is for you. There are so many different types of pools out there that it can be confusing to know what type is the best for you. It all boils down to what the most important features of the pool are. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right pool for you. 1. Cost If cost is one of the most important features to you, you might consider doing a vinyl pool. As a general rule, vinyl pools are the cheapest to install. Essentially, you dig a hole and then cover that hole with a vinyl sheet. This is why it is the most affordable. The vinyl may not be as durable or easy to maintain as other pools, but it is definitely the most affordable pool at the beginning. 2. Durability If durability is your main concern, you probably want to consider fiberglass or concrete. Vinyl pools have a tendency to rip after extended use, so there is a good chance you are going to have to replace it at some point. Fiberglass is like a giant bathtub and the porcelain is very easy to care for. The pool itself will require very little repairs over the years. Concrete is another great option. With concrete, you don’t have to worry about cracking or the pool shrinking in anyway. Once it has been installed, you can be sure that it will withstand the elements and extended use. 3. Maintenance Maintenance may be a big concern for many people. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on caring for the pool, you probably want to get a fiberglass pool. Because of the nature of the porcelain pool, it can withstand the chemicals, it isn’t susceptible to algae, and cleaning and caring for it is very simple. 4. Custom Made Lastly, if you are concerned about making the pool custom, you want to do a concrete pool. Concrete pools can be made into any shape, size or look that you want. Concrete pools tend to be very beautiful and a great accent to any yard. Fiberglass pools are the least custom. You can only choose from sizes and shapes that the factory has premade. This list should help you choose what kind of pool is right for you […]

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Own A Pool? Two Reasons Why You Need Professional Pool Service

If you own a pool, you may think that your cleaning and maintenance efforts are sufficient enough to keep it running properly.  After all, you’re quite religious about checking chlorine levels, removing debris and covering the pool when it’s not in use.  However, unless you have substantial training in the science of pool care, there is simply no substitute for the care that can be administered by a professional pool service.  Learning more about the benefits of hiring a professional to maintain your pool can help you determine if you should invest in one of these services as soon as possible. Professional Pool Cleaners Keep Your Mechanical Parts In Working Order The pump, filter and other motorized parts of your pool are some of its most important components.  No matter how meticulous you may be about keeping the chemical levels in your pool balanced, or making sure that you snag those loose leaves that blow into your pool, it is absolutely vital that your pump and filter are kept clean.  If these parts go, it can wreak havoc on the state of your pool. You need a professional cleaner to periodically open up your pump and remove any debris that may have been sucked into it.  Also, if the filter is covered in grime, there’s no way it can do its job properly.  Because the interior portions of these parts are hidden from the naked eye, it can be quite easy to forget to clean them. When you hire the professionals, they will stay on a strict cleaning schedule so that they won’t forget to clean the more obscure parts of your pool.  You’ll have clear, sparkling water that is safe for your family to swim in and enjoy. Professional Pool Cleaners Will Test Your Water Another reason why it’s such a good idea to work with pool professionals is because they can test your water to make sure that the chemical levels are accurate.  You may feel that because you follow the chemical directions to the letter you’re in the clear.  However, this may not always be the case.  Local pool professionals can tailor your chemical plan based upon the regional climate.  You may find that you don’t need to add chemicals as often, or it may be determined that you should toss in chemicals more frequently because of the temperature. Hiring a professional pool service saves you time […]

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Hosting A Party To Break In Your New Spa

If you had just had an outdoor spa installed, you will soon be enjoying the relaxation of bubbling waters as it soothes your muscles. Many people like retreating to a spa at the end of a long day to unwind. If you wish to show off your new addition, consider hosting a small spa party to share your new luxury equipment with friends. Here are a few ideas you can incorporate into this get-together so all who attend have a great time. Consider The Time To get the full effect of the spa, have your friends come to your home at a time when no one has work looming in the near future. An evening would work best as your guests will be able to feel the warmth of the water when temperatures cool off after the sun goes down. Consider starting the party when it is still light out so your friends get to witness the differences in how a spa feels as twilight and nighttime set in. Enjoy Some Relaxation Have your guests slip into the tub at their leisure. Play some light music on a nearby compact disc player to help set the mood. Purchase some floating dishes and place them on the outer edge of the spa near each seat so guests can nibble on finger foods you bring out while they are enjoying the water. Make sure the snacks you provide do not crumble so they do not dirty your spa water as a result. Slices of cheese and grapes or berries work well as they would float if accidentally dropped into the water.  Place a few lanterns around the spa to increase the aura of relaxation. Another idea is to light some citronella tiki torches or candles nearby. This will double as an insect repellent to help keep the area pleasing for your guests. Provide Extra Comfort Set out several thick terry cloth towels on benches or chairs near your spa. You can also provide some bathrobes if desired. Purchase a set of flip-flops or slippers for each participant so they do not need to walk around barefoot when exiting the spa. Consider constructing a fire pit with cinder blocks in your back yard in the days before your party. Place some chairs around this pit and light a fire after guests leave the spa so they have an easy way to warm up and dry off after getting out of the water. If you’re […]

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A Pre-Splash Checklist For Opening Your Pool

With summer coming, this is the perfect time to start prepping your swimming pool for the sunny new season. Well before you plan your first swim party, there are a few steps you need to go through to get the pool ready. Here’s a handy checklist. Uncover It Obviously, step one is to uncover the pool and physically clean the debris that’s gathered during the fall and winter. Try to remove large debris from the cover before moving it to avoid damage. Spread the cover out on flat ground and clean it off with a leaf rake or leaf blower and a soft cloth before carefully folding it and storing it in a plastic container.  Clean the Pool Clean the area around the pool to remove winter debris before you begin opening up the pool itself. This will make it easier to clean and examine the pool. Skim leaves and other junk off the water surface with a long-handled skimmer. Use a long-handled brush to clean dirt or algae from the sides, then vacuum the bottom to clean up the debris from the bottom.  Refill the Water Check that the skimmer water level is high enough to ensure that the pump can work properly. Its likely that you’ll need to add some water if the pool hasn’t been used in a few months.  Get the Pump Working Take a look at the pump and its equipment — hoses, pumps and filters — to make sure they are all in working order. Change the sand or cartridge if your filter calls for it, then lubricate the valves and rings. Tighten the filtration system’s pipes if needed. Then start the circulation system and make sure it runs properly for about 8 to 12 hours. Check the pH Levels Once the water has been circulating for a while, it’s time to check the water’s chemical levels. This includes checking the pH level, total alkalinity, chlorine and hardness due to calcium. Using a pH kit, fill the test container from about 12 to 18 inches below the surface level and away from the pump inlet. Add the testing agent to the water sample, cap and shake. Your testing kit will help you determine the proper levels and how to add chemicals to balance the water.  Examine the Pool Now that the hard part is over, take a few minutes to physically walk around the […]

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4 Ways To Keep Kids Safe Around Swimming Pools

Even though swimming pools are a great amenity to have around your home, they are also safety hazards that come into play when you have children at home. Drowning happens more often than you might think. Sadly, children ages 1-4 often end up drowning in their own yard, not somewhere else. To protect your children and prevent something like this from happening, you might want to get a pool fence installed. Consider implementing some of the following tips to keep your children safe and secure in your backyard. Enclose Your Pool When looking at fences for your pool, make sure you get one that encloses the entire pool. You want to enclose the pool without taking the rest of the backyard out of play. The only time the gate should be opened is when you plan on swimming. Hire a Professional Installer If you are having a fence put in, you need to hire a trained installation technician to do it for you. It isn’t going to do any good to purchase a high-quality fence if you don’t install it correctly. When looking for a fence, you need to hire someone who is experienced in installing fences. Ask what experience the installer has in putting in fences like yours. Check to see what their certifications are and what construction licenses they have. Keep the Fence Maintained Even with a fence in place, you will still need to have it maintained on a regular basis. Make sure all of the gates and locks are working properly. If you notice any gaps, you should have someone come take care of them quickly for you. Any areas that are damaged should be fixed promptly. Gates Should Remain Locked Now that the fence is in place, you need to make sure the gates can remain locked at all times. You don’t want everyone being able to enter or exit the area. Since children are quite capable of opening gates and doors, you need child safety latches put on all of the entry points to the pool area to prevent them from getting injured. Self-locking gates are ideal for pools where young children are in the home. You can also install an alarm on the gate to alert you if someone opens the gate. By following the tips above, you can make sure your family is safe and the pool area is off-limits until you […]

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