Category: Pool Care

saltwater pool maintenance

5 Easy Ways To Do Salt Water Pool Maintenance

So you’ve decided to ditch the chlorine pool system in favor of a saltwater pool. Maybe you’re concerned about the negative health effects of chlorine overexposure, or you’ve discovered that the cost to maintain a pool with a saltwater system is on the lower side.

No matter your reasoning, you’ve made the switch, and now it’s time to adjust to your new saltwater pool system. 

The question is, how do you maintain it? You know the basics: The salt works to generate the chlorine needed to keep the pool clean, but it needs the help of a saltwater pool generator. What issues should you look out for, and how do you make sure everything is functioning as it should?

Read on for five easy ways to handle your saltwater pool maintenance.

1. Weekly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Check Your Chlorine and pH Levels 

Use test strips or a drop test kit to make sure that your chlorine and pH levels are adequate. If they are too low or too high, your pool will not be able to combat germs the way that it is designed to. 

In a saltwater pool system, chlorine can fluctuate if the salt levels are off or if the cell is not functioning the right way. The pH levels can fluctuate due to several natural and uncontrollable factors, like temperature and carbon dioxide.

To lower chlorine levels, you can lower the output setting on your generator or shorten the length of time that you run your pool’s circulation system. To lower pH levels, gradually introduce a liquid hydrochloric or muriatic acid to the water.

To raise chlorine levels, raise the output setting on your generator. If this doesn’t do the trick, you may have to shock your pool with the super-chlorinator setting on your generator. Raise the pH levels by introducing alkali calcium carbonate to the water.

While testing your water for chlorine and pH levels should be a weekly chore, adjusting these levels shouldn’t have to happen often. If this is a reoccurring issue, you may want to contact professionals who offer pool chemical stabilization.

2. Weekly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Check Your Stabilizer Level 

Pool stabilizer, or cyanuric acid, prevents UV rays from reducing the chlorine levels in your pool. Find a drop test kit that’s designed to read the stabilizer level and use it once a week. If your stabilizer level is low, your chlorine is being turned into gas and floating into the air, where it certainly can’t clean your pool water!

The amount of stabilizer you need depends on the amount of direct sunlight your pool gets. For a saltwater pool that gets a lot of sunlight, you should have levels of at least 70 ppm. For an indoor pool that doesn’t get much direct sunlight, about 30 ppm should be fine.

3. Monthly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Manually Test for Salt Levels 

Most saltwater generators have a panel that displays a salt reading for your pool that you can check once a week or so when you’re testing for chlorine and pH levels. However, these devices may need to be recalibrated from time to time. Doing a separate test on your own and comparing it to your saltwater generator will give you a sense of how accurate it is.

The amount of salt your saltwater pool needs depends on the saltwater generator you have installed. Some test kits can read for salinity, or you can pick up a digital salt meter.

If you find that you need to add more salt, do so very gradually and check the levels throughout. If you oversalt your pool, the only way to fix it is to add freshwater, which is a much bigger hassle!

4. As-Needed Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Clean Your Filter, Pump, Skimmer, and Generator Cell

When it comes to saltwater pool maintenance, cleaning is key. If anything is blocking the flow of water in your pool, the generator can stop generating chlorine, making your pool unsafe to swim in.

On a regular basis, clear out your filter, pump, and skimmer of any debris. Check not only these areas but also the walls and floor of your pool for algae. Different types of algae thrive in freshwater, especially if it sits in direct sunlight and doesn’t circulate well. If your filter and pump aren’t working properly, algae blooms can appear, some of which are highly toxic to humans

The generator cell should be inspected every three months or so. Remove it from the generator and look inside for any debris or scale-like buildup. Use high water pressure and a plastic scraping tool to remove any scaliness. For tougher residue, you may have to use an acid wash as instructed by the generator’s manufacturer.

5. Yearly Saltwater Pool Maintenance: Winterize Your Generator

In the months that are too cold for swimming (a fleeting season in Texas), you will need to winterize your saltwater pool generator. Remove the flow switch and cell from the generator, make sure they’re clean, and store them inside.

If you know your winters are mild, you can skip this step. However, if you’re getting hit with a cold front and the temperatures are below freezing, run the pump continuously to prevent water from freezing in the piping. 

Depending on your pool and your local climate, this may be one of many steps you should take to fully winterize your pool.

Don’t Sweat It

Saltwater pool maintenance may seem complicated based on this breakdown, but the reality is that most of these steps won’t take more than a few minutes. Plus, you don’t have to store and handle a ton of chemicals!

Whether you’re convinced that it’s time to switch to saltwater, you’re ready to build a backyard pool for the first time, or you need some help balancing your chemical levels, we would love to help. For questions, requests, or quotes, contact us today!

pool leak detection

A Guide to Pool Leak Detection for Homeowners (And What to Do If You Find One)

Did you know that the average in-ground pool can cost you anywhere between $10,000 and $100,000? That’s a big investment! You’ll want to ensure that it stays in peak condition for as long as you can.

A good practice is pool leak detection, since it is one of the leading causes of further structural damage.

Even with a great pool contractor installing it, pools can eventually break down and leak. You’ll want to spot these leaks fast so you can bring back the professional and fix these problems before they get out of hand.

The following are some things you should do to detect pool leaks at its earliest stage. Learn to do them and your pool will last longer.

Pool Leak Detection: The Bucket Method

This method needs a 5-gallon plastic bucket, a king-size black marker, and duct tape. First, you need to place the empty bucket in the water around the second step of your pool. Try to fill the bucket with water, matching the water level of your pool.

As soon as you finish doing that, mark the level inside the bucket using either the duct tape or the marker. Turn off the recirculating pump and any of the auto-refill device your pool has. Wait for around 24 hours and compare the pool’s water level to that in the bucket.

If the water on the pool and bucket water went down but are of even level, the water loss is because of evaporation. Otherwise, if the pool’s water level is lower than the bucket’s, it’s likely to have leaks. To check the leak sources, repeat the test for another 24 hours, but this time you need to turn on the pump.

With the new results, check if the pool’s water level is higher while the water is circulating under the pressure. If this is the case, the leak may come from somewhere in the plumbing of your pool.

Pool Leak Detection: The Ink Method

This method allows you to find the source of the leak. You’ll need goggles that won’t leak or fog up, a snorkel, and leak finder dyes. If you don’t have dyes available, you can always use food coloring, as long as it’s dark-colored or red.

Start this process by draining the pool. It’s a tricky process since it will drain all the way if the leak is at the bottom of your pool. But if you think it’s coming from the pool walls, this is the best way of determining the source of the leak.

As soon as the pool stops draining, you’ll know it’s located somewhere along the wall—the point where it stops. After that, check the ground and walls around the pool area for wet spots. It helps you know the specific area where the leak originates.

Do your best to narrow it down before you use the dye to locate the leak. As soon as you get a proper estimate, jump into the pool and find its exact location using the dye. You can do this by squirting the dye in the water, somewhere close to the wall.

The dye will move towards the source of the leak because of the current. Approach the areas without disturbing the water too much. Otherwise, the dye will run wild.

How to Patch a Pool Leak

Once you find where the leak comes from, you now have the means of fixing it. Your best bet is to call a pool contractor to do it for you. But that isn’t possible, you need to take the matter into your own hands.

If you have a concrete pool that develops cracks, you need to patch it with plaster. But this process can become complicated, especially if you have no prior experience. That’s why a good substitute is to use vinyl liners instead.

The good news is that you’ll have an easier time finding a leak the smaller your pool is. But once you find it, you shouldn’t always need to replace the liner. Get vinyl liner patch kits since these often work underwater.

Using the Vinyl Liner Repair Kit

These kits often come with big sheets of either clear or blue vinyl. Cut them out to the shape of a big circle, ensuring that it’s larger than the area of the leak. The reason for the shape is because of its lack of corners, making it easier to pull up when using the pool.

Use the glue that came with the kit to cover the entire backside of the patch. If you aren’t underwater, apply the patch over the leak area. Put pressure on it for two minutes to let it settle.

Otherwise, fold the patch in half to reduce the glue’s contact with the water. Go to the leak area and open it up, applying it in one swift motion. Apply pressure to the patch and hold it for about 5 minutes.

Hire Professionals

When in doubt, hire professionals. You never know when you’ll run into problems too big to handle.

Keep in mind that professionals not only have the training but the right equipment, too. This guarantees they get the job done and they do it right.

It’s also safer with them handling the maintenance job – patching a leak might not sound dangerous but it can be. A quick slip could lead to a cracked skull. In fact, falls are among the leading causes of accidental death!

Get Pool Repairs Today!

Pool leak detection is one of the most important maintenance tasks you should do for your swimming pool.

A leaking pool will cost you money in the long run because of the water seepage. It will end up compromising the structural integrity of your pool, resulting in higher maintenance costs.

These tips are things you can do even without the help of an expert. But if you want an accurate means of detecting leaks and fixing them, get reliable pool contractors. You can contact us today and we’ll help you out with pool installation and maintenance.

closing a pool for the season

Closing a Pool for the Season: How to Care for Your Pool During the Fall and Winter

If you’re one of the 16% of Americans who have a residential pool on their property, you know how great the benefits can be. Whether it’s cooling down on a hot summer day, or enjoying evening cocktails with friends, having a pool at home is the perfect way to enjoy outdoor living.

Of course, having a pool at home also means taking the proper steps to maintain it. So what about when it’s time for closing a pool for the season? 

If you’re ready to winterize your pool, keep reading to learn how to get started.

1. Give it a Good Clean

Before you wrap the pool up for the winter, it’s important that it’s as clean as can be. This will prevent stains from getting set in over the winter.

Skim out any debris, or use a pool vacuum. You will also want to clean the walls of the pool with a pull brush. This will help kick up any lingering sediment, which your vacuum can then suck up. 

When you’re cleaning, don’t forget to clean out the filter. You’ll be glad when you open the pool next spring.

You also want to make sure to clean out the lines to the pool. During the winter, the water in these lines can freeze and expand, which can cause damage. Even if your area has mild winters, it’s a good idea to clean out any excess water in case of a cold snap.

You can either empty the lines completely and plug them, or you can add antifreeze to them. If you use antifreeze, consult the manufacturer’s directions to make sure you don’t cause any damage.

2. Balance the Water

Even throughout the season, it’s important to keep a pool’s pH level, or its proportion of alkali to acid, in balance. Experts usually recommend keeping the pH between 7.2 and 7.8.

If the pH is out of balance, it can cause skin irritation or damage to the siding and pool equipment. Since it will be sitting unused all winter, it’s important that the water is balanced to prevent any damage. The level will decrease over time, so it’s best to be at the higher end of the range.

While you are testing the pool’s pH, you should also check the chlorine levels. It should be below five parts per million. If the chlorine level is too high, it could damage other chemicals that you place in the water. 

3. Add Winterizing Chemicals, and Shock It

Adding winterizing chemicals to your pool will help maintain the water in good condition throughout the winter. Make sure to choose anti-algae chemicals to prevent algae from growing over the winter. Algae will clog your filter, and can even make the chlorine have to work harder.

You will also need to shock the pool before you close it. Shocking essentially means adding concentrated chlorine to sanitize the pool. This will also help kill any harmful algae growing.

Also, you should investigate to see whether your water has high levels of metal in it. Metals are most common in pools that get water from a well. If your pool does have high levels of metal, you’ll want to use a metal sequestrant to address it.

4. Do Not Empty the Pool

Some people think that draining the pool at the end of the season is the way to go. In reality, this is one of the worst things you could do.

First of all, emptying the pool could actually void any warranty that you happen to have. Additionally, being empty of water can put a strain on the pool structure and cause damage to it. 

5. Winterize the Pump and Filter

Next, you will want to want to detach the pool pump and plug all of the drain plugs. Do the same with all of the hoses.

Once you have everything detached, place it inside for the winter. This will help extend the life of the equipment. Make sure to keep everything together so you don’t have to go hunting for it in the spring.

Then, make sure to drain your filter and to rinse it off completely. Move any hardware indoors for the winter. This will prevent the materials from being damaged by cold weather.

6. Clean and Stash Your Accessories

Anyone who has a pool knows that there is more to the pool than just the pool itself. There are floats, pool chairs, and pool toys.

Make sure that everything is removed from the pool and pool area, and clean it off. Just like your pump and the hardware for your filter, store everything inside to keep it in good condition.

7. Cover the Pool

Covering the pool prevents leaves and other debris from building up in the pool over the wintertime. Not only that but keeping the pool covered can actually help keep the pH balanced until you are ready to use it again in the summer. 

When you cover the pool, don’t forget to cover the skimmer as well. A skimmer cover will cover the entire skimmer and protect it from the elements. This will prevent rain from getting in and covering the skimmer, which could cause freezing and damage. 

Closing a Pool for the Season: Get Started Today

With these tips in hand, you will be ready to start the process of closing a pool for the season.

Are you still considering whether you should put in a pool on your property? Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

 

pool cleaners

No Green Pools Allowed: What Are the Best Pool Cleaners out There?

Ready to stop cleaning and just enjoy your pool?

If you want your pool to look sparkly clean all summer long, then you need the right pool cleaner to help. The good news is you can choose one to set and forget while you get to relax.

Are you looking for easy and affordable ways to keep your pool clean? What are the best pool cleaners out there? We discuss your options here.

What Causes Pools to Get Dirty?

Spending time in the pool during the hot summer days is a great way to keep your body cool and stay safe.

When a pool turns green, it is most likely because the chlorine levels dropped and algae have begun to grow in the water. At this point, you need to shock the pool and get the chlorine levels back to normal.

Now it’s time to clean up the mess left over. Don’t worry, you don’t have to drain your pool completely. Set the valve on your filter system to “waste” and begin to let your vacuum pull the major debris out.

Next, you’ll need an algae brush to remove the algae from the bottom of your pool. Regular brushes are usually not strong enough to get rid of algae that’s caked on. The reason you want to vacuum first then brush the algae off the walls is that you need to kill the algae before removing it.

This is done by shocking the pool after you’ve tested the pH and alkalinity of the water. Use pool shock, which has a high level of chlorine, to kill the algae in the pool. You may need to shock a pool multiple times depending on how much algae there is.

To avoid future algae growth, you should check your pool’s chemistry about two to three times a week during the summer.

The process can take up to five days as you wait for your filtration system to clear out the dead algae. You can clean up the mess in less time with help from pool cleaners.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Today’s technology in pool cleaners is unbelievable. Now you can rely on robotic pool cleaners to keep your pool looking sparkling clean while you lounge peacefully. Robotic cleaners are our top pick for pool cleaners since they make upkeep for larger pools and challenging locations a breeze.

These robotic cleaners can float around your pool and climb the walls for a seriously thorough clean. They use an internal filter to catch debris, so you’ll need to change them regularly.

The great thing about robotic pool cleaners is that they not only provide a thorough clean for your pool, but they also can clean your pool a lot faster than trying to use a manual vacuum.

Some robotic pool cleaners can be scheduled so that they run when no one is in the pool. You can also electronically direct it to certain spots of the pool that were missed. Make sure whichever cleaner you choose, it is meant for your particular type of pool siding. Not all robotic cleaners’ wheels will work on both vinyl and concrete siding.

When purchasing a robotic cleaner, consider how often the filter will need to be changed. Some have larger canisters, so it can hold more debris. You should also take into consideration the size of your pool. Some units aren’t fit for larger pools.

If you’re able to afford the upfront cost of a robotic pool cleaner, then, many pool owners agree, it pays for itself due to the sheer amount of work it eliminates for you.

Manual Cleaners

If you’re willing to take some of the maintenance on in exchange for a less expensive option, then you may be interested in a manual cleaner. You can find options that handle all sizes of debris. However, it will require more brunt work.

Manual cleaners are good for smaller size pools and above ground pools. However, they can be more time consuming than a robotic cleaner.

There are even versions that include different attachments to switch up suction power. Some vacuums require electricity to run. But there are also budget-friendly versions that will run directly off your pool’s suction and filtration system.

You just connect the hose to a 3/4 hp pump and you’re ready to start cleaning. Keep in mind that a higher cost might also mean a more reliable suction and larger size footprint to cover more ground.

Suction Side Cleaners

This type of pool cleaners will work on the suction side of the filtration system. These connect into the pools pump to use the suction of the filtration system to clean the pool.

They float around the pool’s surface or roll around the bottom to guide the water through its tubes and into the pool filter. It assists with the effectiveness of the filter by collecting water throughout the pool. The suction side type of pool cleaner is better for finer debris such as sand and dirt.

Make sure the suction side cleaner you purchase is compatible to hook up with your pool’s specific filtration system.

Pressure Side Cleaners

These cleaners will use water pressure to catch additional debris and are able to work autonomously. Unlike suction side cleaners, they can operate without the use of the pool’s built-in filter. It’s a great way to keep your pool extra clean and also keep your filter from being overtaxed.

Pressure side cleaners roll along the bottom and sides of your pool to pick up larger debris such as twigs and leaves. They collect this debris in a bag that is easy to reach and change. Some of these cleaners will also include a hose that can be used for additional reach.

Above Ground Pool Cleaners

It can be tough finding an above ground pool cleaner since they often don’t offer the same filtration systems as in-ground ones. Luckily, there are some pool cleaners that are made specifically for this purpose.

Above ground pool cleaners should be gentle for the more delicate above ground pool linings. They will also need to run on their own self-contained pumps since they can’t run off of the pool itself. There are robotic options that will help you keep your maintenance to a minimum.

Find Your Best Pool Cleaner

We hope you found this guide to pool cleaners helpful when you’re searching for the right one. There are so many options and a wide range of prices. When you find the right option for you, check to see if it comes with a warranty.

These pool cleaners can require additional maintenance to keep them running, so it’s good to have some protection for your unit.

Want to learn more about care for your pool? Or maybe you’re ready to design your dream pool. Visit our site for everything you need to know about keeping your pool in top shape.

maintaining a pool

9 Tips to Make Maintaining a Pool Easier (and Less Expensive)

Do you live in one of the 10.4 million American homes that have a swimming pool? The most important thing about owning a pool is properly maintaining it. This will prevent high repair costs later on.

Maintaining a pool doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You just need to know the proper steps and routine checks to ensure your pool’s systems are running smoothly.

Add these eight pool maintenance steps to your home maintenance routine and have a pool that is always ready for a swim.

1. Chemistry

During the summer months, you need to check the chemistry of your pool once or twice a week. You can check less often during the winter months and check every one or two weeks.

The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. The lower the pH, the less chlorine your pool will need. The higher the pH, the less effective the active chlorine becomes. This will lead to many pool owners using more and more chlorine.

2. Skimmer Baskets

Look along the side of your pool for the skimmer. The goal of the skimmer is to skim the surface of the pool water to catch dirt and debris. That way, the contaminants are cleared before they become saturated and sink to the bottom of the pool.

You should see a round or rectangular access panel in your pool deck. Open this panel and dump out the contents of the basket inside.

The cleaner you keep the skimmer, the more effective it is at skimming contaminants off the surface of the water.

You can also perform a quick skim of the water every day yourself. All you need is a net on a telescopic pole.

3. Lint Pot

Every couple of weeks you should check the lint pot on the front of your pool pump. To do this, turn off the pump and release the pressure. Now check the basket just inside the glass on the pump.

4. Water Level

Look at the water level in your pool. Make sure it isn’t too high or too low. The water level needs to be at the right height so that the skimmer we mentioned earlier can do its job correctly.

The water level should be in the center of the pool skimmer or pool tile for the best filtering results. If the water is too low, then the pump will run dry, overheat, and eventually burn up. If the water is too high, then it won’t be able to filter the water and keep the debris in the skimmer.

5. Chlorinator

Check the level of the chlorine tablets and that they are loading properly. Fix any clogging issues that you may find. Depending on the system you have, you can set it up to supply your pool with a constant residual supply of needed chlorine.

6. Ozonator

Some pool systems have an Ozonator. These systems use a combination of Ozone and UV light to reduce the level of chlorine necessary to maintain the pool. If your pool has one, you need to check that the light is on and working.

It is advised that you learn how your system works before you make adjustments. Different Ozonators have different installation and maintenance instructions.

7. Chlorine Generator

Some pools use a salt system; you may have heard of them referred to as a salt pool or no chlorine pool. The chlorine generator produces the chlorine for you. This way, you don’t have to buy, store or handle it.

You need to keep the cell clean, and it is vital you keep the pool chemistry on track for proper functioning. If you can taste the salt in your pool, then your pool is over salted.

Also, keep in mind that salt systems will raise the pH. You can expect to use more acid to balance things out.

8. Pool Filters

The filter for your pool needs to be checked periodically. Depending on the location and condition of your pool, it should only need cleaning every four to six months.

You should also check the filter if you have a heavy storm roll through. Excess contaminants and debris can get in your pool during a strong storm causing your filter to clog quicker.

To clean your filter, take the dirty filter and soak it in a mixture of 10% muriatic acid or a solution of TSP. Be sure to use a rubber trash can and wear protection.

Always add the acid to the water. Never add water to the acid. Once your filter is done soaking, be sure to rinse it thoroughly and then allow it to dry.

9. Give Your Pool the Once Over

There are a few things you can look at while caring for your pool that will alert you to potential problems. Take a look at the water in your pool. It should be clear, and you should have no problem seeing the bottom.

While looking at the bottom, note the amount of debris down there. Your in-floor cleaner should keep your pool floor free of 99% of the dirt and debris. The drain in the pool’s bottom should be free of obstructions.

Now inspect the lining of the pool. It should be free of cracks. The sidewall around the returns should be solid and strong. If they are weak, this is a sign of a leak.

Start Maintaining a Pool With Ease

By performing some quick checks and tasks, you can make maintaining a pool easier. The key to maintaining your pool is to keep it clean. This means the water should be clear, the pool free of debris, and the filters are working correctly.

If you don’t have time to perform these regular checks, then it is smart to hire a professional. This will save you money in the long run by having the professionals care for your pool.

Contact us today, and we can take care of your pool maintenance needs.

pool maintenance service

How to Avoid Expensive Pool Repairs

Summer fun all starts in the pool!

Summer is a time to gather with friends and family and enjoy the summer heat. We purchase our pools to enhance our summer and to create valuable memories.

But, expensive pool repairs can stop all of our summer fun right in our tracks. To prevent expensive pool repairs, we’ll need to find a reliable pool maintenance service.

Purchasing a pool is a huge investment. It’s also a large responsibility that requires constant maintenance and care. Pools are definitely a source of fun, but they also need to be properly maintained for them to last.

Pools can last for many years with the correct treatments and maintenance. These maintenance measures need to be performed on a regular basis, however, to keep our pools in excellent condition.

Maintenance routines we need to conduct regularly include treating and filling the pool, emptying the filters, cleaning the lining, and checking the skimmer basket. We also need to check the chlorine levels.

But, if you don’t want to complete all these tasks, then it’s understandable that you’d want to hire a pool maintenance service to avoid repairs. Read on to learn how to avoid expensive pool repairs.

How to Avoid Expensive Pool Repairs Using a Pool Maintenance Service

Pool repairs can be downright costly. Some pool repairs can cost thousands of dollars. This can put a dent in your summer fun and in your pocket.

So, what are the most expensive pool repairs? Vinyl lining repairs are one of the most costly pool repairs. Replacing the lining can cost a homeowner around $1,700.

Another expensive repair is hollow spots. Hollow spots occur when the substrate separates from the bottom of the pool. This requires that the pool be resurfaced so the hollow spot can be repaired.

This repair costs on average between $700 and $1,000.

Leaks in plumbing are also an expensive repair. On average a leak in your pool will cost you around $1,000.

To avoid any unexpected expenses, you’ll need to know how to avoid expensive pool repairs. Explore the following tips for pool maintenance and avoiding pool repairs to keep your pool in excellent condition this summer.

1. Check the Pool’s Chemistry

During the summer, your pool’s chemistry will constantly be in flux. This is because it’s being used on a regular basis. To keep your pool in good condition, you’ll need to check the pool’s chemistry levels 2 to 3 times per week in the summer.

In the winter, you’ll need to check the levels at least one time per week. This ensures that your pool is not only safe to swim in, but that it’s also keeping your pool free of damage.

2. Regularly Examine Your Pool’s Lining

A pool’s lining can sometimes be delicate. Although vinyl lining is a durable material, after a while, it can get damaged. For this reason, it’s important to check your pool’s lining at least on a bi-weekly basis.

Doing so will ensure that small damage is discovered before it becomes an expensive repair.

3. Check the Plumbing

A pool couldn’t function without the plumbing components. The plumbing system controls water flow, filtering, and chemical balance. It is essential that you regularly maintain various components of your plumbing system to prevent any expensive repairs.

You also may need to drain the plumbing system in the winter to prevent freezing.

4. Fix Small Repairs Promptly

They say that the best defense is a good offense. The same logic applies to pool repairs. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t ignore it.

Investigate the source of the damage and seek out a pool repair service immediately. One source of damage could cause other components in the pool to breakdown as well. As multiple components get damaged, the cost of repairs will likely skyrocket.

5. Explain Pool Rules

Pool rules are a good way to keep all swimmers safe. But, it’s also important that swimmers understand the rules for preventing damage. For example, sharp objects or metal objects shouldn’t be brought in the pool.

These objects could damage the pool’s lining and cause other problems. Explain to swimmers that only pool toys and pool-safe items are allowed in the pool to prevent expensive repairs.

6. Clean Regularly

Lastly, it’s important to clean your pool on a regular basis. Clean the vinyl lining, the deck, and the pool cover. If you don’t clean on a regular basis, then you could miss a developing problem.

Cleaning regularly will also help to clear your pool of debris and maintain its chemical balance. To clean your pool, start by skimming the surface with a pool net. Then, take towels and clean the vinyl siding of any buildup or scum.

You should also sweep away any debris that is near your pool. This will prevent it from blowing in on a breezy day.

Lastly, change your pool’s filters on a monthly basis and empty your skimmer regularly.

How to Avoid Expensive Pool Repairs: Finding a Pool Maintenance Service

Knowing how to avoid repairs is the first step in keeping your wallet and pool safe this summer. The next step is finding a pool maintenance service.

A pool maintenance service will complete your pool maintenance on a regular basis. For this reason, the workers completing the pool maintenance need to be trustworthy.

To determine a company’s trustworthiness, check out their online reviews. You can find these reviews by going on social media or by checking out the Better Business Bureau website.

You can also ask for referrals from friends and family. If your neighbor has a pool, consider asking them about their pool maintenance service.

It’s also a good idea to call the pool maintenance company directly. Ask them if they are licensed, bonded, and insured. If they aren’t, then it’s best to find another company altogether.

Make note of the company’s customer skills while on the phone to determine if you are interested in working with them on a regular, long-term basis.

Need a reputable pool maintenance service in Texas? Contact us today to learn more about our pool maintenance services.

cost of inground pool

Swimming Pool Builder: What’s the Typical Cost of Inground Pool?

There are few home improvements as impressive, and challenging, as adding an inground pool to your property. Pools are great for gatherings, exercise, and relaxation. The benefits can outweigh the cost of inground pool installation for many people.

There are many factors that need to be addressed before your pool is built. Before all of that, you need to work out how much you’re going to be spending.

Cost of Inground Pool Installation

That cost is different for every homeowner as there are many options for inground swimming pools. You’ll need to account for size, accessories, and any patio work you want to be done around it.

Size

This is the biggest factor that determines your cost to build. Bigger pools are obviously going to be more expensive to build and maintain than smaller pools.

If you aren’t sure how big it should be, then take a look around your yard. How much of your property are you willing to convert into a pool area? This tells you how big it can be.

Now think of what you want to use it for. Do you just want a pool to float around and relax in, or something longer for laps? Even consider whether you want to install certain features like a waterfall or bar in the pool.

An average-sized pool ends up being around 12-feet by 24-feet and $20,000 to install. Remember that a pool isn’t just a cement pit full of water. There are pipes, valves, and drains necessary to the maintenance and cleanliness of the pool.

Material

Different materials have different prices. Crazy, right? The primary materials used in inground pools are vinyl, fiberglass, and concrete, each with their own benefits.

Fiberglass is the cheapest option, running between $20,000 and $36,000, but that doesn’t mean it’s the worst. A fiberglass pool is installed as a single shell and needs some deck built around it. Fiberglass is very easy to keep clean and the shell doesn’t need much special care.

Vinyl gets a bit more expensive, from $20,000 to $40,000. Vinyl is easy to maintain and keep clean. Vinyl is also difficult for algae to take hold on, so it won’t need much chemical treatment, which can make it cheaper in the long run.

Concrete pools can be a bit pricier, going from $30,000 to $50,000 and requiring more in long-term maintenance. Thanks to the stability of concrete, they tend to be the larger pools. Though due to their size, the initial cost of filling them and the subsequent costs of maintenance come out to be the highest of the pools. 

There are online calculators that can get you a rough estimate of the installation cost like this one. But the best way to know for sure is to get a consultation from a professional service. 

Accessories

A pool’s a pool, but a pool with some extra features is something special. If you’ve got the space and the budget, consider adding some accessories to your pool.

A waterfall addition looks great and doesn’t add too much to the overall cost of the pool. Kits go from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.

If you have kids, then they will probably want a slide. Try and count this as an early birthday present because a permanent one will cost thousands of dollars. If you don’t want to spend that much, smaller inflatable ones can be under $100.

To really get the most out of your pool, it’s best to think of it as a continuation of your patio. With this mindset, you can consider any patio piece as part of the pool.

A poolside bar is great during parties and barbeques. A simple rolling bar for storage and prep can easily cost under $100, but a permanent fixture with refrigeration can go into the thousands. Make sure to keep an eye out for broken glass.

If you plan it out beforehand, a hot tub can be integrated into your pool for two kinds of luxury. It’s definitely a high-cost upgrade, probably $7,000 to $16,000 extra, but it is certainly worth it. Swim in the cool pool during the heat of the day and climb into the hot tub when the sun goes down to relax.

Maintenance

Like a pet, a pool’s expenses don’t end after you get it. Pools need to be maintained or they’ll suffer. Nobody wants to swim in a swamp so keep your pool clean.

Cement pools will require acid washing every few years to look as clean as possible, and eventually, it will need to be re-shelled. This can cost about $27,000 after a decade of regular maintenance and utility prices. The nature of cement makes it easier for algae growth.

Vinyl and fiberglass pools don’t have as much algae growth since they are much smoother and have fewer places for algae to latch on. These cost about $13,000 to maintain on average.

It can get pricey. Assume to pay up to $5,000 a year in maintenance for an average pool. This includes the chemicals, tools, electricity, and repairs to keep the pool clean and running.

You can save money by caring for your pool on your own. Once you have the tools, you only need to buy the chemicals which vary by brand.

If your pool is not inside of a screened-in patio, consider buying a cover. The price depends on size and material just like the pool itself. If your pool is a shape other than a rectangle it may cost more as well to get it custom-made.

A pool cover helps reduce the amount of debris like dirt, leaves, bugs, and other waste from getting in when the pool isn’t being used. The less time you have to spend cleaning, the more time you spend enjoying the pool.

Add It Up

Take advantage of the Texas sun and plan to swim all year. Once you have your total cost of inground pool installation, give us a call or message us for a free consultation.

Our custom-made pools can meet your needs and our financing can help you afford it.

in ground swimming pool

7 Key Things to Know Before Installing an In-Ground Swimming Pool

Having an in ground swimming pool is a great feature for any house. But it’s especially nice for houses located in hotter areas. And the Texas sun isn’t shy.

So having a cool escape in the hot summer months is more than enjoyable! But installing in-ground pools comes with a lot of dedication. You’ll want to make sure that you know the most important things about buying a pool before doing so.

If you’re not sure what you need to know about in-ground pool installations, you’re not alone. Most people aren’t aware of important things to know before making the purchase. Luckily, we’re here to help!

Keep reading for 7 key things you need to know before having an in-ground swimming pool installed. 

1. Know Why You Want The Pool

Make sure everyone in the household is on board with the decision. It’s a big investment that requires a lot of work. And if everyone in the household isn’t ready to make such a large commitment, then having the pool installed won’t be easy. 

How many people will be swimming in the pool? Do you want a small sized in ground swimming pool for you and your partner? Or do you need a large sized one for family gatherings and parties? 

You should also know why you want the pool and what you plan on using it for. If you plan on swimming during the colder months, then consider installing a pool heater or warmer. If you only plan to use the pool during the hotter months, then a pool heater may not be needed. 

Consider the area where you live. Think about how often it’s cold and how often it’s hot. And think about how often you want to use the pool. 

2. Know If Your Property Is Pool Ready

There are several ground factors to take into consideration before having a pool installed. Is the ground on your property pool ready? If your property has a high water table underground, then this can significantly add to the cost.

Also, keep in mind that the type of soil plays a key factor in construction and price. Sandy soils or soils that are rocky might be a concern. It’s also a good idea to note that the equipment needed to build the pool will need a way in and out.

3. Know Where You Want To Put It

Not only do you need to look into the zoning and building laws for your property before building, but you also need to know where electrical, gas, or water lines run. Both of these factors play a huge part in deciding where to build your pool.

There may also be deck restrictions and laws that require proper fencing around the pool. And once you’ve gathered all of this information, you can then decide where the entrance and exit of the pool will be. And you should consider placing the pool in an area that receives maximum sunlight.

4. Know How Much It Will Cost & The Upkeep

It’s important to know your budget beforehand. In-ground pool installations are expensive. And you should have your pool financing plan in place as one of the first steps. 

It’s not uncommon for pool buyers to put down a deposit and schedule a service before realizing that they couldn’t get the financing that they needed. So it’s crucial to have this step completed before starting the process.

5. Know What Materials You Want

Your in-ground pool can be made from several different materials. In-ground pools can be made with vinyl liner, concrete, or fiberglass. It’s never a bad idea to do some research on each type of pool before making a final decision. 

Vinyl liner pools are the least expensive, but the upkeep and maintenance of the pool can be quite expensive. Concrete pools are the most expensive, but they are a much more durable choice. Fiberglass pools land in the middle with price, but the upkeep and maintenance cost of them is significantly lower than vinyl liners.

Make sure you have a reputable company provide you with high-quality pool maintenance and repairs. This will ensure that you get the most out of your pool.

6. Know The Construction Time Frame

know how long it will take to build your in-ground pool. The amount of time it takes to complete the job is dependent on several factors. If you are installing a small pool, then the time to construct it will be less than the time to build a larger pool. 

The weather conditions also play into the amount of time it takes. Bad weather conditions can extend the time frame. And lastly, the type of pool you are having installed can determine the time frame as well. 

Customizations, materials used, and add ons can all be reasons for longer construction time. 

7. Know What Customizations You Want

Before going through with an installation, be sure you know what types of customization you want for your pool. Pools can be built in many different shapes: not just square, rectangle, or circle. Waterfalls, landscaping, waterslides, bridges, pavements, and more can all be customized to meet your dream pool’s needs. 

Check out these photos here to get an idea of what kinds of customizations you might want for your own pool. 

What’s Your Dream In Ground Swimming Pool?

After reading these 7 key factors to consider before making a final purchase, do you know what your dream in ground swimming pool is? If you keep these 7 tips in mind, then it’ll be easy sailing for you as you install your very own underground pool!

And that you know everything there is to know before buying an in-ground pool, stop by our contact page and request a free consultation today. Your dream pool is waiting for you! 

pool cleaning

Pool Cleaning Made Easy: 8 Tips That Lead to a Spick and Span Clean

When you imagine taking your first dip of the summer, you picture a crystal clear pool, right? It’s not hard to achieve this, but you’ll need to put in a little work.

If you own a swimming pool, there’s a good chance your home is a popular place once the mercury starts to rise. However, with family, friends, and neighbors enjoying your pool on a regular basis, you’ll need to take measures to clean it.

You’ll need to establish a pool cleaning routine and adhere to it all summer. This will ensure it looks great and the water’s safe to swim in.

Let’s go over eight tips to help you maintain a clean pool.

1. Start with Skimming

The cleaning job you’ll need to perform most frequently is skimming. This involves removing leaves, bugs, and other debris that gets into the pool and floats on the surface.

Skimming on a regular basis helps you cut down on your pool maintenance time. A quick skim every day ensures debris doesn’t sink to the bottom where it’s harder to remove.

All you need is a long, telescopic pole and a net. Make sure both of these tools are clean before using them so you don’t get your pool dirtier in the process.  

2. Take a Brush to It

There’s nothing you can do about dirt and algae accumulating on the side of your pool.  Sometimes this buildup is hard to see, but it’s there.

The best way to tackle this problem is with a pool brush. You’ll need to brush the sides of your pool, stairs, and ladder once a week.

You can use your brush in one of two ways. Get a model that attaches to your telescopic pole and do the job from outside the pool.

Or, do it from inside the pool with a hand brush. Who knows, you may end up enjoying this cleaning job.

Make sure you do a thorough brushing once a week. The longer you put this off, the harder the job will be once you decide to do it. 

3. Regular Vacuuming

To effectively clean the bottom of your pool, you’ll need to use a vacuum. Do this at least once or twice a week or when you feel your pool needs it.

If you don’t already have a vacuum, make sure you get one that’s compatible with your pool. Different surfaces require different styles of vacuums.  

To do this job manually, you’ll attach the vacuum head to your telescopic pole. Run the vacuum along the bottom of the pool slowly. Go too fast and you’ll stir up dirt and debris at the bottom.

You can also opt to invest in an automatic vacuum. These will take some of the legwork out of the job.

4. Good Circulation

It’s important you maintain good circulation at all times. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a cloudy pool and can even damage your pump.

Healthy circulation requires you to run your pump for 8 to 12 hours each day. This slows down the buildup of algae and stops bacteria from forming.

Make sure you clean out the skimmer baskets on a regular basis. It’s also important to keep the filter on your pump clean at all times. Doing so helps ensure steady circulation.

5. Backwash the Filter

Your pump filter plays an important role in keeping your swimming pool clean and healthy. One of the best ways to clear it is by performing a backwash.

As water passes through your pump, the filter traps dirt and debris and prevents it from entering your pool. However, over time the filter can get clogged.

Performing a backwash means reversing the flow of water through the filter. This washes away all the debris that’s accumulated.

Check your pump manual for instructions on backwashing. If you still need assistance, call a professional pool technician to help.

6. Maintain a Healthy pH Balance

The pH balance of your pool refers to the amount of alkalinity and acidity in the water. It’s important for this number to remain between 7.2 and 7.8.

The pH balance could get thrown off by things like heavy rains or daily swimming. A high or low pH balance could cause skin and eye irritation. It could also damage your pool equipment.

Pool supply stores sell test kits for measuring pH balance. Test your water a few times a week and after storms. If your levels are off, there are chemicals you can add to correct the balance.

7. Sanitize with Chlorine

Maintaining a good chlorine level is crucial during the summer months when your pool gets frequent use. Chlorine helps kill bacteria and keeps your pool sanitary for swimmers.

Keep chlorine tablets on hand all season. All you have to do is throw them in and let them dissolve. Invest in a chlorine test kit to help you determine if your level is too low.

Before you start using your pool for the first time this summer, go ahead and shock it with chlorine. After that, if you keep your pool in good shape you may not need to add chlorine too often.

8. Cut Back Foliage

A preventative measure that will help keep your pool clean is to do a little landscaping. Cutting back foliage around your pool is a great way to keep leaves, limbs, and other organic debris out.

If you have trees in close proximity to your pool, thin them out. You should also cut back any surrounding bushes or shrubs.

Keeping the landscaping around your pool well-manicured will reduce the number of insects that end up in the water. It also improves the aesthetic appearance of your pool and backyard.

Practice These Pool Cleaning Tips on a Regular Basis

Having a swimming pool makes Texas summers so much more pleasurable. Do yourself and your family a favor and keep your pool looking its best all season.

Tackle these pool cleaning tasks on a regular basis and enjoy and long, hot summer.  

We provide residential pool services in Katy and the surrounding areas. Contact us today.  

pool contractor

Don’t Get Ripped Off! Key Tips for Finding a Reliable Pool Contractor

If you’ve decided this is the year of the swimming pool, congratulations!

You’re joining almost 500,000 people in the state of Texas who also dreamed of a pool in their backyard. You’re also about to become the most popular house on the block.

You’re excited but also a little apprehensive. You’ve heard at least a few swimming pools gone bad stories, right?

Investing in a custom built swimming pool isn’t like purchasing a pool-in-a-box from your local discount store. If you don’t like it you can’t pack it back in the box and drop it off at the customer service desk.

If you choose a reliable pool contractor, you won’t need to worry about swimming pool nightmares. Nor will you wish you could put the dirt back in the ground and put up a swing set instead.

But how do you pick the best pool builder?

It’s not difficult if you follow our tips. Read them and get ready to break ground.

Meet in Person

We live in a world where life’s transactions happen with a click of the mouse. For many purchases, we never talk to a human over the phone much less in person.

Even for major purchases people often don’t consult with someone face-to-face. Consider the latest trend of ordering a new car from what amounts to a vending machine.

Most people wouldn’t dream of picking a contractor from a vending machine sight unseen. It’s the same with your swimming pool installer.

Feel free to call and get estimates over the phone or by e-mail. Just make sure you meet in person before the first shovel digs into your backyard.

A reliable pool contractor expects to come out to a prospective client’s home before beginning work. This is a consultation where you talk about your dream swimming pool and your budget.

They inspect your site. They’ll share some of their own ideas. By the end of the consultation, they should have enough information to create a swimming pool proposal.

Meet with at least 2-3 contractors before making a final decision. As long as you’ve asked the right questions, this first date should give you a good idea of which company is right for the job.

Ask Key Questions

Don’t let the excitement of building a pool overwhelm you to the point where you can’t think straight. Right about now you’re dreaming of sinking into the relaxing cool waters of your very own pool.

Before you take the plunge, ask questions—lots of questions. Your questions should go beyond the price of the pool and how long it takes to build. 

Dive further into the question of how long they’ve been in business. Of course, you’re looking for experience but more important is how much experience they have building the type of pool you want. If their niche is fiberglass pools and you want a gunite pool, keep looking.

Another obvious question is whether they’re licensed but you should also ask about insurance. Be aware that not every state requires licensing for pool builders. All pool companies should carry general liability insurance and worker’s compensation.

Both types of insurance protect you. One protects you from poor workmanship. The other ensure you’re not liable for injuries that happen to your contractor or one of their employees.

You could also ask them if they can have your pool ready by next weekend for your kid’s birthday party. A sense of humor is important when building a pool, no?

Request References

A reputable pool contractor doesn’t earn their reputation by accident. Most pool builders keep a list of their happiest clients who don’t mind talking about how happy they are with their swimming pool.

You ask your babysitter for references. Your employer asked you for references. Why wouldn’t you ask a pool builder for theirs?

The key to a reference list is actually contacting the references.

You’re looking for information about what kind of experience previous clients had working with the pool company. You also want to know what it was like working with their crew and any subcontractors.

Ask about the final product. Were the results what the client hoped for, or were there things that didn’t meet expectations?

The most telling question is whether the client would hire the contractor again.

A swimming pool is a major investment and an emotional purchase. There’s a certain level of trust that comes along with the entire process. A good pool contractor builds that trust well before breaking ground.

Don’t feel awkward asking for references.

Don’t Sign a Contract on the First Date

Did you buy the first home you walked through? Most home buyers look at an average of 10 homes before making an offer. You probably don’t need to see that many pool installers.

Remember earlier when we suggested meeting in person with 2-3 pool builders before making a decision? Even if you fall in love with the first one, it’s still a good idea to talk with at least one other builder.

After your initial consultation, you’ll get a proposal. The proposal should include information about the type of pool, the estimated time-frame and cost. This is a proposal, not a contract.

Read each proposal and ask for modifications if necessary.

Compare proposals. One builder may offer an extra water feature at a discount. Another builder might throw in an upgraded deck.

Take time to go over all proposals before you hire your builder. This can prevent future problems with contracts.

It’s in the Details

Few people enjoy reading contracts, especially when they have a lot of fine print.

Your contract contains the details of your swimming pool project. Details include:

  • Description of services
  • Itemized breakdown of materials
  • Project deadlines.
  • Inclement weather agreement
  • Equipment
  • Responsibilities of pool company vs. homeowner
  • Payment terms

Read the contract and ask for explanations of every detail. No, you’re not a pest. Understanding your contract helps prevent future misunderstandings.

Ready to Hire Your Pool Contractor?

Whether you want it for the endless vacation factor or you hope to add value to your home, building a pool is a big deal.

If you follow our tips, you can find a reliable pool contractor who will ensure you get the pool of your dreams.

Ready for the next step in the swimming pool project? Contact us and we’ll set up a complimentary consultation.