How to choose the right Conroe pool builder.

So, it’s that time of year when all you want to do is lounge around by the pool and sunbathe. Wouldn’t it be so much more convenient for your journey to the pool to be simply stepping into your backyard? Once you’ve decided that you need a pool in order to fully experience the summer, you’re in for a long and arduous process. This guide will help you to select the best swimming pool builder to build your perfect pool that is best suited to your needs.

With all the of contractors that can be found in this area, not to mention the internet, finding the perfect one for you amidst that sea can be daunting. Fear not, though; the tips below will greatly aid you in choosing the best Conroe swimming pool builder for the job.

The first thing you need to do is check with neighbors and friends who have pools to see if they have any recommendations. It will also help you discern each contractor’s style. Most contractors are more than just builders; they are able to help you design a pool that caters specifically to your aesthetic tastes and will even help you to arrange your lawn furniture to the best effect.

Next, it’s time to assess what you have to work with. You need to come up with an estimate of how big your pool will be, and how much money you have to spend on it. This will help to narrow down the contractors available into the ones that are in your price bracket. Once you have done this, license and insurance information should be obtained before going through the various portfolios of the contractors to see which ones’ prior work seems to be most compatible with your vision of your pool. At every stage of this lengthy process, you should be narrowing down the list of contractors until it comes down to a decision of personal preference.

You will know the Conroe swimming pool builder you have selected is the right one by the number of questions he asks. A good contractor will be looking to you to provide direction with regards to materials and accessories, making sure that he gets at the very least your go-ahead if not your opinion on the material choices.

Once the deciding over the materials used is done, be sure to obtain a written contract along with an estimate. Such paperwork will save you a lot of time and stress later when it comes time to settle accounts.

When it comes down to the actual construction of the pool, it is important to entrust the work to the Conroe pool contractor you hired. While it is important to receive regular reports on progress, it is also important to ensure that you give them the space required to finish the work in a timely manner.

Once everything is completed, it’s time to kick back, relax and enjoy the luxurious sensation of having your own personal oasis right in your backyard by the best swimming pool builder out there.

Pool problems check the Pool Wizard

RoysPool3-300x225Pool problem help & pool maintenance tips

Most pool owners have similar complaints about their pool water problems and say things like: “My swimming pool always turns green with algae!”, “My eyes and nose burn when I swim and I can smell the chlorine,” or “The swimming pool water is cloudy. How do I know if the water is safe for my kids?”

This site addresses these and other questions about pool water chemistry and swimming pool problems. Step by step guides take you through all aspects of pool water testing, balancing the water chemistry and general swimming pool maintenance. To make life easier, there are convenient water calculators to help you work out how much of each chemical you need. You can also work out the volume of your swimming pool or make conversions between gallons and liters.

The pages dealing with identifying and solving the most common swimming pool problems will no doubt be of use to all pool owners, pool maintainers and swimmers alike. Problems such as algae, cloudy water, swimming pool illnesses and chlorine smells are covered. Please feel free to request help on topics not covered on this site.

A section is devoted to the Pool Wizard, a fully patented revolutionary swimming pool accessory using natural minerals, which dramatically reduces pool maintenance and the associated pool chemical costs (such as chlorine, flocculant and algaecide). Never again will you have algae in your swimming pool. It even prevents and destroys the most stubborn black algae found in pool water. It kills bacteria and fungus too, with no maintenance required (apart from half an hour every 7 to 9 months).

A comprehensive glossary of swimming pool and pool maintenance terminology has been added. If you can’t figure out the pool manuals or maintenance guides, then this can really help to solve your problems.

Why not check out some of the satisfied users of the Pool Wizard and view some of the before/ after photos, or explore web sites in our pool and spa directory containing useful information relevant to swimming pools, swimming and pool water quality, hot tubs and spas (as well as a few of my own personal favorites).

Pool Closing Supply Checklist

Today we present a helpful checklist of everything you need to close your pool like a professional, and ensure an easy and inexpensive pool opening in the spring.

Pool Anti-Freeze: There is one thing that all pools have in common from Intex pools to elaborate custom inground pools: After you blow the water out of your pool’s plumbing it is always better to be safe than sorry and protect the lines with Non-Toxic Pool Anti-freeze. Pour it into the skimmer, or use a funnel and hose to drain it into return lines or pool cleaner lines. Do Not use in pumps, filters, heaters or chlorinators – pipes only.

winter-pool-plugs-intheswimWinterizing Plugs: In many sizes, threaded plugs and rubber expansion plugs all serve the same purpose and that is to plug the skimmers, returns and cleaner lines. Winter plugs keep water Out of your pool’s plumbing and to keep the anti-freeze In the pipe. One of the smallest, least costly accessories for closing your pool is also one of the most important. Without pool plugs, your pool cannot be considered really “closed”.

chlorine-free-pool-shock-intheswim-smChlorine-Free Pool Shock: Another versatile universal pool closing go-to is our oxidizing non-chlorine shock. It’s safe for any pool surface, and helps your chlorine by burning-off dead chlorine cells to create more free chlorine in your water. It will not affect your pools pH level or add calcium, binders or cyanuric acid to the water. One of the best reasons to close a pool with non-chlorine shock is that it won’t break down winter algaecides, like chlorine shock will if both are added at the same time.

winterpill-from-intheswim-smAquaPill’s WinterPill: Unlike the indie rock band band from Massachusetts Winterpills, the WinterPill is a winter pool chemical that combines enzymes, clarifiers, stain fighters, and scale treatment into one set-it-and-forget-it pill.  All you have to do is poke a hole in the the pill with the provided pin and drop it in the water. It does the rest of the work and slowly releases the solution throughout the winter. For both above and inground pools.

Spring & Fall Pool Magic Spring and Fall + PhosFree: Another popular winter pool treatment combines two of Natural Chemistry’s products, Pool Magic and PhosFree. Pool Magic has enzymes specially designed to work best in cold water, and with a  tremendous appetite for dirt, oil and grime. With the phosphate remover Phos-Free, algae will not have the nutrients it needs to grow in your pool as the water warms-up in Spring. Great for any pool owner, but especially useful for pools with mesh safety covers that allow fine particles and sunlight to sift through.

ultimate-winter-kit-smUltimate Winterizing Pool Kit: Save money with an In the Swim Winterizing Pool Kit. Dr. Pool’s closing kits are chlorine free, so they’re safe for all pools and all pool surfaces.  The Ultimate kit has a bottle of Metal Free and also Pool Magic+Phosfree, 3 lbs of Non-Chlorine Shock, and a slow-release floater with 4 lbs of winter oxidizer (chlorine free). Also available is the less expensive Winter Kit which features the same products as the Ultimate Kit but with Winter Algaecide and Stain Away instead of the Natural Chemistry Products.

water-bags-water-tubesWater Tubes: For inground pools without a safety cover, the humble water bag, or water tubes. It’s the pool product that everyone hates to buy, but every year you need to buy at least a six-pack of water tubes to replace those that pop holes. Double tubes are best, because they are still usable if one side gets a hole. Instead of water tubes, try Aqua Bloks, 3 ft long plastic water tubs with a snap-on lid. Don’t use bricks, blocks or lumber. Besides looking bad, it could damage your pool cover.

cover-pump-for-pools-aquaproCover Pumps: Solid winter covers have the added benefit of not allowing sunlight through, which can lead to an algae bloom, and they are not mesh so they prevent dirt, pollen and other unwanted debris from passing through as well. However, they also do not allow rain water or snow melt through either. Automatic cover pumps are activated when a small amount of water collects turning on to pump off the water, thru an attached garden hose. Large cover pumps like the AquaPro 1/3 hp can also be used for lowering pool water level, draining hot tubs, boats or flooded basements.

wetdryvac-smA Wet/Dry Vac: Perhaps a Shop Vac isn’t the first thing that pool owners think of when they think of pool supply necessities. No pool can be safely closed with water still in the lines, and no one wants to run the risk of burst or cracked plumbing due to water freezing. A large shop vac (5 HP) can be used to blow out skimmer and return lines. To blow out pool pipes best, and to force water out of main drain lines, use something like the Cyclone Vac to get enough air volume and pressure.

pool-heater-coverCovers, covers, and covers: A pool cover is de rigueur of course, but we have other covers too. For inground pools with solar cover reels, the Solar Reel Cover protects your solar blanket from sun and snow. It’s a cover for your cover! And using a Pool Heater Cover protects your heater from moisture, debris and critters. Cover the surface of diving boards to add years to its lifespan. Nobody wants to jump off a cracked and peeling board and a simple Diving Board Cover can keep that from happening.

credits to: Ryan Dornan

What makes your woodlands pool builder great?

Admit it: you have heard at least one horror story from a friend about people who have gone through horrible experiences during swimming pool installation. Maybe the contractors didn’t show on time or the work ended up being too expensive or the quality was poor – the stories have no end. While some of them might be true, most of them are probably just tall tales. If you want to create your very own backyard paradise in your home in the Woodlands, you can stay away from such horrors by learning what to look for in the Woodlands pool contractors to make sure building and buying your swimming pool goes as smoothly as possible. Here are the things you will need to take into consideration first:

Contracts

Never get a swimming pool built before getting a legal binding contract which states every responsibility and right that you have as clear as crystal. Reputable pool contractors would never go ahead without one anyway and you should not, either.

Experience

Building a gorgeous backyard swimming pool does not get done overnight. When it comes to custom swimming pools, the construction and art in themselves could take quite some time to master. The Woodlands pool contractors of the best quality bring lots of experience with them. However, do not cast them aside if you find one that is quite new to the business just yet. Instead, try to find experience within the management or ownership group first.

The Process – 

Getting a swimming pool built is probably a huge deal for you, so it should be a huge deal for your pool contractor, too. Search for the Woodlands pool companies that offer up step-by-step guidelines that take you into consideration before anything else. This process needs to start with a thorough consultation that will help the contractor pinpoint your exact needs and wishes. It should then follow up with a thorough design phase before constructing the actual pool. Good contractors should always provide their clients with final visual representations of the designs and it would be essential for you to review this design to ensure that it meets your personal wishes before proceeding with the pool’s construction.

Reputation

The Woodlands pool contractors that are great will have a good reputation overall. The greatest ones will even have endorsements from their old customers. After all, whenever a job gets done or exceeds initial expectations, what customers tend to do is share that experience with other people.

Pool contractors need to be able to prove to possible clients that they have done good jobs in the past, especially when it comes to custom designed swimming pools. If contractors do not have work portfolios to show, you will definitely need to speak up and ask why.

The Woodlands pool contractors for hire all need to be looked at thoroughly. By taking your time in reviewing every possible option out there, you are sure to find the ideal pool contractor that can give you exactly what you need without a scary horror ending.

Stabilizer Levels

 

images (2)Understanding chlorine stabilizer is important.

Chlorine stabilizer or conditioner (cyanuric acid) is used in the maintenance of outdoor chlorine-maintained swimming pools. The stabilizer helps act against the UV rays. The purpose of the stabilizer is to help the chlorine last longer and prevent consumption of the chlorine. This helps the chlorine last longer and reduces consumption. A chemical test determines the cyanuric acid level. The typical cyanuric range is 20-40 PPM in northern areas, where southern areas are typically higher, 40-50 PPM. This difference occurs from the amount of sun exposure, with the southern areas receiving more sun.

If the levels of cyanuric acid are between 80-150 PPM, it is not ideal, but not considered a serious problem. However, if 150 PPM occurs, the effectiveness of chlorine is reduced and maintained is often required.

Generally speaking, you would like your swimming pool’s stabilizer level to be below 100 (80-100 range). Keep in mind that stabilizer allows your chlorine to hang around longer in the pool water.

This is especially important on hot summer days. UV of the mid-summer can quickly consume chlorine in the pool. One of the big advantages of a salt chlorinator is that it is constantly supplying chlorine and the rate can be increased during the high demand of the mid-summer season.

It is not a bad idea to drop the stabilizer level. Too much can lead to cloudy water and it also decreases the effectiveness of the chlorine (although you are not at those levels yet). There are some commercial municipalities that have increased maximum levels to as high as 200 ppm for public pools.

If you want to drain the pool, be VERY cautious not to take too much water out (no more than a foot!) also be sure that you do not have high ground water table.

Whenever draining a pool, it is REALLY important to stay by the pool whenever it is draining. Draining the pool too far and causing a hydrostatic heave can happen on ANY pool type: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Please proceed with extreme caution when draining water from your swimming pool.

Credits to: Dr. John Mullen

 

POOL EQUIPMENT FOR EASY MAINTENANCE

Routine maintenance is a necessary part of pool ownership Thanks to technological advances in swimming pool equipment, pool care has become more simple, convenient, and efficient than ever.

Here are some pool tools that will make taking care of your pool a quick and easy process.

Automatic Pool Cleaner

1Automatic pool cleaners automate the otherwise manual task of removing dirt, leaves, and other debris from the pool. There are different types of automatic pool cleaners and most manufacturers offer a variety of models to fit any swimming pool, budget, or lifestyle.

Automatic Pool Covers

Covering your pool between swim sessions not only keeps your pool cleaner longer by blocking out dirt and debris; it also prolongs the need to replenish water and chemicals by stopping the evaporation process. Most automatic pool cover systems consist of a rectangular vinyl cover that fits into tracks permanently installed along the sides of the pool. These cover systems can be installed in a variety of ways to fit any type and shape pool or design aesthetic: the tracks can be mounted into the pool deck, installed under the pool coping or in the pool wall for a seamless look, or mounted under a slightly raised rectangular or cantilevered deck to accommodate freeform pool shapes and vinyl-liner or fiberglass pools.

Chlorine Feeders

Chlorine feeders, also called erosion feeders and chlorinators, hold several chlorine sticks or tablets (trichlor) and continuously dispense a stream of chlorine as the pool water passes through the feeder and slowly dissolves the tablets.

Digital Test Strip Reader

Digital test strip kits make maintaining balanced water chemistry an easy and straightforward task. After a test strip has been placed in a water sample, a digital test strip reader will automatically compare the reacted color blocks on the test strip against the color chart pre-loaded inside the device and translate the reading into numerical results, displaying the current levels of sanitizer, pH, and total alkalinity in the water on an LCD screen.

Reasons to Remodel Your Pool

before-afterThere are so many ways and reasons to remodel your swimming pool. Perhaps you’ve had your pool for a while and Maybe you’ve fallen in love with a new pool tile and want to resurface it. Or possibly you’ve added a child or pet to the family and you are interested in remodeling with the latest safety features. Whatever your reason, a pool remodel can completely change the look of your swimming pool area.

If you have had your pool for a while and you are interested in upgrading the features, there are many things that you can add to update it. Consider adding water features such as waterfalls, fountain bubblers or deck jets. You can also add other features such as fire features, waterslides, rock walls, a hot tub or even lighting features.

Adding safety precautions is a great reason to remodel your pool area. You may need to add a pool fence or pool safety nets to protect children and pets. You will also want to be sure that you pool has the latest in anti-entrapment equipment to prevent hair, limbs or other body parts from being sucked toward the pool drain.

You might also want to remodel your pool for energy efficiency. If you have an older pump, you will want to upgrade to an energy efficient, variable speed pump, which will use 30-45% less than a standard pump. A pool cover can also keep your pool water warmer, saving energy costs to heat the pool. A cover will also reduce evaporation. Many people are also choosing to remodel by adding saltwater conversion. This more natural option will allow a homeowner to handle less chemicals and save money in the long run.

So, no matter the reason to remodel your pool, be sure to explore all of the options available to you and choose the best for your backyard, your home and your family.

Re-blog
credits to: Janel Evans

What to Do With Wrinkled Vinyl Swimming Pool Liners

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There are some chemical conditions that can cause a vinyl swimming pool liners to wrinkle. Wrinkles most often occur in swimming pool liners during the winter, when the swim pool is closed and the water level is lower.

How can you get the wrinkles out of vinyl swimming pool liners?

During the construction of a pool, the hole that is dug is slightly larger than the pool, and the dirt that is backfilled is not as compacted as the undisturbed soil around it. This can create a “bowl” which holds water for a while before that water is absorbed into the surrounding soil. When the level of this groundwater outside the vinyl lined swimming pool comes up to or is higher than the water in the swim pool, the vinyl liner is in a “floating” situation. As the water on the outside of the swim pool liner is absorbed into the soil, the liner is again pressed against the pool support structure, but not always like it was originally. The result? Wrinkles.

How can they be removed?

Groundwater often comes from the landscaping, surrounding the swimming pool, directing rain/snow runoff water under the pool deck and into the area around the pool. It is important that this be corrected by directing all runoff water away from the pool area. Check where your gutter downspouts direct the water.

If you have just removed the cover to your pool, and have not filled the pool with water yet, and you have found that the liner is “floating”, now is a good time to prevent wrinkles from forming. As you are adding water to the pool you will be able to move the liner around to position it as it should be as it begins to sit back against the walls and floor.

You can do this using a pole with the pool brush on the end or by padding the end of the pole with a rag. Do not push so hard that you poke a hole in your liner. You will need to “baby-sit” the filling process until the liner is firmly seated.

What if your pool is full and there are wrinkles in the liner? If there are only a few small wrinkles, you may be able to remove these by using a toilet plunger. By plunging around the wrinkle you can spread out the liner in that area thereby removing the wrinkle. Do not plunge directly on the wrinkle but rather just above, below, or to the side.

If the pool is full and there are too many wrinkles to plunge out or the wrinkles are so large as to be folded over we would strongly recommend calling in your local pool service professional. When the liner has folded over, it will most likely require draining the pool and resetting the liner to correct.

Anytime you drain a pool, there is the possibility of structural damage taking place. This is not the time to scrimp. You could lose the whole pool.

Credits to:  Woody McDowell

Fire Pits Safety Tips

blog pool When the weather turns cooler, homeowners can continue to enjoy their  outdoor living spaces by adding a heat source like a fire pit Fire pits have  become very popular lately.  The warmth and joy that radiates from the  open fire can make parties, intimate gatherings and simple marshmallow  roasts the most sought-after and enjoyable activities of the spring,  summer and autumn months.  However, fire pits are wrought with  dangers, and to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your guests, you  should address the following safety concerns.

 There are a variety of types, including custom-made and pre-fab, but no  matter what type you choose, remember to keep a few crucial safety tips in  mind before, during, and after you light the fire.

Choose the right fuel.

It is important to select the proper heat source for your fire pit. If it is a pre-fab model, the manufacturer will list the correct type. If you plan to have one custom built, work with your landscape architect to obtain the type that best suits your needs.

Most fire pits can safely control fires that are fueled by hard woods like cedar and oak or can be outfitted to produce heat through natural gas, propane, or gel.

 Make sure your fire pit is on a stable, fireproof floor.

How-to-Build-a-Fire-Pit-with-Pool

A fire pit enclosure can be as simple as a store-bought iron basin or as  elaborate as a handmade stone pit.  Whatever your choice of enclosure  material, the rules for safety remain similar, Your fire pit must be placed  on a surface that can handle sparks or embers that might blow from the  bowl. Any natural stones, like flagstone, travertine, slate, and granite,  and man-made materials like concrete and durable fire-safe paving  stones, are excellent choices.

 Keep your fire pit away from anything  flammable.

The rule of thumb is to maintain at least 10 feet of space between the fire pit and anything combustible

Keep your fire low and slow.

Be patient. If you are using wood in your fire pit, start the fire slowly. Once the fire is burning strongly, add more fuel until you have the level of heat you desire. Never, ever use gasoline—it’s too unpredictable and risky

Always have a fire extinguisher handy

Put out the fire completely before leaving the pit unattended or before finishing the evening.  Even the smallest fire can become a large fire quickly, so embers should be completely extinguished.

Fire pits have become popular because they offer many evenings of free or low cost entertainment.  Though popular, fire pits can be dangerous if not properly used.  So, follow the above fire pit safety techniques to make your fire pit evenings as enjoyable and safe as possible.

The Push For Pool and Spa Safety

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The pool and spa industry, manufacturers, national safety councils/leagues and departments of health and safety help homeowners understand the risks involved with pools by demonstrating what can be done to prevent incidents. Despite the many different techniques, products and materials available, everyone agrees on one issue: Layers of protection offer the best insurance.
The most important  layer pool owners should provide is caretaker caution. Many water accidents occur because one parent “thinks” the other parent is watching the child, and vice versa. Always appoint a designated poolside caretaker.

Swim classes are available across the country. National groups, local community pools and private swim instructors help people of all ages learn to swim. A surprising number of adults can’t swim, yet they enjoy their backyard pools in many other ways. Make sure you and your family members know how to swim. You don’t have to swim laps or compete with anyone; just make sure you can swim to safety.

Teaching children to swim early in life adds another layer of protection. Benefits of swimming lessons extend far beyond reducing accident risk: An early swimmer has more confidence throughout life, and the physical benefits of working young muscles in a pool are beyond comparison.

Florida’s Palm Beach County is home to some of the world’s innovators in swim instruction for infants and children. Rob McKay, president of the Lifestyle Swim School in Boca Raton, Fla., and heralded as an expert with young children, offers swimming lectures across the globe. He says several key points can determine a child’s acceptance of swimming.

“Make it fun,” he says. “Infants and toddlers have a natural love of water and water-play. Forcing can be traumatic. Fears must be overcome before children accept water as a comfortable habitat. Parents should be in the pool with their children during lessons,  he advises. “They know the child’s moods better than anyone, and it provides added security, making children relaxed and willing to participate.

Rob begins by working on above-water skills, including kicking, blowing bubbles, shimmying along the gutter and getting the face wet in playful activity. He suggests lessons be short. Learning and physical activity at these ages is tiring – 15- to 30-minute lessons is ample.

Once you know how to swim, never do it alone. A bump on the head, a mouthful of water, and other seemingly trivial events have been known to cause devastating accidents.

Carefully build your layers of protection with this advice, and with products that can help insure the safety of those you love.