Protect Your Pool from Freeze Damage

pool

Inground Swimming Pools
If your area is subject to frequent hard freezes…make sure the pool is clean and clear prior to closing.
Properly balance pool water. Also add shock treatment (chlorinated or non-chlorinated).

Lower the water level to below the skimmer.

Clear pipes and equipment of water using a blower or compressor and plug the pipes at the pool.

Add swimming pool antifreeze to the lines to prevent freezing.

Place a Gizzmo* (or similar device) in the skimmer to seal it and absorb pressure from ice. Ask your local Pool Retailer for more details on the Gizzmo for your skimmer.

Install your safety cover or winter tarp cover using water tubes to secure.

In milder climates…
Make sure that the pump is running during periods of below freezing temperatures.

Keep the water properly balanced and sanitized throughout the off-season months.

Some pool owners also choose to install a Winter Cover or Safety Cover.

Pool Fact: Pumps should be kept running during freezing temperatures or completely drained during the winter to avoid a risk of damage to the pump, filter, heater, pipes, and any other in-line equipment.

Above Ground Swimming Pools
Properly balance pool water. Also add shock treatment (chlorinated or non-chlorinated).

When preparing to winterize the pool, do not drain water below the recommended level. NEVER DRAIN POOL COMPLETELY.

Lower the water level to below the skimmer opening and plug return(s) in the pool. Install the skimmer faceplate cover.

Clear pipes and equipment of water and insulate them. Remove and store your pump.

Install the air pillow and then the pool cover.

Store your pump, hoses, and other in-line equipment that can be removed.

Common reasons why above ground pool walls could collapse or fail:
The skimmer catches water which then freezes, causing the skimmer to become too heavy for the wall to support. This eventually causes the wall(s) to collapse.

An ice expansion pushes out against the walls, causing the walls to buckle under the immense pressure and weight of the ice.

Spa Fact: Spas are designed to run and be enjoyed throughout the winter months. However, it is recommended that you lower the water temperature when the spa is not in use.

Recommended Products:
Freezing can create costly damages to your swimming pool or spa. The best way to protect your pool or spa from freeze damage is to prevent it from happening. Properly winterizing your pool and following these tips can prevent freeze damage from destroying your backyard paradise. We recommend the following products to aid you in your freeze damage prevention.

Winterizing Kits for correct chemical balance throughout the winter months and protection of all non-mechanical elements of your swimming pool.

Blowers clear pipes and equipment of water prior to being plugged and insulated to protect them from the elements.

Skimmer Faceplate Covers prevent your skimmer from retaining water which can freeze and possibly damage the pool wall.

Gizzmos are designed for inground skimmer ice expansion protection.

Water Tubes and Air Pillows are used under winter covers for ice expansion prevention.

Balancing and Shock Chemicals or Anti-Freeze

Blower/Compressor

Winter Plugs

Let’s Have a Pool Party!

pool-party-iOK, it’s party time. The most fun you could ever have around your pool is when you have guests and are entertaining.  It is the perfect time to show off your pool  from Pools by Design your Woodlands Pool Builder . The key here is preparation.  Invitations, menus, helpers, pool, and yard will all need to be taken care of in advance.  The more you do ahead of time, the more time you will have to enjoy the party.  Start about a month before the party. Make a list of who you want to come. We can’t give any advice here.  But too many people would not only be unsafe, but we want enough room for eating, swimming, and just lying around.

So, here are a few tips for the pool party, and believe me, we’ve been to hundreds.

1)   Invites. Get something fun. Hand made invitations are cool, and personal. Another quicker, cheaper option is using evite.com to send out invitations. *** Remind everyone to bring a towel and swimming suite.

2)   Recruit. Get some help. The best parties were planned with several people. Get some helpers. Johnny does the food, Karin gets the liquor, and Steve gets the ice. And be sure to get a name or two for clean up. The end of the night is always the hardest to recruit help, so ask for clean up help before the party. You don’t need to clean the whole yard, but you will need to secure the trash, leftover food and such.

3)   Food. Decisions, decisions. You could go all out, roast a pig, smoked chicken. Or, keep it simple. Finger sandwiches, fruit bowl, or just burgers and dogs. The more “self serve food” you offer, the more time you have for fun. But, remember, the first thing people usually remember about a party, is the food. Give your guests something to talk about and remember. It’s not too hard to do!

4)   Drinks. You can’t have a good pool party without good beverages. But, an open bar can mean a disaster. If everyone is allowed to mix their own beverages, there is always someone who can ruin it for the rest of the guests. If alcohol is served, serve responsible, or serve beer and wine in moderation. Remember, Alcohol use is involved in about 35% to 50% of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation. And please don’t let guests who drink, drive. Call your local cab company in advance and set up an account for the evening.

5)  Safety. This one is easy. Call your local swimming pool management company, and hire a lifeguard or two for the event. It’s not expensive, and well worth it. If someone has had too much to drink, keep them away from the pool. Things we all take for granted like diving boards, slides and just jumping off the side of the pool, can pose a threat to those impaired, and everyone else trying to have a good time. Keep safety equipment handy, and ALWAYS keep a working phone dry, and near the pool.

6)   The Pool.  A week or so before the party, test everything pool related. (The lights, the heater, and the fountains) Make sure any electrical outlets that will be used are grounded. Trip hazards, excess patio and lawn furniture should be stored, or moved away from the pool deck, to allow easy access to the pool. Add a clarifier to the pool several days before the party. Small unfiltered particles are very easy to see at night with the pool light on, so take that extra step to get your pool as clear as possible. And make sure the pH and chlorine are adjusted. A chlorine residual of 3.0 is perfect.   The morning of the party, brush the pool and then vacuum an hour later. Remove your automatic pool cleaner and store it away for the party. Polaris parts are not cheap!

7)   The Party!  The moment we’ve all been waiting forParty time!  Got enough Tiki torch fuel? Ice? Soda? Make that last minute run to the store and you should be set. With proper preparation, all of the chores are done, and it’s time to party. So, fire up the grill, and ice down the punch. It’s your turn to relax.

The 411 on Pool Construction in The Woodlands

If you build a pool at your house in the Woodlands, your friends and family will love spending more time there. Plus, it would be a great way to get over the heat during the summer and your entire family will look forward to that season because of it – especially the kids. So, if you don’t have a pool yet, you should definitely look into pool construction in the Woodlands. It won’t be hard to build one in your backyard and it will even add onto your house’s resale value. Here are several things you need to know.

You need to get in touch with a professional company or a contractor that specializes in pool construction in the Woodlands. They would be the ideal guides to help you make your decisions during the process.

Now, pool construction requires money and although you can set your own budget, contractors can usually do this much better. Your pool’s budget will depend on the kind of pool that you want, its size and shape, the materials that will be used, and the pool accessories you want to add. The budget will also take other things into consideration, like the water bill, electricity bill, cost of maintenance, water pump, pool cleaning chemicals and pool filters.

Your budget will also depend on your pool’s specifics. Although it would be cheaper to get a pool above ground, in-ground pools could be very expensive. Because of this, it would be smart to ask your contractor for help before making your final decision on the matter.

Pools are usually made out of gunite, poured concrete, stainless steel or fiber glass.

You might want your pool to have tiled walls and floors, too. However, you need to ensure that these are cleaned on a regular basis since algae could grow on them and make the pool unhygienic.

Above all things, safety would be of the utmost importance, most of all of you will be having small kids in the pool. Fortunately, safety fences can be set around the pool when it isn’t being used and your contractor should also be able to give you a demonstration on safety after your pool construction in the Woodlands is done.

Heating Your Swimming Pool with Solar Energy

Solar panels or "collectors" are a great way to harness the sun's energy to heat your swimming pool.Heating your swimming pool with solar energy is an easy and efficient way to regulate your pool water temperature. Many people are turning to solar heating as an alternative option to running a pool heater or heat pump due to the low cost and ease of operation involved in solar heating. The cost involved in running a solar heating system is all initial. Because the source of the energy you use is the sun, you do not need to worry about high costs of propane, natural gas, or electricity in your area. An added benefit you receive from a solar heating system is the ability to run water through the system at night in an effort to COOL your pool. This is a great feature if you live in an area where daytime temperatures and the strength of the sun make the pool water unbearably warm. With all these benefits your interest in solar heating your pool may be rising. But is a solar heating system the right choice for everyone? What are some factors you should consider?

Can Your Home Accommodate a Solar Heating System?

If you are thinking about purchasing a solar heating system for your pool there are some factors you will want to consider. First of all, you must realize that the nature of the system means the performance of the system will be based upon the availability and strength of the sunlight in your area. You will need to determine the best area (most direct sunlight) to mount your solar panels. This will maximize the performance of your system. Gains of 10-12 degrees in the temperature of the pool water are not uncommon if a solar heating system is used in tandem with a solar blanket. With out a solar blanket, much of the heat you generate will escape at night so expect the heating effect to be somewhat less (7-9 degrees). And remember, the more direct sunlight the panels receive, and the strength of that sunlight, will determine the performance of the system. Let’s explore that topic a little further.

How Solar Heating Systems Work

A solar heating system is designed to take water from the swimming pool and pass a portion of that water through solar panels, where it is heated before rejoining the normal flow of water and returning to the pool. The diverting of water to the solar panels takes place by way of a special valve known as a diverter valve. If the full volume of water was to pass through the solar panels it would travel through to quickly to be heated sufficiently and would have little effect on the overall temperature of the pool water. The fact that water must be pumped to the solar panels means you’ll need a pool pump capable of the job. This shouldn’t be a problem in most above ground pool applications where the panels are usually mounted close to the pool. But in inground (and larger above ground) applications, panels are usually mounted to the roof of your house or some other structure meaning your pump will need to be capable of pumping water up and into the panels. The good news is that most pool pumps are capable of this load.

Operation and Maintenance of Solar Heating Systems

The operation of a solar heating system is really very simple. When performed manually, you will need to engage the system by opening the valve which will divert water into the system. To turn the system off you will need to shut this valve off, effectively bypassing the system. For people who want to maximize efficiency or have schedules that doUtilize automatic controls to maximize the efficiency of your solar heating system. not allow them to manually regulate the system, automatic controls can be used to turn your system on and off. Depending on the style and model of control you purchase you will be able to set the “on” and “off” processes to a timer or, and this is the option we recommend, to be governed by the sunlight itself. The latter process takes place through use of a light detecting sensor that will turn your solar system on when it makes sense to do so (when the sun is out) thereby maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of the solar heating system.

How Much Sun And Solar Panels Do You Need To Heat Your Swimming Pool

As has been mentioned before, the degree to which a solar heating system can heat your swimming pool will be determined by the strength and length of direct sunlight that hits the panels each day. With that said there is a standard for sizing the system. The standard is that the surface area of the solar panels should be 65% the surface area of the swimming pool. An example has been provided below:

A 16′ x 32′ swimming pool has 512 sq.ft. of surface area. 512 x .65 = 332.80 sq.ft. of solar panels required.

Since solar panels, sometimes called “collectors”, come in different shapes and sizes you will need to figure out the surface area of one of the panels and divide the total area of panels needed by the area of one panel to find the number of collectors you’ll need. When sized appropriately you can expect a rise in pool water temperature of about 10-12 degrees when solar heating systems are used in conjunction with a solar blanket, and about 7-9 degrees when used without.

Your Conroe Luxury Pool Builder Can Make Your Dreams a Reality

If you want to make your family happy, then you might have thought about getting a gorgeous luxury swimming pool built for your Conroe house by now. Well, the good news is that there are a lot of options out there that you can look into while looking for the best deals. The first thing you have to ask yourself, though, is how to start if you want to find a reputable pool builder. Well, the first thing you have to do is do some research and look for highly experienced pool builders in the area. This will ensure that your Conroe luxury pool builder of choice won’t let you down in the end.

If you’re lucky with your choice, though, your Conroe luxury pool builder will be able to provide you with a unique design and style that has both aesthetics and art drilled into it, thus speaking volumes about your own personality. Naturally, once your pool builder starts working on your pool design, though, you still have to actively participate in the building process, so that you get the design and pool structure that you really want in the end.

Now, if you have no idea where to begin when it comes to your pool design, your Conroe luxury pool builder can provide you with creative ideas and different designs that will go well with your house’s artistic structure and turn your  new luxury pool into a piece of the entire puzzle.

The pool aside, you can also style the premises even further if you’d like and add other features, like slides for the kids or a dining area where you can relax, sit and eat after swimming. If you want and if your budget permits it, you can even add a spa, so you can get a water massage and calm down after a busy day at work.

Another thing you have to ensure before making your final decision on your Conroe luxury pool builder is that they answer all of your questions about the care, building and maintenance of your pool. Aside from following their advice on maintaining your pol, make sure they also choose the fittings and tiles that suit your personal taste and preferences best. Remember: a luxury pool is a huge investment, so you have to get things done just right. Good luck!

Looking for a Luxury Pool Builder on Lake Conroe

Have you finally decided to add a luxury pool to your Woodlands or  Lake Conroe  backyard? If so, then there are several things you will need
to do before looking for a luxury pool builder in the Woodlands and Woodforest.The first thing you need to do is do your research. Since there are a

lot of different types of pools out there, you need to find out more about each kind and learn about the different equipment available for each of them first. If  you are already interested in hiring one particular pool builder, you can ask him for help in distinguishing different types of equipment, as
well. Also, make sure you ask him why you should choose him to build your luxury pool over somebody else.

Conversely, if you still need help finding a luxury pool builder in the Woodlands and  Lake Conroe, you might want to go through your local
yellow pages, ask your friends and family members for referrals or search for one on the World Wide Web. Then, make a short list of the
builders that look the most interesting to you and call them for more information.

Now, just because you find a cheap luxury pool builder in the Woodlands and Lake Conroe  doesn’t mean that you should choose him right
away. You should never base your decisions on low prices alone – remember that. Instead, find out why his prices are so low first and
compare all of the benefits of each builder with each other before making your decision.

While interviewing potential pool builders, there are several  questions you need to remember to ask. First of all, ask to see some
photos of previous luxury pools that they have built and previous luxury  pool designs that they have come up with. Then, ask them if they have
any references in the Woodlands and Woodforest area from within the past decade. If possible, call the homeowners and ask to see their pools.

Other things to ask include whether the pool builder actually stands by his warranty and whether he has a special staff available for pool maintenance in the future.

Once you think you have found a suitable luxury pool builder in the  Woodlands and Lake Conroe, you still need to check whether he is licensed
and insured with the Better Business Bureau, and whether he follows the  codes in the Woodlands and Lake Conroe. Also, do not forget to read the
final contract before signing it. Good luck!