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Going Green

Going green is all fine and well for the environment, but when it comes to your pool it can be very problematic. Unfortunately, Florida’s summer rains and the occasional hurricane can wreak havoc on your pool water’s chemical levels. You may glance out your window one day to notice the water is slightly less blue than it was. Wait another day or two (because life) and the frogs may be eyeing your new pond with envy! What’s the quickest way back from green to blue?


First, vacuum and skim out any debris. Next, brush every surface within your pool. Then shock your pool. (Use pool shock or a few gallons of chlorine - whatever your local pool store recommends.) Finally, run your pool filter. Be prepared to brush the surfaces and clean your filter daily until your pool is back to normal.

Pool Maintenance in a Power Outage

If a hurricane knocks your power out, it can be days before you get it back. Even if you are a prepared Floridian with a generator and plenty of gasoline, the pool pump is not usually the first priority for a power up. Unless you have a very powerful generator, chances are your pool may be without a pump for a few days, possibly up to a week. With school cancelled and the AC on the fritz, the kids (and you too) are likely looking to the pool for some relief. But is it safe?

The answer? It can be. Once you’ve cleared out the debris and treated the initial chemical imbalance, it is safe to swim. However without the pump to circulate, problems can develop more quickly, so you’ll want to keep an exceptionally close eye on your water chemistry. Use an at home kit or make frequent trips to your local pool store for water testing and treat any imbalances immediately to keep your pool the perfect oasis after a storm.

Rain & Your Pool

You may have noticed that it’s been a bit wet lately - like Florida has decided to catch up on six months of rain in the space of three days. That amount of rainwater can quickly have an impact on your pool. Here’s Jason with some tips on what to expect…

Spring Cleaning: The Power Wash Addition

Even if you hate cleaning, you can’t help but love pressure washing. There is something so instantly gratifying about old dirt being blasted away to reveal the shiny clean beneath. It’s cathartic! Plus, after you spend an hour or two having a blast making and erasing patterns in the dirt, you have a clean patio and and the satisfaction of a job well done.

The only downside to pressure washing around the pool is that some of that dirt inevitably ends up in your pool and your shiny clean deck joy is marred by the now-grimy pool. Never fear! Skim any large debris off the top and let your pool pump run for a few hours and you’ll be back in business with a clean pool AND a sparkling deck!


Spring Cleaning: Outdoor Furniture Edition

As the weather warms out, the backyard beckons! The kids are ready to swim and even if you’re not quite ready to jump in, you’re happy to settle in to enjoy the breeze while you supervise. Except you’re not, because as you go to sit, you realize the furniture is filthy after a winter of neglect. What to do, what to do?

As it turns out, what to do depends entirely upon the type of furniture you have! But never fear, Clean and Scentsible has a clear and concise guide to spring cleaning every type of backyard furniture - from wicker to plastic, and everything in between. Check it out, get to work, and tomorrow you can sit back and enjoy that breeze while the kids splash and play!


Spring Cleaning: Pool Toy Edition

If your house is anything like mine, the warmer temperatures have your kids jumping into a pool most afternoons. The pool toys are coming out of storage and everyone is looking for their favorite pair of goggles! And if you’re like me, that pool water is still a touch cold for your taste, so you’re still on the pool deck supervising from a safe distance - which presents the perfect opportunity for a little pool toy maintenance! After a winter in storage (okay, after a winter piled in the lesser used side of the patio) the toys could all use a good scrub down. Here’s the 411 on getting them back in good shape for another summer of fun!

  • Give everything a good scrub down with a disinfecting solution. Mix two cups of bleach with a gallon of water OR create a half and half vinegar/water solution. The bleach will be more effective, but the vinegar is easier on the nose and skin. Wipe down the entirety of all pool toys. Use a soft brush on stubborn stains.

  • Inspect squirt toys. You can suck up some of your disinfecting solution for good measure, but know that these toys are best for single season use as it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate mildew growth inside.

  • Check that your inflatables hold air and that any plastic toys are still intact. Plastic may become brittle over time, especially when stored in the harsh Florida sun. Discard anything cracked or broken edges.

  • Inventory your goggles - look over the lenses, nose pieces, and straps and seals. Toss what is deteriorated beyond use and then order whatever you need to to avoid the inevitable tussles over the one pair that everyone likes best.


Backyards on a Budget

If your pool needs a makeover, but you aren’t ready to splurge on a full blown renovation, consider these small, budget friendly ideas that can make a big difference in your space.

  • Research low-maintenance plants and purchase from your local nursery.

  • Find low-cost furniture and planters on Craigslist or OfferUp and rehab with a coat of paint.

  • Build your own firepit and add some comfy chairs.

  • Rent or borrow a pressure washer to scour your backyard surfaces.

  • Create your own hammock for the perfect relaxation spot.

There's an app for that...

If you're into DIY, you may be considering or may even already handle your own pool maintenance.  Did you know there's an app for that?  In fact, there are a bunch of them!  From tracking your chemical levels, to remotely controlling the lights and pump, there are a dizzying array of options for interacting with your pool over the wi-fi.  It's a brave new world!  

Check out Swim University's comprehensive list of useful apps here!

Rain and Your Pool


Florida summers aren't just hot, they are also WET!  And as this year seems even rainier than usual, it seems the perfect opportunity to revisit the effects of rain on your swimming pool. 

Take a few minutes to check out this helpful guide to understanding the impact of the afternoon (morning and evening, too!) thunderstorms on your pool.

Is your pool drain safe?

It's been 11 years since the VGB act was signed into law and public pools were required to replace old drain covers with new covers designed to prevent entrapment.  Many private pool owners followed suit, but if you have moved into an older home with a pool, you'll want to make sure that your drain cover is up to date.  How can you tell?  Old drain covers are flat and create a powerful suction force that can snag hair or other body parts and trap children at the bottom of the pool, unable to escape.  VBG compliant covers are rounded, unable to be fully blocked, therefore preventing that entrapment danger.

If you find that your drain cover is unsafe, we are happy to assist you with the replacement.  Call our office to schedule the installation!

Get Ready to Swim

Winter is over (whew, that was a rough two weeks!) and the temperatures are already creeping back up into the 80's which means it's almost swim season again!  If your house is like mine, the kids have already taken the plunge!  And, if your house is like mine, you may have been a little lax with the pool maintenance over the winter.  Here are a few steps for getting everything back in order. 

  1. If your pool is not screened in, you may have some debris accumulated on the bottom of the pool.  Put your skimmer and vacuum to work!  
  2. Check your water level and add or remove until the top of the water sits at the midway point of your skimmer.  
  3. Analyze your pool water with an at-home kit or by taking a sample down to your local pool store.  Take recommended steps to return your water to optimum swimming levels.
  4. Check your deck drains and clear out any weeds or debris that have accumulated over the winter.
  5. Inspect your pool toys for damage or mildew and discard those that aren't up for another season.
  6. Dive in!

Pump It Up

One of the recommended upgrades in this month's newsletter was the practical purchase of a more efficient pool pump.  If you're still considering your options, Swim University has some great information that might help push you over the edge.  Want to save money, filter faster, and reduce the noise?  What are you waiting for?

Tips to Childproof Your Pool

Having a pool at your Orlando home would definitely provide endless entertainment for your family, especially during summer. However, with fun, comes responsibility-- installing a pool means you have to prepare yourself from the ever present danger of drowning and injury, especially if there are children in your home.  These tips mentioned below, are just some of the ways you can childproof your pool.

Important Tips to Childproof Your Pool

Tip 1: Pool Alarms Can Be a Life Saver
Pool alarms should be included in the protective “layers” of your childproof pool. Wherein, the first alarm should be for the gate or door of the pool, while the second alarm can be an alarm for the around the pool area, so that you'll get notified whenever someone enters the pool. Aside from these, a lot of homeowners are also incorporating a third alarm for children that should be worn on the wrist, and sound will come out of it once it gets close contact with water.

Tip 2: A Rigid Pool Cover Will Lessen the Risks of Drowning
Aside from the alarms, rigid pool covers are also considered to be a must-have if you really want to childproof your pool. Unlike soft covers that could sink into the water because it's soft, rigid pool covers would stay strong and be able to support your child's weight, if in case he decides to climb on it.

Tip 3: Fences Are Very, Very Important
As a responsible property owner, swimming pool fences should be a part of your construction plan-- whether you have children or not. Not only will it protect your children, future children, and grandchildren from entering the pool, it would also keep your pets and any wildlife animals from drowning in the waters. Ideally, the fence should be at least 4 feet tall, and it should come with a self-latching and self-closing gate.

Tip 4: Nothing Beats Parental Supervision
Although this one may seem pretty obvious, a lot of parents still fail to follow this. Parental supervision is essential, most children, especially the younger ones, need constant monitoring at all times.

Other Childproof Tips to Consider:
You can protect your kids from drowning by making sure they won't be able to enter the pool without your consent, and here's how.
- Even if you already have a fence around the backyard, if you're living in Orlando, you'll also be required to enclose your pool with a fence that's at least 4-feet tall.
- By adding extra latches and locks to the exterior of your house, you'll be able to ensure that your child would stay inside the house unless you let him out.
- Make sure that the door alarms, as well as fence alarms are working properly at all time.
- For those with an above-ground pool, don't forget to remove the ladder when no one is swimming in the pool.

Final Words

As a homeowner and a parent, you have to ensure that your backyard pool is completely childproof. In order to make the pool safe for children, the tips mentioned above are really worth considering. Through this, you'll have the peace of mind that no accidents will ever happen even if you accidentally leave your children unattended.

Today's article was submitted by Warner Quinlan.