How To Improve The Value Of Your House

When you come to sell your house, you might be in the position that it is worth a lot less than it was when you originally bought it. This could be due to the market crashed, or it could be because you have not looked after the house. If the house has fallen into disrepair,…

When you come to sell your house, you might be in the position that it is worth a lot less than it was when you originally bought it. This could be due to the market crashed, or it could be because you have not looked after the house.

If the house has fallen into disrepair, then you should not even attempt to sell it unless you are prepared to take a loss on the price of the house. You should only put the house on the market once you have done some repairs on the house and made it look respectable again.

If the market has crashed and it is not your fault that your house is not worth much anymore, then there are things that you can do to up the price of the house.

Keep in mind that these are things that will cost you money, but the money that you earn on the price of the house will make it worth your while. If you think that you will only make back what you have put into the house, then it is still worth doing.

This will be because the house will sell faster. If you do not make the changes, then the house might sit on the market for a number of years and you will be stuck in limbo. If you want to move to a better house, quick, then it is recommended that you invest and make the changes seen below.

  1. Conservatory – Conservatories add to the price of the house because they effectively add another room onto the house. In some markets, you will be able to increase the number of rooms listed and this will inflate the price. In other markets, you will have to list the conservatory as a conservatory, but it will still increase the cost. You will not be using this conservatory, so you do not have to have it designed to suit you. Just pick the cheapest conservatory on the market if you want, it will increase the amount of profit that you will make on the house when it is sold. If you want, you can pay a bit more for a better conservatory, but you can not ask the estate agent to put the price above the evaluation just because you paid more for the conservatory. The downside of the conservatory idea is that you might lose value on the house if you do not have a big back garden, because you will be losing land. If your garden is big enough, then it should not matter.

  1. Pool – One of the best ideas to add value to your house is to add a pool to the back garden. Yes, you are probably thinking well that will mean a loss of some land as well, but there is a purpose to a pool and it is considered a luxury. If you live in a hot climate then having a pool with a lot better for the new owners, than land. If you have the money (around $ 25,000 +) then it will be worth it. It will add more than double to the value of the house. You can find a company who will be able to do the work for you. They will design the pool and arrange everything for you. It looks like it will be a lot of work for you, but the most work you will have is contacting the company. Once the pool is done, you might just want to stay there anyway.

How To Make Your Pool Suit Your Personality

Sometimes, when people have pools installed, they only have sufficient money for a simple looking pool. Therefore, the pool just looks like a hole in the ground that is filled with water. If this is what they were after, then that is great, but if they wanted something more, then will never like their pool.…

Sometimes, when people have pools installed, they only have sufficient money for a simple looking pool. Therefore, the pool just looks like a hole in the ground that is filled with water.

If this is what they were after, then that is great, but if they wanted something more, then will never like their pool. They might use it often, so they are getting their monies worth out of it, but they will never be proud of the pool that they have.

If you have found this article because you do not like the pool that you have and you wished that you had waited until you could afford a better one, then the point of this article is that you do not have to be stuck with the pool that you have.

You can now think of is as the started pool and you can make changes to it, so it is the pool that you deserve. You do not have to start again from scratch. You can add more features at the rate you can afford. Read on for some ideas on how to make your pool suit your personality.

  1. Base – You should start with the base of the pool. If it is a boring color then you should change it. You can change the material of the floor, the color (as previously mentioned), and you could also add some lighting to the bottom of the pool. This will make the pool pop and you should start with the base if you want to make changes to the whole pool. The pool will have to be emptied clearly, and it might be worth leaving it empty until the whole pool is done. If you can only afford to make one change a year, then just have the pool refilled so that you can use it in between building work.

  1. Waterfalls – Waterfalls are a very popular feature and a lot of people add them. This is because waterfalls can make the pool feel very relaxing. You could have small waterfalls fitted at the side of the pool, or you could have a larger waterfall on the side of the pool as a water feature. Some people have the waterfalls installed as part of the rock feature and make it all look like it is one element. You can do anything with a waterfall feature. Just ask the builder what he or she recommends and they should be happy to advise you on what would look better for your pool.

  1. Landscaping – You could have the area around the pool worked on. You could add decking where people could put sunbeds and you could even add a small bar or fire pit. This is only if you have the money of course and adding a bar area to your pool should be considered high end. Some people go with a theme for the landscaping. They either add rock features to make the pool look like it is in the middle of the wilderness, or they have everything done in marble to make it look high end.

  1. Spa – You could add a spa feature on one end of the pool. This is considered an add-on because the spa will not be installed inside the existing pool. It will be installed on one of the sides of the pool and you will not be able to access one from the other. Some people who have chosen to have rock features, have a grotto installed and the spa will be inside the grotto. Therefore, they can use the spa when it is raining outside.

How To Make Your House A Fitness Fortress

Around this time of year, a lot of people start to think about getting fit and they want to spend thousands on gym memberships that they will only use for a month and then get bored. This is not the way to go and it will end up being a waste of money. People would…

Around this time of year, a lot of people start to think about getting fit and they want to spend thousands on gym memberships that they will only use for a month and then get bored.

This is not the way to go and it will end up being a waste of money. People would be better off going for a run for free, or buying an exercise DVD that costs under $ 10. Therefore, they will not be wasting much money.

However, if you have money to spare and you want to do something different that would be beneficial to the whole family, then read ahead for some ideas.

Even if you do not have the money to what is about to be suggested, you should read on in case you win the lottery in the future.

Home Gym

You should think about turning the spare room into a home gym. Yes, it will cost a lot of money with the equipment but it will be worth it and there will be a point when you would have spent more money on a gym membership.

You will not even have to do much to the room. You just have to take the furniture out and then replace the furniture with gym equipment. You could even sell some of the furniture that you a moving, to pay for the equipment.

If you do not have much money to buy a gym all at once, you could pay for it over time. You could just start off with the treadmill and then build up to other equipment. You can get treadmills for quite cheap now as well.

A treadmill is a good machine to start off with because they build up fitness and you will be doing cardio exercise, so if you are interested in losing weight, then it will be brilliant for you.

If you have the money to buy all the equipment at the same time, then it will be amazing. Just remember to have a good mixture of cardio machines and machines that build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.

Pool

One of the best forms of exercise is swimming. This is because it uses every muscle in your body. It will make you learn and it will work muscles that you never knew you had.

That is why it is a good idea to have a pool as well as a gym. Swimming is a different sort of exercise to gym work, so it will aide your body and you will not get used to doing a certain sort of exercise.

Also, having a pool will help to soothe your muscles, so that you do not ache as much. It does not matter what size pool you get, as long as you can swim some form of lengths and then relax in there when you are done.

If you are serious about swimming as a sport, then you should think about getting a lap pool installed. You will need to make sure that you have enough space for a lap pool. You would need to make the pool Olympic size if you want to compete.

If you want the pool to soothe your muscles, then you should think about asking the pool company to install a spa pool. The bubbles will be a lot better to soothe the muscles and other members of the family will want to use it as well. So, it will not be something that is just for you, so the money that you spend will be justified.

What You Should Have In The GYM Of Your School

There are a lot of schools out there that have massive budgets for their gyms. This is because they have winning sports teams, so their budget is a lot bigger. They have sponsors and they have members of the public who will donate to the program. These schools want for nothing and they will state…

There are a lot of schools out there that have massive budgets for their gyms. This is because they have winning sports teams, so their budget is a lot bigger. They have sponsors and they have members of the public who will donate to the program.

These schools want for nothing and they will state of the art facilities even if the rest of the school is falling apart.

On the flip side, there are other schools that have nice buildings and they have gyms that are falling apart. That is because their schools put emphasis on academic skills and not sports.

However, this is not the way things should be. Everyone should be able to access a gym and work out whenever they want. If this were the case, kids would be a lot healthier and a lot happier.

If you are in the position where you are a teacher, a student, or a member of the school council, and you hate that your school gym is not up to scratch, then you should read ahead for some information on what exactly should be in the gym.

Sports Hall

First of all, there should be a sports hall and there should be regular competitions in there. There should be sports courts painted on the floors and there should be gymnastics equipment that is easily accessible.

In an ideal world, there will be basketball hoops that retract from the ceiling, but if you are on a budget then you should make do with static hoops. There should also be soccer nets that are removable. Again, if you are on a budget, then you should opt for painting the goals on the wall.

Gym

Next, you should have a gym with exercise machines. This is so the kids can get fit if they prefer to work out by running or lifting weights. Yes, this will cost a lot, but you can make savings by buying second hand machines, or machines that are not electronic.

You could even buy treadmills where the kids have to actually move their legs and force the band to move. Therefore it will be cheaper and the kids will have to work a lot harder.

Racetrack

If the kids in the school like running, then you should think about having a running track installed. The kids will love it and it will give them a bit of fresh air when they are exercising.

Fields

If you can not afford to pay for a racetrack, then you should about using the playing fields. All schools have fields on their property and all you would have to do is spray paint the tracks. It would not cost much and again, the kids would enjoy being outside.

Pool

Not many schools are blessed with having a pool on their promises. This is because they can be very expensive. However, if you have a good school council, they should be able to raise the money for the pool.

You may be better using a company who installs pools to personal properties as well as commercial properties because they might be able to save you some money on the price of the pool. They are also more likely to have some special offer periods during the year.

If you do not know any pool companies in the area, then look online and choose a company with a long history in the industry and explain what your requirements are. They should be able to recommend elements to you and advise you on a way forward.

Swimming Pool Maintenance – Tips and Tricks

What are the most common thoughts that cross your mind when you think about the magic of the summer season? The murmur of the ocean. Gentle summer breeze. An iced-cold cocktail in your hand. A green backyard and … of course, the picture will not be complete without a crystal clear swimming pool in the…

What are the most common thoughts that cross your mind when you think about the magic of the summer season? The murmur of the ocean. Gentle summer breeze. An iced-cold cocktail in your hand. A green backyard and … of course, the picture will not be complete without a crystal clear swimming pool in the backdrop.

A swimming pool can make a huge difference in one's backyard. A water zone will bring more freshness into your home and will allure you to dive inside the cool water during hot summer days. Dipping in the soothing waters of your pool can totally refresh your body and help you dispel all negative thoughts away from your mind.
However, in order to enjoy optimally the fabulous waters of your pool, you have to master all specifics and tricks related to swimming pool maintenance.

Unless you are a swimming pool maintenance expert, you have to call a special service company that will evaluate the overall condition of your pool and identify any existing defects. Once all swimming pool defects has been identified, your pool maintenance provider will propose effective solutions.

Swimming Pool Maintenance -Tricks and Tips

1. Chemically balanced water is the key to a healthy marine environment. Test your water's acidity, chemical balance and pH level on an ongoing basis, and provide regular shock treatments.

2. Maintain your filter properly to avoid damage to your swimming pool. Keep your water completely sanitized and remove debris from your filter.

3. In the case of heavy rains and severe winds, you should test your water's balance additionally and re-adjust it if necessary to avoid any disruption of the swimming pool's water environment.

4. Evaluate your pool volume and apply a cleaning product in accordance with the amount of water that your pool contains. Your pool's volume will determine the product dose that you should apply into it.

5. Remove debris and leaves from the water to maintain its natural transparency.

6. Disinfect your water with the help of suitable cleaning products. If your water has been even slightly contaminated, you immediately run the risk of skin infections and skin irritations.

7. Choose all tools and equipment that are necessary to thoroughly clean and vacuum your pool. Keep in mind that irreproachable pool maintenance will keep your level of satisfaction with your pool maximal.

Keeping your waters crystal clear is very important because in this way, you will keep your garden more appealing for your guests and will get more pleasure from playing in the refreshing waters of your small oasis in the summer.

Professional Pool Services Can Extend the Life of Your Pool

Owning a swimming pool can provide you with a relaxing and refreshing way to escape from the sun's heat. This is especially true if you live in one of the southern states, such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona, where you can use your pool practically all year. While owning a pool can be fun for…

Owning a swimming pool can provide you with a relaxing and refreshing way to escape from the sun's heat. This is especially true if you live in one of the southern states, such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona, where you can use your pool practically all year. While owning a pool can be fun for the whole family, it is very important that you properly maintain your pool during through the year. This will help to keep your family safe while swimming and extend the overall life of your swimming pool.

While you can provide these cleaning services yourself, professional services will guarantee that your pool is always clean, that the chemicals are kept in balance, and that is is operating properly. Below is a look at just some of the ways professional services that can actually extend the life of your pool.

Helps to Keep Chemicals in Balance

Professional pool services include regular checking and balancing of the chemical levels in your water, including pH, chlorine, and alkaline levels. Some companies also provide free use of their salt chlorine generator for all qualified owners who use their chemical checking services. This generator allows you to use less chlorine in your pool, yet still provides the same feel of soft water. This works to prevent chemical build-up, which could damage your swimming pool over time.

Kept Professionally Cleaned

Keeping a swimming pool clean and free from unwanted debris is not always an easy task. You can purchase a vacuum, use a skimmer, and clean out your baskets regularly, but it will still not provide type of cleaning that professionals offer. Professional full cleaning services – including scrubbing the pool tiles, vacuuming the floor and walls, clearing debris from all baskets, and cleaning the filter regularly – will help to keep your pool in top condition and improve the overall look of your pool.

Damage to Pool Noticed Instantly and Repaired

One of the best benefits of using a professional pool service company is that fact that the pool technicians can spot any damage to your pool before it becomes a worse problem. Since they are trained and have years of experience working with swimming pools, these technicians will be able to notice small damage done to your pool well before you are likely to even see it.

This allows them to make the necessary repairs instantly before it causes a larger, more costly problem. It may even prevent the need to purchase a new swimming pool.

This is just some of the ways that professional pool services, like those offered by Pool Troopers, can increase the longevity of your swimming pool. These professional services also allow you to enjoy your swimming pool without having to worry about all the needed maintenance. Best of all, these pool services are very affordable and can actually help to save you money over time by lowering your pool repair costs.

Pool Services Vs Doing It Yourself

Having a swimming pool of your own can be one of the best investments a homeowner can make. It is a great way to relax all summer long, as well as getting some exercise and feeling good about yourself. It even makes a good focal point and gathering spot for parties and get-togethers. However, it's…

Having a swimming pool of your own can be one of the best investments a homeowner can make. It is a great way to relax all summer long, as well as getting some exercise and feeling good about yourself. It even makes a good focal point and gathering spot for parties and get-togethers. However, it's also a lot of responsibility, and it needs regular upkeep. While some people make the commitment to do it themselves, many others hire pool services to take care of everything.

Keeping it Clean Day In and Day Out

If every time you head over to the pool to take a dip you find that you have to skim leaves or pine needles out of it, you might find yourself hesitating when swimming comes to mind. And if you let it slide for even a few days, it can become a real chore. Pool services will perform regular maintenance on your swimming pool, so that you can just enjoy it. That does not just mean skimming the top. They should also keep the walls and steps clean as well.

Cleaning is not the only part of maintaining a pool however, and good pool services will check the equipment while they're there. They will clean out the filter, and empty any skimmer baskets, while also checking all of the pumps to make sure all are running fine. They will even check the water pH level and add whatever chemicals are necessary to keep the correct chemical balance in your pool. All of this can be done by you, but the time and effort can be a real drain on a busy schedule.

Shocking the Pool Should not Involve Shocking Your Clothes

No matter how often you skim the pool and try to keep it clean, there are always going to be some foreign elements in there. Things like skin cells, bird droppings, or even just the suntan lotion that comes off of you while swimming can build up and affect the water quality. By shocking the pool with a high chlorine mixture, you can get rid of a lot of this, but you also have to thoroughly clean the sides and steps afterwards. Letting pool services handle it saves time and keeps your clothes and skin away from harmful chemicals.

When it's Closing Time, You Can Just Go Home

Depending on where you live, there's a good chance that you'll need to close down the pool once the temperature starts to drop. This means draining the water below the freezing level, as well as draining the water lines. After that's finished, anti-freeze should be added to the pipes. You do not want them to freeze, because the damage could have been more than you'd ever spend on pool services. When spring comes and you're ready to swim again, the whole process has to be reversed.

Again, it's possible to do all of this yourself, but hiring a good pool service will allow you to relax and enjoy your swimming pool instead of viewing it as a part-time job. For most pool owners, it's worth the little bit of extra money to have the peace of mind that everything is being handled by professionals.

Important Signs Your Pool Is in Need of Repair

Owning a pool in the late spring and summer is fantastic for several reasons. You can throw pool parties or go swimming whenever you want to cool off, and who could ask for more? Occidentally, though, time and lack of care can do damage to your summer hangout spot! Here are a couple of signs…

Owning a pool in the late spring and summer is fantastic for several reasons. You can throw pool parties or go swimming whenever you want to cool off, and who could ask for more? Occidentally, though, time and lack of care can do damage to your summer hangout spot! Here are a couple of signs that you might need pool repair services:

Signs of Leakage

One of the most common pool repair problems is leaking, and there are several signs that your pool might have a leak. An accelerated drop in water levels not attributed to splash out or evaporation is one sign. Another is a wet or mushy lawn near your pool, indicating the leak is under the ground. Watch for these signs, as you may need some small pool repair to take care of it,

Air in the Pump

A leak in the suction side of the pool, including the skimmers and main drain area, may lead to air plunged into the plumbing! This will show up in the pump blow back into the pool, so keep an eye out for large pockets of air in the pump or bubbles blowing back into the pool at an increased rate.

Pool Filter Issues

The pool filter plays a very important role in keeping your pool nice and maintained by removing particles of dirt or plant matter. There are a couple of different kinds of filters, so knowing if your filter has stopped working or not depends on what kind you have:

Sand Filters – If you have a good sand filter, all you need to do is inspect the sand itself and gauge how rough it is. If the sand is not course or rough at all, it loses some of its filtering power and you should change the sand soon.

DE or Cartridge Filters – For those with diatomaceous earth (DE) or cartridge filters, all you need to do is monitor how dirty your pool is actually getting. If it seems to be dirtier than normal, it is a sign you should replace the cartridges in your filter. This can be time-consuming and difficult if you do not know what you are doing. In that case, it may be time to call a pool repair company.

Hopefully these signs and tips will help you figure out what might be going wrong with your pool, either you are losing water at an increased rate or find that your pool is far dirtier than it should be. If you are still unsure of the problem, it may be time to call a pool repair company, such as Advanced Pool and Spa Inc ,. to look at your problem. Do not let a failing filter or unnoticed leak in your pool cause you to forfeit the ability to swim this summer! Using these signs or the help from a pool service company, you are sure to be able to have the go to hang out spot this summer season!

Pool Opening Things to Care About

Opening a pool after it's been winterized is not simply a matter of following the closure process in reverse. Even though many of the steps seem to be the same, pool opening has its own pace and procedures to mitigate damage to the vessel and its supporting parts and systems, ease water-balancing chores, and avoid…

Opening a pool after it's been winterized is not simply a matter of following the closure process in reverse. Even though many of the steps seem to be the same, pool opening has its own pace and procedures to mitigate damage to the vessel and its supporting parts and systems, ease water-balancing chores, and avoid expensive as well as extensive repairs.

The first consideration is to make sure the water is completely free of ice, and that it illegally to freeze again until the next winter. And the other things you should care about are as follows:

Buy New Chemicals

Restock your supply of chemicals and purchase new test strips in preparation for the upcoming swim season.

Prep your Cleaning Equipment

Gather and assemble your cleaning gear, and set it up near the pool deck for easy access. Pull out your safety equipment, as well, check it for any damage before putting it back in service. Review your safety plan, adjust it as necessary, and communicate it to your family and other users of your pool or spa.

Clear the Cover

If you've been attentive about keeping your winter pool cover free of debris and standing water, there should not be lots of debris to remove right before reopening. If possible, direct the debris and water to one side of the cover to prevent it from getting into the water once your remove the cover.

Check for Cracks

Examine the pool walls, floor, pipes, hoses, components of the equipment set and cleaning gear for cracks or fissures. Similarly, repair any surface damage to the waterline tile, coping, deck material, and perimeter drain system caused by frost heave.

Reinstall Accessories

Pull out slides, diving boards and other accessory parts, check them for any damage or make any needed repairs and reattach them securely in place.

Switch on the Power

Reinstall circuit breakers or simply flick the beaker switches at your main electrical service panel to bring power back to the pool's pump and recirculation system. Switch on the pump and filter to make sure the system is running smoothly. If it needs adjustment, switch off the system then retest.

Vacuum the Pool

With the system running, vacuum the pool walls and floor, beginning at the shallow end and from the tops of the walls to the floor, towards the main drain in the deep end.

Understanding the fundamentals of opening a pool or spa, identifying and making minor repairs, and recognizing when more extensive renovations are required are the main things of being a responsible owner. With the basics ingrained, you'll soon develop your own routines and systems based on those rules of thumb, and can avoid costly pool repair service.

A Gazebo Makes Your Pool Complete!

A gazebo makes the perfect pool-side getaway. So much so that anyone who owns a pool really needs consider one. Here are three important reasons why every pool owner should: Protection From The Sun Just because you own a pool does not mean you have to sit out in the hot sun. Many new pool…

A gazebo makes the perfect pool-side getaway. So much so that anyone who owns a pool really needs consider one. Here are three important reasons why every pool owner should:

Protection From The Sun

Just because you own a pool does not mean you have to sit out in the hot sun. Many new pool owners love to swim and relax in the pool but soon realize do not want to be stuck in the Sun or heat all day when doing so. A pool-side gazebo is the perfect solution. It provides a place to relax and read a book or a magazine after taking a dip in the pool while protecting you from the Sun's harmful rays at the same time. By not installing a gazebo many homeowners are spending a lot of money for a pool space which they can only enjoy for a limited amount of time without becoming at risk for health problems associated from sun exposure. What's the point in owning a pool if you can not relax comfortably near it?

Being Responsible While Relaxing

Every pool owner needs to be responsible when it comes to people using their pool. If you are a parent, installing gazebo near your pool is a great investment in your children's safety as well as that of your guests. This is because it provides you with a vantage point to keep an eye on your kids and their well being without getting wet. You have the advantage of making sure they are okay, but without having to stay in the pool with them or out in the blazing hot sun. This allows you to enjoy your outdoor space in comfort while your kids and their friends enjoy the pool in safety. Making you both more responsible but relaxed at the same time.

Fun With Family And Friends

One of the joys of owning a pool is being able to enjoy your pool-side area with family and friends. A pool-side gazebo makes this possible because they are great for parties and barbeques. Providing your guests with a cool, comfortable place to eat and talk which has all of the benefits of being outdoors but none of the drawbacks. They are a perfect place to sit and catch up with those you care about the most and of course with your pool as the perfect background. They also work perfectly with outdoor kitchens or barbeques placed nearby because you can still interact with your guests while you are cooking. And of course the best part is that if anyone wants to take a dip in the pool they can do so.

As you can see there are many great reasons to install a poolside gazebo. They offer protection from the Sun's rays, a safe and comfortable spot to keep an eye on the kids, and the perfect place to entertain friends and family. Without a gazebo it's almost impossible to enjoy and experience you pool area to its maximum potential.

Residential Pool Filters

When it comes to residential pool filters, there are three that are most commonly used. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. The three different types of filtration systems for residential pools are Sand, Cartridge and Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Which one you decide to go with will depend on how much you want to spend…

When it comes to residential pool filters, there are three that are most commonly used. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. The three different types of filtration systems for residential pools are Sand, Cartridge and Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Which one you decide to go with will depend on how much you want to spend on short-term vs.. long-term as well as how much effort do you want to have to exert on a regular basis while maintaining your pool.

Sand filters are the easiest to maintain on a regular basis. However, they come with the drawback of not being able to filter out smaller particles that the DE and cartridge filters can capture. Sand filters are the oldest type of filter as they date back to the very first pools. Water will move through a bed of sand and will return to the pool through laterals (small openings intended to let water pass through) in the bottom of the filtration system. The idea is that dirty water will come in through the top of the filter, dirt and debris is caught in the sand and clean water passes out through the bottom to return to the pool. Most of the dirt and debris will be used at the top of the filter and periodically, the sand filter will need to be flushed out (baskwashed) to rid the system of this extra debris. Another drawback to sand filters is that every 3-5 years (sometimes longer) the sand needs to be replaced. This is not technically difficult, but it is a very tedious, labor intensive process.

Cartridge filters are smaller than both sand and DE filtration systems, so they take up less space. In addition, they are usually the least expensive (however, some models can be as expensive or more expensive than comparable sand or DE systems). Cartridge filters are similar to your air filter in your car. It's a paper cartridge that will filter out dirt and debris and lets water pass through it (clean) to return to your pool. Over time, paper cartridges need to be replaced. However, it's very easy to do and costs are not extremely high ($ 45- $ 150 typically). Cartridge systems are very easy to maintain which is one of the main reasons why these are the most popular filtration systems seen on pools today. However, they are still not capable of filtering out the smallest particles that DE filter systems are capable of.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) filter systems are capable of filtering out the smallest of particles. Although DE filters are used on some residential pools, they are most commonly used with commercial pools. Diatomaceous earth is crushed, tiny skeletons of sea plankton that are covered on top of DE grids that are used to trap undissolved material as water passes through the filtration system. Periodically, this DE powder needs to be flushed out and replaced. Also, the grids themselves need to be replaced every 5-10 years as well. DE filters are typically the most expensive and the use of DE powder makes them the most expensive to operate as well. If you choose to use this type of system, please keep in mind that DE powder is carcinogenic and is not to be breathed in. Please use gloves and a mask when handling DE powder.

If you choose to maintain your pool and equipment yourself, it is important to have an understanding of how your equipment operates. If you choose a pool service to do this work for you. It is important to know that maintaining the filter is part or their regular service (or at least have a plan in place so the filter is not neglected).

Bacteria and Biofilms in Your Swimming Pool

Bacteria in your swimming pool: To begin, what are bacteria? Bacteria (the term bacteria is used in this article to cover all micro-organisms, whether they are bacteria or viruses) are naturally occurring biological organisms that are microscopic in size. Bacteria are everywhere: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, on the surfaces we…

Bacteria in your swimming pool:

To begin, what are bacteria? Bacteria (the term bacteria is used in this article to cover all micro-organisms, whether they are bacteria or viruses) are naturally occurring biological organisms that are microscopic in size. Bacteria are everywhere: in the air we breathe, the water we drink, on the surfaces we touch. Most bacteria are not harmful, but a few are. Bacteria are transported from one place to another very easily and conveniently many times via YOU! Most bacteria prefer to live in colonies and so they prefer surfaces where they can congregate and multiply. Most bacteria are also fairly “smart” in that they know how to naturally protect them against even chemical intruders that are applied to destroy them. Like us humans, bacteria want to preserve their lives!

The other thing you have to realize about most forms of bacteria is that although small, bacteria are really rugged and resilient to not only their environment but also against anything that may come against them. This is especially so of the virulent pathogenic types. Many bacteria can actually live in some of the harshest environments known to exist. We humans would need the most technologically advanced environmental suites just to survive. And so we have to know where bacteria live and breed and how they survive hiding from most of our water care and treatment. That's what the scientists at the universities and laboratories are jobs for: to provide the information we need to understand what we're doing and saying.

Probably the single most significant thing that we've learned about bacteria and their growth in the past several years from several university studies is that bacteria in swimming pools is not just floating around in the water looking to be taken out and killed by chlorine, bromine Egypt other pool water sanitizers. The bulk of bacteria in swimming pools are actually found in something called a “biofilm”.

Biofilms are exactly what you'd expect them to be: a biologically-based film. These biofilms are found on almost any surface in any place. If the place happens to be warm and moist, so much the better! With that in mind, we now know that swimming pools are literally lined all over the place with biofilms: on the pool surface itself, at the waterline, in and on the filter and its media, in the piping and plumbing lines. The worst part is that most of these areas are almost completely inaccessible to direct cleaning making the biofilms close to impossible to remove.

Keep in mind that biofilms are literally everywhere. The most “familiar” biofilm you encounter is the biofilm mass on your own teeth! Although you may brush three times a day, that nasty, sticky film grows right back onto your teeth all day long. If you do not brush and remove that film regularly, that film becomes plaque and tartar which are not only really difficult to remove but in time contribute to tooth decay and disease.

A similar thing happens with the biofilm on your swimming pools surfaces and plumbing. Instead of cavities and decay, our pools and equipment have a shortened life and will build up unsightly scale and stains. You should also know that these biofilms have an incredibly low pH – under 1.0 – and therefore can significantly contribute to problems with long term water balance.

And so, we partially control bacteria at its source by removing biofilms. Biofilms on all of the pool's surfaces (seen and unseen) contain up to 99% of all bacteria in swimming pools (Center for Biofilm Engineering, State University of Montana). By breaking down and removing the biofilm we eliminate areas where bacteria (both pathogenic and non-pathogenic) can hide, grow and populate or multiply. Understanding that only between 1% and 5% of bacteria is “free-floating” or “planktonic” brings the realization of how little sanitizer (regardless of type: chlorine, bromine, biguanides, copper sulfate solutions, ionizers, etc.) may actually be needed in treating and sanitizing pool water.

We also understand that biofilms will and do absorb chlorine, bromine, copper and other chemicals and elements into the biofilm rendering those sanitizing agents completely ineffective. Biguanides, although not entirely absorbed, are rendered ineffective by simply “attaching” to the biofilm – rather than doing their work “floating” in the pool water attack and trapping bacteria and algae, the long-string biguanide molecule is stuck onto the biofilm adding to the biofilm's stickiness and even “strengthening” it by becoming yet another layer.

As we remove the biofilms, we control the amount of bacteria that is present in the pool water. The good thing is that biofilm is very easy to accomplish by using safe and environmentally friendly salts and silicates and enzymes. Salts and silicates remove the biofilms from their surfaces, enzymes help to consume and completely remove them from the pool. Simple weekly additions is normally all that is necessary to do the job.

Minimal sanitizing – sometimes biweekly or even monthly depending on the preferred sanitizer – may be necessary and at significantly lower levels than otherwise historically maintained. Chlorine (especially Free Available Chlorine – this is the chlorine that is most effective in killing bacteria and algae) levels of less than 1.0 ppm (minimum of 0.5 ppm) or Bromine levels (less than 2.0 ppm) should be more than sufficient to properly control bacteria.

What else do you end up with? Many customers report a cleaner pool, cleaner filter, simpler water balance (pH, total alkalinity) and even nicer feeling water. And that's why you have a swimming pool in your backyard to enjoy.

Ammonia in Swimming Pools

So what's all this “new” talk about ammonia in swimming pool water? I hate to burst your bubble but ammonia is NOTHING new to swimming pools. In fact, I've been talking about this problem for about 40 years! Ammonia is a naturally occurring, very simple chemical that is found anywhere Hydrogen and Nitrogen can come…

So what's all this “new” talk about ammonia in swimming pool water?

I hate to burst your bubble but ammonia is NOTHING new to swimming pools. In fact, I've been talking about this problem for about 40 years!

Ammonia is a naturally occurring, very simple chemical that is found anywhere Hydrogen and Nitrogen can come together. Ammonia is NH3 or for you non chemists like me, Ammonia is composed of ONE Nitrogen atom attached to THREE Hydrogen atoms.

If you remember your high school chemistry, water is composed of TWO Hydrogen atoms and ONE Oxygen atom (H2O). So now that we know where the Hydrogen came from (by the way, Hydrogen is the most plentiful element in the universe), where did the nitrogen come from?

That is NOT a mystery!

Nitrogen, like Hydrogen, is also a very plentiful gas. Nitrogen is everywhere. But this “bad” nitrogen that we're specifically talking about comes from common, everyday, normal environmental waste. And that includes waste from you and me.

As an important side, Ammonia also comes in most tap water these days. That's right! As people have unfortunately screamed and knew about the amount of chlorine that WAS being used to keep our drinking water clean and pure, water treatment authorities began adding Ammonia to the sanitizing mix creating the Chloramines that we'll address shortly.

Nitrogen can come from urine or sweat. Nitrogen is found in fertilizers (both natural as well as man-made). In small quantities, this “wasted” Nitrogen really doesnt amount to anything, but when it piles up, that's when the problems begin. In other words, it really depends on HOW MUCH Nitrogen is present in the water.

And when that excess Nitrogen comes in contact with the water (simple chemical attraction), you get Ammonia. It's always occurring. That may sound a little simplistic, but that's the bottom line.

What we're really dealing with …

The real problem as I mentioned is something that we commonly call “CHLORAMINES”. Chloramines are simply chlorine molecules that have “gone bad” because the nitrogen was more attracted to the Chlorine atom than to the hydrogen atom. People are not the only ones who make wrong partner choices …

When Chlorine (or Bromine for that matter – when combined are called bromamines) ome together with Nitrogen (or Ammonia if you prefer), bad stuff begins to happen; slowly maybe, but happen it will. First you'll notice a strong “chlorine odor”. What you're actually smelling is LOW chlorine being overtaken by nitrogen or ammonia. After the odor starts, the real problems begin: burning eyes and sometimes even irritated skin and mucous membranes (you know when you get a snout-full when opening a bottle of cleaning ammonia …). Next comes dull or hazy looking, then cloudy water. After that, you'll typically see an algae bloom and growth. Algae, like all green plants, loves nitrogen and is a food source.

And all of that can happen in a matter of hours or a couple of days. You have to deal with this problem quickly and completely. By no means can you let it fester, it will only become much worse.

What to do …

Like I just said, if you want to deal with this problem, you've got to do it quickly and completely. And what you have to do with this bad partnership is what you do with any bad partnership: BREAK IT UP at any cost!

In swimming pools, we need to properly and thoroughly shock the water with sufficient chlorine to break up the Ammonia-Chlorine bond. The problem most people run into is that they do not add enough chlorine or shock and then actually cause the chloramine problem to become worse – and sometimes significantly worse.

If Chloramines are NOT completely destroyed, you will only create MORE Chloramines – lots more.

Is there a way to prevent this problem? Yes there is! A couple of things: first make sure that you're testing the pool water once or twice each week on your own, then at least monthly at a professional pool store. Make sure that you are testing for Free Available Chlorine (FAC) as well as Total Chlorine (what most people test for). If there's a higher total chlorine level than FAC, you've got Chloramines.

The next thing to do is to properly and regularly shock the pool to prevent build ups of Chloramines. You can never shock a pool too much.

What happens if you choose NOT to deal with this Ammonia-Chlorine problem? It will only get worse. In short order, your pool may develop a Chlorine Demand which will drive you just short of insane as you struggle to maintain even the most minimal amount chlorine or bromine to sanitize the pool.

To sum it up, Ammonia is NOT a new thing in swimming pools. It's a naturally occurring problem that is as old as pool care (and nature) itself. You just have to learn how to control it properly, and controlling it is easy!

5 Tips to Swimming Pool Safety for Children

Yes, it brings fun and excitement for the young (and even to those who are young at heart), but that does not mean swimming pool safety should not be your priority. Studies have shown that one of the leading causes of mortality among children is accidental drowning in pools. It is essential for parents to…

Yes, it brings fun and excitement for the young (and even to those who are young at heart), but that does not mean swimming pool safety should not be your priority. Studies have shown that one of the leading causes of mortality among children is accidental drowning in pools. It is essential for parents to be on guard about their kids' safety and security whenever they are having fun in the swimming pool.

Below, we share with you 5 practical tips to help you ensure that your children are safe when they use the pool.

One, make sure that there is a lifeguard on patrol. Especially for swimming pools in clubs, private resorts and even in schools during Physical Ed class, it is important that children are supervised by an expert who knows what to do when there is a suspected case of drowning. If a lifetime is not present, at least make sure that you are there watching over your kids as they play in the pool. A parent such as yourself should know what to do in case the unfortunate consequences.

Second, regardless if the pool is small, it does not mean that risks to your child's safety is not present. Safety risks in large swimming pools are the same as in small ones. Further, it does not mean that your child is already safe if he or she is higher than the pool's height. A hot tub may be small, but be sure to be on parent patrol too if your child chooses to dip inside. It should have safety pool covers and wings like large swimming pools do.

Third, be cautious of swimming pools that have visible pipes or uncoated drains. This can lead to sudden deaths similar to the case of Virginia Graeme Baker Pool, a 7-year old girl who drowned because she got trapped by the drain at the bottom of the pool. Swimming pool-related deaths can be best avoided by complying with safety standards.

Fourth, teach kids how to swim. This is probably the most practical tip when it comes to swimming pool safety. Just as much as we want to be there for our children, watching every move they make as they splash in the swimming pool and play with their friends, we have to admit that we can not be on parent patrol consistently 101% of the time. The best way to make sure that children do not drown is to equip them with the skill to save themselves. Swimming classes are usually offered in schools and taught by professional swimmers who know what they are doing and know what to do when a child suddenly sees to be in distress. Learning how to swim too as a parent is a good thought to think about as well.

And lastly, and as stated briefly earlier, an essential step in pool safety is the installation of safety pool covers and wings. Have the appropriate barriers present. There are contractors who build, sell and install 4-feet or 5-feet high fines and self-closing gates as from manual and automatic pool covers. Install ladders and steps too for easier access.

How to Pick a Swimming Pool Builder

I hope everyone looking to build a swimming pool reads this prior to deciding on who their swimming pool contractor is going to be. Here is a checklist of things to look for when deciding on which company to use: 1. They should have an actual office. Without an office they may have nothing really…

I hope everyone looking to build a swimming pool reads this prior to deciding on who their swimming pool contractor is going to be. Here is a checklist of things to look for when deciding on which company to use:

1. They should have an actual office. Without an office they may have nothing really vested in their company.

2. They should have insurance.

3. Consider their time and experience in the industry.

4. Consider their time and experience in your area.

5. They should have pools to show you that are similar to their project.

6. Check their reference list – it should be significant.

7. They should be members of APSP. This is our governing body, and any reputable pool builder should be a member.

This is just a small sample of questions you should ask your prospective pool builders. I always recommend that as a potential customer, you should be aware that there are some shady people in this industry (as in any industry), and you should research what you are told, especially when it sounds too good to be true. When everyone claims to be the best, someone is not being absolutely honest. Please take the time to research every company that comes to your home prior to meeting with them, and then research them personally. Sometimes information does not show up on a company that will if you check up on the individual.

Remember that this is going to be a long relationship, even after your pool is complete. Make sure you pick someone you are comfortable with, and trust to be there for you long after the sale is complete.

Pricing is an issue that comes up every time I meet with a new customer. There is no way I can tell you how much you should spend on your pool project because extremely it is whatever number you feel comfortable spending. However, I can recommend a process for determining a budget if you have no idea where to start. Typically you want to stay within 10-25% of the value of the home. This will ensure you do not over-build, or, just as important, under-build your project. There is a large difference between 10-25%, however. The reason for this is, if your home is valued at $ 350,000 or less, 10% is not enough to build a pool, so your budget will be closer to the 20% range, and if you live in a multi-million dollar home, 25% may not be necessary in order to build a magnificent project. The main priority is to establish a budget for your pool project that remains consistent with the home valuation. This will help you to regain your investment, if and when you decide to sell your home.