Best & Worst Pinterest Pool Ideas
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pinterest-pool-logoPinterest is full of great DIY tips, and easy life hacks that you can implement to improve your lifestyle. Pinterest was (and still is) mostly about recipes, but recipes for more than food.

Pools are a natural for pinterest, visual and visceral, with charm and appeal galore, they make beautiful gallery boards. Look deeper below the surface, and you will find endless pinterest pool hack pictures, or ways to improve your pool appearance, warmth or water chemistry. But not all pinterest pool tips are winners…

Here then, is my Top10 Best & Worst Pinterest Pool Ideas.

1. Glow in the Dark Mosaic Tiles

pin by ifitshipitshere.com

pin by ifitshipitshere.com

Glow in the dark pool  tiles soak up energy from the sun during the day, then put on a light show through the evening. I love this idea for several reasons. Obviously, it looks really cool! But it’s also a nice safety measure as well as a eco-friendly way to add so evening illumination and ambience to your pool sans electricity. You don’t have to completely tile your pool to use glow in the dark pool tiles, but can use it for step trim or as accent art. Underwater Art!

2. Solar Cover Reel Bench

pin by iancoombes.co.nz

pin by iancoombes.co.nz

Not only does the solar reel bench protect solar blankets and solar reels from unnecessary UV exposure from the sun but it also is much more aesthetically pleasing than a rolled-up blanket and reel. Of course, the best part is extended pool deck seating for about, eh, 20 or so swimmers. You can build your own solar cover box with a steel or aluminum powder coated frame and varnished wood top (and back/sides if you like), or hire a craftsman like Ian.

  1. Beluga Solar Pool Heater:

photo by Intheswim.com

pin by InTheSwim.com

Here’s one you could find on an In The Swim pinterest board! We love our Beluga Solar Heater. This hose adapter is an exceptionally brilliant way to use solar energy to warm your swimming pool. In tandem with a black hose (or two) purchased separately, the Beluga diverts an adjustable stream of water through the black hose to collect heat from the sun—it’s that simple. Just screw into any 1.5″ wall return, connect (any color) garden hose, and adjust the diverter for a slow 1-2 gpm flow rate.

  1. Hula Hoop Solar Sun Ring:

Pin by instructables.com

Ok, so not all ideas are gold. This pool is green first of all, and secondly, this seems to me a flagrant waste of a hula hoop, a garbage bag and a pool noodle, and – some poor kid is stuck with half a noodle. Although it technically does add some heat, depending on the size of your swimming pool, it would require several dozen hula hoops and noodles. The real Solar Sun Rings or Solar Squares, are 5′ in diameter and made of ‘space-age materials’ and design to amplify the sun’s rays, and magnets that lock themselves together. Nonetheless, Kudos, to this crafty pinterest pool owner!

  1. Pallet Noodle Racks

pin by jfishkind (left) and 1001pallets (right)

It doesn’t take long into a DIY Pool Project search to realize that pool noodles and wooden pallets are like peanut butter and chocolate, in the world of crafty re-purposing. In this case, the pallets provide a way to tame unruly and rebellious pool noodles. We like these because they are incredibly simple. You don’t even need picture instructions to figure these out. No Allen wrenches, no hot glue – just a couple of nails, and VOILA! you are done.

  1. Water Balloons or Glow Sticks – in the Pool?

    pins by smartschoolhouse (left) and loafersandcocoa (right)

    pins by smartschoolhouse (left) and loafersandcocoa (right)

So, I’m on the fence about this one. The adult in me says, “No Way – Think of your skimmers, think of your pool plumbing! All those balloons are going to pop and create a mess!”  My inner-child however says, no screams, “BELLY-FLOP!!!” You make the call. Another popular pool party parlor trick is to add glow sticks to the pool for a night time soiree. Again, you make the call, but don’t call me if that stuff leaks out in the pool or pokes a hole in a pool liner!

  1. Caulking Your Pool

seasteadbuilding.com Vulkem caulked being applied to pool expansion joint

pin by Seastead

You can find excellent DIY ideas and tutorials all over pinterest. But some are particular favorites because they cover important things like caulking your expansion joints. Updating your pool caulk is a great DIY pool task that won’t cost you a small fortune. Cut out the old caulk, push in a layer of foam backer rod, and squirt in the Vulkem self leveling pool caulk (Lock up the dog first!). Inground pools with coping should caulk the pool / deck expansion joint every 5 years, to keep out debris and grit, and prevent damage from freezing water.

  1. Hair Chlorine Removal

Pin by 1crazyhouse

To be fair, we’ve never tried this, and to be honest, we’re pretty sure that shampoo and water works just fine. In fact, we’re pretty sure just water will rinse out most chlorine. If you’ve tried this (to any effect) let us know how it went. And, if you do, does it work with blueberry Kool-Aid, or just Lemonade? I hope so, because I’m partial to blueberry. Might be easier to wear a cap – how about  one of those flowered retro swim caps? 🙂

 

  1. Pool Noodle Cooler

Pin by onecrazyhouse

Pin by 1crazyhouse

There’s dozens of variations of the floating noodle cooler, and we like them all. We’re just concerned that it might increase the frequency in which people have to use the restroom – if you know what I mean. Anyway, this clever pool hack has all the elements of brilliant design. Take your basic plastic tote box, cut a noodle into 4 pieces, and tie a sturdy rope or twine through the noodles (the ones with the center hole), and you’re done!

 

  1. Tennis Ball in the Pool to Absorb Oils

image by istockphoto, on account

pin by mylistsoflists.com photo by istockphoto

 

This may be the very first pool hack ever posted on the internet.  But you know what, it works!  So clocking in at number ten, is the ole tennis-ball-in-the-pool-hack. Now, although a ScumBall is a bit more effective, tennis balls will absorb some surface oils, too.

Check out all of these and much much more on our DIY Pool Ideas Pinterest Board!

Did we miss one of your favorite DIY Pool Ideas?  Do you have one that you feel should be added to our list?  We’d love to here from you! Leave a comment or shoot us an email at socialmedia@intheswim.com.

 


Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Slash Swimming Pool Maintenance Costs
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Pool owners are all-too-familiar with the continuous cost of maintaining a swimming pool.  Many of us accept the high pool maintenance costs of outdated pool equipment because an existing pump or heater still perform, as they should.

And some of us just accept higher energy bills in the summer. Take a look at the big picture to spotlight some opportunities to save some money on pool expenses by spending a little more on pool equipment and accessories that could potentially pay for themselves!


SOLAR POOL HEATERS

solar-pool-heatersInground and above ground pool owners can take advantage of surprisingly affordable solar panel heating for their pools. If you have a sunny southern exposure for 6 hours of daily sun, each 100 sq. ft. of solar panels can add 10 degrees to the pool, without burning fossil fuels.

Swimming pool solar panels absorb heat from the sun as the pool water passes through a series of coils or tubes and transfer the heat to your pool water. Solar panels are daisy- chained, modular, so you can add as much as you need. A small solar system can cut your pool heating costs in half, and a larger solar pool heater can replace the need for gas or electric pool heaters.

SOLAR COVERS

Solar blankets, for both inground and above ground pool owners, can work all on their own or in tandem with your pool heater or solar panel heaters. During the day, they help collect the sun’s energy to heat your pool (up to 10°!), but their best use is to stop heat loss when the sun goes down. Warm pool water coupled with nighttime temperatures accelerates evaporation, which can be reduced by over 90% when you use a solar blanket.

Solar blanket covers are a little bit of effort when you don’t have a solar reel, but when you pay to heat a pool, solar covers pay for themselves in just a month or two, by reducing heating costs and stopping pool evaporation, which also saves money.

VARIABLE SPEED PUMPS

The biggest return on investment on our list could be Variable Speed Pumps. The Variable Speed model of Hayward’s Super Pump can use 80% less energy and as cliché as it may sound, spending a few hundred dollars more on a variable speed pump as opposed to a single speed pump can literally pay for itself!

Running a pool pump at half speed doesn’t use half as much energy, it uses 1/8 as much energy! You’ll notice this efficiency on your very first electricity bill of the season. Many VS pumps qualify for a green energy tax rebate making it that much smarter of investment.

POOL HEAT PUMPS

Heat pumps work like a reverse air conditioner, they capture heat from the outside air and transfer it to your pool water. Heat pumps only work if the air temperature is over 50 degrees which may not be an issue for most fair-weather swimmers.

A pool heat pump can reduce your pool heating costs by up to 50% or more when compared to gas pool heaters, and also tend to require less repairs. They are more expensive to buy than gas pool heaters, but can pay for themselves after just a few seasons. Heat Pumps often qualify for green energy tax rebates as well!

GOOD WATER CHEMISTRY

There are less obvious, less costly ways to invest in your pool that can save you money in the long run. By spending a little more on the top-of-the-line Taylor K-2005 Test Kit you can expect commercial grade test results.

Improper pool testing practices can lead to a domino effect of unbalanced water and algae, and a pool chemical spending spree to restore well-balanced pool chemistry. Spending $80 on a test kit can directly lead to saving hundreds on pool chemicals. It’s pool ownership 101 but it’s a lesson that is time tested.

POOL SAFETY COVERS

safety-cover-meycoInvesting in a high quality pool safety cover is not only a wise investment from a safety perspective, safety covers can save money on a much grander scale. Mesh safety covers save water (the pool refills), they save electricity (no cover pump needed), they reduce cover and water bag trash (good for landfills), and they save you time and effort in not having to pump and clean a slimy solid pool cover.

Since safety covers are made of interconnected squares, the cost for rectangular safety covers is quite low, and a quick payback is assured. And for custom shaped pools too, the benefits of a safety pool cover for winter far outweigh the cost savings of the alternative.

POOL CAULKING

Pool Caulking is used in the expansion joint between inground pool coping and a concrete pool deck. It’s important for two reasons; the first being that the joint needs to remain clear of grit and dirt, to allow room for expansion of the pool deck, without hitting the pool. The second reason to caulk your pool is to prevent water from freezing during winter. Ice can be very powerful as it expands, and over time this can damage your pool.

Vulkem Pool Caulk, is pool owner friendly pool caulk. Put backer rod foam in the expansion joint, and then squeeze in the self-leveling caulk to seal up the expansion joint on the back of the coping stones, all the way around the pool. It’s a small step that could save you thousands in repairs to tile and coping.

FILTER CLEANER

Filter cleaner, last and least costly on our list of money saving investments for your swimming pool is again, back-to-basics. An optimized pool filter is everyone’s friend, requiring less pump run time, and fewer sanitizers or clarifiers, and it makes you work less by effectively filtering larger quantities of smaller debris.

It’s a small investment to to use a Pool Filter Cleaner to deep clean your cartridge, DE, or sand media. Like well-balanced pool water, a clean pool filter creates a positive domino effect, making water management much easier.


From small investments like filter cleaner to big ticket investments like a pool heat pump, technology and modern chemistry is leading the way to more eco- and wallet-friendly ways for  pool owners to save money for the more important pool accessories like giant inflatable slices of pizza and ride-on Pegasus floats.

Do you have a money-saving pool investment that we missed?  We love you hear from our pool community and welcome your comments or emails to socialmedia@intheswim.com.

 


Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Hot New Pool Products 2017
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new banner sales tags by istockphotoSwimming pools have long been the largest area of innovation around the home.

Pools inspire people to invent gadgets of fancy, and pool owners and pool techs around the world are constantly dreaming up new ways to clean, heat, sanitize and enjoy the water.

Technology never sleeps, and since we haven’t done a new pool products post in several years, the time is right to look at what’s hot and new for swimming pools.


NEW POOL CHEMICALS

bioactive-cyanuric-acid-reducer-smBioActive Cyanuric Acid Reducer:

Stop draining half the pool to lower cya levels. BioActive is the only chemical that reduces cyanuric acid levels, saving thousands of gallons. One 8 oz bag of Bio-Active treats 25000 gals, and can reduce cyanuric acid levels from 100 to 50 ppm – overnight!

 

EZ Pods natural clarifier for poolsEZ Pods Natural Clarifier:

Ultra-Concentrated EZ-Pods are a natural clarifier tablet that you drop in the skimmer. No measuring, each pod treats 10000 gallons to restore water clarity. Natural water clarifier is made with chitosan obtained from sea crustaceans. Now that’s science!

 

HAYWARD UVO3 SYSTEMHayward Hydrorite UVO3 System:

The Hydrorite UV and Ozone system produces UV, Ozone and Hydroxy Radicals, to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria. Designed for commercial pools, see also the Pentair Bioshield UV Sterilizer. For residential pool UV purifiers, see the Solaxx NUVO 3000 UV System.


NEW POOL ACCESSORIES

SAFTRON POOL LADDER SHOWN WITH COLORSSaftron Pool Ladders:

Yawn! What’s so special about pool ladders and hand rails? Saftron pool ladders and rails are made from 1/4″ thick, high impact ding and dent-free polymers. Impervious to stains, salt, sun and chlorine, they also remain cool to the touch, in any weather. Plus, they come in six cool colors!

 

SKIM-A-ROUND FLOATING POOL SKIMMERSkim-A-Round Floating Pool Skimmer:

The Skim-A-Round is a floating pool skimmer that attaches to a skimmer, vacuum line, low-water suction, even to a main drain. Floating skimmer moves around to trap debris in a lily pad style basket. Great for above ground pools with no skimmer or inground pools with a vacuum line.

 

filterballs shown inside sand pool filter cutawayFilterBalls Advanced Filter Media

FilterBalls filter better, last longer and improve flow rate during filtration and backwashing. Made from extruded polyester, these tiny sponges trap particles down to 10 microns in size, twice as good as pool filter sand. New this year are FilterBall Minis, smaller FilterBalls, for filters that use less than 150 lbs of filter sand.


NEW POOL FLOATS

Derby Duck Ride-On Giant Duck by GAMEDerby Duck Ride-On:

Not sure if you saw the viral video last week of a guy riding a giant rubber ducky down a flooded street. The Derby Duck Ride-On is a new pool float by GAME, a giant version of their popular Derby Ducks, so famous all around the world for charity fund raising. Giant Inflatable Duck is huge!

 

Pool Candy LED Float

Pool Candy pool float is a classic 18 pocket sun tanner pool float by day, but at night, this pool lounger lights up with 18 super bright LED lights, that change color to brighten your pool and your mood! Choose from 3 light modes to flash fast, slow, or simply glow. AAA batteries included.

 

Capri pool loungeCapri Lounge

The Capri pool lounge offers luxury and comfort, with chic styling and colors. Capri lounges are covered in a soft and durable 6-D polyester cover that is removable for cleaning. Unique curved design and tall profile makes it super comfy in the pool, or on the deck. Measures 73″ x 31″ x 24″, and comes in 5 cool colors.


NEW POOL EQUIPMENT

pool boy III battery powered solar blanket reel for poolsPool Boy III Solar Reel:

Pool Boy III is the world’s first battery powered (rechargeable) remote control operated solar blanket reel. Earlier versions operate with a power cord, which is so – last century! Wireless remote works from over 50 ft away, to remove and replace the solar blanket automatically.

 

Supreme Duo-Brush by Red LeopardSupreme DuoBrush:

Yawn! Now we’re talking about pool brushes!?! The Supreme Pool Brush has over 20,000 bristles attached in a fan-style, to do more work with every brush stroke. Duo Brush is easier to use and much more effective. Aluminum handle and V-clip fits all standard pool poles.

 

SkimDevil Solar Pool SkimmerSkim Devil Solar Skimmer:

The Skim Devil Solar Skimmer is a solar powered, app controlled pool skimmer. Customizable and programmable, or you can guide the Solar Skimmer with remote control using the Android or iOS app on your smartphone or tablet. Sucks up leaves, before they sink.


2017 MANUFACTURER REBATES

rebates - image by istockphotoThere are rebates every year from the manufacturers, usually given in the form of a Visa gift card, send to you after you fill out the form and mail it in to the manufacturer. In 2017, rebates are available on the following items:

Pentair Rebates: Racer, Legend, and Warrior Pool Cleaners, UltraTemp Pool Heat Pumps.

Hayward Rebates: Pool Vac XL, AquaVac 500, TigerShark, SharkVac, TriVac 500 Cleaners, AquaRite and Swim Pure Plus salt systems.

Zodiac Rebates: Nature2 Mineral Cartridges, Polaris 3900 Sport, 9450 and 9550 robotic pool cleaners.


I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the new pool products we have available at In The Swim. Is there a hot and cool new pool product that you just simply can’t live without? Let us know by ‘Leave a Reply’ below, or email to socialmedia@intheswim.com.

 


Sheryl Sollis
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

SHOP RELATED PRODUCTS:

 

Things to Consider When Buying A Home With A Pool
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Imagine the following scenario: After searching dozens of neighborhoods in five different towns, you finally find your dream house. It’s perfect in every way – and has real curb appeal. As you take a tour through the house’s interior with your real estate agent, that’s when you see it – a swimming pool in the backyard. Yeah, that might be a show stopper. So now what?

I asked Elizabeth Graffagna for some advice on how to approach this situation. Elizabeth has managed her family’s home construction and renovation business in Illinois for the past 10 years. She’s had a few moments where a deal was nearly perfect but the pool ruined it, or vice-versa where a house was not distinctive but the pool and backyard was a home run. “First, you have to be pragmatic and realistic about the situation,” she says. “It’s an absolute must that you ask yourself and your husband, wife, business partner, or anyone else buying the home with you, if a pool is something you want.”

Pools are great. There’s nothing like having your own pool to use on those perfect summer afternoons and evenings, but there’s a lot to owning a pool, kind of like getting a dog. If you’ve never owned a pool before, keep in mind that your pool will require regular maintenance and cleaning that will take time and cost money.

how-much-do-pools-cost-to-maintain - istock photoWhat’s a Pool Cost to Maintain? Maybe an hour per week, and $100 per month, might be usual. This covers unexpected repairs, replacement parts and fun accessories that you’ll want to buy, in addition to pool chemicals.

For professional pool service, prices vary widely from south to north, up to $100+ per week to clean your pool, add pool chemicals and maintain the pump and filter. If you want to save the money and do it yourself, which we recommend ;-), you can find all the pool parts, supplies, chemicals and accessories you need, right here at In The Swim.

If you don’t clean your pool regularly it will eventually turn into a swampy mess so there’s no skimping here. For the DIY inground pool owner, you may spend $250 per year in chemicals and $250 in parts and accessories, plus costs for running the pump and heating the water, if the pool has a pool heater.

What About Pool Safety? If you currently have children or are planning a family, pool safety is at the top of your list. Pools can be made safe for small children with safety products like mesh fencing and mesh covers, door alarms and pool alarms, in addition to swim lessons and vigilant parental supervision.

In some cases, homes being sold by older folks may not have a lot of pool safety accessories, but you can child-proof a pool.

You Go For it! Nevertheless, it’s your dream home, you say. If that’s the case, here’s what you should do before you make final decisions and especially before you make any deal or sign on the dotted line.

First, look closely at the pool and see if there are any warning signs you should be concerned about. Are there any large cracks in the pool, tile or deck surfaces? If the pool is above ground, are the walls and top rail in good condition? You should also check and see if all of the needed equipment and accessories are there such as filters, pumps, ladders, cleaners. Inspect the plumbing and valves for any signs of leaks. What’s the overall condition of the pool and all of its equipment and accessories? How about the vinyl liner or plaster interior, does it look to be in good shape with few stains? Have your realtor ask the home owners for pool maintenance records – the more detailed the better.

pool-inspection - istkAfter looking over everything, if you’re confident to move forward and purchase the house and your offer is accepted, you should have a pool inspection with a local pool company. Home inspectors focus on the house and might miss possible issues with the pool, which is why you should consider a pool specialist who can test for aspects of the pool that may be a challenge for a general home inspector.

Beyond the home and pool inspection, it would be wise to find out as much information as possible regarding the pool. Ask the sellers questions like, who built the pool? What year was it built? How much does the pool pump (or heater) cost to run every month? What conveniences or accessories does the pool have? Does everything related to the pool convey with the home sale? And for snowbelt pools, what type and condition is the winter pool cover?

You will also want to check out ancillary items like the condition of the pool fence and gates, pool drain covers, and if there’s a pool cleaner, what condition is it in, and how effective is it? You can also ask about repair, replacement or renovation work that has been done in the past.

After everything with the pool checks out and you purchase your dream home, consider hiring a pool company to give you a pool orientation, to show you how to maintain the pool on your own. In The Swim has a plethora of information to help pool owners educate themselves on pool maintenance, pool chemistry and pool equipment repair and replacement.

Although it’s not easy and can be expensive, removing the pool is an option, and Graffagna explained that her company has removed pools in the past. “Houses with pools that need very extensive repairs and were built 30-40 years ago can be removed.” she says. “It’s not easy and it’s not cheap, but in some cases it’s the right thing to do for the home to sell fast. It’s not just a matter of filling in an inground pool however, the floor must be broken up so water can permeate, and the top half of the wall must be removed. $10-12K on average.

To sum all of this up: if you find your dream home also has a pool, don’t be scared off. Most inground pools take less than an hour per week to maintain, on average, and about $100 per month in parts, chemicals and accessories, or about $500-$1000 per year. If you have pool safety concerns, possibly not shared by the current pool owner, you can make the pool safer with good fencing, alarms and covers.

If you’ve bought a house with a pool, what things did you learn after closing the deal and moving in? What would you tell others in your situation to look out for?

This is the third edition in a four-part In The Swim blog series with the focus of providing valuable information and ideas to home owners, home buyers and real estate agents regarding swimming pools. You can find the first and second editions here.

 


Larry Andersen
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Vacay Mode: Best Vacation Pool Floats
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It’s the time of year when many of us are gearing-up to take a vacation somewhere warmer, some place with a beach or certainly, somewhere with a swimming pool. It’s usually not until you reach your destination and are standing at water’s edge, slathered in sunscreen, when it hits you, “I wish I had a pool float.”

Shortly after the pool float epiphany comes the harsh realization that buying a pool float from the hotel gift shop is painfully more expensive than back home. Make this the most prepared you’ve ever been for a vacation and take a look at some of the best pool floats to pack with you on your next trip to paradise.

First up, let’s take a look at some fun inflatable pool floats that are fun for the kids and any fun-loving adult on vacation and free from the shackles of everyday life:

You may be thinking – how the heck am I supposed to pack THOSE into my suitcase?  These cool pool floats are vacuum packed into a box about the size of a small toaster.

large-pool-ride-on-floatsWhether you want a Pegasus pool float or a Unicorn pool float, or for you Parrotheads or lovers of Giant Flamingos or those who want to lounge on a majestic Swan Pool Float – these giant floats are all about 6’ wide and perfect for one lounger or two kids ready to launch their imaginations into the water. What says I’m on a tropical vacation like sprawling out on a giant, inflatable parrot, flamingo or Sea Turtle? Nothing. That’s what.

Of course, smile-inducing inflatable spectacles like a white swan float aren’t exactly for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the more understated but equally enjoyable floats you’ll be glad you brought with you on your next sunny vacation.

board-shorts-pool-floatAvoid drifting apart and stay attached at the uh, seams, with this Board Shorts Double Lounger float built for two in the shape of a pair of board shorts. This is another great example of a large float in a small package but for those who are especially cramped for space in their luggage the Color Brite Pool Float is as easy on your suitcase as it is on your wallet. These $9 pool rafts are available in a variety of color options and come in flat packages that take up no more room than your swim suit.

canvas-surf-rider-float

The Large Inflatable Canvas Surf Rider is the big brother of the Color Brite pool rafts but built to stand up to ocean surf thanks to its durable canvas construction. Whether you are hitting the waves or just have children that play rough in the pool, Canvas inflatable rafts are tough, built-to-last and take up about as much space as a sweatshirt when deflated.

Another fantastic, space saving option is the Premium Pool Floating Hammock, shown below. The headrest and leg rest both inflate and the hammock is made of canvas.  It’s folds up to about the size of a pair of jeans and inflates quickly without the need for a pump.  You could easily pack several of these nifty hammocks in a carry-on bag.

Cruz the Stingray, Pool Hammock Float, Sandy the Crab pool float
If you are traveling with children, Cruz the Stingray and Sandy the Crab are Seaside Riders, a fantastic pair of floats, that actually work triple-duty as a fun stuffed animal companion as well an incredibly comfy pillow. These floats are made from a stretchy, durable mesh fabric (similar to spandex) and they don’t absorb water thanks to thousands of ultra-buoyant foam beads which keep the kids afloat or keep them comfy and asleep.

swimline-aqua-coach-baby-buoy-inflatable-baby-pool-floatAnd if you are traveling with a toddler another great idea to bring with you is the Aqua Coach Baby Buoy Float. It features a dual chamber, harness-like seat to help keep your little one secure without the worry of tipping, and it also includes a comfy, supportive backrest. Safety and fun, all-in-one, baby pool float – a perfect combo for parents vacationing with babies or toddlers.

Whether you are cramped for space and are packing the compact Color Brite floats or are ready to spread your wings and fly on a giant inflatable Pegasus, don’t turn blue in the face trying to inflate these floats with your own breath. Save your breath for snorkeling and don’t forget to pack a compact air compressor or pump.

inflatable-pool-float-air-pumpsThere are several options from the Inflatable Pool Toy Foot Pump (about the size of a shoe) and if you prefer a more electric means of inflation there is the ultra-compact Battery Powered Pump or the fast-working, AC-powered Intex Quick Fill Electric Pump that you can plug into any outlet in your hotel room and is also great for air mattresses.  Now you are packed and ready to go!

Do you have go-to fun inflatable pool floats that we missed or a story about a vacation where a float saved the day at the pool?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section or by dropping us a line at: socialmedia@intheswim.com.

 


Dana Katz
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

 

Do This Now – for an Easier Pool Opening
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pool-is-opening-soon-keep-calmIf you close your pool for the winter, there are a few things you should do during winter, to avoid a messy spring clean-up.

Mesh safety covers and older solid covers can cause green, costly and time consuming pool openings, unless you take a few pre-season steps to prevent problems.

If your pool is frozen solid, wait for the ice to melt, but assuming that your pool is in a liquid state, you can take these steps to ensure a hassle-free pool start-up.


ALL POOL TYPES

  1. Use a Cover Pump Underwater: Drop a pool cover pump in the pool with hose attached. Let it run a few days to circulate the pool water under the pool cover.
  2. Check Pool Water Level: Solid covered pool water level should stay constant, or there may be a pool leak or a hole in the cover that the cover pump is pumping through. Mesh covered pools will rise naturally and need to be lowered with a cover pump.
  3. Check Pool pH, Alkalinity & Calcium Hardness: Reach under your cover, pulling it back enough to get a water sample from elbow depth. If adjustments are needed, pull the cover back along one side and pour in any needed water balance chemicals.
  4. Add Enzymes: Enzymes in the spring consume oils, pollen, mites and contaminants that use up winter chemicals and cause green openings seen in mesh covered pools.
  5. Brush Your Pool: After adding balancing chemicals or additional winter chemicals, pull back the pool cover along one or both sides, folding on itself, to give a good brushing.

MESH SAFETY COVERS: Depending on the age and the quality of the mesh material, mesh safety covers can let in a large amount of sunshine and silty contaminants. Add high water level and tree debris, and you get a nice batch of sun tea, which stains pools and makes spring openings a mess. Safety Cover Mate floats on your pool surface, to block the sun and catch fine silt and debris.

Water Level. If you see water touching the center of your safety cover, the level is already too high. Keep your water level 2-12 inches below the tile, and adjust your cover straps if necessary, to reduce the deflection or ‘dip’ of the cover, pulling it tighter across the pool. This will help prevent the ‘tea bag’ effect, and also help prevent water warming.

Winter Chemicals. Mesh covered pools need more chemicals in the spring, to combat the surge of contaminants that wash into the pool with heavy spring showers. You can add another quart of winter algaecide, a quart of Enzymes, or you can shock the pool and refill chlorine floaters with 3″ tablets.


SOLID POOL COVERS: Solid winter covers require frequent pumping of rain and snow melt, and removal of leaves, easiest with a Leaf Catcher. Water on the cover can attract worms, which attracts birds. Small holes could bring a small catastrophe if cover sludge leaks into the pool.

Water Level. For solid cover pools, you should also pay attention to your pool water level. A leak in the pool, or other drop in the water level, will also drop the cover level. Solid covers usually rest 3-4″ below the bottom of the skimmer opening, unless a skimmer cover or snap-in type of skimmer opening plug is used.

Cover Adjustments. Adjust your cover while cleaning it, so that you pull it taut across the pool, removing large wrinkles. Having a smooth pool cover around the pool is also helpful, for good drainage during heavy rains. With your solid cover mostly clean and pumped, pull on the outer edges and corners, to ‘tighten-up’ the pool cover. Add more water bags or Aqua Bloks as needed.


air-pillowABOVE GROUND POOL COVERS: Aboveground pools should also use a cover pump and leaf rake skimmer net or pool brush, to remove water and debris from the cover, for the same reasons listed above. You really don’t want to have a cover ‘accident’, trust me.

Air Pillows. An absolutely essential piece of winter gear for aboveground pools, Air Pillows prevent a solid ice sheet from forming across the pool, which could damage the liner, skimmer and walls. Be sure your Air Pillow remains inflated and centered, until the danger of freezing temps is passed.

Cover Adjustments. The winch and cable that is included with most above ground pool covers does only a fair job. It needs tightening occasionally, and it still won’t stop heavy winds from getting under the cover, which can cause cover damage. You can use Cover Clips or Cover Seal to stop high winds, or add some Wall Bags or other type of cable weights, to be sure your cover is tight.


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Get your pool ready for spring openings by checking water chemistry, water level and adding some extra algaecide, enzymes or sanitizer to the pool.

Pay it forward with a small investment pre-spring, and you’ll save money, time and aggravation when it comes time to open the pool.

 


Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

 

 

Favorite Pool Covers Vs. Cars and Cows
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Loop-Loc pool cover with “Bubbles” the Elephant

It’s been a wild couple of weeks for some pool owners in a rash of interesting news stories of automobiles and animals ending up in swimming pools!  From horses to heifers to raccoon-dodging SUV’s, let’s round up the herd, and count our blessings that none of this ever happens to us!

Our winter pool covers are pretty tuff stuff, but they do have a weight limit. And a safety pool cover can hold a small elephant, right? Let’s see how they stand up to large SUV’s and large farm animals!


Photo by KRQE News 13

Photo by KRQE News 13, Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 18, 2017 – Vickie Ashcroft, owner and manager of the Enchanted Trails RV park in Albuquerque, witnessed the driver of a red Jeep crash through the fence and end up in the pool. The pool had been closed for several months and is covered with a safety pool cover, which seemed to survive intact. The pool cover in this case could have saved the life of the 20-year old driver, who was taken by police for suspected drunk driving. No was hurt in the incident, with exception to the reputation and finances of the driver.


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Photo by abc13.com, Miami, Florida

Apex, North Carolina – January 9, 2017. It probably started out as an ordinary day for a pool owner in Apex, North Carolina but things escalated quickly when she reportedly “hit an ice patch” in her driveway that somehow was slick enough to launch her through the garage wall like Kool Aid Man, onto her back deck, and finally into her pool where it miraculously stopped.  Judging from the photos below and video, it looks like the pool had relatively minimal damage and no one was hurt. Strong pool; likely a steel wall pool from In the Swim. The winter cover looks like an ‘el cheapo’, next time use the Polar Protector ;-).


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Photo and video by WSVN 7 News, Miami, Florida viewer

Miami Beach, Florida, Dec 28, 2016 – The previous week a Miami Beach motorist totaled a pool fence, an apartment pool and their own vehicle in a kamikaze attempt to avoid hitting a raccoon. Being that it was a warm, sunny late December day in Florida, the pool was being used by unsuspecting swimmers and even more miraculously than the the previous crash—no one, including the raccoon and driver was injured. Automobiles are oily and grimy and these pools are going to need lots of pool enzymes, followed by a good pool shock.


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Photo by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, via KOMO News

East Wenatchee, Washington, December 27, 2016 – In a scarier situation, but without serious injury, a 16-year old boy teaches us all a lesson in resourcefulness when he hits a patch of ice, slid 100 feet downhill, and crashed his pick-up truck into a pool. The truck landed upside down, and the teen had enough presence of mind to use the metal bars from his truck’s headrest to break the glass to escape his vehicle. The safety pool cover appears to have suffered only minor damage and the teen driver? He’s just fine but was cited for speeding.


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, January, 16, 2017 – Switching gears here, pun intended, a cow was successfully rescued by OKC firefighters after pool owners heard “snorting” coming from their pool. A crane was brought in to remove the heavy heifer. The cow and pool were uninjured and it’s unclear if the cow was trying to “jump over the pool”. 1500 lbs of cow, thrashing around on sharp hooves completely destroys vinyl pool liners. The safety cover on this pool, seen behind the firefighter, likely also suffered substantial damage.


vet attending to horse after being pulled from cold winter pool

Photo by KCFD #44 (Mountain View Fire & Rescue / Black Diamond Fire Dept)

Auburn, Washington, January 12, 2017 – a horse was rescued from a freezing cold swimming pool after being extracted with a tractor. The pool owners attempted to save the equestrian swimmer in vain for about 45 minutes before calling in the KCFD #44 (Mountain View Fire & Rescue / Black Diamond Fire Dept) for back up. The poor guy couldn’t stand at first, but with a veterinarian’s help, he soon warmed-up and made a full recovery in about an hour. The pool safety cover however, barely visible in the far left by the ladder rail, likely did not survive the ordeal.


Pool Covers vs. Cars & Cows? A safety cover in good shape can in some cases support an automobile, but put in a ring against Cows – pool covers are going down in the first round. Deer are often sprightly enough to make it across a safety cover safely, with minimal damage to the cover, but not so for cows and horses, and perhaps pigs.

When cars hit a safety cover, typically several straps break but the panels remain intact. Large deer can poke holes through several panels, and cows or horses will likely break both panels and straps. Depending on the age of the cover, and the extent of the damage, safety covers can be repaired.

Pool safety for farm animals starts with good pool safety fencing and self-closing and latching gates. Keep small animals (and humans) safe by using a good pool safety cover, which can even support a car (in some cases). In season, when the cover comes off, you can protect your pets and woodland creatures with a pet ramp or pool alarm.

Thankfully, no one was injured in any of these stories; remember the importance of safety around pools, including keeping animals and automobiles – out of the pool.

Have you ever experienced large animals or automobiles in a pool?  Did we miss a recent pool ordeal?  Leave a reply below, we’d love to hear from you!

 


Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

Heavy Rains & Swimming Pools
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rainy-poolMother nature has certainly been giving us some strange weather lately. In California, we’ve been pelted by torrential storms, with several inches of rain in a few hours.

Our call center has taken hundreds of calls from distressed homeowners, desperately seeking solutions to heavy rains and flooding, or fixes for pool problems created by heavy rains.

Californians – Take these steps to protect your pool, or clean-up after heavy rains.

Problem #1 – Too much Water in the Pool

Lower the water level in your pool to keep proper skimming action, and to avoid contamination from planters and deck area flooding.

For most pools with a sand or DE filter, the simplest way to lower the water level is to place the multiport valve onto the waste position and roll out the backwash hose. If you have a slide (push-pull) valve, backwash the filter to lower the water level.

lil-giant-water-wizard-cover-pumpSome pools have a hose spigot plumbed after the pump, or on the filter valve, which you can connect a garden hose, to lower water level. Or, you can use a submersible pump, aka pool cover pump, to keep the pool from overflowing.

Finally, there is the siphon method. A pool vacuum hose works best. Prime the hose in the pool, to fill it full of water, and attach a vac head or use a heavy item to hold the hose on the first or second step, the pool ladder, or swim out.

Cap the other end of the hose with your palm and quickly pull the hose away from the pool and a few feet below the level of the pool water. Uncap the hose at ground level and let it flow! Keep an eye on it though!

Problem #2 – Contaminants in the Pool!

From Run-Off: When a backyard pool gets 5 inches of rain in a few hours, flooding can result. If surrounding planters or lawns, or even concrete pool decks overflow into the pool, just a handful of soil or mulch can elevate phosphate levels and create problems with cloudy water and algae.

flooded-pools in Califonria, image by istockphotoIn severe cases, a pool can fill with a thick layer of silty mud, and all sorts of debris. Use leaf rakes to remove the big stuff, followed by a slow vacuum to waste. Follow-up with a good daily pool brush, and near continuous filtering. Clarifiers and flocculents can be used to speed up the process considerably, and may be needed for sand filters.

As the water clears, use a phosphate remover chemical like Phos-Free or Sea-Klear to naturally consume phosphates in your pool. Just pour it into balanced pool water, run the filter for 24 hours, then backwash.


From the Rain:
Rain is pure, distilled water, but as it falls through the air, it picks up dust, pollen, pollutants, oils, even algae spores. If you have tall trees overhanging the pool, rain will wash them clean, right into your pool, adding phosphates and other organic gunk. Add algaecide before a storm to help battle incoming invaders as they enter the pool.

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Rain can also destroy your pool’s water balance. It dilutes the cyanuric acid, and can also soften the water, lowering calcium hardness, and it can affect pH and alkalinity as well. Acid Rain falling through smoggy summer air hits your pool at a very low pH, reducing pool pH and alkalinity. Be sure to test your water with a complete test kit like the K-2005, or use 7-way test strips.

Problem #3 – High Wind, Debris & Projectiles

Before a storm hits: Store all loose toys, furniture and cleaning equipment that could become airborne in high winds. Don’t cover the pool, which can be damaged severely in a heavy storm.

After a storm hits: Clean the pool, lower the water level, check the water balance and the chlorine level, adding sanitizer if needed. If your pool is a funky color, super-chlorinate with some pool shock, and run the filter overnight. It’s best to remove leaves and debris from the pool, and lower the pH to 7.2, before shocking the pool.

Problem #4 – Flooded Pool Equipment

Keep the filter running, however if flood waters threaten to submerge the pool pump, shut off power to the pool on the main home panel. If you can safely remove the pump, store it indoors, if the pump motor becomes submerged, it will likely need to be replaced.

Regular rain falling on your pool equipment will not usually cause any harm, even if it lasts for days on end. If concerned however, you can build a lean-to of some sort over your filter pump. Flooding however is the real problem. Sand bagging your pool equipment could save you from pump replacement, if flood waters rise above the equipment pad.

Problem #5 – Poor Water Drainage

If your pool has a tendency to flood in some areas of the pool deck, and if run-off from heavy rains ends up in the pool – it needs to be fixed. Pool decks should slope 1/4″ for every foot, and storm run-off needs to go somewhere; never in the pool.

Look at the way water moves around the pool, and rework the land to create natural swales, or install drains and drain pipes, or install French drains in gravel around the pool deck, sloped to a downhill, away from the pool location, and also away from the pool equipment.


Don’t let heavy rains and storms make your summer a bummer, follow these tips to avoid these 5 pool problems caused by heavy rains and summer storms!

davy-merino-sm
Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor

RELATED PRODUCTS:

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Mistakes that Destroy Pool Equipment
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It’s the little things that can do the most damage to your swimming pool and your pool equipment. A simple, absent-minded mistake could lead to thousands of dollars in damages. A seemingly mundane habit could be accelerating your pool equipment’s early demise.

Perhaps a bad habit you didn’t take seriously has suddenly rendered your pump, cleaner or heater useless. It’s true, some warnings carry more weight than others, so we’re going to take a look at the most common pool mistakes that could be destroying your pool or pool equipment.


1. Exposing your Solar Cover to High Chlorine

solar-blanketHigh levels of pool chlorine and exposure to pool shock, even non-chlorine shock, is not something that you want exposed to your solar blanket. The fastest way to destroy your pool cover is to shock your pool, and then place the solar blanket over the water. The adverse effects that these chemicals have on the plastic of a solar cover is similar to the effects that it has on bacteria. Try not to use your solar cover for a few days after shocking your pool, or until chlorine levels are normal. Other overlooked factors that can destroy your solar cover are low pH and prolonged exposure to the sun while rolled up. Use a solar blanket Poly Tarp when you have it on the the reel to protect it from harmful UV rays.


2. Placing Chlorine Tabs Directly Into the Skimmer

3-inch-tabletsThis could very well be the most common mistake that pool owners make, or perhaps the most common mistake that just isn’t taken seriously enough. Chlorine tabs, especially In the Swim 3” Chlorine Tabs, are highly concentrated, acidic wonders of modern chemistry that are made to dissolve slowly throughout the pool. When left in your skimmer with the pump off, chlorine tabs continue to dissolve, filling the skimmer and pipe with chlorine. When the pump turns on again, it sucks several gallons of super concentrated chlorine directly into your pump, heater, and filter. What was once your ally has now become your nemesis, a singular corrosive force operating from within as it eats your pipes and pool equipment from the inside-out. Chlorine is strong; strong enough to sanitize 20 thousand gallons of water, and also strong enough to corrode plastics, rubber and metal.


3. Leaving your Robotic Pool Cleaner in the Pool All the Time

hayward-aquavac-500-robotic-pool-cleanerIf you own a robotic pool cleaner, odds are that you love the little guy. You might even have a name for yours. We call ours Roger, Roger the Tiger Shark. Odds are even higher that you paid a decent amount of money for your automatic pool cleaner. Protect your investment by removing your pool cleaner from the water when its cycle is complete. Prolonged exposure to the water alone can begin to deteriorate the softer parts of your cleaner, and aggressive water conditions can oxidize metals and plastics. Don’t shock your pool with your cleaner in the water, and try not to leave it in the water any longer than it needs to complete a cleaning cycle. And, be sure to store him (or her) in a safe place, out of the sun and weather, and protected from [other types of] harm.


4. Starting your Pump With a Dead Head

closed-multiport valveI don’t mean a Grateful Dead fan, a Dead Head is when the water has no where to go, because of a closed valve (or two), or because winter plugs are still in the wall. Your pump is creating powerful forces to pull and push water through the plumbing into the filter and and back to the pool. Starting the pump with closed valves or closing the return valves while the pump is running has a ‘water hammer’ effect. Make sure all valves are wide open because if a valve is closed, or a return line is plugged or blocked – the results can be destructive and also dangerous if you are standing next to the filter system. Perhaps this may seem obvious, but it does happen, be sure that all valves after the pump are wide open, and the return lines are clear all the way back to the pool.


5. Not Protecting your Pool Heater

pool-heater-coverYou probably don’t give much thought to your pool heater. It most likely works as it is supposed to and hardly ever has to be serviced. And then one late summer morning you jump into your pool like normal, only to emerge bug-eyed, startled, and very cold. Damage to pool heaters can be a subtle, gradual process that you are completely oblivious to. Acidic pH and Alkalinity levels feed on copper heat exchangers, stripping the copper and staining your pool. Exposure to the elements can also rust components of your heater especially if you live in a climate with harsh, snowy winters. It’s always best to use a Pool Heater Cover when your pool is closed. Covering your heater prevents insects and rodents from nesting inside, as well as protecting it from moisture.


6. Low Calcium Hardness

calcium-hardness-control-increaserPerhaps your pH and alkalinity, cyanuric and chlorine are perfectly aligned. You test daily and know just what to do at the slightest hint of disturbance in the force. All of your precise testing and measuring could be in vain if your calcium hardness gets too low. Aggressive water with a thirst for calcium can pull calcium from your pool’s plaster and tile grout. For vinyl pools, there are those that say it doesn’t matter, but to protect your vinyl liner and for good water balance, maintain a minimum calcium hardness level of at least 150 ppm. Plaster and pebble surfaces should keep calcium hardness closer to 200 ppm.


7. Not Brushing your Pool

pool brushesWe’ve been told to brush our teeth from a very young age, and perhaps this constant harping to “don’t forget to brush!” is the root of why so many pool owners fail to brush their pool regularly. Or maybe you have the best automatic pool cleaner money can buy (and store it in its own waterproof garage when its cleaning cycle is over) and don’t feel you should have to brush your pool. Not brushing your pool is a gateway for algae, and other nasty bio-films that build up layers to protect themselves from chlorine. Brushing may be the simplest warning on this list, and it’s not going to destroy your pool equipment if you don’t use a pool brush, but it can save wear and tear on your pool cleaner and pool surfaces.


8. Low Water Levels

This may seem obvious but there are several scenarios in which your water levels could fall below the skimmer line causing your pump to intake only air. This causes pool pumps to ‘lose prime’, which can lead to damaged pump and pipes. I’ve experienced this myself when vacuuming to waste, backwashing or draining the water level during winterization. Pool leaks can rapidly cause a loss of pump prime, as can air leaks in front of the pump (unrelated to water level). Any situation that causes your pump to lose prime, can cause your pump to overheat, which can warp pump baskets and melt shaft seals, or shrink the threads of the attached PVC fittings. In extreme cases of overheating, it can warp the pump housing itself.


These pool fails could end up costing you money in pool parts, replacement equipment or in time wasted on fixing the pool when you should be enjoying yourself! From the mundane to the extraordinary, these 8 pool mistakes are all easily avoided, yet often taken for granted.

Have a potential common pool mistake you think we should add to our list? We would love to hear from our pool community! Together we can pool our knowledge and make sure we spend more time enjoying our pools, not fixing them. Drop us a line, anytime.

 


Ryan Dornan
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

 

 

How to Prepare Your Pool to Sell: Real Advice
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With the home selling season quickly approaching, it’s not too early to start thinking about what you can and should do if you selling your house, and your pool.

It may seem obvious, but with all the attention on the home and its interior, the pool can be easily overlooked. An open pool shows better than one with a cover on it. If your pool is open and your home is on display, make the pool look as sparkling clean as you possibly can.

After that, there are 10 other key things you should do to get ready when selling a home with a swimming pool.


1. Stain Removal. This is sort of grouped into making sure your pool is clean, but removing surface stains is worthy of being called out simply because a stained pool will look old, dirty and uninviting. There are many strong pool stain removers available that work on a wide range of stain types, in plaster and vinyl pools. Getting rid of old, weathered stains on your pool liner or coping can make your pool look well maintained.


2. Caulking Replacement. Caulk is needed between the pool deck and coping, to keep out water during winter, and prevent the joint from filling with grit and sand. Luckily, pool caulking is relatively easy to do, just cut out the old caulking and use the 1 Qt. tubes of EZ Patch 23 Expansion Joint Sealant. Self-leveling pool caulk requires no troweling, and dries fast. You’ll be amazed at what fresh pool caulking can do for your pool’s looks.


3. Get Rid of Old, Broken Stuff. If your once-shiny pool ladder now looks dinged, pitted or even a little rusty, replace it. Replacement stainless steel ladders are less expensive than you think and will make a world of difference when selling your home with a pool. Other items like the solar cover, telescoping pool poles, pool pump motors, pool cleaners and even vinyl liners should be replaced if they are bent, torn, broken or busted up. No prospective home buyer wants to think they’re getting pool equipment and accessories that are at the end of their lifespan, with their new home and pool. A pool inspection will turn-up all this stuff anyway, so you as well replace it now.


4. Replace Worn Out Parts. This goes beyond equipment and accessories, this advice suggests that you replace broken, non-working or worn out pool parts like cracked skimmer lids, missing skimmer weirs and that rusty pressure gauge. Any leaking pool valves or plumbing should be fixed or replaced. Take a look at all of your equipment with new eyes, or have another person help you identify those little things you’ve gone blind to; things that make your pool look a bit used and/or neglected.


5. Organize Pool Chemicals. To a new or prospective pool owner, pool chemicals can be confusing and downright scary. Find a clean, cool, dry and secure place to store your pool chemicals – whether it’s in a cabinet or on a shelf in the garage or in a locked shed. Families with children looking for a new home may view disorganized pool chemicals as a real hazard. Use up old or extra chemicals, or dispose of them properly. Clean the lids and containers with a clean cloth and store in an orderly fashion.


6. Trim Your Trees and Bushes. This is not about trees or bushes looking gangly and unkempt, but more about leaves, twigs and other debris getting into your pool. It’s also about cutting back overgrowth which makes your pool shady and messy. People like a sunny pool, but shaded pools dense in trees look cold and uninviting. Small bushes or trees that never took off, or took off too much, can be trimmed or replaced with something more attractive. For cypress or arborvitaes used for privacy or wind blocks, be sure to trim those up so they look nicely manicured.


7. Tidy Up Around the Pool. First, if you have an above ground pool, take some soapy water and a soft brush to the outside walls, especially up under the top rail and around the base, where dirt and dried mud always seem to gather. Then scrub and clean your pump, filter and heater so they look as fresh and new as possible. Use Cement Patch to fill cracks that have formed in the concrete equipment pad, remove any weeds and lay down new gravel in soft or wet areas around the equipment. Trim back any trees or bushes overhanging the equipment. Look for anything loose, worn or just plain ugly,  that you can fix around the pool and pool equipment area.


8. Remove Scale and Efflorescence. If you live in an area with hard water, have a salt water pool or have raised rock walls, then there’s a good chance calcium scale has developed on many of your pool’s surfaces. Calcium scale comes from your pool water and leaves a whitish deposit on tiles and other surfaces. Efflorescence comes from behind pool walls or other surfaces and seeps through mortar, leaving white deposits in mortar joints and raised stone walls. Both calcium scale and efflorescence can be removed using muriatic acid and a wire brush, or you can hire a bead blasting service to clean your pool tiles like new.


9. Pressure Wash the Pool Deck. Most of us do this somewhat regularly anyways, but it’s worth mentioning for this list. Pressure washing your pool deck and patio area is a fast, simple way to make hard surfaces look clean and fresh. Pressure washing quickly removes dirt, stains, food and pretty much anything else besides motor oil for a nice, clean look. A pressure washer can also improve the appearance of faded pool fences.


10. Refinish Wood Pool Decks. If you have a pool deck made of wood, consider refinishing or re-staining it to give it a fresh, updated appearance. There’s a couple ways of doing this, and they all involve a couple of involved steps, but it’s worth it when going to sell your home. Personally, what I do on my wood deck is pressure wash it first, and after drying I sand the surface with a medium grit sandpaper to open the wood’s pores to absorb the new stain. Finally, no matter what stain you choose to use, follow the application instructions on the can, for best results.


Remember that you’re not just selling your home, you’re selling your pool too. If you follow these ideas and tips on selling a home with a pool, your pool should be ready-to-show and will actually help your home look more beautiful, making it easier to sell.

If you have experience in getting your pool ready when planning to sell your home, feel free to share what you did to make your pool more enticing to prospective home buyers. We would love to hear your ideas about selling a house with a swimming pool.

This is the second edition in a four-part In The Swim blog series with the focus of providing valuable information and ideas to home owners, home buyers and real estate agents regarding swimming pools. You can find the first edition here.

 


Larry Andersen
InTheSwim Staff Blogger