All posts by Lauren Black

How Rolling Shutters Save Money and Add Security

Roll down shutters can save you money; plus give you added security for your home or business. Because when these types of shutters are rolled down, they stay in place so that no one can see into your home or business which is a deterrent to crime. Also, during bad weather, since the shutters are strong and roll down; this prevents damage to windows which can keep you and your family safe from harm.

security-shuttersAdditionally, roll down shutters can also be used on entry doors, sliding doors, patio doors and skylights. They can be installed on screened in porches, pool houses and even storefronts for extra protection and security too. Too, a person looking to enter a home for a home invasion will be likely to pass your home by because of the difficulty of entering. Burglars want easy access as a common element to their thinking.

In addition, rolling shutters can save you money by giving you extra insulation against both cold and heat. So in the winter months the shutters help to reduce heat loss which in turn reduces energy consumption. In the summer, they block out the heat and glare and keep the inside cool. The shutters work because there is dead air space between the glass of the window and the shutter which adds to the insulation factor. So this will help both with heat loss and heat gain, thus cutting your heating and cooling bill up to 63%. This means by saving money on your heating and cooling bill, it will pay for the shutters over time with the money you’re saving.

Plus, if you need to sleep in the daytime because of your work schedule, the shutters will block out sunlight so that you can sleep peacefully in a darkened room. Small vents can be installed to allow a small amount of light and air in if you prefer this too. Also, the rolling shutters help to decrease distracting outside noise such as shouting kids and noise from traffic. As an additional bonus, rolling shutters also help to protect the interior of your home from UV damage, heat damage and other damage caused by sunlight.
So rolling shutters are a great investment for both security and saving money.

Best Lighting for In Ground Pools

Lighting in an in ground pool will allow you pleasurable swimming both in the daytime and at night. Lighting your swimming pool will not only give you ambiance, but will help with safety concerns when the little ones are in the pool too because pool lights will let you have better visibility throughout your entire pool. So, what kind of pool lights are best for an in ground pool? Read on.

led-pool-lightLEDS: This abbreviation stands for Light Emitting Diodes. Now these lights don’t have any filaments so they don’t put out any heat. The other nice thing about these lights is that LEDS can change colors. This allows you to have light shows to awe your friends and family. Too, LED bulbs life spans are 30,000 hours. This is compared to the 5,000 hours for incandescent and 6,000 for fiber optic lights.

FIBER OPTICS: Fiber optics were used heavily in the early 2000’s. According to however; with the LED explosion, they are being used less and less. With this type, the light bulb of a fiber optic pool light is found in a dry box located on top of the pool patio. The light then travels through the cable to the portal where the light comes out into the pool. This is done because the fiber optic cables have special fittings in the pool wall that allows for this. The problem with these lights is that they are the least bright of all the available lighting and expensive. However; because the box is on dry land it is easy to have a large variety of colors. Also, you can have light emitting optic cables in the pool walls here where the entire cable glows which gives you a large variety too in that you can have lights along the pool walls or on the pool floor in solid lines or in shapes and in different colors.

INCANDESCENTS: These lights work by current passing through the filament. Then the filament glows which produces the light in the incandescent bulb. Now with this type of light, if you want a different color of bulb, you have to place a colored lens over the pool light inside the pool. Also since the lights have filaments they are hot.

There you have some choices for pool lights just in time for the swimming season.

Best Lighting for an Above Ground Pool

Night swimming during the hot summer evenings is one of the best reasons to own an above ground swimming pool. But to be safe, pool lighting is something that every pool owner should have. It allows everyone to be seen in case there’s an accident; plus it does give an ambiance all of its own. So below are some suggestions on different types of pool lighting for your above ground pool:

• Overhanging lights: These lights usually come in kits and when put together, they hang over the top of the lip of the pool. Here there’s a plastic arm which is attached to each light or set of lights. The wires then run down to the bulb and are water proof. These kits aren’t very expensive and sometimes look cheap so they may detract from the appearance of your pool.

• Through Wall Pool Lights: These lights have a more professional look and are installed in the wall of the pool. The lights don’t interfere with swimming, and they don’t stick out from the pool walls either. To have them mounted properly to avoid leaks, they are carefully installed through the pool liners and the structural pool walls. It may be better and safer to have a professional install them than doing it yourself though.

• Floating lights: These light have been used in swimming pools for many years. The best thing about these lights is that they just float around without having to penetrate the liner. Also, these lights run on batteries so there isn’t any electrical wiring involved.

• Magnetically attached lights: If your pool has metal walls, you may want to consider these lights. The lights have magnetic backs which are attracted to the metal walls. This way, the lights don’t penetrate the liner, and you can place them anywhere you want

Any lights you choose to purchase; however, need to generate sufficient lighting for night swimming. So if the lights aren’t bright enough in the first install, you will need to add more or better lighting for more illumination if you want safety for your swimmers. That involves added cost so it is best to get it right the first time. Most lights though will tell you what size of a pool they will light.
Colorful and soothing lights at night can make swimming a whole new experience.

The Purpose of Clarifiers in Your Pool

clear-pool-waterMany new pool owners wonder what clarifiers are and why are they needed in a swimming pool. Now pool clarifiers are not supposed to be used for the entire swimming season continuously, but to clear up certain problems. Plus, clarifiers are generally used when the pool is first opened or after an explosion of algae that has been treated. It is also needed if filtering has been reduced or chlorination reduced. So this product is designed to make your pool water clear again if it’s cloudy.

Too, if you find your using a clarifier regularly then other factors could be the problem causing cloudy water. So you may want to check to see if your PH is too high, if you have high TDS or if your calcium is too high. Also problems with cloudy water can be caused by high alkalinity and cyanuric acid which is also high. Additionally, if your filtrations system is poor, if you don’t keep your pool clean or if the circulation in your pool is slow; all this can contribute to a cloudy pool.

However; if all the above is in order and your chemical levels are maintained, but your pool is still cloudy, then you will need a clarifier if you are not adding one. Now a clarifier works by trapping particles which are invisible and visible in the filter. These particles are then drawn into the filter by the circulating movement and removed from the water. So when you are treating your pool with a clarifier, run your filter for 24 hours during the period of treatment or as long as you can to improve both filtration and circulation.

As much as you want to during this, don’t over clean the filter. Clean the filter or backwash when there is a 7-9 pound reading on the pressure gauge. Also after the treatment, make sure you maintain the proper chlorine levels and water PH balance to keep your pool clean and clear.

So, using a clarifier when needed will give you a sparkling clean pool.

How to Use Pool Sealer on Your Pool Deck

pool-deckSealing your pool deck around your swimming pool is the best way to keep your deck looking new. It also will make it easier to clean it when it becomes dirty, and sealing it will help to prevent the deck from absorbing water, salt and pool chemicals from splashed water. Too, it will help to prevent staining when your swimming pool is invaded by Kool Aid cup carrying kids. Additionally, sealing your deck enhances and preserves its color as well. Now all this deck work isn’t difficult, and below are the steps on how to do it. So you will need the following materials to start with:

  • A stiff brush on a pole so that you can scrub stained or dirty areas before applying the sealant.
  • A 2500-3000 psi pressure washer for cleaning the deck after the stains have been scrubbed with the brush. You can rent this.
  • A container of Trisodium Phosphate for cleaning the deck
  • A pole with a paint roller on it, a five-gallon bucket and a paint screen
  • A good quality pool deck sealant

Next you prepare the pool deck by removing any planters, pool furniture or other items which would be in the way. Patch any cracks in the deck and remove any flaking that’s apparent also. The next steps are the following then:

  • Make sure you pressure wash the entire deck thoroughly and evenly. Get all the corners and hidden spots.
  • Next scrub the entire deck with 1 pound of Trisodium Phosphate added to 5 gallons of water in the bucket.
  • Then pressure wash the entire deck once again to remove all the Trisodium Phosphate residue.

When preparing to actually seal the deck, it should be dry with no rain in the immediate forecast. If the deck is wet, this interferes with the penetration of the sealant. This is because a sealant penetrates deep into a deck, not like paint, which is why the deck needs to be thoroughly dry. Now when the deck is dry as in 2 days dry; and rain is not forecast, then you can seal the deck. To do this saturate the roller with the sealer and roll it across the deck with overlapping strokes so that you can see a visible coating.  Work on each section individually, wait 5-10 minutes and then apply a second coat. It will dry in about 1-2 hours to touch, but wait a day for use.

By resealing your pool deck every 3-4 years, you will keep in new looking.

Keeping Your Pool Toys Safe

19773831_sPool toys can add to your summer swimming fun. Whether it’s floating on a raft in your swimming pool or watching your kids playing “battle of the noodle,” a fun time can be had by everyone. But something to keep in mind is that your pool toys need regular inspecting and cleaning too so they are safe to use.

Inspecting your pool toys
The first thing you want to do is to inspect each and every pool toy for signs of wear. So make sure that the plugs on the inflatable toys can be fastened securely, and there aren’t any holes ready to happen or happening already. Now you could patch any holes, but sometimes it’s better to replace the toy just to be on the safe side. So if you have any concern about a pool toy, it’s better to just toss it in the trash and replace it rather than having an accident happen.

Cleaning your pool toys
The chlorine in your pool usually does a good job of keeping the pool toys clean if you are up on your pool maintenance. However; sometimes the toys may still get a slippery slimy feeling to the touch. The slippery slimy sensation is usually caused by some type of mold or algae. When the toys are dirty and your family members play with them all the time, the bacteria can cause an earache; or lung or skin infection. So the toys need to be cleaned regularly.

The easiest ways to clean the pool toys is with a solution of water and bleach. Also when you are getting ready to clean the toys with this solution, wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear. It’s not a bad idea either to wear protective eyewear when you make the solution. Now to make the solution, put a gallon of water in a bucket and add 16 ounces of household bleach. To clean, take a scrub brush then, dip it in the bucket and scrub the offending toy until clean. The best place to do this procedure in on concrete or on a gravel surface because the bleach solution will kill the grass. Rinse everything with a garden hose thoroughly when done scrubbing including cleaning utensils.

Always keep in mind that clean inspected pool toys are safe pool toys.

Finding a Leak in an Above Ground Pool

21377318_sYou go outside to take a dip in the swimming pool and notice the water level has dropped overnight 2 inches lower than yesterday. You haven’t had anyone splashing around either, and it hasn’t been that hot, so a possible pool leak crosses your mind. So where do you start to find a leak that you really can’t see because there is no obvious puncture?

Pools plumbing system
The pool plumbing system can be the most common area for a leak in your swimming pool. So by testing the piping into your pool you can see if this is where the leak is coming from. To do this you can pressurize the pipe by putting the pressure up to 20 psi after blocking off the end of the pipe. If you see any leaks, mark where you see them. If it’s leaking at the joint, then take some Teflon tape and put it around the threads of the leaking pipe to seal it. If there’s a crack in the pipe or if it’s corroded though, then that section will need replaced.

Leak in the liner
First thing to do is to walk around the outside of the pool to see if any soil is wet on the outside of the pool. Wet soil is a good indicator of where a leak is. If nothing is showing, then get inside the pool. Check the liner for holes or cracks. You don’t have to drain the pool to do this; simply get as close to the liner as you can and feel for bumps, cracks or holes. Now when you find the leak, squirt food color in the water near the suspected leak. If the leak is in that location, then the food color will disappear into the crack or hole. By using an underwater patch kit, you can repair your leak too. Luckily, a liner in an above ground pool can last up to ten years if it’s taken care of properly.

To close, plumbing can be tricky. If you are unsure, get an expert.