Life of pool finishes
There are several options for pool finishes with varying lifespans. Some can last up to 15-20 years. Consult with your pool professional.
What your water chemistry lacks it tries to absorb it out of your pool finish making sure your chemicals are in the correct ranges is very important for a long lasting pool finish.
Reviewing your contract
Carefully review your contracts
Reading contracts is an important part of building a pool. Be sure you understand what you are paying for and what you will get.
Some tips for going over the contract before signing:
- Compare your quote and contract. Check off items as you go and be sure all equipment etc. is included in detail.
- Materials, cleanup, a timeline, and a payment schedule based on value of completed work should be included.
- Lien releases. Asking for lien releases for each subcontractor will help protect you if the builder fails to pay them.
- Ask questions until you understand any exclusions listed; such as soil conditions, soil removal, utilities, and access.
- Arbitration clause. An arbitration clause binds you and the builder to use arbitration to settle any disagreements.
- If you haven’t verified their license, do so right away. Get a copy of their liability insurance and workers’ compensation policies as well.
- Keep a file of the project and take photos periodically.
Hurricane – Tips for Storm Preparation and Reactivation
Should I drain my pool?
Phases of pool construction
Engineering / Permits
Excavation and Shell
Tile / Plumbing
Decking / Grading
Equipment / Electric
Fence or Screen
Final Cleanup / Grading
Balancing / Start-up
What to expect when building a pool
Time it takes to build: Dig to swim: Varies based on scope of project, your contractor and things out of everyone’s control.
- Time of year – always a good time
- Rainy season vs. holiday (delays)
Permits / Inspections – Permits will be pulled by your contractor and inspections scheduled as necessary. A contractor cannot guarantee they can get an inspector to come out the moment they have completed a portion of the project that requires an inspection.
Weather – One day of rain can delay a week plus. If forecast is for rain it can still affect progress.
Change orders / materials – Any time you change what you want for the project, including materials and finishes, the project will be delayed and additional costs may be incurred.
Production – should be based on weekly progress, not daily
Utilities – When digging, waterline, utilities many underground, obstructions not able to be located, old sewer lines, septics, etc. – Speak with your contractor to understand what possible delays and costs could be incurred if an issue arises.
Access – What is required beyond ability to get in the backyard – what is around the project
Cost – Depending on scope of project. From a minimum basic pool of $25,000 and up
Contracts – Ask questions and be sure you understand what you are agreeing to. Payment terms / conditions
What’s excluded: general underground / soil / utility / access
Recreational Water Illness (RWI)
Recreational Water Illness (RWI) is an illness caused by germs and chemicals which can be found in the water we swim in.
RWI’s can be a wide variety of infections –skin, ear, respiratory, eye, gastro.
A great way to prevent RWI’s is to keep pool water out of your mouth while you are swimming.
Visit the CDC website for more information.
How to Store and Handle Pool Chemicals
Swimming pool chemicals keep your pool clean and healthy. They are stored in concentrated forms that need to be handled appropriately.
Pool chemicals can be reactive. If they accidentally come in contact with other chemicals or even water, the mixture can become unstable, and fumes or fire can result.
Pool chemicals do not pose a threat when used and stored correctly.
- Read all labels! Understand what you are buying and how it should be handled and stored.
- Seal chemicals in the original containers and keep them clearly labeled.
- Lock chemicals in a dry, well-ventilated area away from other chemicals. Keep them out of the reach of children!
- Wear gloves, safety goggles, long sleeves and provide ventilation when handling chemicals.oFollow all manufacturer’s instructions.
- Chemicals should be added to the pool water; never to each other. Do not mix chemicals.
- Clean up even a small spill with care, following the container label’s instructions.
- Follow disposal instructions on container labels. Do not pour chemicals down drains or in gutters. Do not reuse empty containers
Use layers of protection around your pool. This means you have several things in place to keep children from getting to the water.
Use these LAYERS OF PROTECTION for your pool area:
Fencing and gates-Mesh fencing should be at least four feet high and have a self-closing, self-latching gate. All panels should remain in place when the pool is not in use. Fencing should meet the ASTM F 1908 standard
Door and gate alarms-Many devices are available that attach to pool/spa access doors and gates that will sound a loud alarm when opened and closed. Placing alarms on sliding doors, windows and all exit doors will alert you to children leaving the house. Alarms should meet the Underwriters Laboratories standard UL 2017 for residential water hazard alarm equipment.
Perimeter and motion alarms-Infrared systems sound an alarm when the beam is crossed and can be installed around the perimeter of a pool or spa. Water motion alarms are placed near or in the water and sound an alarm when the water is disturbed.
Latch and locksFence-Gates should have latches that automatically close and latch securely. Windows and doors that open to the pool or spa area should all be equipped with self-latching devices.
Safety Covers-Pool covers are available that completely cover the pool or spa, blocking access to water. Insist on a cover that has a label stating that it meets the ASTM F1346 Standard for pool and spa covers.
Don’t drain your pool. Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the weight to hold the pool in place, especially since most storms raise the local water table. Lowering the water level can cause damage, and the pool can even be lifted off their foundation.
The first step to being safe around water is learning to swim! Below are several organizations that offer swimming lessons. Contact each organization to find out about lessons near you.
YMCA-Learn about water safety and find a YMCA near you for swim lessons.
Red Cross–Learn about Red Cross swimming lessons. On the right-hand side of the screen click on “local Red Cross chapter” to find lessons near you!
ISR–Infant Swimming Resource. Learn how this method teaches young children self-rescue skills and then enter your ZIP code to find certified instructors near you!
United States Swim School Association–An association of quality schools devoted to aquatic education for lifelong safety, fun and health. Enter your zip code to find a swim school in your area.
Swim America–The nation’s leading learn to swim school. Click on the “General Public” link and under the FAQs you can search for a location near you.
Swim with Gills–A traveling swim school in Hobe Sound. Lifeguard and other services also available
Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc.–Miracle Swimming teaches that learning to swim means to overcome fear and become safe, comfortable, and free in deep water; that learning strokes is the choreography of swimming that can happen easily after someone feels at home in deep water.* The Florida Swimming Pool Association does not endorse any of these organizations. Other public pools and organizations in your area may also offer swimming lessons.
Visit the Swimming Pool Education and Safety Foundation at www.pooleducationandsafety.org to donate money for pool safety and swim lessons.
Poop In Hot Tub
What should I do if someone poops in the hot tub/spa?
- Close the hot tub/spa to bathers.
- Put on disposable gloves.
- Remove the poop using a net or bucket.
- Drain water from the hot tub/spa. This includes draining the piping as much as possible.
- Scrub and clean all accessible surfaces in contact with contaminated water.Replace or clean filter media when appropriate.
- Refill hot tub/spa with water.
- Achieve pH 7.2–7.8 and a free chlorine concentration of at least 3 ppm or free bromine concentration of at least 4 ppm. The free chlorine and pH should remain at these levels for 30 minutes.
- Remove as much poop as possible from the item used to remove the poop and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.
- Remove and dispose of gloves.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
Poop In The Pool
Everyone out of the pool. The CDC recommends how to handle the fecal matter in order to prevent the spread of recreational water illnesses. Do not swim if you have diarrhea. See Below;
Regular care of your private pool or hot/tub spa is important to keep the water clean and balanced and your equipment functioning properly. However, accidents will happen, especially with young swimmers. Below you will find information about how to handle a fecal incident in your private pool.
What should I do if someone poops in the pool?
Follow these steps to remove formed poop or diarrhea and disinfect the water:
- Close the pool to swimmers.
- Put on disposable gloves.
- Remove the poop using a net or bucket. Do not vacuum the poop from the pool.
- Clean as much poop as possible from the item used to remove the poop and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.
- Disinfect the item used to remove the poop by immersing it in the pool during the 30-minute disinfection time described below.
- Remove and dispose of gloves
- Raise the free chlorine concentration to, or maintain it at, 2 parts per million (ppm) and maintain the pH at 7.5 or less for 30 minutes.
- Confirm that the filtration system is operating properly.
Winterizing in Florida
Since it rarely freezes in Florida, you can cover the pool and reduce the filtration time per day and the amount of chemicals added. Pools today have many options to automate in cold weather conditions; ask a licensed CPC pool professional.
- Reduce run time to four hours if not heating.
- Reduce chemical consumption by turning down chlorinator/generator.
- Run the pump/solar overnight during a freeze warning.
- Cover pool to reduce heat loss and evaporation at night. If there is a risk of freezing, there are several steps to take. Contact a licensed CPC pool professional.
- Balance the pool water and then shock the pool.
- Remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, and ladders.
- Drain all pumping, filtering, heating and chlorinating equipment.
- Blow out the lines and plug at the pool and then add swimming pool anti-freeze to the line.
- Cover the pool
Phone in the Pool
Get the phone out as soon as possible. Remove the battery as quick as possible (don’t need to turn it off first). Put the battery in rice for 72 hours. Dry off the rest of the phone with a towel and put it into rice as well. Do not use a blow dryer or shake the phone.
Draining a Pool
Don’t drain your pool. Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the weight to hold the pool in place, especially since most storms raise the local water table. Lowering the water level can cause damage and the pool can even be lifted off their foundation.
Evaporation or a Leak?
Use the bucket test. Fill the pool to a normal level and fill a 5-gallon bucket the same level as the pool. Mark the water level on the inside of the bucket and the pool level on the outside (shut off the pump when you do it and then resume normal operation). After 24 hours compare the two. If the pool water mark on the outside of the bucket goes down more than the bucket water, there is probably a leak. If the levels changed the same amount it is evaporation.
Whats a “Fire-Up”?
FIRE-UP AND STABILIZATION OF POOL WATER
This is the most IMPORTANT thing to have done. We highly recommend having our professional pool technicians complete this process for your refinished or newly constructed pool and spa.
The new pool finish will start to hydrate immediately after mixing, with the majority of hydration taking place within the first 28 days. This is a critical time period when a finish to the pool and or spa is MOST susceptible to staining, scaling, and discoloration. Proper procedures including timely brushing, constant monitoring and chemicals due to unique local water conditions.
Most home owners are not aware that if they choose to perform the Fire-Up themselves, that this in most cases will void the warranty on the pool that is provided by many pool companies. It is for this reason we recommend having a professional perform this service for you.
We will send one of our professional technicians to complete this process for you the correct way and since we refinished or built you a newly contrasted pool we will perform this for you and a huge discounted rate! So no worries on your Fire-Up, you can be assured that you and your investment are in good hands!
Using Color Theory to choose what color finish would be best for your pool, spa, and or fountain.
Even though most people think it’s simple, working with color in the presence of water is surprisingly complex. Most clients come in and say “I want the pool finish to be blue so that the water will look blue”. What most people don’t understand is that a myriad of variables and principles are involved in determining what color water appears to be.
While there is some relationship between the interior surface color and the appearance of the water, a range of factors affect the perceived color of the water in a swimming pool, fountain or spa. This is why working with the client’s request for a blue interior finish is no guarantee that the pool will appear blue once the vessel is filled with water
The Impact of Variables
Topping the list of these factors is the way optical physics inevitably works in water.
Basically, water is clear rather than tinted (at least, if the water is clean). When placed in a pool or fountain, it does not assume the color of its surroundings, as though it were a chameleon; instead, because of the applicable physics, water has some interesting interactions with light, bending it in a phenomenon which is known as refraction.
This is why, when you stand on the side of a pool and look at underwater objects, those objects aren’t quite where they appear to be. If you doubt this, take a long stick and poke a length of it beneath the surface: It will appear to bend just below the waterline.
This happens because light travels more slowly in water than it does in air; as a result, not only do objects appear bent, they also appear larger than they really are. And because light is scattered as it passes through water, the deeper you go the less contrast objects will have, which is why objects lying on the bottom of a 20-foot-deep pool seem washed out visually.
And that’s not all: Light is also absorbed as it passes through water and dissipates rather quickly. This is why, in two holes of equal depth, one empty and the other filled with water. The hole with the water in it will be darker at the bottom. (Scuba divers know these optical tricks but all the same principles apply.) As a byproduct of this process, various colors of the light spectrum are absorbed by the water at different rates. Some colors are not as intense and are absorbed rather quickly, while others are able to penetrate deep into the water.
This process of absorption has the greatest effect on the colors we think we see underwater, (that is, the perceived color). Red, for example, is the least-intense color on the spectrum and is filtered out at rather shallow depths. Orange is next, followed by yellow, green and then blue. A deep, clean body of water will therefore appear blue when viewed from the proper distance and angle.
So how do we predict what color a viewer will perceive? We use basic color theory.
Shallow water does not have much of a filtering effect on red and orange light, which explains why a pool appears to be bluer in the deep end than in the shallow end: The red light is filtered out and the blue light passes through to the bottom of the pool.
It is this surviving blue light that reflects back to the eyes of the person standing beside the pool, but the blue light comes along with the color of the pool’s finish, so things can get a bit complicated.
For example, if the pool has a tan or brown pebble finish (that is, something in the yellow part of the spectrum), the water in the deep end of the pool will look green (yellow + blue = green). By contrast, if the pool has a red finish, the water will look red in the shallow end but will appear violet in the deep end (red + blue = violet).
But that’s not where it ends, because there are several other real-world factors at play here, including:
- Sky: If the sky is bright blue, that color will be transmitted to the pool. If the sky is cloudy or a sunset orange, those colors will be transmitted into the water as well. So a pool at sunset overlooking the ocean will appear much different than a pool in the snow-covered mountains on a cloudy day.
- Viewing Angle: Imagine looking down on a pool from the tenth floor of a hotel. The viewer takes in the entire scene, both deep and shallow ends at once, unaffected by any glare or reflected light. The closer the viewer gets to the water, the more glare and reflected light come into play to dramatically change the perception of refraction and the combinations of color formerly perceived.
- Proximity: The viewer comes close to the pool’s edge, the perceived colors are different than they will be if perceived from the tenth or even the second floor of a building or house. Moreover, at close range our eyes automatically focus and try to see the bottom of the pool, so we don’t as effectively absorb the colors that are presented. In other words, the greater the distance from the pool, the easier it is to focus on the overall scene rather than the details. A bit of distance improves our ability to observe the blending of light and materials and affects the way we perceive colors.
- Environment: Objects in the immediate vicinity of a swimming pool also contribute color to the water. Tall buildings, trees, shrubs, retaining walls and decking all lend their colors to the setting and the water. Any item reflected on the surface of the pool changes our perception of the pool’s color.
There’s no shortcut to experience when it comes to manipulating color in an aquatic environment. If this is important to you (as it should be) to achieve a certain color, then it is best to hire someone who has had training in color theory and who knows how to manipulate perceptions to achieve desired results. This is yet another reason why we stress to only hire a contractor that is licensed to construct and remodel pools, spas, and fountains.
If this seems extreme, just roll through the above list a factors, recognize how many of them are in constant states of flux. This is really more an art than a science. After all, we work in a visual medium which is why understanding how color works is so important.