All posts by Todd Crowe

Tips To Keep You Relaxed During Hurricane Season

Pool Scouts beach ball floating in a pool

Tips To Keep You Relaxed During Hurricane Season

Every fall in conjunction with the falling leaves comes hurricane season and it can be stressful. In Virginia Beach (where the Pool Scouts headquarters is located) we shut down schools in anticipation of an impending storm that never hit, literally, not one drop of rain! But the threat is real and there is more you can do, beyond mixing up a Hurricane Cocktail, to sleep with ease this time of year. And while we would rather talk about the ingredients of the season’s namesake cocktail (rum, lemon juice and passion fruit syrup in case you were wondering) we are tackling more important topics that involve hurricanes and our swimming pools. You’ve invested in your home and a great outdoor space to entertain so how do you protect it from natural disasters?

Five Key Things To Do Before The Storm

  1. Pool pump next to houseDo not drain the pool. Hydrostatic pressure under your pool can cause havoc during a storm.  It is best to allow the pool to overflow as opposed to potentially allowing the pool to pop.  If the pool is plumbed with an auto-drain, ensure it is not clogged.  Also if the pool has an auto-fill or water leveler,  please turn that off pre-storm.
  2. Add super chlorinate. Add extra shock to help the pool fight any pollutants that might contaminate the water. Remember to not swim for 24 hours after the shock treatment.
  3. Secure loose items around the pool area. These can become projectiles during the wind portion of any storm and cause further damage to the pool surface or surrounding area.  Strap down any items too large for storage. Also remember to store any chemicals used in your pool care safely, high and dry.
  4. Turn the power off. Be sure to turn off power at the electrical panel leading to pool equipment and lighting. No need to risk the mix of water and electricity during the storm. The equipment is more likely to fail if operating in saturated conditions and potential surges in the power grid could cause damage that would be costly.
  5. Document with pictures and video the pre-storm swimming pool and equipment area. This will help with any potential insurance claims.  You will also now have a game plan to follow for future storm preparedness.

Preparing Beyond the Pool Area

Besides the care of your swimming pool, there are other safety measures to consider during the event of a hurricane or other tropical storm. The following resources will help keep you, your family, and your home safe ahead of the storm.
  • The National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service has helpful tips for ensuring preparedness for a hurricane’s arrival.
  • The American Red Cross has great information on disaster alerts and preparation.
  • has information on hurricane preparation, as well as information on preparing for other natural disasters.
  • The National Weather Service is one of the best resources to get up-to-date information on hurricanes that are headed your way and those which are still forming.

Post Storm Assessment and Clean Up

Pool technician cleaning a poolAfter the storm has passed and your property is safe to access, follow these steps assess damage and begin to clean up:

Remove all debris from the house, patio, and swimming pool. Be sure to dispose with the local standards.  Often there could be delays in trash removal from the property. Plan ahead for weeks of disposal.

Inspect the pool surface, patio, plumbing, and equipment.  Any cracks should be inspected before operating equipment. Try to reach out to your pool technician for any repairs needed. Remember these techs generally are your neighbors and are experiencing the same potential hardships you are.

Test water chemistry and plan on testing frequently over the next few weeks. Adjust the chemistry after step 4.  If unable to run equipment, at least treat the water with liquid chlorine “bleach” or chlorine tablets in a floater. This will help keep the water from becoming stagnant and infested with bugs. Run filter equipment and keep filter clean as it will most likely capture debris quickly. Watch and listen to your equipment to ensure all components have returned to their normal operation.

Along with some of these basic tips, be sure to reach out to your local Pool Scouts or other pool service provider, so they can help get your pool back on track. Pool Scouts can assess any damage, remove debris and get your pool swim ready in no time! Click here to find a location near you.


5 Simple Upgrades for Your Pool

Pool at Night Time Lit Up with title overlaying picture

Is your pool still stuck with the basic equipment package? Chances are, your pool builder most likely installed what was best for them and not for you. Innovations in technology have taken leaps and bounds in the pool industry over the past few years, everything from coordinated lighting to sophisticated water features. We’ve compiled a list of five simple upgrades to enhance your swimming pool experience. Check it out!

1. Automatic Robotic Cleaner

After five years, most cleaners don’t work quite as well as they did in the beginning. Robotic cleaners are now available as stand-alone units. There’s no need to run the pool pump anymore. Most have the ability to schedule cleanings, are enabled with Bluetooth, and some are even remote controlled. Pro tip: you should save on your electrical bill as they simply plug into a GFCI 110V outlet, which is a typical outdoor plug.

2. LED Light or Bulb

Not only will LED bulbs will brighten up your evenings by the pool, but they will save you a few pennies on electrical costs. Similar to the bulbs in your home, a simple swap from Halogen or Incandescent to an LED light or bulb will make a significant upgrade to your pool. And most have color selections and preset color change shows to extend your daytime party into the night!

3. Chlorinator

Tired of watching your tablet floater moving around the surface while playing, or even worse, collecting in front of the skimmer? A few simple tools and a new offline chlorinator could be the fix. Easy installation by the equipment pad will help ensure you are efficiently dosing your pool with chlorine.

4. Chemical Monitoring

Recent technology now affords pool owners the opportunity to remotely monitor their pool water. Some systems in the market are simple to install. Connect the system to your home network, download the app, and drop the unit in the pool. Easy as that! The notifications you receive when the water chemistry needs attention is a game changer. Correcting an out of balance pool can cost time and money, so install a chemical monitoring system to get ahead of the game.

5. Timing and Automation

Once mechanical, timers have now moved to the digital age – finally! Whether you are activating a Home Hub to automate the pool through a home assistant or simply adding a digital timer, automation is now affordable and simple. Many older units can be converted to incorporate digital timers so the pool equipment operates when you want it too. Some systems come with remote monitoring which is essential while on vacation or away from home for an extended amount of time.

Utilize Your Scouts

Implementing some of these simple upgrades will help you spend more time enjoying your pool this year. And take your backyard experience to the next level by sprucing up the landscape and surrounding area. You can integrate automation for those outdoor lights and sprinkler system too! You’ll be the most popular house on the block. Remember, Pool Scouts can help you select and install some of the above-listed items. We are your go-to source for professional pool service, so you can enjoy your pool all season long! Click here to find a Pool Scouts location near you or give us a call at 844-775-2742. We can’t wait to help you upgrade your backyard oasis!

Deep Freeze: Pool Tips for Freezing Temps

Graphic of pool with ice around edges that says, Deep Freeze: Pool Tips for Freezing Temps

This time of year, the weather can keep us guessing. Just when you expect the warmer temperatures to roll in, a Polar Vortex hits.  What happens in the winter, and even early spring, can impact your summer fun by the pool.

So let’s talk about how to keep your pool in good condition when the deep freeze hits and the snow starts falling. Proper closing of your pool along with investigating a few things during the winter months can help keep your pool in top shape.

We just spent months inside, time to get outdoors soon and enjoy.

Play I Spy…with your pool

A simple way to determine that your pool is currently in good shape is a simple glance under or through the cover.

Try and peel back a corner near the deep end, and check a solid cover.  If it is a mesh cover, cup your hands around your face and look through the mesh screening as if looking through a store window.

Image of pool pump buried in snow next to house

Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Is the pool still holding water?
  • Can I see the bottom of the pool?
  • How much debris is on the bottom?

View around your equipment and check:

  • Any cracked pipes?
  • Any items still frozen?
  • Any standing water that might re-freeze?

Status Report

Each question is important for the rest of the winter and leading into the warmer season ahead.

Share the results from the items above with your local pool service company.  Especially the company who may have closed your pool.  Not only does it give you the opportunity to ask questions, the company will gain valuable insight to the local conditions.

Compare notes with friends and neighbors who also own pools.  Although no two pools are ever the same, identifying a trend over the cooler months with your pools condition might help prevent problems before they occur.  Encourage your friends with concerns to address them quickly.

Image of little boy getting thrown in the air in a pool with floaties and goggles, and dad in the backgroundEarly fixes could save you time and money

Don’t shy away from any repair that may be needed before spring.  Often companies are looking to handle repairs now before opening many pools over the next few weeks.

3 Tips for communicating winter repairs:

  1. Take plenty of pictures and e-mail them to your local pool repair company.
  2. Ask for their work schedule this time of year and get on the calendar
  3. Ask about upgrades if you need to replace key components.

Take the time today and plan to get your pool opened early if you suspect any damages, and contact a swimming pool repair company if you see any damages. And remember, Pool Scouts is your go-to source for professional pool service, and we service pool years round in many markets.