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!
Spring is here! And that means it’s time to get your yard (and your home) in tip-top shape. That’s right, it’s time for some good, old fashioned spring cleaning. Now while all of us might not exactly become giddy with excitement at the thought of spring cleaning, it’s a great way to make a fresh start and honor the turn of the season.
Don’t know where to start? We’ve put together some quick and easy areas of focus for your spring cleaning this year, complete with tips and tricks for freshening up your outdoor and indoor spaces!
10 Easy Steps to a Cleaner House and Yard
- Shed or Garage: After the winter season, it’s amazing the amount of stuff that can accumulate in these spaces! Remove anything that’s broken or worn out. And for the remaining items, determine what you can donate or trash! Even take it a step further and install some easy shelving so you can keep everything in view and organized throughout the year.
- Swimming Pool: Do you have a backyard oasis? Make sure it’s opened and ready for warmer temps! If pool care is not your forte, leave it to the experts. Find your local Pool Scouts and give them a call today!
- Patio Furniture: With warm weather (very) quickly approaching, be sure your outdoor furniture is ready for some serious lounging! Add a squirt of dish detergent to a bowl of warm water and then wipe down chairs and tables. And for a final touch, give it a spray of water from your hose!
- Garden Bed: After the winter months, your garden will be covered with loose leaves, mulch, dead plants, weeds, unwanted compost, and maybe even poop from your pets (ew!). Removing larger pieces of debris by hand, such as dead branches and bushes, will give you a clearer view of the garden bed. This will allow you to see new weeds, smaller debris you will want to collect with a hand rake, along with plants and bulbs you may want to relocate to a different part of the garden.
- Grill: With backyard entertaining comes barbecuing! Whip that grill into shape so it can be burger and dog-ready. The ultimate cleaning hack involves beer! Pour a half bottle of beer over the top of greasy grates on a warm grill. The beer will break down the oil and grease, and it will come right off when clean with a bristle brush. Good as new!
- Doormats: Freshen up those doormats! Hose off and air dry the ones that sit outside and give your inside doormats a good vacuum treatment. Pro tip: to trap more dust, use two mats – one outside the door and one just on the inside.
- Kitchen Sink: In addition to giving your sink a good wipe down, clean the inside of it too! Put a few lemon rinds in the drain and run your garbage disposal. Bye-bye funky smells!
- Fridge: Remove everything from your refrigerator and give those shelves and doors a thorough wipe down. This also a great opportunity to throw out any old or expired food/condiments! Pro tip: Our friends at Home Clean Heroes can clean your fridge for you! Ask about this add-on option to any residential service. Hint, they’ll can clean your oven too!
- Closet: Your closet is a great place to focus on during spring cleaning. Remove anything stained, in need of repair or just plain worn out – Marie Kondo style!. For remaining clothing items, ask yourself, “when was the last time I wore this?”. It’s a great opportunity to make a large donation to Goodwill or other similar charities.
- Bedding: Tackle those bulky items we call bedding! Pillows and comforters should be cleaned at least two or three times a year, so they should be at the top of your list during your spring cleaning. Pro tip: Check the manufacturer’s label before tossing them into the washing machine.
Following these 10 easy steps will get you that much closer to spring cleaning bliss! If your pool is in need of some serious TLC before the warm temperatures arrive or if you’re looking for regular pool care maintenance, give us a call today at 844-775-2742! We’ll keep your pool cannonball ready at all times. Happy cleaning!
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.
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?
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.
Early 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:
- Take plenty of pictures and e-mail them to your local pool repair company.
- Ask for their work schedule this time of year and get on the calendar
- 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.
What Are Snowbirds?
No, it’s not an actual bird. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the definition, winter visitors (the more politically correct term), more commonly known as “snowbirds,” are seasonal travelers, usually retirees, who head south when colder weather approaches. Some of the most popular warm weather states that these travelers head to are Florida and Texas.
Do Snowbirds Have Pools?
You better believe it! In fact, snowbirds frequently have pools in both their northern, more permanent residence, and at their sunny, southern getaway home. While they must close up shop before heading south as colder weather approaches, they then get to migrate down to warmer temperatures and a pool that will stay open all year long. Since these different locations require different pool care and maintenance, we have a few tips on how Pool Scouts can help prep a pool for the cold winter weather, and also how to maintain for a year-round perfect pool.
How To Close and Open A Pool When Heading South
Pool Scouts has locations in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina to help with your pool closing needs, and will also be around once it’s time to open your pool back up in the spring. Here are a few of the services that a professional Pool Scouts technician will perform. To read the full list, visit our Closing Services page.
Closing and Winterizing Service
- Test and balance water
- Blow off pool deck and equipment pad
- Lower water level and backwash filter
- Add winterizing chemicals
Once you’re ready to head north as things warm up, Pool Scouts is ready to dive in and take the plunge. Take a look at our Opening Services page for the full break-down of what’s included.
Pool Opening Service
- Remove, clean and prepare cover for storage
- Remove plugs and prep pool lines
- Blow off deck area and equipment pad
- Start and prime the pool pump
How To Maintain A Year-Round Pool Once Down South
Pool Scouts has a recurring swimming pool cleaning service that will allow winter visitors to make the most of their time in the warmer weather. The last thing you want to worry about is your pool! We’ve got your back. With multiple locations throughout some of the more popular snowbird destination states such as Florida and Texas, we are happy to service our winter visitors. Here are a few of the steps included in our year-round pool cleaning service.
- Remove leaves and debris from pool surface
- Clean tile surface at the waterline
- Empty and clean the skimmer baskets
- Clean or backwash the filter
- Check the filter pressure
While snowbirds have the ultimate dream of a getaway home, and often times getaway pool, this results in more maintenance. Not to worry, Pool Scouts is there every step of the way to make sure that relaxation is the only item on their checklist, living their ultimate luxury lifestyle without the worry of taking care of a pool. Give us a call at 844-775-2742 today!
Do I Need to Close My Pool?
… if you live somewhere with a notable change in the seasons (i.e. not Texas or Florida) then the answer is likely yes! Once the water temperature remains consistently below 65°F, it’s time to start thinking about closing up shop.
We get it. Closing your pool indicates putting the swim cap on summer. With all the fun (and warm!) memories from those balmy months, it can be hard to admit that it’s finally time to take the plunge and close up your pool for the season. But the last thing you want is for your pool to freeze! In fact, that is the number one concern.
Reasons to Close Your Pool
There are multiple reasons why you should close your pool in colder climate regions. Simply put, when water freezes it expands and there is the potential for pipes or equipment to be damaged. Properly draining your filter, pump, skimmer and return lines will help to ensure that your equipment does not crack during the cold winter months, resulting in costly repair or replacement.
Additionally, covering your pool offers convenience. It will help reduce the leaves and debris that end up in your pool, and if you take time to close your pool properly, the opening process can be much easier in the spring. Pro tip: when you schedule your pool closing with Pool Scouts, go ahead and schedule your pool opening as well!
What if I want to keep my pool open?
Leaving your pool open all year is a viable option for some and may save you a few dollars in the long run! Just make sure to do it right. Here are a few things to keep in mind should you decide to keep your pool open through the winter months:
- The filter will still need to run 4-5 hours a day (compared to the 10-12 hours recommended during the summer months)
- Should temps drop below freezing, run pump continually so pipes don’t freeze during this time
- Pool should be maintained and checked bi-weekly or monthly, which we are happy to do during the winter months
For your pool closing service needs, Pool Scouts is your go-to source. Give us a call at 844-775-2742 or click here to find a location near you. We prep your pool for hibernation and make sure it’s ready to use the following season. In fact, when you call to schedule your pool closing, you can go ahead and schedule your opening service! That way, you can count down the days until you are swimming laps again or enjoying a cocktail at the water’s edge.
If you’re planning to keep your pool open year-round, be sure to keep us on the schedule bi-weekly or monthly for your pool maintenance needs.
Still unsure what to do with your backyard oasis? No worries. Pool Scouts is more than happy to answer your pool closing and winterizing service questions! Give us a call or drop us a note with any inquiries you might have.
Children who were born during the warm spring and summer months routinely experience a perk that fall and winter babies have only dreamed of—annual birthday pool parties!
These fortunate kids have the luxury of mixing their birthday celebrations with cannonball dives and games of Marco Polo. But along with all of the sun and fun comes the additional threat of pool-related mishaps, like injuries or even drowning. Parents can help mitigate these threats by following a few simple rules:
Designate a Water Watcher
Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization that strives to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, recommends having a designated Water Watcher (or Swim Scout as we like to call it) when children are swimming near adults. A Swim Scout is an adult who agrees to keep a close eye on the kids in the water, without distractions, and wear a Swim Scout badge. After a designated amount of time (15-20 minutes), the card is passed to another adult, who is responsible for supervising the kids. This allows all of the adults to share in the fun of the party, as well as the responsibility for the children’s safety.
To designate an official Swim Scout at your next kids’ pool party, download the Swim Scout badge here.
Accidents happen, and you just never know when cardio-pulmonary resuscitation can help save a child’s life. If a child is drowning his/her heart could stop beating. CPR is used to keep oxygenated blood flowing, which helps keep vital organs alive. The American Heart Association believes that keeping the blood flow active extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrives.
To find a CPR certification class in your area, click here. Classes may also be available at a local community college or university.
Establish the Rules Early On
Before the kids jump into the pool it’s a good idea to sit them down for a minute or two and go over a few safety rules. Misty Selph, program developer, and Jennifer White, swim school specialist, at the Starfish Aquatics Institute, recommend establishing the following rules:
- No running
- Jump in feet first
- No pushing or shoving
- No holding others under the water
- Look before you jump in the water to make sure that it’s clear of people and toys
Know Your Swimmers
Selph and White also recommend that the adults who are hosting the party know the swimming ability of the children attending. Non-swimmers need to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket because, sadly, inflatable water wings can easily come off or deflate and put children at risk. Parents either need to bring their own lifejackets or make sure that the host is providing them.
Make Sure the Pool is Clean and Clear
Cloudy pool water can be caused by a number of things, including improper chlorine and pH balance–issues that can usually be remedied by adding the right mix of chemicals to the water. But cloudy water is not only unattractive to the eye; it can also be extremely dangerous. The cloudy haze of the water makes it all but impossible to see if a child is slowly sinking to the to bottom of the pool or is in any other kind of danger. So, make sure to keep that pool clean and clear before those party invitations go out.
Your Very Own Party Planner KitWe want you to be armed and ready this pool party season! See the links below to download your very own pool party kit.
- Pool Party Invitation: Key to making sure your guests know when and where to arrive!
- Swim Scout Badge: Utilize other adults and be sure to assign a designated ‘Swim Scout’ to watch over the pool. Don’t worry, you can switch off!
- How to Throw A Safe Kids’ Pool Party: This guide serves as a reference on how to throw a safe pool party and summarizes all of the recommended rules to do so!
Pool Scouts is here to clean up before and after your pool party! Be sure to give us a call at 844-775-2742 to help out this party season!
Where would we be without the sun? Cold, pale and starving, that’s where. The sun is the source of all life on this planet, and mild exposure to its plentiful rays can help boost your immune system and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, too much sun can result in a myriad of problems, including sunburn. And as the swim season gets underway you and your family are even more prone to the dangers of sun exposure. But don’t fret. Human ingenuity has created ways for all of us to enjoy everything that the outdoors has to offer without the side effects of scorched skin. So, you can enjoy your time at the pool, the park, the ocean or the camping grounds, and still return home with the fresh, healthy skin that you left with.
Sunburns are arguably the top hazard of spending too much time outdoors in warm weather (bug bites and profuse sweating are tied for second place.) These burns are not only irritating to the touch, but they can result in blistering, peeling skin and eventually lead to skin cancer. “Unprotected skin will burn in about 10-30 minutes, depending on the time of day, your skin type, and your altitude,” says Dr. Janet H. Prystowsky, board certified dermatologist. “By the time you notice warning signs, like redness, sensitivity, and warm skin, you’re likely well on your way to being sunburnt.”
To reduce your chances of too much sun exposure you could hide indoors all summer or seek refuge under a shady tree or canopy–but that’s hardly the way to make the most of the summer season. Your best line of defense against a sunburn, during the summer or any time of the year, is wearing sunscreen.
Prystowsky recommends using a formula that is water-resistant and contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, which block both UVA and UVB radiation. She also recommends using a formula that has an SPF of 30-50. Yes, there are sunscreens on the market that offer SPF levels up to 100, but “after SPF 50, the difference in protection becomes less significant,” she says. “SPF 100 is not twice as protective as SPF 50. The real determining factor of protection is applying enough and reapplying frequently.”
Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or after swimming or sweating. And be sure to apply that sunscreen all over your body. “Even if you are wearing a shirt, put sunscreen on underneath,” says Prystowsky. She also notes that the ears, ankles, feet, and the back of your neck are places that are often overlooked–so don’t forget to slather it on in those areas as well. And if you think that you’ve applied enough sunscreen then you should still probably apply more. Prystowsky notes that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass, but that most people only use half that amount. So, keep on slathering until your entire body is covered. After all, you never can have too much protection.
Pool Scouts likes to help our clients maximize their fun in the sun. So, if you agree to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays, we’ll agree to provide you with a clean, sparkling pool to jump into all season long.
Written by guest author: Miranda Lindsey It may be winter, but the pool fun doesn’t have to stop completely. This holiday season opt for gifts that can make summer a little more fun with LED lights, pool floats and accessories. Amazon sells a wide range of pool items that make last minute gifts for your favorite pool enthusiast. Submersible LED Lights Several companies offer waterproof, battery operated lights that can work for more than just the pool. This gift will definitely be a conversation starter at your next barbecue with RGB multi-color changing lights powered by a wireless remote control. Giant Pool Floaty Perfect for the for the pool leisure devotee in your life. This 6-foot inflatable comes with a repair kit to extend it life, which makes it the perfect present for families with kids. This floaty is available in a variety of styles like pineapple, pizza, and swan, make gift giving personal. Inflatables for Baby This is makes a great gift for expecting families. Parents can relax with baby safely in the pool with inflatable canopy rings. This style offers and extra layer of protection for the sun in addition to special design that let baby float freely. Electric Air Pump The textbook for the family that always has the neighborhood kids in the pool. Help Dad’s lungs out by getting him this electric pump that fills the pools toys up in seconds. This functional gift can be used outside of the back yard of camping or boat trips with high powered pressure and low noise levels. Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker This mini speaker makes a great gift for the family who lives outdoors. This gizmo packs a powerful punch with 8-hours of battery life, universal compatibility, and the ability to be completely submerged for 30 minutes without being damaged! The speaker downright convenient making it a great gift for hikers, campers, and travelers alike. Here at Pool Scouts, we think about pools year-round. These make gifts make great additions to any of our services and make perfect place holders for the off season. Make sure to check your local Pool Scouts for promotions and services. Happy Holidays!
ABOUT POOL SCOUTS Pool Scouts is a premier pool service franchise focused on delivering a quality, consistent brand experience while providing pool cleaning, maintenance and minor repair services at residential properties. Technicians are trained in testing, monitoring, treating and servicing pools and can provide ongoing service as well as help at the beginning and end of the summer season. Growing from its first location in Virginia Beach, Pool Scouts offers a great opportunity as a low cost franchise in the pool services industry with available territories across the United States. For more information or franchising opportunities, visit PoolScoutsFranchise.com.
If you are a pool owner and a pool owner like me, you’ve uttered the words in this blog title once or twice, “Argh, I need to deal with the pool!” This time of year in addition to raking the leaves and cleaning out the gutters, dealing with the pool is one of the bigger to-do’s on the list. While caring for your pool can be time consuming, confusing and let’s face it, a bit of an annoyance, it doesn’t have to be. When it comes to your pool, you have options. Whether you decide to have a chlorine or salt water pool, you have a choice. If you decide to heat or not heat your pool, you have a choice. Or if you’ll have a vinyl or gunite pool, you have a choice. Well good news, when it comes with pool maintenance this winter, you have a choice! For those pool owners who live in milder climates, and that would include anyone Maryland and south you have the option to leave your pool open in the winter months. While there are some very valid reasons for closing a pool during the winter months, there are some good reasons for leaving open year round. Check out the pros and cons of each.
Good Reasons To Close Your Pool This Winter
- Safety for your pets and small children
- Minimize wear and tear on your pool equipment
- Increases the life of your pool
- Helps to keep the Fall and Winter elements out of your pool
- Freezing temps and pipes bursts potential
Reasons to consider keeping your pool open during the winter months
- Minimize costs for the closing and opening process
- No need to worry about condition of or ordering a new cover
- Keeps equipment running and minimizes minor repairs needed when opening season arrives
- Minimal chemicals needed to rebalance water when warmer temps return
- Aesthetically, it looks awfully pretty to see a pool surrounded by snow
All you blondes out there are probably dealing with similar struggles this summer. If your hair turns green after taking a splash in the pool, you’re certainly not alone. Green hair can be an irritating setback during a season expected to be fun and free, so we are here to explain the mystery and solve the problem!
At some point in time, you’ve probably heard that blonde hair turns green after a swim-session because of the chlorine in pool water. You most likely believed chlorine to be the culprit from that point on. You’re not completely wrong, but the truth is, copper is actually the main factor at fault. Copper is a metal found in water. Even tap water with a high copper content can give your hair a green tint! However, the green color is more likely to show up after swimming in the pool because pool water contains chlorine. Chlorine and copper bond together to form a film that sticks to the proteins in each strand of hair, causing the hair to turn green.
How to Prevent and/or Fix Green Hair
We know this is an annoyance, even while knowing it isn’t permanent. Whether you’re hoping to prevent green hair before it appears or trying to wash the green out of your hair after a swim, here are a few solutions to test.
- Leave-in conditioner – If you apply a leave-in conditioner before swimming, the pool water won’t stick to your hair as easily.
- Wet hair – Don’t get in the pool with dry hair. If you start with wet hair, chlorine and copper won’t hang onto your hair as tightly.
- Always, always, always wash your hair as soon as you are done swimming for the day.
- V8/Tomato Juice – Coat your hair with tomato juice or V8 and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Wash and condition as normal when you are finished.
- Ketchup – Coat your hair in ketchup. Either wrap it in up tinfoil or put on a swim cap and let it sit for about 30 minutes before shampooing and conditioning.
- Aspirin – Crush 6-8 aspirin tablets inside a bowl, add warm water to it, and let it dissolve. Put the aspirin-water mixture into your hair and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse it out with clean water, then shampoo and condition normally.
- Baking soda – Use ¼ – ½ a cup of baking soda and mix water with it in order to make a paste. Massage the paste into green hair and rinse it out with clean water, then wash and condition normally. The amount of times this needs to be done will depend on the intensity of the green color.
- Lemon juice – Saturate your hair with lemon juice and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as normal.
- Lemon Kool-Aid – Mix the Kool-Aid with water and apply it to the green areas in the hair and let it sit for several minutes. Shampoo and condition normally.
Try these tricks on yourself or your kids. You’ll finally be able to enjoy a pool day without having to worry about losing those gorgeous golden locks! Good luck!
Get on the Schedule
Give your local Pool Scouts a call at 844-775-2742 for all of your pool service needs! Or fill out the form to the right for a free estimate. We’ll keep your backyard oasis cannonball ready at all times. Your hair might turn green, but your pool certainly won’t be. Perfect Pools, Scout’s Honor.