How to Throw a Safe Kids’ Pool Party

Family with kids in a pool smiling, with caption "How to throw a safe kids' pool party"

By Dana Robinson

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 when children are swimming near adults. A Water Watcher is an adult who agrees to keep a close eye on the kids in the water, without distractions, and wear a Water Watcher tag. 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 Water Watcher at your next kids’ pool party, download the Water Watcher tag here.

Learn CPR

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 arrive.

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.

Pool Scouts is here to clean up before and after your pool party! Be sure to give us a call to help out this party season!

 

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How To Avoid Sunburn

Mom putting sunscreen on her daughter near the pool

By Dana Robinson

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.

Preventing Sunburns

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.

What Kind?

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.”

How Much?

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.

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Argh, I Need To Deal With The Pool!

Pool Closing, Pool Cover, Winter Pools, Winterize Pool

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 equipmentWinterize Pool, Cover, Close, Pool
  • Increases the life of your pool
  • Helps to keep the Fall and Winter elements out of your pool
  • Freezing temps and pipes bursts potential

Freezing pipes is the number one concern when it comes to keeping your pool open year-round. Simply put, when water freezes it expands there is the potential for pipes or equipment to be damaged. Properly draining your filter, pump, skimmer, and return lines during the closing process will help to ensure that your equipment does not crack during the cold winter months resulting in costly repairs or replacements.

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.

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

Some important 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 Pool Scouts is happy to do during the winter months

The other choice you have in all of this is that you can allow your local pool professional manage and maintain your pool for you, giving you back the time and luxury of enjoying a pool! Pool Scouts can be that pool professional and will happily maintain or close your pool this season!

Pool Scouts uses a thorough checklist for all visits including closings. As a customer, you will come to expect a different level of professionalism, communication and clarity of how your pool is being maintained. Our promise is Perfect Pools, Scout’s Honor!

ABOUT POOL SCOUTS

Virginia Beach, VA-based 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.

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Why Hair Turns Green In The Pool And 9 Ways To Fix It!

Green Hair from chlorine

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.

  1. Leave-in conditioner – If you apply leave-in conditioner before swimming, the pool water won’t stick to your hair as easily.
  2. 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.
  3. Always, always, always wash your hair as soon as you are done swimming for the day.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Lemon juice – Saturate your hair with lemon juice and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as normal.
  9. 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!

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.

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Green Pool Got You Down?

green pool

The summer is flying right by and we cannot believe it is already August. Thankfully, we still have plenty of fun in the sun ahead of us, and whether you were ready two weeks ago or not, the kids still have half of their summer break left. Around this time of the summer, we often see many people dealing with the same, ever-so-irritating situation–a green pool. Lucky for you, we are here to tell you exactly why your pool is green and how you will make it look good-as-new!

So, why exactly is your pool green?

When the chlorine in a pool drops below 1 ppm, algae often grows. When algae grows in a pool, it will obviously begin to change color. In order to get rid of the algae, you may need to “shock” your pool. In other words, you will need to super-chlorinate the pool because chlorine kills algae. For regular pool upkeep, one lb of hypochlorite granular chlorine (calcium hypo-chloride) for every 10,000 gallons of water is necessary for shocking. During an algae infestation, it is going to take a lot more.

The water is probably one of three colors:

  1. Teal–this is the least adverse of the greens. In order to shock a pool of this shade, you will need 2 lbs of calcium hypo-chloride for every 10,000 gallons of water.
  2. Green (may appear swampy)–this is slightly serious, but don’t fret. This color calls for 3 lbs of calcium hypo-chloride for every 10,000 gallons of water.
  3. Black–if you have a black pool, it may (it will) need more work, or 4 lbs of calcium hypo-chloride for every 10,000 gallons of water.

Professional Pool Cleaning Company - Pool ScoutsProcess Break Down:

  • Before shocking, you will need to test the chemicals to ensure that the pH balance is between 7.4 and 7.6 and the alkalinity is between 100 ppm and 150 ppm. You will also need to make sure the filter is running.
  • Shocking should be done at night. To begin, pour the bag of calcium hypo-chloride into a bucket of pool water.
  • Next, evenly disperse the mixed bucket around the perimeter of the pool.
  • Once the first attempt is complete, wait until the morning to decide whether or not a second shock is necessary. If so, repeat the process.

Stay in Control:

  • After you’ve shocked once or twice, the pool will appear cloudy instead of green. At this point, you will keep the filter running and watch for a rise in filter pressure.
  • If the pressure rises 20-25%, clean or backwash the filter.
  • Continue to test the chemicals to make sure that the pH levels are between 7.4 and 7.6, the alkalinity is between 100 ppm and 150 ppm, and the chlorine reading stays between 1 ppm and 3 ppm.
  • Keep the filter running 24 hours a day. When the cloudiness fully clears up, take it down a notch and only run the filter for 15 hours a day.
  • Don’t forget to continue balancing your pool water weekly. Cyanuric acid (CYA) is what we add to chlorine in order to stabilize the water because it protects chlorine from the sun’s UV rays. This makes free chlorine levels last much longer. If CYA levels are low, the sun dissolves the chlorine. This will cause the need for you to add chlorine more often. However, if there is too much CYA, the chlorine will lose some of its necessary sanitizing properties. In order to keep your pool properly balanced, CYA levels should never surpass 50 ppm, and chlorine levels should always be about 7.5 percent of CYA levels.
  • Of course, always empty the skimmer baskets a few times a week.
  • Finally, you go back to only running the filter 10-12 hours a day.

Once the pool is back to normal and the water is glistening in the sunlight once again, the job should be done! You may choose to add an algaecide weekly to keep your pool sparkling, but this is up to you. Good luck from Pool Scouts!

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.

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Fun in the Fourth of July Sun

Get Your Pool Clean for the Fourth of July

Proud to be an American and ready to rock the red, white, and blue? Well, it’s your time to shine! On the Fourth of July in 1776, the Continental Congress of America adopted the Declaration of Independence. The federal holiday, also known as Independence Day, has been celebrated yearly ever since. You’re in luck, because July is right around the corner and this is the perfect opportunity to invite your neighbors and friends over to the backyard for a one-of-a-kind patriotic pool party. Here are eight unique party planning ideas that will appeal to not only those giddy grown-ups, but also the little ones. Start planning early and you’ll have a party worth talking about until next year’s!

Local Pool Cleaning Company

Ideas to Delight Your Pool Guests this 4th of July

  1. Of course, decorations should be red, white, and blue. Don’t worry, this won’t be hard at all. You can even allow your kids to join in on the fun and make it a bonding activity. Cover mason jars in red, white, and blue duct-tape or paint and put eating utensils in them. Place the jars at the end of your classic cookout buffet line. Choose a bright, patriotically spirited table-cloth!
  2. Decorate the area surrounding your pool with miniature American flags and fill the pool with red, white, and blue noodles and floating devices. String red, white, and blue bandanas or festive decorative garlands between trees and spray paint stars on the lawn.
  3. Don’t forget the music! Play catchy, upbeat tunes to set the happy tone of the party and keep the energy alive.
  4. Fill red, white, and blue balloons with water and divide your guests into teams of two for a water balloon toss. Each time a balloon is tossed without bursting, have them take a step back so they are further apart. This might not be fun to clean up, but it is well-worth the laughter.
  5. Conduct a cannonball contest. The kids love these, but the dads usually win.
  6. Throw red and blue diving sticks into the pool and divide the guests into two teams. Team one has to collect all of the red sticks and team two has to collect all of the blue sticks. Whichever team finishes first, wins.
  7. Hand out sparklers to all of the guests when the sun starts to go down–this will make for awesome pictures to commemorate the event!
  8. While having fun is the most important part of a party, don’t forget to keep it safe. Before your party starts, go over safety rules with the kiddos and make sure these rules are listed where everyone can see them in at least one spot outside the pool. Nothing takes the fun out of a party like worrying, so hire a designated lifeguard-on-duty to watch the pool during the party. This will make for tons of unforgettable stress-free fun for everyone.

Perfect Pool for the Holiday

Of course, all of this wouldn’t be perfect without the perfect pool. Be sure to reach out to Pool Scouts to get your pool serviced either in anticipation for the big bash or after to help clean up post fun! You may be exhausted after pulling of this great party, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year’s bash!

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.

 

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Diving into the Summer Feet First

Water Fight

Although it may seem as though summer started weeks ago, let’s not forget that the official first day of summer is June 21st! The temperature is rising, the kids are already sunburnt and worn out, and your personal pool has been occupied every day since the middle of May. The question is: How will you bring all of that enthusiasm from the “beginning of summer” back for the actual beginning of summer ? Here are a few fun yet relaxing activities for the first days of summer.

Date Night By the Pool

Movie Night PopcornHire a sitter, and instead of making sure the kids are kept busy, let them have some downtime via a movie night with all the fixin’s: popcorn, candy and maybe even a little soda (what a treat)! Instead of enforcing bedtime, have them roll out the sleeping bags in the family room and camp out, falling asleep to the movie. Meanwhile, you should be outside, relaxing by the pool with some wine, lanterns, music, and other neighborhood moms and dads. The kids probably need this time and so do you!

Have a pajama day.

When the kids wake up, let them stay in their pajamas all day long. Don’t make them change clothes until it is time for them to change into more pajamas.

Have a daiquiri day.

Unleash the fruit and the blender from the ‘fridge and help the kids make their own fruity concoctions. Bring your pitcher out to the pool, sip your smoothie, and catch some rays. Take a dip when you feel the heat calls for it.

Summer Reading?

Summer Reading Make those summer reading requirements a little less dreadful and a little more exciting for the kids. Have them read by the pool instead of confining them to a silent room indoors. Allow them to take a splash for each ten pages they read.

Take Time For an Evening Dip!

Have a family nighttime swim session. Bring the whole fam’ out to the pool for a moonlit swim right before bed. This will allow you to combine a healthy, end-of-the-day activity with some good, quality family bonding time– bonding time that doesn’t include watching a movie.

Have a picnic by the pool.

Pack sandwiches and popsicles, unfold a blanket, and eat lunch outside in swim suits. Cool off and float around the pool on a noodle afterwards.   After a week of lazy swims and summer relaxation, morale will be higher for everyone and the start of summer will have you back on your feet for the rest of the season.

Pool Scouts is your go to source for getting and keeping your pool swim-ready. Offering a menu of services, you can be sure your pool will be sparkling for summer fun!

 

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.

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5 Steps To Keep Your Pool Safe This Season

Pool Scouts Water Safety Gizmo

Welcome to National Water Safety Month!  Each year Pool Scouts will spend the month of May talking about how we, as pool owners, can keep our backyards safe for family, friends and neighbors. Last year we introduced Gizmo, our Pool Safety Mascot, and he is back to offer up more advice.

Part of my job here at Pool Scouts is to keep up with events and activities within the industry. Because of that, I am all too familiar with the statistics that are associated with the dangers of pools. It seems like every day I read about another drowning that could have been avoided with a few simple steps. So let’s get to them so we can focus on enjoying our pools!

SECURE THE PERIMETER

Ensure that the perimeter around your pool is secure and up to state requirements! This means that in some states, fences and gates should be at least than 5ft high and latches should be located on the inside of the gate. Your fence is the first line of defense to keeping your pool safe. Whether it is the yard fence or a life fence, making sure it is in good condition is so important.

SUPERVISE AND REMOVE TEMPTATIONS

The best way to keep all swimmers safe is to be a responsible observer. Keeping a watchful, undistracted eye on swimmers is key. Pool goers of all ages are susceptible to getting into trouble, leaving anyone unmonitored for any amount of time could make a difference.

Additionally, be sure to remove all pool tools and floats from the pool and store in a secure place. These items are too tempting to little children to reach out and try to grab.

BE PREPARED

Should you find yourself faced with a swimmer in trouble, time is of the essence. Be sure to keep the pool area and those in charge of watching swimmers, prepared:

  • Keep safety equipment readily available: pool hook, flotation devices and first aid kit (equipped with scissors to cut hair or clothes that may get stuck in filter suction)
  • Post emergency phone numbers in the pool area and keep a phone within arm’s reach
  • Be up to date on CPR certification. The organization CPR Party make it easy and fun to get and stay certified

LEARN TO SWIM

The USA Swimming Foundation states that the risk of drowning decreases by 88% when someone takes swim lessons! That is an impressive statistic, and with so many organizations promoting programs that help people learn to swim, it is easy to find readily available lessons that don’t cost a lot.

TAKE THE PLEDGE

With so many alarming statistics surrounding swimming, organizations around the country have committed to raising awareness and making efforts to educate others on the dangers of swimming and being near water.

The USA Swimming Foundation runs the “Make A Splash” program, offering information and resources for adults and parents interested in lessons for themselves or their children. Both Pool Safely and The National Water Safety Month organization encourage you to “Take the Pledge” to be safe swimmers. The American Red Cross also offers an app to promote safe swimming for people of all ages.

Summer and fun are synonymous, but keeping safe is important. As pool owners, it is important we do our part to ensure our pool is safe!

 

 

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Quick Tips to Make Your Outdoor Space Pop

Pool Patio decor

Ah, spring! That first warm day after a long winter is unbeatable. Getting outside and basking in the warm sun makes it the best season of the year. But building the list of to do’s to spruce up the yard makes springtime a love-hate relationship for me. Part of me can’t wait to get out there and get my hands dirty, but as the list keeps growing, it gets a bit daunting.

Let’s skip the dirty work (tree trimming, weeding and planting) and get right to the fun stuff – the final touches! I been busy researching tips for making my backyard and pool to make them an oasis this summer. Some of the trends I am seeing this year include plant walls for privacy and ambiance, furniture flips to make the old new and colorful again, and upgrading the lighting to make your yard more like an additional living space.

Tips for Enhancing Your Outdoor Space

There are so many ideas out there, but I decided to go to my fellow marketers to find out what their favorite ways are to decorate their outdoor spaces:

I’m all about candles, I get pretty holders that add a pop of color to my backyard area, the bonus is that they’re also great for keeping the bugs away. – Kyle, Graphic Designer

Outdoor Pool Patio DecorI keep cushions and outdoor decor in plastic totes in my shed so it is easy to grab and set up.  I like to use bright colors and easy to clean items to keep it fun but simple.  – Amy, Dir of Direct Mail

I’m a big fan of a good outdoor rug. We put one on our patio and it made it feel so much more homey, but also brings color into the space. – Julie, Marketing Manager

Do not being afraid to use fun pops of color, throw pillows, rugs, and don’t forget the flowers and plants. A small citrus tree can do wonders for a space. – Bridget, Online Marketing Manager

I’m a big fan of bistro lights. They’re a classy, easy way to brighten up any patio or yard, and you don’t need a lot of them to have a dramatic effect. Plus, they can double as holiday lights during the winter months! -Tracey, Marketing Assistant

Bistro Lights by pool patioMy tip is to use lighting to set the mood and personality of your space. It used to be the only option for lighting your outdoor space was Christmas lights but now you can get really creative with unique lanterns, string lights, Edison lights and more. It’s an easy way to make a big difference. -Angela, VP of Marketing

A few ideas I would love to incorporate include using a bar cart as a cute and convenient way to have beverages and snacks at arm’s reach. Additionally, hanging art on fences and in outdoor seating areas can really bring color outside and tie the space together. -Amanda, Online Marketing Specialist

Don’t Forget About The Pool

The most important component of a luxurious, comfortable back yard is a sparkling pool! I love looking out my back window to see a clean, inviting pool. Pool Scouts can help, whether it is answering your pool maintenance questions or showing up on time to get and keep your pool swim-ready all summer long. Have fun decorating your outdoor space and we look forward to helping you keep your pool pristine.

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Salt or no Salt? That is the Question.

Salt System Benefits

The average age of a pool in the United States is 21 years old, no that does not mean we should fill them up with beer, but it does mean that many pools are in need of an equipment upgrade.  Typically, there are two types of pool: chlorine and salt water. Traditional chlorine systems use chlorine in either tablets or through auto-chlorination to sanitize the water in your pool.  Pool owners with chlorine systems understand they have to store and handle chlorine, a hazardous chemical at their homes. But what about salt water pools?

 So what is a Salt Water system and how does it differ from these traditional chlorine systems?
salt system pools and pool scouts
Salt water pool systems actually still use chlorine as the sanitizer to keep algae away but they do it differently.  What happens in a salt water system is that chlorine is not added externally by you but rather is generated by a salt cell which converts the salt into chlorine through a process called chemical electrolysis.  This process means chlorine levels are generally lower and the water is less drying to the skin.

Additional benefits include easier maintenance, and generally less chemical required. Salt does not dissolve out of water, so you only need to add salt when there is heavy rain causing dilution or water is being splashed out of the pool and requires refilling and again dilution.  Adding salt, which comes in 40 pound bags that cost about 10 dollars each, is simple and once the pool is balanced should not be needed often in comparison to a manually chlorinated pool where the pH balance need to be constantly monitored and alerted.

But how does the water feel to me and my children?

Salt water pools traditionally have less chlorine in the water which can be easier on the eyes and less drying to the skin. Because of lower and more regulated chlorine levels, the odor of a salt water pool is less prominent than that of a traditional manually chlorinated pool.

What about pool coststhe cost?

The addition of a salt cell includes a control panel.  Both items require electricity and professional installation.  The cost to convert a traditional 25,000 gallon pool to a salt system (not converting the filtration system) can run between $400.00 to $2,000.00.  If you don not have a control panel already, expect cost to be on the higher end.  The labor to install a system should run between $300.00 to $500.00 dollars depending on the plumbing and electrical needs. Ongoing maintenance and chemical use, as mentioned earlier, are usually cheaper with a Salt System.  The one drawback of a Salt System is that the salt cell typically needs to be replaced every 3-5 years and the cost to replace the cell is between $200.00-$700.00.

Ask yourself a few questions when making the conversion decision:

  1. How long am I going to be in my house?
  2. How much time do I spend on my pool and how much money do I spend on chemicals?
  3. Do I want to store chlorine in my garage or shed?

Do I need to change my filtration system if I convert?  Pool Scout cleaning

Salt water systems work with DE, Sand and cartridge filtration systems so there should not be a need to change the system.  That said, it is a great time to clean your filter, change the media, and tighten things up when you go through this process.  Your pool professional can take care of this work and you will appreciate having it done and starting with a clean slate.

Don’t forget to call Pool Scouts for your openings, cleanings, maintenance and repairs!

 

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.

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