4 Tips For Getting Your Yard Labor Day Weekend Ready

People playing volleyball in the pool

While for the most part things are back to normal, many are wondering what’s acceptable with recent increases in COVID-19 cases again. Make sure to keep an eye on CDC guidelines when planning your Labor Day Weekend plans.  Whether you’re comfortable hosting a small gathering in your yard or laying low with just the family, here are some tips to help you have the perfect Labor Day backyard shindig to celebrate the start of school, and cooler days ahead.

Revamp Your Patio

As the central backyard hangout spot, your patio may have some wear and tear from using it all summer and enduring frequent summer storms. Here are a few checklist items to get your patio shining and entertaining-ready.

Fire pit in beautiful backyard with clean pool

  • Sweep and wash the patio. You can use a simple mixture of warm water and soap to get that patio sparkling.
  • Wipe down surfaces, including tables and chairs. Spiderwebs and other grime will build up if left unattended, so taking care of this before the weekend will give your sitting area a fresh look.
  • Wash furniture cushions with a mild soap and clean water. Make sure to let cushions dry before putting them back to avoid mildew.
  • Put out fresh candles, string lights, pillows for a pop of color, or plants to provide the party ambience of your liking.

Have a Few Activities Ready to Go

  • Put out corn hole, ladder golf, or bocce ball so that people can have options for activities. In the pool, you can have a volleyball net or a basketball hoop set up. If you don’t have those, people always love a good game of Sharks and Minnows or Marco Polo!
  • Make a Labor Day Weekend playlist. Good music adds an additional level of energy to any party.
  • If your party is going into the evening, set up an outdoor movie screen for people to enjoy a classic film. Throw a white sheet over a rope and shine a projector at it for easy viewing. You can

For more fun backyard activity ideas, check out this list from Country Living.

Gas up the Grill

Grilling is a Labor Day must, so make sure to get gas in the grill and dust off the old Kiss the Cook apron ahead of time. Aside from the delicious food that comes with this backyard party favorite, it’s a great activity that you can socialize during, and also while keeping an eye on kids in the pool. You can go for fan favorites such as hotdog and hamburgers, or get adventurous by trying your hand at street corn or grilled steak tacos.

Make Sure Your Pool is Swim-Ready

As a focal point of Labor Day festivities, make sure your pool is clean and ready for swimming! If you don’t want to take on the daunting task of getting your pool crystal clear with all of the other prep of a Labor Day shindig, then give Pool Scouts a call! Pool Scouts will make sure your swimming pool is ready for some Sharks and Minnows!

These tips will make sure your backyard is the place to be this Labor Day. Happy hosting!


Spring Cleaning Your Home, Inside and Out

Patio Furniture under Gazebo - Spring Cleaning Your Home, Inside and Out

Spring is here! And that means it’s time to kick it into high gear to get your home and your yard fresh and clean. 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. Spring cleaning can seem overwhelming, so if you don’t know where to begin, we’ve put together some quick and easy areas of focus, complete with tips and tricks for freshening up your outdoor and indoor spaces!

Easy Steps to a Cleaner Yard

  • Pool technician kneeling next to clean poolGet Your Pool Swim Ready:  If you have a pool, make sure it’s ready for warmer temps! If you closed your pool, open it early. If pool care is not your forte, leave it to the experts. Find your local Pool Scouts and give them a call today! Make sure to take care of all your pool care needs early this year. With the delay in shipping of supplies and chemicals this year due to COVID-19, it’s best to avoid the backup by getting your pool ready before the mad rush. Not to mention, you’ll get to enjoy swim season a little longer!
  • Clean Out the Shed and Garage: After the winter season, it’s amazing what 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. If you have a pool, this is also a good time to go through all the pool toys and throw away any that are damaged. There’s always at least one pool float that isn’t able to withstand the shed all winter.
  • Get Ready for Grilling Season: With spring weather comes grilling season. 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 and ready for grilling all season long. 
  • Patio furniture that's been cleanedFreshen Up Your Patio Furniture: With warm weather 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! Your patio furniture will look good as new! And as a bonus, add string lights to complete your patio ambiance.
  • Update Your 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. Here’s a handy list of what to plant in your garden in early spring, and best times to harvest.
  • Doormats: Freshen up those doormats by hosing off and air drying the ones that sit outside. Give your inside doormats a good vacuum treatment. Pro tip: to trap more dirt coming from outside, use two mats – one outside the door and one just on the inside.

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home

  • Marie Kondo Your 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 to make sure you’re cleaning them the proper way.
  • Deep Clean the 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 to leave your sink smelling fresh. Bye-bye funky smells!
  • Fridge Clean-out: 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 can clean your oven too!
  Following these 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!

Will a Pool Increase the Value of Your Rental Property?

Swimming pool in backyard

Owners of rental properties are always on the lookout for that extra feature to give their property an edge in today’s fiercely competitive rental market. And when all landlords are doing the usual upgrades, like repainting and landscaping, some property owners may be forced to contemplate unusual property upgrades. One idea to consider is adding a swimming pool to your rental property.

But is it really a good idea to add a swimming pool to a rental property? Is there any guarantee that this upgrade will improve the value of the property and lead to higher quality tenants?

The idea of having a water feature within the premises sounds nice to both the landlord and tenants. Adding a swimming pool can be a huge attraction if properly done. However, unlike some other property upgrades, swimming pools require a ton of maintenance. Rule number 1: it is far better for the home to have no pool at all than to have one that is not properly managed.

Pink swimming pool float in clear pool on sunny day

Before installing a pool on your property, there are several things to think about. A swimming pool can have serious implications for the health and safety of the people on the property. It can also significantly inflate the maintenance cost of the rental. And it will complicate the landlord’s insurance policy due to the increased possibility of personal liability.

Before implementing a swimming pool in your rental property, you must fully understand the pros and cons of the decision. Here are some things to think about when asking whether or not a swimming pool will be a good addition to your rental home!

Pros of adding a pool to your rental

Pool lounge chairs and umbrella next to pool

A swimming pool will make your rental feel more luxurious, increase its level of comfort, and attract tenants who can pay higher rents. Some specific benefits you can derive from these additions are:

  • Happier tenants: A swimming pool definitely makes tenants happier because it provides a place where they can relax. Happier tenants treat your property better and will usually have a better relationship with one another and the landlord – win, win! Swimming pools also serve as a communal meeting place and tenants who are used to having this facility will find it hard to move away from the home. Thus, tenants are more likely to stay in your rental long-term.
  • Higher rents: A swimming pool means luxury and additional comfort. But these extra benefits come at a cost; landlords have to maintain the pools and recoup the cost of building it. Tenants who want to live in a rental property with a pool recognize this and are prepared to pay higher rents for this additional comfort. Thus, as Lonnie Bush Management points out, a rental property with a swimming pool often attracts higher quality tenants who are able to pay the higher rents that the property owner ultimately will need to charge.
  • Better ambiance and improved tenant health: Any type of water feature makes a property more alluring. And when that feature is a swimming pool, it is doubly attractive! Additionally, the proximity of the pool will make it easier for tenants to use the facility regularly. This results in tenants who are in overall healthier, from both a physical and emotional perspective. When tenants feel this way, the rental becomes a proxy home to them and in turn, the landlord’s rental business enjoys more stability.

Cons of adding a pool to your rental

Clean swimming pool in a beautiful, bright backyard

  • Swimming pools come with increased liability: The number one reason not to add a swimming pool to your rental property is because of the increased possibility of legal claims against you. Along with the potential of drowning, there is a constant risk of injuries from slips and falls.

Tenants, visitors, pets, and strangers who enter the premises are all at risk. Insurance companies recognize this threat and for that reason charge exorbitant premiums for rental properties with a swimming pool.

  • Pool maintenance is costly: Maintaining a swimming pool is a lot of work and can cost hundreds of dollars every month. To keep the water clean and safe, there is a need to filter it, add pool chemicals, and change the water regularly. That’s why it’s important to employ professionals like Pool Scouts to do the work.

This investment in maintenance is in addition to money spent on heating and keeping pool walls, floor, equipment, and surrounding areas in good shape. A pool that is not properly maintained will quickly become an eyesore. Instead of attracting people, it will put them off. Nobody wants that!

  • A pool is a financial risk: Spending $20,000-$30,000 to install a pool in your rental is a huge risk since you do not know if and when you will recoup the cost. This is especially pertinent as the swimming pool (and associated higher rents) naturally shrinks the number of prospective tenants you can market your property to.

Some tenants do not want to live in a home with a pool, even if they can afford it. And others are simply unable to afford the higher rents you will charge. This means that a swimming pool restricts you to a narrower segment of the market.

So, will a pool increase the value of your rental property? The answer depends on your marketing of the property and planned maintenance of the pool. Do you have enough space for such an addition? Are you prepared for the associated risks and costs that come with building and maintaining a swimming pool? Hopefully this article will help you make that decision. And for all of your pool care and maintenance needs, be sure to call Pool Scouts at 844-775-2742.


Incorporate the Pool When Kids go Back to School

LIttle kids jumping in a pool

While summer has come to a close and the children are back to school, the weather remains warm and virtual learners remain in the house. Swimming pools are a great way to provide entertainment for the kids when not in class. They can also be incorporated into school to make learning fun, or to encourage kids to take much needed screen breaks. Here are some fun and easy ways to incorporate your pool into the daily virtual learning schedule.

4 Ways to Incorporate Your Pool into Virtual Learning

  1. Home School P.E. There are plenty of ways to exercise in the pool, including swimming laps, kicking with a kickboard, water aerobics, and obstacle courses to name a few. To create an obstacle course, use whatever objects you have around the house, such as hula hoops, beach balls and swim noodles, that you can use as challenges both in and out of the pool. You can change it up to be as easy or difficult as needed depending on the racer’s skill sets. Water basketball is another great way to use the pool for fun physical education.
  2. Screen Breaks. During the day it is important for kids to take breaks from the computer screen and get some fresh air. What better way to give their brain a break than to go outside and lounge by the pool or to take a quick dip? The pool also provides a serene background for yoga and breathing exercises to calm the mind and help focus.
  3.  Learning Games. Pool games are not only fun, they can also be used as a learning tool for your children. There are several fun games you can play with your kids to help reinforce the lessons they are learning in school. For example, you can do a coin toss where you throw different coins to the bottom of the pool and have your child dive down for the coins. Once they’ve collected all the coins in the pool, they count how much they are worth. Interested in more games, including ones to help learn sight words? Click here to find eight more learning games to play.
  4. Two adults lounging in the pool on floats and smilingParent “Me Time.”Let’s face it, having the children learning at home adds another level of stress for parents in charge of the kids. There are moments when you need to step away and relax. Once the kids are settled into their live online courses, take a moment for yourself. Grab your favorite book or a blanket and curl up in a lounge chair by the pool. You will go back inside recharged and ready to deal with the next set of obstacles that comes your way.
To ensure you’re taking full advantage of your pool, let Pool Scouts take care of cleaning and maintaining it for you. You should be focused on enjoying your pool, not cleaning it. Especially with all the busyness that comes with getting the kids back in the school groove. Give Pool Scouts a call at 844-775-2742 so you can get back to swimming!

Top 5 Ways to Relax By The Pool

Woman reading by the pool and relaxing

Summer is in full swing, and with COVID-19 cases still on the rise across the country, it looks like our time at home won’t be decreasing any time soon. While this isn’t how you might have hoped to spend your summer, there are plenty of ways to come up with fun ideas for activities at home. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy your home, one of the easiest ways to kick back and relax is to take advantage of your backyard, starting with your pool. Read these easy tips on how to get ultimate relaxation right from your backyard!

5 Easy Ways to Relax by the Pool

  1. Make sure to keep a refreshing beverage with you at all times. No matter how cool your pool is, the summer heat will have you fading fast if you don’t keep a thirst quencher nearby at all times. Bring a cooler with a few waters to keep poolside so you don’t have to keep making trips into the house. And if you want to throw in a hard seltzer or a wine cooler for good measure, by all means do so!
  2. Four pool floats in a clear blue swimming poolKeep a few floats on hand. Finding the perfect float can be difficult, and when you’ve finally found the perfect one, it’s often unexpectedly carried away by the wind in a storm or popped by a rowdy kid. That’s why it’s important to do your research and keep a spare float or two tucked away. Things to take into consideration when finding the perfect float: how much you want to be submerged in the pool vs. out of the pool? Do you want a soft or firm float? There’s all the extra bells and whistles to think about too (drink holder, speaker, dry area for your phone, etc). Once you’ve decided on your float necessities, you can make sure you have the ultimate relaxation float on hand at all times.
  3. Have pool snacks nearby at all times. Ideally, snacks won’t be messy or in a container that will blow away in the wind. Here’s a list of easy recipes for easy poolside snacking, including snacks such as trail mixes and granola bars. Having simple, grabbable foods that you can leave out nearby will also be a great way to keep the kids occupied so you can get back to relaxing.
  4. Invest in comfy outdoor chairs. If you’re committed to having a relaxing day by the pool, you’ll need to invest in comfortable pool chairs. This is where you’ll be spending most of your time, so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable.
  5. Create a relaxing poolside playlist. Whether your preference is simple steel drums in the background, or a hot country countdown playlist, having background music that makes you feel like you’re on vacation is key. Online streaming services like Amazon Music or Spotify have some great options for poolside playlists to set the mood. Close your eyes, relax, and transport yourself from your backyard to that Caribbean beach you’ve been dreaming about!

To ensure you’re taking full advantage of your pool for relaxation, let Pool Scouts take care of cleaning and maintaining your pool. You should be focusing on enjoying your pool, not cleaning it. Give Pool Scouts a call at 844-775-2742 so you can get back to relaxing!


10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Pool & Yard

Clean and neat backyard with pool and pool chairs

Like everyone else, the coronavirus quarantine has us spending most of our time at home these days. While that sounds a bit daunting and restrictive at first, a small change in perspective turns this situation into a great opportunity for cleaning and organizing our outdoor spaces. Not to mention it’s spring, and with that comes a new beginning, a fresh start, a time to prep things for the coming months of sunshine and fresh air.

We get it, cleaning your backyard after a long winter, when the future is uncertain can feel overwhelming. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for spring cleaning both your pool and your yard. Because if the coronavirus is good for anything, it’s good for getting us outside on the daily.

10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Pool and Yard

1. Start small and de-grease your grill.

Remove the grill grates and the flame shield (if you have one). Using warm soapy water and a wire brush, brush the grates, the flame shield and the inside of your grill. Rinse everything with clean water and dry with a cloth. Heat the grill for at least 10 minutes to burn off any additional grime or soap scum.

2. Clean patio furniture.

Wash metal and plastic furniture with warm soapy water, and rinse with a hose. Vacuum wicker or rattan furniture to remove loose dirt and pollen from the crevices and then wipe it down with a soft cloth, dipped in warm soapy water. Let all furniture dry completely in the sun.

3. Wash deck surfaces.

Unattended items left on a deck for an extended period of time trap moisture and allow mold to grow. To remove mildew stains, mix 2 cups of liquid chlorine bleach and 2 1/2 tablespoons of powdered laundry detergent into 1 1/2 quarts of warm water. Saturate the area with the solution and allow it to set for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub the stains with a stiff broom and rinse thoroughly.

4. Remove stains on your patio.

After moving everything off of your patio, sweep away debris and hose it down. Mix together 1 cup baking soda and 2 cups distilled white vinegar. Spread this solution over your concrete patio with a mop. Let it sit for 30 minutes and use a nylon-bristled scrub brush to scrub it clean.

5. Clear out flower beds and pots to give your flowers room to grow.

Rake fallen leaves, dig up dead plants and shovel out last year’s mulch.

6. Straighten up your lawn.

Remove all twigs and branches, clean up pet messes and rake up dead leaves. Be sure to rake when the soil is dry, as raking when it’s wet can tear out healthy grass.

7. Re-seed bare patches.

If pet messes, heavy traffic or harsh weather have left you with bare spots in your grass, sprinkle each patch with a combination of soil, grass seed and fertilizer. Keep the dirt moist until the seeds sprout into grass.

8. Prune your trees, shrubs and perennials.

Snip ornamental grasses as close to the ground as possible. Cut back perennials to about four inches tall. Prune injured foliage on evergreens. Remove dead and crowded stems from flowering trees and shape them however you’d like.

9. Open your pool.

If you have a pool and don’t know how to properly open it, or are unsure if buying pool chemicals falls within the rules of a quarantine, call your local Pool Scouts and schedule an opening. They’re operating business as usual and taking extra precautions to keep both you and your pool safe and healthy.

10. Organize your shed and garage.

Throw away old and broken tools, install shelves for your gardening supplies and donate the holiday decorations you no longer use. Organizing these spaces will leave you feeling 10 pounds lighter and set you up for endless hours of relaxing outside.

Sure, the uncertainty of this quarantine is stressful, but who says you can’t make the most of it? And if prepping your pool and yard for better times ahead isn’t making the most of it, then we don’t know what is. Need your pool opened now? Call us today at 844-775-2742, and we’ll make it cannonball-ready.


How to Enjoy Your Pool During Social Distancing

Family playing in their backyard swimming pool

While spring and summer may look a little different than normal, it’s still important to get outside! Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean that your backyard activities have to take a hit. After all, the CDC has explained that coronavirus, or COVID-19, is not spread through pools or hot tubs as long as they are properly maintained and disinfected. (More on that here.)

Little girl relaxing in a pool float in the swimming poolWith all the benefits that Vitamin D brings to your body and immune system, we’d argue that soaking up sunshine and fresh air is more important now than ever.  Not to mention, swimming is a great form of exercise to support cardiovascular health. Going outside for pool time can also help manage some of the stress and uncertainty during this time and support your mental health in addition to your physical health.

Pool Activities for the Whole Family

We’ve come up with a few fun pool games to share with you and your family. Need more ideas? Here’s a list of 40 pool games to continue the family bonding.

  • Create an obstacle course race involving your pool. This can include as many or as little objects as you’d like and can be changed up to be easy or difficult depending on the racer’s skill sets. Have teams race to the tree in the backyard, then hula hoop for 10 seconds (if you drop it, you have to start the hula hooping over). Once you complete the hula hoop challenge, walk to the pool and jump in, grab a pool noodle and swim from one end of the pool to the other. Whoever finishes first is the winner and gets to come up with the next obstacle course.
  • Boat Racing. For this activity, you can choose teams or play individually. Each team or person has 30 minutes to create a boat made of whatever supplies you have lying around the house (cardboard, colored paper, markers, etc). Make sure to name your boat! Once the time is up, teams will put their boats in the pool, and the one that stays afloat longest wins!
  • Diving board contest. You can get as creative as you’d like with this one. Have contestants compete by jumping off the diving board one at a time with whatever jump the “judge” comes up with. It could be biggest splash, best belly flop, most creative dive, etc.
  • The Invisible Bottle Game. For this game, you’ll split up into two teams and fill an empty clear 2-liter bottle (or water bottle) with pool water. Both teams will face away from the pool, while one person throws the bottle into the pool. When they hear the splash, they can turn around and try to find the clear bottle. Whoever finds it first is the winner.

These are just a few ideas of games to get you started, but pool time really opens up the door to get creative. We encourage you to think outside the box and invent games of your own. The sillier the better! During a difficult time like this, it’s important to stay positive, keep moving and lean on loved ones. Pool games are a sure fire way to take your mind off of current health concerns and focus on fun.

If you have concerns or questions around what’s safe in regards to your pool, we’ve put together a page that answers some of your questions, as well as sharing the benefits of utilizing your pool.


Pool Openings 101

Swimming pool in summer

For pool owners across the country, rising temperatures means summertime and getting the pool ready! This task jumps to the top of the to do list every spring! While many in the southern, warmer areas of the country don’t have to worry about pool opening service, the majority of pool owners debate when and how to get their pool open and ready in a timely manner.

Get Your Pool Opening on the Books

It never fails that as soon as there is an unusually warm weekend in April, everyone wants their pool open immediately. You can imagine how difficult that can be to manage for any pool service business, so be sure to call and schedule your pool opening early! There is no harm in opening your pool a few weeks early, and wouldn’t you rather have your pool open and ready for the heat than sweating out that first heat wave without a backyard oasis to dive into? So pick up the phone now and get it on the books for when you want it to happen. Scheduling early means you get your preferred date on the schedule and peace of mind to boot.

The Opening Breakdown

Whether you decide to open your pool yourself or leave it to the professionals, there is a standard practice and procedure for opening your pool. So, let’s get to it:

  1. First things first, that cover needs to come off. This is where things can get interesting. The earlier you open your pool and beat the heat, the better your pool will look when the cover comes off and the easier it will be to get it ready for swimmers! But the longer you wait, the more opportunity the algae has to feed and reproduce, creating a beautiful swamp! That means extra time and steps to get your pool clean and clear.
  2. Get with the flow. Next you want to remove any return plugs and replace filter plugs that were removed to drain the lines.
  3. It’s time to declutter! Any debris needs to be removed from your pool. That might mean scooping if there is an excess or vacuuming if your pool cover did its job. Take your time to remove as much debris as possible, as this will make getting the water clear that much easier.
  4. Let the magic happen. So now that we’ve removed the cover, prepped the lines to start moving water, and removed most of the debris, we can test the water. Testing the water will determine the next steps in the process, and this is really where experience comes in to play. To get the pool water crystal clear, several products and steps might be required to get the pool swim-ready.
  5. Maintenance is key. Once you get your pool cannonball ready, it is important to take steps to keep it that way. Unless your pool is serviced weekly, it is important to empty skimmer baskets, manage pump schedule based on temperatures and if your pool starts to turn green, catch it early and treat as soon as possible!

Opening Isn’t for the Faint of Heart

Opening a pool takes a lot of hard work. In addition to the heavy lifting, it can be a dirty job dealing with pounds of debris and even critters who’ve taken up residence in the murky waters.

While many decide to open their pools by themselves, pool professionals can make the process more efficient and set your pool up for summer success. Pool Scouts has a 10 point check list they complete when opening a pool, and while it may be frustrating that it can take more than one visit, this is to ensure a well-balanced, clear pool for the duration of the summer vacation! Give us a call today at 844-775-2742 to schedule your pool opening and make sure you’re ready for summer.


When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go! Tips on how to clean your pool after an accident

Pool Scouts Pool Accident Blog

As the old adage goes, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go! And for those of us who are old enough to remember Caddyshack, we know the impact that “doody” can have on your pool and pool goers – cue the screaming and yelling children (and moms) at the country club pool.

But even when talking about residential pools, pool owners need to be aware of how to properly sanitize their own pools. As any parent who has taken their toddler swimming will tell you, you are holding your breath the entire time, hoping they don’t get the urge to go! But as we know, it can happen.

Pool Is Now Closed

So, what do you do? First, don’t panic, but do get everyone out of the pool! The pool is now closed. Follow the steps below to get your pool sanitized and swim-ready as quickly as possible:

  1. Close the pool to swimmers until the disinfection process is completed.
  2. Remove as much fecal matter as possible. Scoop with net. By all means, DO NOT VACUUM.
  3. Clean and disinfect the item used to remove the fecal matter by leaving it in the pool while you sanitize the water.
  4. Maintain proper pH of 7.5 or less.
  5. Solid Poop: A 15,000 gallon pool will require roughly 1/2 gallon liquid chlorine or 9oz Granular Shock (Calcium Hypochlorite). Must maintain 3.0 ppm free chlorine for minimum 19 minutes.
  6. Diarrhea Exposure: A 15,000 gallon pool will require roughly 3 gallons liquid chlorine or 4 lbs. Granular Shock (Calcium Hypochlorite). Must maintain 20.0 ppm free chlorine for minimum 28 hours. Test water frequently and add more of above if needed during this period.
  7. Confirm filtration system is operating during the process. Test and maintain proper pH and Chlorine Levels.
  8. Re-open the pool for swimmers once Chlorine and pH are back to normal operating levels. Typically 1-2 hours.

Things to Keep On Hand

Here are a few items to have on hand in case you’re ever faced with a stinky situation:

  • Up to date test kit
  • Shock (Calcium Hypochlorite) 65% or higher from reputable pool store
  • Pool net to remove fecal matter

By all means, a fecal pool accident is not the most pleasant part of being a pool owner, but is it a reality! Not to worry. If you have any questions or find yourself dealing with the “doody” and not sure what to do, be sure to call your local Pool Scouts for help! We’re not afraid of a little dirty work. Check out more tips from a Pool Scouts rep here.


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.
  • Ready.gov 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.