Top Pool Tips for Snowbirds

Older couple splashing along the edge of a pool and smiling

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?

Back view of Elderly couple lying by pool at hotel resortYou 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!


Pool Safety Extends to the Technical Side of Pool Care

Pool Safety Extends to the Technical Side of Pool Care

May is water safety month. Last week we talked a lot about swimmer safety, which is of the utmost importance, but there is another side of pool safety that extends to the care and maintenance of the pool itself. Keeping your pool clean, healthy and swim-ready takes time, tools, and chemicals. In a world where organic reigns king it is sometimes tough to think about allowing your kids swim in a pool full of chemicals, but when properly maintained and balanced pool water is perfectly safe. Handling and working with pool chemicals and equipment takes a certain level of care and expertise. There are hidden dangers that can injure or create health concerns for inexperienced pool owners. Gizmo, our Pool Scouts mascot and this month safety scout is here to talk more about the details. Gizmo’s Guidance on the Technical Side of Pool Care:Scuba Pup There are several aspects of pool maintenance that can present risks. The following are some of the substances and situations to consider when caring for your pool:
  • Muriatic acid
  • Chlorine
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Main drain suction
  • Vacuum ports
  • Exposed wires and GFCI outlets
You may be familiar with some of these items listed but others you may not be aware of the risks. So let’s break it down. Muriatic Acid. Muriatic acid is highly corrosive and can cause problem when it comes in contact with the skin or is inhaled. It is important to wear glove and safety goggles with handling the substance. Only work with muriatic acid in a well ventilated area and do not mix it with other chemicals without reading the label; it may be explosive! The good news is, once diluted, like in a pool, the substance is safe. Chlorine. Chlorine is a powerful disinfectant and bleaching agent that can present a number of hazards. Chlorine is most hazardous when fumes are inhaled or if the substance gets into your eyes, mouth or throat.  Similar to muriatic acid, it is always a good idea to where protective wear, eye glasses and a mask, when working with chlorine. Also, be mindful of how you store chlorine. Always make sure the storage area is well ventilated, that the substance isn’t located next to a direct heat source, and that the container cannot tip over. When cleaning with chlorine, be sure to read the label first, as it can react to other substances. For example, chlorine mixed with ammonia can create a violent reaction.  Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous earth is another chemical used aid filtration in your pool, and while it is one of the least aggressive substances used, when inhaled in large amounts it can cause long-term lung problems. When handling DE you should always wear a mask to protect your respiratory system. Main Drain Suction. While the main drain doesn’t impact someone caring for your pool,it would be remiss of us not to talk about the safety concerns with the drain system in your pool. The main drain, typically at the deepest point of your pool, runs suction that helps to keep your pool clean. In the event that a swimmer lies on top of or sits on the cover of the main drain and covers it completely, their body could become stuck and they might not be able to get to the surface because the suction is too strong. One incident sited that four men were unable to release a young girl from the pull of the drain. Very scary stuff. The good news is that they have developed drain covers that prevent someone from completely covering the drain and getting stuck. Additionally, the Pool And Spa Safety Act has guidelines that require pool professionals to alert pool owners of outdated covers and update them immediately. As a pool owner, it is important that you make sure you have an updated drain cover, keep scissors by the pool to release clothing or hair that may get caught in the system and if someone should get trapped, pull on one side of their body at a time to release the suction. Vacuum Ports. Vacuum ports in the pool system can also be hazardous. These can be located in your  skimmer basket but also on the wall of your pool. The port located on the wall can present a similar risk for entrapment to that of the main drain suction. Breathe a sigh of relief, because this can be easily rectified by fitting the port with a safety latched cover. Simply remove the old fitting by unscrewing it and and thread the new one onto the port. DONE. GFI Outlets and Exposed Wires. Pool systems run on electricity, and because the pool area is a place of entertainment, there can be outlet near by. It is incredibly important that all outlet by the pool are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets. GFCI outlets trip and cut power when the line is exposed to water. Similarly, when completing repairs to the pool system, it is important to cut power and make sure all wires are properly insulated and in good shape to avoid any risk of electrocution. Pools are a place of fun and relaxation but their are risks involve in owning and maintaining a pool. The best defense is education and knowledge. I hope we’ve provided you with some background on keeping your pool safe. Pool Scouts technicians are trained on handling all these situations and keeping your pool water clear and healthy and your pool area a safe place to be. Take a moment to ensure your pool and surrounding area are up to date and get out there and enjoy that pool! Pool Scouts is a pool service company offering recurring, single service, opening, closing and minor pool repair service.         

A Healthy Pool Means Healthy Swimming

A Healthy Pool Means Healthy Swimming

As pool owners, we’ve all experienced the green or foggy pool. Who knows what’s lurking on the bottom?  I certainly don’t want to be the one to find out!  Beyond the beauty of a sparkling pool, there are also health concerns when pools aren’t maintained properly.  So get your No. 2 pencil and notepad ready; here’s a quick lesson in what makes a healthy pool.

4 Tips To keep Your Pool Healthy

  1. There is more than meets the eye. Everyone loves to have a sparkling, clear pool. A pool ready for cannonballs and one that’s pretty to look at, but there is more than meets the eye.  Contaminated water can look clear, but still pose the risk of getting you sick. Red eyes and itchy skin aren’t necessarily indicative of too much chlorine. Contrary to what you might think, your pool might actually need more chlorine. Figuring out the chemical balance of your pool can be complex and technical, which is where professional services from our Pool Scouts come in handy! Pool Scouts technicians complete an extensive training program to ensure proper handling of chemicals and treatment of pools, allowing you to kick back and enjoy.
  2. Ah, the clean, fresh smell of…chlorine? The truth is that chlorine shouldn’t have an odor. Hard to believe, right? That “chlorine” smell comes from a mixture of chlorine and contaminants reacting with one another on the surface of your pool. A pool that is well maintained and cared for has little to no odor because the contaminants are nowhere to be found. At Pool Scouts, we use the latest technology in water testing called the WaterLink Spin System. Gone are the days of test tubes and droplets, this technical system provides results in 60 seconds and removes any guess work to ensure accurately balanced water.
  3. Water aerobics starting in 5 minutes! Exercising in the pool is a great workout, whether you’re doing a group exercise class or a few laps. But the truth is, breathing in the chemicals from an unbalanced pool can be harmful. Both the chemicals and the contaminants that aren’t eliminated by proper maintenance can be detrimental. In addition to high-tech water testing, Pool Scouts uses the best vacuum in the industry. Rightfully so, it’s called the Hammer Head! The Hammer Head is a self-contained pool vacuum that has never met a pool it couldn’t clean. And a clean pool is the first step to a healthy pool!
  4. Bottom line, take care of that pool! Pool ownership has so many benefits.  Among them are relaxation, fun, exercise, beauty and ambiance. But it does take a bit of work.

Our Pool Scouts Are Here To Help!

Pool Scouts certified technicians can help! For each and every service visit, our technicians walk through a series of checklists to ensure a thorough cleaning:

  • Remove the cover and prepare for storage (this includes cleaning the cover).
  • Remove plugs and prep pool lines.
  • Blow off pool deck area and equipment pad.
  • Examine pool shell for any visible damage, cracks, or tears.
  • Re-install and examine skimmer baskets.
  • Re-install and examine deck equipment (ladders, handrails, etc.).
  • Brush and clean waterline tile.
  • Remove all leaves and debris from the pool.
  • Start and prime the pool pump.
  • Inspect the filtration system.
  • Vacuum the pool.
  • Fill pool water to the appropriate level.
  • Balance pool water chemistry.

Check out our service plans to keep your pool healthy so you can get back to spending time enjoying it with family and friends!