How to Make your Swimming Pool Comfortable for Guests

People who own their own swimming pools are usually natural hosts. Having a swimming pool at home is fun and energizing, and even more fun when you can share it with family and friends. 

If you’re a swimmer and also a homebody, chances are that you love when friends stop by to use the pool. But sometimes, when people stop by unannounced or unexpectedly, they may not have everything they need to feel comfortable jumping into the pool. 

By having a few essential items on hand for your guests, you’ll be likely to spend more time in the pool, enjoy more time with friends, and have repeat visitors who know they can be comfortable in your home. Check out these tips for making your home more comfortable for guests who have come over for a swim. 

Have spare towels on hand 

If you own a swimming pool, parties can happen spontaneously. Friends and family who visit your home may be drawn to the pool, even if swimming wasn’t originally on the agenda. Having plenty of spare towels on hand is the perfect way to make sure guests are comfortable at all times. 

When swimmers don’t need to worry about staying warm or feel self-conscious as they dry off, they are much more likely to dive in. Be sure to grab towels whenever they are on sale, and hang on to old towels as backups for swimming guests. 

Have flip flops to spare 

Anyone who doesn’t own their own pool may show up at your home without everything they need to swim. If your friends have come with shoes and socks, offering flip flops is a great way to make them feel more comfortable and at home (and to spare them from getting grass and dirt stuck to their feet). 

Flip flops are a very inexpensive way to make your guests feel more comfortable and at home. If you stock up on flip flops when they are on sale, you can also avoid having guests trail excessive dirt into your swimming pool. 

Long-haired friends need hair-elastics 

Most people with very long hair already carry around their own hair accessories at all times. But, it is never more important to have a hair elastic on hand than when it is time to jump in for a swim. Having spare hair brushes and hair ties on hand will allow friends to swim without ruining their hairstyle or drying out their hair. 

To really go above and beyond, having products that protect hair from sun and chlorine damage will make you a legendary host. 

Have hats and sunglasses for sunny days 

Having hats and sunglasses on hand will help guests to enjoy time out of the pool as well. Make sure that you have plenty of shade-providing hats and UV-blocking sunglasses for your guests to pop on.

With these items on hand, your friends and family will be more comfortable swimming and lounging by the pool. As a bonus, all these spare hats and sunglasses will come in handy if you have kids that enjoy playing dress-up. 

Make your pool as accessible as possible  

It can be easy to forget that for some swimmers, hopping in and out of the pool may not be as easy as it is for you. It may not be possible to make your swimming pool fully accessible, but making a few changes can help to make your pool much more comfortable for some of your guests. 

Wedding cake stairs in inground or onground pools make guests feel much more secure when getting into and out of the pool. This is an excellent addition if you have older family members using the pool. If you have a family member who uses a wheelchair or has severe accessibility needs, you can really go above and beyond to add a ramp or lowering mechanism to your swimming pool. 

Have plenty of sunscreen on hand 

Nothing is worse than an unexpected summer sunburn. If you have a swimming pool, you may often have guests over who aren’t aware of the power of the sun, or who weren’t expecting to swim that day. Having plenty of quality sunscreen on hand will prevent sunburns, and save your guests from having to hide in the shade. 

Having a variety of options for sunscreen is ideal. You can choose sunscreen in vibrant colours for kids to enjoy, have spray-on varieties for convenience, and even have face-specific sunscreens.. Make sure you choose waterproof formulas to protect guests who are hopping in and out of the pool. 

Remind everyone to drink plenty of water 

On a hot summer day, it can be difficult for us to realize that we are getting exhausted or overheated. The ability to jump into the pool to cool off can let us forget about drinking water and the effects of heat. 

If you have guests at the pool this summer, be sure to offer everyone plenty to drink. You’ll be better able to avoid sunstroke or fainting, even if the temperature climbs very high. 

Learn CPR and the basics of pool safety 

If you have a swimming pool at home, safety is always a concern. Plenty of supervision and pool rules are needed to keep swimmers safe. But, if the worst happens, knowing life-saving skills is the best way to protect your loved ones. 

Taking the time to take a course on water safety and CPR could help you to save a life one day. 

Hang on to old bathing suits 

Having extra bathing suits around the house is handy when yours is wet, or when a guest has forgotten to pack their own. Any time that someone leaves a suit at your house, or you’re ready for an upgrade, hang on to your old bathing suit. 

For pool owners, there is really no such thing as “too many” bathing suits. You never know when having a spare will come in handy, especially when kids bring friends over to enjoy the pool. 

Prepping your swimming pool for guests at all times 

Some people just can’t get enough time in the swimming pool and are more than happy to share their pool with family and friends. If you have a home that is comfortable, welcoming, and offers everything that your guests need to enjoy a dip in the pool, you’ll be much more likely to get more out of your pool this summer season. 

Having these basics on hand can help to encourage the kids to hang out outside and make sure they get the exercise they need. If you’re the type who prefers time alone in the pool, avoid these tips (and the phone) and you’ll be able to enjoy more time alone. 

Concrete, Fibreglass or Vinyl? Understanding your Options for an Inground Pools

If you’ve been dreaming of getting your own backyard swimming pool, there are a lot of options to consider. The major decision you’ll need to make is what type of pool you will be enjoying.

Most inground swimming pools are one of three major varieties: concrete, vinyl-lined, or fibreglass. Each material for your inground swimming pool has different positives and negatives. The choice you’ll make will depend on your vision, your budget, and your backyard.

Learn a bit about the options for inground swimming pools to ensure you pick the perfect swimming pool to enjoy summer after summer.

The types of inground swimming pools

Inground pools are a beautiful feature to add to your home. A swimming pool can be the perfect place to enjoy time with friends, bond with family, and entertain during the summer season. Inground swimming pools are usually constructed from concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl-lined pool kits.

The type of pool you choose will be based on your budget, space, and esthetic vision. But, you will also need to speak to a professional about the type of pool you are envisioning, and what you can accomplish in your backyard space. Your chosen professional may have a good reason to encourage you to choose one building material over another based on your personal needs.

Concrete swimming pools

Concrete swimming pools are a wonderful option for anyone who is looking to express creativity in their swimming pool design. Some of the most unique and impressive swimming pools are concrete-based. If you’re looking to move beyond the traditional shape and sizes available for standard inground pools, concrete is the right option for you.

The benefits of concrete swimming pools

If you have a unique design or oddly-shaped backyard, a concrete pool is likely the right choice for you. Concrete pools allow you to create a pool that is sized and shaped according to your vision.

Concrete pools add a level of flexibility of you’re hoping to build a truly unique swimming pool. You can finish a concrete swimming pool with tile, stone, or pebbles to create a truly unique swimming pool design.

The drawbacks of concrete swimming pools

It can be difficult to completely scrub and clean the porous surface of a concrete swimming pool. This can make it particularly difficult to treat algae infestations and stains to your pool surface.

The freedom and flexibility that comes with a concrete pool comes at a price. Concrete pools are much more expensive than vinyl-lined or fibreglass swimming pools. Many people also dislike the rough concrete surface of a swimming pool.

Concrete pools require more planning and installation time than fibreglass or concrete vinyl-lined pools. Every 10 to 15 years, you’ll also need to resurface your pool, making concrete a very expensive option.

Fibreglass swimming pools

Fibreglass pools are made with predesigned moulds and delivered in a single piece. A fibreglass pool resembles a very large bathtub before installation.

Fibreglass pools are a great choice for anyone who is looking for a standard-shaped pool that is easy to install and maintain. There are many flexible options available to compliment your pool design, and families across Canada invest in fibreglass swimming pools each year.

The benefits of fibreglass swimming pools

Fibreglass pools have a very smooth shell and casing that make them easy to clean and treat for algae.

Fibreglass pools are usually sold as one-piece units that make an inground swimming pool fast and easy to install. If you’re hoping to have your pool completed in a hurry, fibreglass may be the right choice.

The drawbacks of fibreglass swimming pools

The design potential for fibreglass pools is somewhat limited. Because these pools are usually delivered in a single piece, the options are usually pre-formed, oval-shaped pools. Anyone who is looking for a design may find fibreglass pools limiting.

As a fibreglass pool ages, it can be much more difficult to repair than a concrete or vinyl pool. If a fibreglass pool suffers a serious crack or damage, expensive repairs or even a full-shell replacement may be required.

Vinyl-lined swimming pools

Vinyl-lined swimming pools are a very popular choice for homeowners looking to install a new swimming pool. These pools are available as kits that come in flexible shapes and sizes. Vinyl kits do require some planning and time to construct, but make a much faster, easier and more affordable option than concrete pools.

Vinyl liners provide a comfortable swimming experience and beautiful look for your pool. If you’re looking for a traditional blue backyard swimming pool, a vinyl-lined pool kit may be an excellent choice for you.

The benefits of vinyl liner pools

Vinyl liners repel algae and bacteria colonies from forming on the surface of your pool. It is still possible to have an algae or pathogen infestation in a vinyl-lined pool. It is much easier to treat and eliminate these problems.

Vinyl lined pools provide a very comfortable swimming experience. If you have small children in the pool, you won’t need to worry about scrapes as you do with a concrete pool.

The drawbacks of vinyl liner pools

Vinyl liners can be prone to damage if they are exposed to sharp objects or not taken care of correctly. Purchasing and installing a new liner can be extremely expensive, and also results in downtime for your pool.

Over time, you’ll need to replace your vinyl liner. If this happens sooner than you might expect, this can be a big blow to your finances.

Choosing the right swimming pool for your space

There are many positives and negatives associated with concrete, fibreglass and vinyl-lined swimming pools. Understanding your options will help you to make a better decision for your inground pool when you begin to consult with your swimming pool professional. If you’re overwhelmed by your options, you’ll be able to make the right choice after learning your options.

Vinyl Liners 101

Vinyl-lined swimming pools are incredibly common in Canada, and across North America. Vinyl pools provide a durable, flexible and comfortable way for your family to enjoy their own pool at home. You have a lot of options when it comes to the materials in your swimming pool, but vinyl has remained a popular choice, particularly for pool owners with small children. 

If you’re looking for a new swimming pool and thinking about your options or hoping to learn a bit more about vinyl pools, you’ve come to the right place. By understanding more about your vinyl pool, you can maintain your liner correctly and save yourself time and frustration each summer season. 

What is vinyl swimming pool liner? 

All swimming pools have a similar design. But, the materials used to make a swimming pool will vary from yard to yard. Some swimming pools simply use the shell of the construction materials – concrete or fiberglass – as the outer surface of your pool. In a vinyl-lined pool, a thick, durable vinyl liner is placed between the pool wall and swimmers. This liner needs to be carefully measured and installed to be sure that all-important elements of the pool are protected and thoroughly coated. 

A vinyl liner created a water-tight seal that protects your pool walls and equipment and leaves you with a comfortable and easy to clean surface in your swimming pool. 

Does every swimming pool require a vinyl liner? 

Not every swimming pool requires a vinyl liner. But, vinyl-lined pools are very popular for homeowners, and all aboveground pools are lined in vinyl. If your swimming pool was manufactured with a vinyl liner, you’ll need to replace it to ensure your pool continues to operate correctly. 

Concrete pools are simply lined with concrete and do not require a liner to be installed for swimming. Pre-formed fiberglass swimming pools are also designed to be used without a vinyl liner in place. 

How much does it cost to replace a vinyl liner? 

Vinyl liners for swimming pools are carefully designed and manufactured to withstand swimming pool chemicals and to protect the structure of your pool. It is more expensive than you might think to replace and install a brand new vinyl liner. But, the cost of vinyl varies a lot from pool to pool. 

The size of your pool, the layout of your backyard, the thickness of the liner you purchase, and requests for patterns will all impact your final price. To make sure you make the right selection, you’ll need to work with a pool professional to find a firm quote and ensure your liner is installed correctly. 

Can I replace my swimming pool liner by myself? 

Replacing a vinyl liner is a very difficult job that requires experience, knowledge, and the right tools to complete correctly. Vinyl liners can be impacted by handling and even the temperature outside. Even the smallest mistakes during installation can lead to warping, stretching and tearing in a new liner. 

Some handy people are able to figure out how to install their vinyl liner correctly, but we do not recommend this approach. More often than not, a DIY liner installation results in disaster. When things go wrong, you’ll need to pay for a new liner, and the cost to have a professional install it correctly. 

How vinyl liners get damaged 

Vinyl liners are designed to last for many years, and are composed of very tough material. But, vinyl liners can be damaged when exposed to sharp objects or imbalanced pool water, especially if these conditions last over time. 

If your pool water is habitually out of balance in terms of chlorine and pH, your liner can become brittle, wrinkled, discolored and weak. This will all make your liner inflexible, meaning it more likely to fit badly, tear, or allow in leaks. A brittle, sagging or ill-fitting liner will need to be replaced much sooner than one that is cared for correctly. 

To prime your liner to last as long as possible, you should be sure to always keep your swimming pool’s alkalinity, chlorine, and pH in balance. You’ll also want to do everything you can to prevent your liner from damage, and to avoid patching it as long as possible.  Keeping pets, kids and sharp objects out of the pool can help you to avoid damage to your liner. 

Repairing your vinyl liner 

Sometimes, your vinyl liner can be damaged from an isolated incident. If you have a small tear in a liner that is otherwise in excellent shape, you may be able to repair your liner, rather than replace it altogether. 

Depending on the scope of the damage, a patch kit or service visit from a professional can help your liner to last a few more years. In some cases, even damage that seems very small can be enough to ruin your liner entirely. If you notice any kind of damage to your swimming pool liner, it is best to have it assessed and repaired immediately. 

Getting the most out of your vinyl liner 

For most swimmers, a vinyl-lined pool is what they are most familiar with when they imagine taking a swim. Vinyl-lined pools are easy to clean, durable and long-lasting. But, replacing a vinyl liner that has been damaged can be very expensive, and doing it more often than you need to can make the cost of owning a pool simply too high. 

Taking care of your vinyl liner will help it to last years longer. With some care and effort, you’ll be able to enjoy a pool that is more attractive, more affordable, and more likely to last for years.  

Swimming Pool Pumps 101

For many people who enjoy swimming, the function of the swimming pool system remains a mystery. But, a swimming pool system is very simple, and your pump provides most of the power. Your swimming pool pump powers circulates the water through your filter and allows all of your equipment and chemicals to function effectively. Understanding how your swimming pool pump works and the way it impacts your swimming pool is an excellent way to avoid issues and extend the life of your pool equipment. Whether you’re in the market for a new swimming pool pump or hoping to better understand how to manage your pool, this pool pump information can make your maintenance less intimidating.

Why do I need a swimming pool pump?

A swimming pool pump is essential for maintaining a clean and safe swimming pool. Stagnant water is very dangerous to swim in. Your swimming pool pump ensures that your swimming pool behaves more like a river than a stagnant pond. Circulating water from your pool pump keeps water flowing, allows your heat and chemicals to circulate, and prevents harmful pathogens from building up in the water.

A swimming pool pump is not just a bonus for your swimming pool. Without a quality swimming pool pump installed, you won’t be able to enjoy a safe and clean swimming pool.

Are there different types of swimming pool pumps?

There are a variety of ways that you can set up your swimming pool equipment. As a result, there is a huge variety of swimming pool pumps available, so you can always be sure that you make the right choice for your pool.

Swimming pool pumps vary based on the size of your pool, the horsepower required, what type of pool you have at home, and the function that you’re looking for in your swimming pool pump. When you select a new swimming pool pump, you’ll need to be sure that your pool pump is sized and powered correctly for your pool.

The horsepower of a swimming pool pump indicates how much water it can circulate over time. It is important that you find a pump that is powerful enough to handle your swimming pool size, or you won’t be able to circulate your water correctly.

You’ll need to choose a pump that matches the needs of your pool. Inground swimming pool pumps work with gravity, as they are usually situated above the waterline of your inground pool. On the other hand, above ground swimming pool pumps work against gravity, pushing water up and back into your swimming pool system.

How long do I need to run my swimming pool pump?

It is essential that you run your swimming pool pump for a minimum of 8 hours a day. If you have a larger swimming pool, you may find that a slightly longer run-time is best for your pool. Some people may run their swimming pool pump up to 12 hours a day to ensure their water is fresh, clean and circulated. But, if you have the right swimming pool pump installed, running your pump for 8 hours a day should be adequate for cleaning your water.

Can I turn off my pump when I go on vacation?

You should never turn off your swimming pool pump for more than a day during summer. A swimming pool that is left to sit stagnantly will quickly attract pests, bacteria, and algae. When closing up the pool for a vacation, many people wonder if they can turn off their pump as a way to save money during their trip. But, turning off your pool pump during a vacation can cause some serious problems for your swimming pool system and water.

If you turn off your pool pump while on vacation, you’ll return to a pool that is dirty, cloudy, and not safe to swim in. If you’re planning to go on vacation, be sure to keep your pump on a timer and have someone maintain your regular treatment schedule.

Maintaining a swimming pool pump

A swimming pool pump will last much longer and provide you with more effective and efficient circulation if you care for it properly. You’ll need to maintain your pump throughout each year for optimal performance.

Winterizing: When you close your pool for winter, you’ll need to ensure that you correctly winterize your pool pump and all of your swimming pool plumbing. Ideally, you should store your swimming pool pump should indoors to avoid any freezing damage.

Seals, gaskets and connections: Maintaining the seals, gaskets, and connections that lead to and from your pool pump is essential. These components ensure your system is water-tight and allows you to maintain the right pressure for your pool pump to function.

Water balance: Water that is out of balance, filled with calcium, or high in chlorine can cause damage to your pump over time. Ensuring the right water balance will ensure that your swimming pool pump lasts much longer.

Energy efficient swimming pool pumps

It is very expensive to operate a swimming pool pump. There are many new energy-efficient swimming pool pumps that can save you a lot of money on your pool operating costs each season. These modern swimming pool pumps give you all of the power and performance of traditional swimming pool pumps at a fraction of the energy usage.

Energy-efficient pumps are an excellent investment for your swimming pool and are truly the best option to invest in. The initial cost for an energy-efficient pump is higher, but what you spend in your pump, you’ll quickly save on your energy bills.

Quality swimming pool pump systems

There are many swimming pool pump models that are available that are simply not good enough to operate your swimming pool. If you’re looking to save money on your pool equipment, you’ve probably heard of low-cost pump options. But, they simply do not provide the function you need for your swimming pool and can cost more in the long run.

Most people who choose an unreliable or inadequate pool pump end up regretting it. Be sure to invest in a quality swimming pool pump that will give you years of efficient and reliable circulation for your pool. Choosing a reputable pool pump manufacturer will ensure you will be able to rely on a warranty, and get replacement parts to extend the life of your pump.

Circulation is essential for your swimming pool

Your swimming pool pump is the heart of your pool’s function. Your pump ensures that your water is circulated properly, allowing your filter, chemicals and heater to function correctly.

If you understand the function of your swimming pool pump, you can be sure to maintain it correctly, and make the perfect choice when it comes time to select a replacement. A well-maintained, quality pump will save you frustration and money every summer season.

Understanding chlorine levels in your swimming pool

When it comes to keeping your swimming pool water clean, chlorine is the most essential chemical in your maintenance routine. There are many steps you need to take to keep your pool water in balance and sparkling clean. But none of these steps will work without the right chlorine levels. 

The chlorine levels in your swimming pool should always be maintained between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million. These levels will keep your water safe and clean. There are many ways that you can choose to add chlorine to your swimming pool water.

Using testing kits can make it easier to keep your chlorine levels stable, but there are many different factors that impact your chlorine levels, usage, and demand. Understanding more about how chlorine functions in your swimming pool water can help you to keep your levels stable and constant. With the right chlorine balance, your swimming pool water will be clean, clear, and easier to maintain. 

Continue reading Understanding chlorine levels in your swimming pool

Water Testing 101

Exposure to outdoor pollutants, animals and insects can cause problems with the sanitation in your swimming pool water. But, the chemicals you use to treat your pool for these issues can cause balance issues of their own. Water that is left untreated is unsafe in the short-term and can cause damage to your pool in the long-term. Water testing allows you to make sure that your swimming pool water is safe during every point of the summer season, and needs to be conducted regularly.

Continue reading Water Testing 101