Along with physical appearance, the safety of swimmers and working condition of your pool rely heavily on its overall cleanliness. Not maintaining a clean and clear swimming pool can put your family at risk for developing certain illnesses and diseases, and can also impact the functionality of the pool’s filters and pump. Make sure you understand the various risks that arise from an unclean pool so you can take proper steps to maintaining a clean, healthy, and functioning pool for your family to enjoy. Here are 4 important reasons why maintaining a proper pool cleaning routine is crucial:
Germs and contaminants
Your outdoor pool is susceptible to a number of exterior factors that put it at risk for an increased number of contaminants, such as leaves, bird droppings, or unclean rain water. Mix these exterior factors with germs collected from swimmers, and a pool can quickly become full of harmful germs and bacteria. Swimming in unclean chlorine pools, in particular, can put children at high risk for developing respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and hay fever.
The more often your pool is being used, the more chlorine will be needed to keep it chemically balanced. Fortunately, by ensuring your pool is regularly cleaned by a professional who can guarantee that the chemical balance is maintained, these health risks can easily be avoided. Finding a pool cleaning company can make this task incredibly manageable, and you’ll never have to worry about you or your children swimming in a germ-infested pool again.
While not physically harmful, algae is an unsightly occurrence that can begin to take over the walls or floor of your once crystal-clear pool. Especially in Southern California, which offers high temperatures nearly year round, algae growth can become even more of a nuisance. If you notice your pool beginning to take a slightly green turn, it is likely the increase in the growth of algae along your pool’s underwater surfaces.
While algaecides can be an effective way to rid your pool of this green tint, it is easy to misuse these chemicals if one is not properly trained. Algaecides strongly decrease the concentration of chlorine in your pool, so by hiring someone who can easily monitor and maintain the algae levels and chlorine levels, you’ll likely have a much easier (and cheaper) time than by trying to maintain it yourself.
Impacted Pool Pumps
By simply not having your pool pump baskets cleaned out regularly, debris can begin to collect and grow algae and other contaminants over time. Clogged pool pump baskets mean a more decreased water flow, which can harm the overall filtration for the pool that keeps it looking clean and clear year-round.
Proper pool maintenance requires a cleaning of these pool pump baskets at least once a week, and even more so in seasons like fall and spring where leaves and flowers frequently find themselves floating along a pool’s surface. Don’t have time to clean your pool weekly (or more)? Hiring an experienced pool cleaning team to ensure your pump baskets are free of debris is one of the easiest ways to keep your pool clean and functioning properly.
When you think of an unsightly pool, you probably imagine a few things causing the appearance: cloudy water, green surfaces, and debris floating in the water. It’s no secret that the ideal pool involves crystal clear, blue water with a flawless surface, but this condition requires some work to maintain. A dirty pool, in any capacity, can impact the overall appearance of your backyard and, in turn, your entire home. If you’re tired of looking out your window only to see murky pool water, it may be time to call a pool cleaning professional.
While a dirty pool can negatively impact many aspects of a functioning pool, these four risks are among the most noticeable and physically harmful. While keeping your pool clean can help your family stay physically healthy, your pool functioning properly, and it looking clear and beautiful, keeping it clean can simply give you peace of mind knowing all of these risks are minimized, as well. Maintaining a clean pool can take work, but fortunately, hiring a pool cleaner can take this responsibility off of your hands and let you enjoy your pool to its fullest extent.
For more helpful tips about owning a pool, read more of our blogs here. And for expertly trained pool cleaners that are highly experienced in maintaining pool cleanliness and beauty, give the Solscapes team a call to learn about the pool cleaning services we offer!
Not only is it important to the environment to make your pool more eco-friendly, but it’s also important to your wallet! Believe it or not, a few investments can save you tons of money over the years to come, and they will use a substantially smaller amount of energy every month.
We’ve got a few ideas for you to try out:
1. Solar Power
Getting solar power to keep your pool heater powered all year is one of the newer and better ideas in reducing your energy consumption while maintaining everyone happy. Not only will it make your pool more eco-friendly, but the reduction in your electricity bill will add up over the years and not only pay for the solar panels but save you a good chunk of money as well.
2. Use Less Chlorine
Chlorine is a great tool, and we aren’t telling you to stop using it. We are telling you, though, that using too much of it is both expensive and harmful to the environment. What can you do instead of using gallons of chlorine you ask?
The answer is simple, clean it! Using covers to keep particles out when you aren’t using it, being diligent about getting leaves and insects out of it, and giving it a healthy scrub are great ways to keep your pool clean and reducing your chlorine usage.
If you aren’t up for the task of cleaning it yourself, hire someone and let them know that you want to use fewer chemicals in your pool. It might take some searching, and you might have to pay a bit extra, but the reduction of chlorine expenses over the years will likely keep the fees you pay at about the same price as before!
3. Get Rid of Leaks
This should be a no brainer! If you have a leak, fix it immediately. A leak can lead to thousands of gallons of wasted water each year, as well as creating a huge expense when that water damages the structure of your pool, and you need to get it repaired.
Not only does this water cause damage to the pool itself, but think of all of the chemicals your use to keep the pool clean making their way into the soil all around your home. This can make your animals sick, your plants can die, and if you like having a vegetable garden in the summer as much as we do, you’ll have to forget about it!
Not only do these chemicals get into the soil, but they will also get into your homegrown vegetables as well because they use the same contaminated earth.
4. Get New Lighting
LED pool lights are becoming the new norm because of their energy efficiency and their sleek look. Not only that, many houses are starting to adopt solar lighting to guide the way to the pool.
This combination is not only more energy efficient; it can create a whole new look and feel to your pool area!
5. Use a Pool Cover
A pool cover can make your pool more eco-friendly in a number of ways. The pool cover will trap the heat that the sun creates when it hits the cover, and that will, in turn, keep the pool better heated. This is a great trick during the winter times.
Pool covers also keep your water in the pool. The sun has a habit of making your water evaporate, and that will create the need for more water to be added into your pool daily. By keeping the cover on, you’re keeping the water and the chemicals inside your pool longer.
Speaking of chemicals, the sun can make them disappear with the water (when the water evaporates) and speed up their degradation process. By keeping a cover on the pool when not in use, you’ll be cutting down on your need for more chemicals!
6. Get a Schedule
This can cost you a bit more than our other tips up front, but getting an automated system (like a programmable thermostat) will keep your energy usage down big time over the years. This will make sure that your pools heater and water will stay at the levels that you decide on, instead of constantly running.
Better yet, if you aren’t going to be around for a while, turn all of your systems off and revisit them upon your return. It doesn’t make sense to have them running 24/7 when no one is around to take advantage of the pool.
7. Dial it Back on the Extras
If you want to make your pool more eco-friendly, don’t run the waterfalls and other extras that cost a lot to maintain all the time. Now if you already have them or really want to get them, go ahead! Just remember that using them consistently is energy inefficient.
Our advice, run them when you have company over or you want a nice relaxing time. Otherwise, let them take a break and the environment will thank you!
If you’re looking for more advice on how to make your pool more eco-friendly, or are just looking for the right people to keep your pool looking good all year, give us a call at (714) 335-2064 or shoot us an email here.
From recreational activities to added health benefits, swimming pools are a great addition to any home. And in these hot summer months, they provide the perfect, cool sanctuary from the blazing summer sun. Continue reading to find out the many reasons that having a backyard swimming pool can improve your family’s quality of life!
There’s a reason swimming is recommended as one of the best physical activities for your health. Not only does it increase overall calorie burn, swimming reduces the risk for developing a variety of diseases and illnesses later in life. Those who frequently swim can enjoy an improved daily mood, better nightly sleep, increased optimism, and overall enhanced physical wellness. Help your mind, heart, and body by routinely taking a dip in the pool!
In addition to the physical benefits that swimming pools provide, being outdoors improves mental and emotional health as well. With an increased exposure to the sun, your body will appreciate the enhanced Vitamin D levels that promote bone growth and help protect you from numerous diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Spending time outdoors has also been proven to improve mental focus, something that can be of great benefit to students and parents who spend long days at work or school. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Provide the Opportunity For Socializing
Instead of staying in the stuffy indoors, take your next party or get together outdoors to your swimming pool. Especially in the summer, guests will enjoy cooling off and staying active while socializing with friends, family, and peers. For families with smaller children, pools provide the perfect distraction that will keep the little ones busy and active, while the parents can gather around the water to catch up and hang out. Swimming pool get-togethers have also been highly recommended for seniors, as it is found that seniors who consistently socialize have a longer life expectancy than those who are frequently in solitude.
Life is hectic. Whether it’s stressful workdays, expensive bills, or taking care of loved ones, life can add up and increase mental and emotional stress. Relaxing in a swimming pool or spa can relieve stress in just ten minutes while improving your overall heart function. Gliding through the water enhances relaxation and is the perfect distraction to take your mind off of life’s stressful responsibilities. By focusing on your body, you allow yourself a mental break from the things stressing you out the most.
Fun Summertime Activity For the Kids
Playing in the pool is a special activity, often reserved for the summer months. Letting your family take advantage of this seasonal opportunity will allow for hours of poolside entertainment. Don’t forget the fun pool accessories, as well. From pool floats to underwater games, there’s an endless amount of pool accessories to add to your outdoor space!
Increased Life Expectancy
It is believed that those who frequently spend time enjoying the outdoors are more likely to live longer. Add this to the overall body workout you get from swimming, and a pool is a great option for those who want to improve their health and life expectancy. Take advantage of the relaxation, exercise, mental wellness, stress relief, and socializing opportunities that all come from swimming, and you can be sure that spending time in your swimming pool will benefit you for years to come.
These are just a few of the many reasons why adding a pool to your backyard space can improve your living quality. At Solscapes, we make it our goal to create innovative pool designs for our clients. Whether it’s a question about our pool design experience or our unbeatable pool maintenance services, give us a call today!
On April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown made history. For the first time in California’s heritage, water restrictions were set on potable urban water sources throughout the state, reaching as high as a 25% reduction in certain areas. Calling for the restriction of water reduction by a whopping quarter is not an easy decision, in light of the resulting changes that countless Californians will have to make in their daily water routine. Yet, the dire nature of the four-year-and-counting California drought is no longer allowing Californians to remain complacent in the fight to conserve water. In fact, with 2013 reaching record dry levels, and 2014 peaking in with record levels of heat, it seems that just as Brown took action to conserve water for the entire state, we, as individual Californians, are called to do our own part in the fight for water conservation.
Water conservation on the urban, home-by-home basis is a fairly simple process. It begins with something as easy as turning off the sink while you are brushing your teeth or in between washing dishes. However, with California legislation taking drought solutions into their own hands, it might be time for you to start thinking of additional ways to conserve water in your household. For example, with the water usage cuts in certain areas throughout California, exceeding the limitations in the designated regions will result in penalties, or even fines. While it is not only important to be aware of the potential limitations being enforced in your community, it is equally important for Californians to strive to conserve water for the sake of the state itself.
While we at Solscapes are champions for water conservation and believe in taking personal responsibility for California drought solutions, we do not believe that the beauty of your home needs to be sacrificed in order to conserve water. As people are beginning to take serious action to conserve water, more and more lawns are turning brown as sprinklers are turned off. Not only are these sights unpleasant to the eyes of the neighborhood, they also represent hundreds, or even thousands of dollars wasted on plants and foliage sitting dead in the yard. However, Solscapes offers a better solution.
Specializing in drought-resistant landscaping, Solscapes wants to give you a beautiful, California-inspired landscape that conserves your water and your wallet. Drought-resistant landscaping allows your yard to remain beautiful without the extra cost and use of water that comes with the cookie-cutter, green-grass lawn. By choosing Solscapes for your landscaping needs, whether they are for merely aesthetic purposes or to play your part in the drought solution, you can feel good about your decision for multiple reasons. Not only are you contributing to water conservation in a very tangible way, but your yard will also pay a beautiful tribute to the variety of colorful, drought-resistant plants that are native to our golden state of California. As your neighbors’ lawns wilt to brown this summer, you can admire you yard in peace and pleasure, knowing you are being a responsible resident of California without sacrificing a beautiful front yard.
Sources: Nagourney, Adam, Jack Healy, and Nelson. “California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 Apr. 2015. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.
We value the stories of our Solscapes customers. Particularly with each project, whether pool maintenance or landscaping, we catch a glimpse of their unique story in the beautiful finished product. Today, however, we bring you a different story. This is the story of Frieda Bennett and her fountain.
Solscapes has the privilege of being Frieda’s pool maintenance provider, but one day Frieda approached us with a unique request. Sitting in her backyard, just outside Frieda’s bedroom window is a stunning fountain, made up simply of shells. Placed in a quiet corner, as you pass by, you cannot help but notice the fountain’s beauty. Water cascades from the topmost conch shell into three descending levels of serene white shells that emanate a peaceful trickling from each tier. Placed around the fountain are different figurines that represent the happy memories of Frieda’s life and loved ones. Yet, until the end of 2014 the fountain was not in such a happy state.
Passed on to her by parents that received it as a generous 40th wedding anniversary gift, Frieda cherished her fountain dearly. In fact, ever since it was given to her, Frieda found a way to display the fountain in her home. But until the end of 2014, years of display had left the frame of the fountain degraded and rotted through. After Frieda showed us her fountain, Solscapes got to work with the help of Blue Mirage Pools to renovate the fountain and bring the beautiful shells back to their original glory.
To begin renovation, a completely new frame was created and the old, rotted frame was tossed out. Brand new pumps and hoses were installed to ensure the fountain running like new. In addition, the fountain shell bowls were sanded and repainted with water proof paint, returning to their serene beauty.
Frieda was overjoyed with the work done by Solscapes and Blue Mirage Pools and she has been enjoying her cherished fountain in its sparkling, new condition for over six months now. Frieda says that, for her, the fountain represents the history of the love she has experienced in her life with her late husband, whom she had fifty-five cherished years with; her parents, siblings, and the family members and friends that live on today, including her children and four grandchildren. Because of the work Solscapes and Blue Mirage Pools were privileged to do, Frieda (pictured with her restored fountain. Not pictured: Frieda’s dear dog, Kai) can return to her restored fountain each day and continue to share in the wonderful memories held within its serene, white shells.
Recently, Solscapes sat down with Jerry and Tana Nasser to hear a little bit more about their experience with Solscapes and their landscaping. With a grass lawn past its prime and a government rebate offer of $2 per square foot of turf removal in order to help with state water conservation, the Nassers were ready for a fresh start with their front yard. Jerry and Tana chose Solscapes for their landscaping needs after finding us online. They appreciated the creative eye that Jeff brought to the table in the process of designing their yard.
Within weeks, Jerry and Tana’s yard was looking quite different. Using stunning drought-resistant plants, including Agave Century Plant, lavender flowered lantana, and wispy acacia trees, Jeff worked with Jerry and Tana to include many beautiful features in their landscape. A fountain trickles right outside their window. Beautiful LED lights highlight its evening beauty, and accent their gorgeous front walkway.
Breeanna and Jay Gordon found Solscapes online while looking to fix a broken sprinkler and diseased tree in their front yard. They appreciated the professional feel of the Solcapes website and were inspired to take advantage of Solscapes’ specialization in drought-resistant landscaping. Breeanna, being a graphic designer herself, had an eye for design and used Pinterest for inspiration in the recreating of their yard.
After a little less than two weeks of work, the Gordon’s new front yard stood refreshed and renovated. The Gordons went with a contemporary, structured look centering on a circular design in the center of their yard. Alongside the driveway is a set of stairs and planters that compliment the house with a fresh, modern feel.
Readers get confused when they hear about Epsom salts.
“Isn’t that what you take a bath in?”
“Is it good for my garden?”
“Won’t it burn my plants?”
“Is it really a salt?”
The answers, in order, are: yes, yes, no, and no.
Epsom salt is nothing like the salt we use at the dinner table. In fact, Epsom salts’ scientific makeup is that of magnesium sulfate, a form of magnesium and sulfur crystal that is easily dissolved in water and readily used by plants. However, due to its depleting nature, oftentimes your average plant is lacking in a healthy amount of magnesium sulfate. Typically, western soils, especially, known for their high alkalinity, are low in magnesium.
This is where Epsom salts save the day. Magnesium sulfate helps your plants utilize two other nutrients that you apply frequently, nitrogen and phosphorus. Mixed with water, they are a sure pick-me-up for your foliage, taking almost immediate effect. You will witness your magnesium-starved plants perk up quickly, set new buds, break out of their winter doldrums, and start to flower; you will even notice an increased rate of germination in your seeds. Epsom salts are also a nifty tonic to use if you are “pushing” plants to bloom, say, before a big event.
The Epsom Salt Industry Council says, “Don’t worry, it can’t be overused.”
Sage lovers, beware: sage is the only plant that does not respond kindly to magnesium sulfate, as stated by the Epsom Salt Industry Council.
In addition, Epsom salts also appear to help Japanese maples struggling through the summer season. Some experts believe that it is not the heat that hinders these plants, but months of watering with salty municipal water. A few tablespoons of Epsom salts to a gallon of water used as a drench helps reduce lime buildup and lowers alkalinity and the salt levels of soil.
With all these uses for Epsom salts, it is a welcome relief that you can invest in Epsom salts without a strain on your wallet. You can often find Epsom salts in grocery and pharmacy stores starting at around $2.
So, what are you waiting for? Invest in the health and happiness of your yard and buy Epsom salts today!
Read all about Epsom salts at www.epsomsaltcouncil.org.
Source: Cindy McNatt, O.C. Register.