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What is Pool Chemistry?

The filter system in a pool does the majority of the work involved with keeping the water clean while chemistry plays a role by fine-tuning the process. There are several reasons why the chemical balance in a pool must be manipulated with care.

What is Pool Chemistry? | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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  • Hazardous pathogens, such as bacteria, live in water. Untreated water in a pool is a breeding ground for microorganisms that carry any number of different diseases.
  • Water with an improper chemical balance is harmful for varying components of a pool.
  • Water without an appropriate balance can cause eye and skin irritation.
  • Water without an appropriate balance can become noticeably cloudy.

Pool chemistry explained starts with a disinfecting agent that will eliminate the pathogens in the water. Typically people use chlorine in the form of a liquid, sodium hypochlorite, or a solid, calcium hypochlorite. The water and the chlorine react to form a number of chemicals, most importantly hypochlorous acid. This acid goes after the cell wall lipids and wipes out the enzymes and structures within the cell through oxidation. This process destroys the bacteria and additional pathogens. There are other sanitizers, including bromide, that complete the same process and produce results that differ slightly.

Most people prepare chlorine as a tablet, powder, or liquid. All of these forms can be added to the water at any point in the cycle. It is best practice to add it with a chemical feeder immediately following the filtering process. When chlorine is added directly to the pool water, it tends to build up in the area where it enters the water.

After chlorine has mixed with the bacteria and additional agents in the water, the chlorine becomes inactive and does not sanitize the water any longer. A shock treatment must be used to burn off the combination of chlorine and harmful organics each week. The pool filter system then takes the matter out of the water.

One important aspect of pool chemistry explained is that hypochlorous acid is not the most stable agent. It can break down when it is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet light, and it can mix with other chemicals to create brand new compounds. Most pool chlorinators include a stabilizing agent, such as cyanuric acid. This agent reacts with the chlorine to create a more stable compound that does not break down so easily during ultraviolet light exposure.

Which Pool Cover is Right for You?

Having a pool in your backyard can provide endless enjoyment and opportunities for a healthier lifestyle, but it also requires maintenance and introduces safety issues. Selecting the right pool cover will help reduce maintenance and eliminate safety concerns. You just need to decide which pool cover is right for you.

Which Pool Cover is Right for You? | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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There are several factors to consider when determining which pool cover is right for you. You will need to consider budget, pool shape, pool placement, and safety concerns.

Pool covers come in a variety of fabrications, sizes, and installation methods. These all affect the price of the pool cover. Manufacturers provide a budget line in a thinner gauge vinyl or mesh. These options are less sturdy, but will provide protection from leaves and debris while also providing some safety for small children and pets. Economy options come in specific sizes and shapes based on your needs, but are not going to provide adequate coverage for custom pool shapes. They are tied down with anchors, but the thinner material will be more mobile than solid covers and allow small pets or debris to get underneath.

If you require a more secure pool cover or a cover that fits a custom shape, you can expect a much higher price tag. Heavy duty pool covers are much more costly, but are much safer. They are constructed of materials that are solid and can hold adult weight easily, making them perfect if you have small children, wandering pets, or stray animals in the area. Heavy duty safety pool covers will fasten to the deck or patio around the pool with anchors making them more secure. These options also provide additional protection from the sun which prohibits algae growth reducing maintenance costs.

Another pool cover option is solar covers. These do not provide safety for small children or pets, but are an economical option for protecting the water and limiting the amount of debris that enters the pool. Solar covers can be mounted on a roll at the end of the pool and pulled across the pool in the evening to trap heat and limit debris falling into the pool. There are also solar cover discs that can be placed in the pool and configured for custom shapes and hot tubs.

There are many options of pool covers available. You will need to consider your needs and determine which pool cover is right for you.

 

Top 5 Design Features for a Sleek and Modern Pool Style

Are you interested in designing a pool that has a sleek, modern aesthetic? Most modern pools are minimalistic, which means that the challenge is not determining what to add but figuring out how to keep the look sleek and simple. As you put together plans for your new pool, consider the following 5 design features for a sleek and modern pool style.

5 Design Features for a Sleek and Modern Pool Style | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Minimal Pool Features

Most modern pools achieve their sleek style with very simple pool features. This is not the time to install large water slides, rock grottos, and tiki torches. There are a number of modern pools that have nothing more than a few tasteful pieces of patio furniture on the deck and maybe some simple lighting. If you do want to add something to the pool and the surrounding space, consider unique underwater lighting and single stream fountains or small water flows as opposed to large flowing waterfalls.

Understated, Classic Pool Lighting

When you are designing a sleek, modern pool, you should look for classic pool lighting choices that are subtle but still provide ample lighting for pool and patio activities. Consider symmetrical fire pits, ambient floating candles, and simple torch lights. Keep in mind that understated does not necessarily mean small. For example, there are large fire pits with very modern styles.

Simple Modern Patio Furniture

As you put together a modern pool space, it is important to remember that pool space exists for rest and relaxation. As such, pool patio furniture should promote peace and comfort. Look for enticing lounge chairs, wicker pieces with large cushions, simple wooden furniture, and glass patio tables with neutral umbrellas.

Modern Deck Surface

The most important aspect of choosing a deck material and design is that they coordinate with the house and landscaping. This process ensures that the entire property will have a cohesive modern aesthetic. If you do not take the time to do this, a modern pool may look out of place in its setting.

Geometric Pool Shape

A geometric pool shape can help to create a sleek and streamlined design. Rectangular is the prominent shape for modern pool designs and remain a classic pool shape. As long as you continue to update the surrounding pool elements on a regular basis, you’ll be able to maintain a modern, geometric pool for many years.

Top 5 Pool Decking Trends in Atlanta, GA

As you start to put together plans for your new swimming pool, you will begin to look at options for the pool deck. The good news is that there are a lot of solid deck options available. It is up to pool owners to determine the materials and choices that best fit their personal budgets, needs, and preferences. As a general rule of thumb, it is best practice to buy the best that you can afford. The initial pool construction period is the most affordable time to get your ideal deck. A pool is a long-term investment, and you want to be happy with the decision that you make. During your planning process, consider the following top 5 pool deck trends.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is concrete that has been textured or stamped to resemble pavers, patterned stone, or virtually any other material. One of the best aspects of stamped concrete is that it can be designed to match numerous different home and landscaping tiles. It is imperative to add a textured surface to stamped concrete in a pool area to prevent slipping.

Top 5 Pool Decking Trends | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Flagstone

Top 5 Pool Decking Trends | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Flagstone is a great, versatile choice for pool decks. It has a naturally rough texture that makes for minimal slipping. As the process of laying flagstone is time intensive, it is one of the more expensive pool deck choices. It may be necessary to apply an appropriate sealer to offer protection for the stones from the pool chemicals.

Exposed or Washed Aggregate

Most exposed aggregate consists of a concrete base that is topped or seeded with crushed stones or pea gravel, which are then washed to highlight the varying colors and shapes. It is a durable, affordable deck option with a beautiful natural aesthetic. The surface may be a little rough on the feet and can get quite hot when exposed to direct sunlight.

Top 5 Pool Decking Trends  | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Brushed Concrete

Brushed concrete is simply concrete that has been modified to give it a heightened appearance and texture. Typically this technique is used for driveways or sidewalks but more complex methods can render beautiful designs that are perfect for pool decks.

Top 5 Pool Decking Trends  | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Wood

Wood has remained on the top 5 pool deck trends list for many years because it is such a classic choice. The biggest drawback to wood is weathering. However, wood decks can be easily customized by anybody who possesses basic carpentry skills and are a great choice for above ground pools.

Top 5 Pool Decking Trends  | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Enhance Your Atlanta Pool with These Popular Water Features

For many home owners, installing a pool is more than simply picking a location for a rectangular square. There are a wide variety of possibilities for enhancing your pool with popular water features. From deck jets to wading pools to splash pads, there is something for every pool owner.

Enhance Your Pool Design with These Popular Water Features (deck jets, bubblers, etc.) | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Deck Jets

Deck jets are installed flush and out of sight without unattractive or dangerous screws or edges. The streams of water seem to appear magically from the pool deck, creating graceful arcs of water that hit the pool with gentle splashes. Many deck jets offer adjustable height and water direction for easy customization in any pool setting. Point your jets in all different directions or concentrate the streams into a single entry point.

Waterfalls

When you are considering enhancing your pool with popular water features, you may be noticing various features in other pools. Think about how many times you’ve looked longingly at a gorgeous pool waterfall. Now you may be able to make it a reality. Are you looking for a natural waterfall with water cascading down large rocks or a modern waterfall with flows against a stone surface? There are lots of beautiful waterfalls designed specifically for pools with varying aesthetics and flows.

Fountains or Bubblers

If you are looking for a water feature for your pool and aren’t convinced that deck jets or waterfalls are right for you, think about fountains. A simple bubbling or upward spray in the middle of a rectangular pool or at the edge of a spa area can make a beautiful focal point. Do you want symmetry in your pool? Consider putting a fountain at either end of the rectangular space.

Wading Pools or Spa Areas

A wading pool or spa area can offer fun for the whole family. When there are young children using a pool, they can play safely in a wading space while in close proximity to the rest of the family. After children have outgrown a wading pool, it is easy to transform the space into a cozy environment for small groups at parties or a romantic space for couples.

Splash Pads

Many people choose splash pads as a cheap alternative to a full pool, but they can also make a great addition to a pool. Splash pads are easy to install and require a minimal amount of maintenance without the need for additional pool fences, insurance, or alarms.

Make Your Atlanta Pool Safe with These Attractive Pool Enclosure Options

One of the most important aspects of owning a pool is learning how to make your pool safe with a pool enclosure. Instead of spending hours worrying about young children, pets, and neighborhood critters (i.e. squirrels, raccoons), falling into the pool and drowning, invest in a pool enclosure.

Make Your Pool Safe with These Attractive Pool Enclosure Options | Artistic Pools Atlanta, Georgia

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Not only will you make your pool area safer, but you’ll keep the pool free of leaves and other debris, keep the rainwater out, and keep the water warmer, giving you the potential to extend your swimming season. You’ll get a watertight seal while minimizing the amount of generated heat that is lost. Some pool enclosures even allow pool owners to generate solar energy.

It is important to keep in mind that whether you own an above ground or in-ground pool, you can make your pool safe with a pool enclosure. There are multiple options for both types of pools with something for everyone.

As you preview pool enclosure options, consider the size of your pool and your storage capacity. Some enclosures are suited for smaller or larger pools while other enclosures are more versatile. Additionally, think about where you will house your enclosure when you’re not using it. Some enclosures can be disassembled when they’re not in use but still take up sizable space.

While many pool owners do not mind the task of opening and shutting an enclosure, other pool owners would rather purchase motorized pool enclosures. These enclosures enable you to cover and uncover the pool with a simple turn of a key.

Removable

Some removable pool enclosures are low to the ground while others are curved with supportive poles on one side. They are often able to cover up pool steps and other extra features. Many removable enclosures are easy to take apart and store when not in use.

Sliding

Some sliding pool enclosures can slide in either direction. Other enclosures can only slide one way or the other. Some models also have the option to be opened from the middle. There are specific models that can be used as sliding or semi-sliding enclosures. With seamless panels, you’ll have ease of operation and heightened security during foul weather conditions.

Telescopic

Telescopic pool enclosures offer a combination of cutting edge technology with subtle charm. Their elegance and discreet nature appeals to many pool owners. There are semi and full models available. Telescopic enclosures blend in seamlessly with their surrounding environments.

Pool Party Ideas for Independence Day

Enjoy 4th of July with these fun pool party ideas from Artistic Pools

4th of July Pool Party Ideas

July 4th is a special day for the United States and many families will gather to enjoy good food, good laughs, and perhaps even a few fireworks. What better way to enjoy your Independence Day than by having your friends and family over for a pool party? The pool is a great place for people to gather, eat, talk, and have a fun evening. Additionally, the pool is also great for cooling off since the summer months are extremely hot. Here are a few ideas for a great pool party:

Start the party out right by having great decorations throughout your outdoor area. The pool might be the center of attention, but torches, streamers, and balloons can also accentuate it. No party is complete without a few decorations, so go all out and celebrate the birth of our nation by having a spectacular party.

Another great idea for a masterful pool party is to have good food. Patriotic dishes are always a hit around the 4th of July. Perhaps you could try your hand at a red, white, and blue ice cream cake? Ribs, burgers, and hotdogs are also staples of any good pool party. 

Have you considered what type of entertainment you might have at your party? Sure the pool will be used, but what about some specific water sports-perhaps water volleyball or basketball? Maybe a good game of chicken is what the family needs? When the whole crew is together, be sure to utilize your pool in the best way possible.

Finally, be sure to take a few moments and reflect on this special time. Remember the men and women that have given their lives for our country and for our freedom and celebrate their efforts.

Fragrant Climbers: Our 6 Favorite Plants for Pergola and Arbor Cover

To maximize interest and make best use of your arbor or pergola you should consider training climbing plants with fragrant blooms to climb the structure. Not only do fragrant climbing plants provide additional protection from the sun, they also provide sweet to heady fragrances that can be enjoyed from late spring to mid-August, depending on the variety. In no particular order, here are six favorite plants for pergola and arbor cover.

How to Train Climbing Plants to a Arbor or Pergola | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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  1. Climbing roses. Traditional and providing a sweet scent, climbing rose varieties offer shade and fragrance. They are a top choice for more traditional gardens.
  2. Honeysuckle. This twining climber will quickly move its way up your arbor or pergola. It provides ample shade once established and offers a sweet smelling bloom that will thrive in semi-shaded areas. Honeysuckle can also thrive when trained with other climbing plants like climbing roses.
  3. Jasmine. This fragrant climber comes in several varieties and is a top choice due to its ability to grow quickly, thrive when trained with other climbing plants, and sweet scented blooms which flower from mid-summer to early fall.
  4. Sweet peas. This sweet smelling fragrant climber produces a beautiful purplish bloom when in season. When in bloom they are potent and can also be cut to be brought in the home so that the sweet smell can fill a room.
  5. Clematis Montana. This climbing plant is very vigorous and will quickly cover the trellis wall of your arbor or pergola. It begins producing beautiful blooms in late spring that have an almond scent.
  6. Wisteria. This cross between a vine and a shrub takes longer to cultivate but it produces beautiful cascading clusters of flowers in a variety of colors that provide a sweet scent and ample coverage for your arbor or pergola. If you select Wisteria you will need to monitor it closely as it can become invasive and heavy, causing damage to your outdoor structure.

When deciding which climbing plant (or plants) to use to cover your arbor or pergola you will want to consider how rapidly you want it to cover your structure, which color blooms you prefer to compliment your outdoor area, and if you prefer a sweet or heady fragrance. You will also want to think about the hardiness of the plant and the amount of sun available.

Now all that’s left is deciding on your favorite plants for your new pergola and arbor cover. Have fun!

Spruce Up Your Pool Deck with These Easy Planter Tips

Create additional interest in your outdoor living space by sprucing up your Atlanta backyard pool area with potted plants. Potted plant arrangements are an ideal solution because they can be easily changed based on your tastes and can be moved as needed.

Spruce Up Your Pool Deck with These Easy Planter Tips | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Here are some great tips for creating potted plant arrangements around your pool:

Complement the Pool’s Design Features

Consider your space and the shape of the pool. Basic rectangular pools lend themselves to simple topiary style arrangements placed in planters at the corners and at midpoints along the perimeter. Curved or kidney shaped pools are well accented by planters placed on the curves.

Choose Your Look

Depending on the look you are attempting to achieve you can opt for simple pots or urns filled with a single flowering shrub or opt for a more elaborate approach by mixing a taller topiary surrounded by greenery and flowering plants.

Consider Your Climate

If you live a very arid climate, consider using cacti varieties that thrive in your climate. You will also want to consider the amount of sunlight around the pool. This will help you determine which plant varieties will be successful in the area and require the least amount of maintenance, providing you more time to enjoy your outdoor living area.

Think About Safety and Maintenance

Potted plant arrangements are a beautiful addition to any pool area, but you will need to think about how their placement will affect safety and maintenance. Large and sturdy planters will be difficult to move and may be difficult to work around when pool maintenance is required. You may want to consider placing potted plant arrangements on casters for easier mobility during maintenance or if additional room is needed for entertaining around the pool’s edge.

Another concern when it comes to maintenance is when the plants begin to lose leaves or blooms. If you select plants that lose their leaves or blooms, be prepared for that debris to fall into the pool, creating a need for additional cleaning of the pool and filter system. Consider low maintenance options like evergreens and cacti that do not create a lot of mess.

Whether you desire a Grecian inspired getaway or a tropical oasis, you can create the look you want by following these great tips for creating potted plant arrangements around your pool. Good luck!

Create a Tropical Lagoon Style Pool with These 5 Design Features

Have you always dreamed of the chance to create a tropical lagoon style pool? Whether you are renovating an existing swimming pool or putting together plans for a new pool, now is the time to make those dreams come true. It only takes a handful of design elements to transform a standard pool into a tropical getaway. You’ll feel like you’ve left home and been transported to your favorite tropical destination. As you create a tropical lagoon style pool, consider the following design features.

Create a Tropical Lagoon Style Pool with These 5 Design Features | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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Planters with Tropical Plantings

It is up to individual pool owners to choose the tropical plants that will best fit their current landscaping and personal preferences. Popular options for tropical pool plantings include palm trees, princess flowers, hibiscus, and bird of paradise. Consider planting lush vines throughout the yard that can grow over fences and tree trucks and complete the tropical look for the landscaping. Don’t forget to coordinate the planters with the tropical aesthetic as well.

Fountains and Waterfalls

There are a wide variety of pool fountains or bubblers available with something for everyone. The shape and size of the pool will largely determine the options that will work best for your particular pool. Think about adding a waterfall or even several waterfalls as well if you have the space and the budget.

Travertine Deck

Travertine is a classic paver option for tropical lagoon style pools. It is cooler on the feet than concrete, brick, flagstone, slate, and bluestone. Its timeless beauty endures for many years without risk of cracking or damage. It is extremely slip resistant even when it is wet.

Wading Pool or Spa Area

Many tropical lagoon style pools feature a separate wading pool or spa area. One of the best aspects of adding this wading pool is the versatility that it brings. A wading pool is a safe area for young children to use while still getting to hang out with the family. Once the kids are a little older, it is easy to transform it into a spa area for adults.

Bridges and Stairways

If you have a pool with multiple levels (i.e. a waterfall that pours into the main pool) or have the space for larger pool features, you may want to consider adding a bridge and/or stairway. There are a variety of stone, concrete, and wood options available for both features.