Pool Maintenance

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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.

 

Get Ready for Summer: How to Clean Your Pavers

Pavers are a beautiful addition to any home, but, unfortunately, in high traffic areas, they can become dirty and dingy. To avoid hours of scrubbing your pavers to get them back to new it is best to stain and seal them when you install them. But if you have chosen to leave them natural there are a few methods available to clean them based on what made them dirty.

Get Ready for Summer: How to Clean Your Pavers | Artistic Pools Atlanta Georgia

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How to clean your pavers for summer:

First you need to determine what is soiling your pavers. You will handle food and beverage stains differently than oil based stains or dirt. If dirt is the culprit, cleaning is simple. Sweep the excess dirt off the pavers and blast them with the garden hose or a power washer to get them like new.

Food, beverage, and grease stains require immediate action but can be managed. First, you will need to blot any liquids or grease (don’t rub as it will spread the stain) or remove any leftover food from the paver. Pour full strength dish liquid on the spot and let it sit for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then you will rinse the area with hot water. If the stain remains you may need to use a commercial product meant for removing stains from concrete. These can be found at your local home improvement stores.

A new oil stain can be managed by sprinkling kitty litter over the area to absorb any oil above the surface of the pavers. Let the kitty litter sit for a few days to absorb the oil and remove the stain. If the oil has penetrated the pavers you will have more difficulty removing the stain. Again, you can try using a commercial product intended for removing stains from concrete. Follow the directions carefully for best results.

Based on the specific area you live in you may also have hard water which can leave mineral deposits on your pavers making them look less than appealing. To remove hard water buildup from your pavers you can use a commercial product or spray on solution that contains equal parts of white vinegar and water. You may need to scrub a bit, but this is a more environmentally conscious option for removing hard water buildup. As the buildup comes off, rinse, and repeat as needed.

With a little work your pavers will be ready for summer in no time.