If the autumn leaves are still covering your mesh or solid winter cover or automatic pool cover, it is best to try to remove them before the snow and ice are upon us. Remember to also remove the leaves from around the equipment to prevent corrosion.
Pro Tip: For dry leaves, try using a leaf blower to remove the leaves with ease. After you blow the leaves into a pile, remove the leaves from around the area so they don’t end up blowing back on your cover. For wet leaves, you will need to try a leaf rake designed to remove heavier debris.
We hope you are enjoying and sharing these pool tips with fellow pool owners. Please check back often for more of Tracy’s Tips on our blog.
Being a pool owner can be a lot of work. While we love to help you make light of that work, we also want to be part of the fun! Test your pool pro knowledge with these fun facts and figures.
Did you know…?
1. The largest backyard swimming pool is located in El Campo, Texas and has a 500 foot lazy river. It holds 600,000 gallons of water and used to be a pond. It’s true what they say, everything really is bigger in Texas!
2.There are over 10.6 million swimming pools in the United States.
3. California is the state with the most swimming pools in the United States with over 3 million pools!
4. In 1907 the RMS Adriatic was the first ocean liner to have a swimming pool on board. The Titanic, which was built around the same time, had a heated swimming pool on board.
5. An hour of strenuous swimming will burn about 650 calories, more than walking or riding a bike for the same amount of time.
6. Swimming became an Olympic event in 1896. Women were allowed to compete starting in 1912. Today there are 16 swimming events but a men’s 800-meter freestyle, women’s 1,500-meter freestyle and a 4×100-meter medley mixed-gender relay are being added for the 2020 Olympic Games.
7. An Olympic size swimming pool can hold 700,000-850,000 gallons of water.
8. The world’s largest pool, according to the Guinness World Records, was built in Algarrobo, Chile in 2006. The Alfonso del Mar Seawater Pool is 3,324 feet long and covers 19.7 acres!
9. The cannonball is the most popular way to jump into the pool.
10. President Gerald Ford had an outdoor pool built at the White House in 1975.
11. 65% of Americans don’t know how to swim.
12. Benjamin Franklin invented swim fins. Unlike today’s foot flippers, the first fins were worn on your hands.
13. Australia builds more personal swimming pools per capita than any other country in the world. Since most of Australia is considered a desert or semi-arid, it’s no surprise!
14. The world record for breath holding underwater is 24 minutes achieved in 2016 by Aleix Segura Vendrell (Spain), in Barcelona, Spain! Vendrell is a avid free diver.
15. The breaststroke is thought to be the oldest of all swimming strokes. “Drawings in an Egyptian cave, appropriately called the Cave of Swimmers, depict swimmers in various poses, with the leg whipping motion believed to having been inspired by frogs.” – Your Swim Log
16. Swimming dates back to 2500 BCE as seen in ancient Egyptian cave paintings.
17. Elephants can swim an average of 20 miles a day using their trunks as snorkels.
18. 38% of pools having a diving board.
19. A resort in Port Dickson, Malaysia has 643 swimming pools, not including the private swimming pools at each villa!
20. A filtration system for swimming pools was invented in 1910 at Brown University, using chlorine. Public drinking water was being sanitized with chlorination and sand filtration, so they applied the same concept to swimming pools.
Have a fun fact to add? Drop us a line in the comments!
Fitness and wellness are top priorities for people looking to live long, healthy lives. Your pool has always been a place for leisure, relaxation and fun, but it can also become your favorite place to get in a workout. Many find swimming to be an enjoyable way to get exercise. It is an activity the whole family can do individually or together, no matter their pace or fitness level.
The Benefits of Aquatics
Swimming is unique because unlike most sports, it offers a full-body workout. Whether you are doing the breaststroke or backstroke for 30 minutes, you are working all of the major muscle groups in your body at once. An equivalent workout on land would take 45 minutes.
Swimming builds muscle tone, with the added benefit of being low-impact, meaning it doesn’t stress your joints and muscles the way many other exercise regiments do. When you swim, you’re increasing your heart rate, building endurance, strength and flexibility, improving your overall fitness.
Swimming is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and gives you more bang for your buck. “A 160-pound person burns approximately 423 calories an hour while swimming laps at a low or moderate pace. That same person may burn up to 715 calories an hour swimming at a more vigorous pace. A 200-pound person doing the same activities would burn between 528 and 892 calories an hour. A 240-pound person might burn between 632 and 1,068.” – Healthline
Alongside improving your cardiovascular health, swimming (in conjunction with a healthy diet) reduces your risks for many diseases. Studies have shown time in the pool can reduce blood pressure, improve lung function and even lower blood sugar levels. Swimming can also help you maintain a healthy weight.
The mental health benefits of swimming are bountiful. Just a short swim can relieve stress, have meditative qualities, reduce anxiety and produce endorphins that can be beneficial to people suffering from depression. Being in water also aids in relaxation, leading to better sleep and better overall health.
Swimming is for everyone
Whether you’re a child, adult or senior, swimming is a sustainable workout regiment you can continue throughout your life. Swimming is considered a low-impact workout with high-impact benefits. People recovering from injuries, living with disabilities or struggling with arthritis can all benefit from the ease of exercising in water because it supports up to 90 percent of your body weight. “Research in the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows swimming is better than straight-up rest for exercise recovery, for when you want to take it easy.”
If swimming laps isn’t your thing, there are other activities you can enjoy in the water that have many of the same health benefits. Maybe you prefer diving, water polo or resistance water walking to stay fit physically and mentally. The choices are endless!
From beginners to lifelong swimmers, the benefits of aquatics are undeniable. Swim laps, try water aerobics, challenge a friend to a pool basketball game – whatever you choose, choose aquatics in your daily life!
During the cold, dark months of winter, taking care of your pool may be the last thing on your mind.
Even though swimming season is over, your pool still needs a little attention. The good news is that future problems can be prevented with some minimal maintenance over the winter season. Follow this guide and pool problems won’t plague your spring opening!
Avoid Winter Woes
Snow can wreak havoc on pool covers causing straps and springs to stretch. Excessive rainfall can raise water levels beyond the tile line causing hundreds of dollars of damage to decking, tile and coping materials, making your first spring cleaning costly and difficult. On the other hand, if the water level in your pool is too low during the winter months, your cover will not be able to support the weight of ice and snow accumulation and could cause expensive cover damage.
Pool Cover Guide
When using a mesh safety cover, we recommend keeping the water level 15-18″ below the cover. This level will rise as rainfall and snow-melt pass through the mesh.
When using a tarp cover, we recommend keeping the water level 1″ below the bottom of the skimmer, and thus the tile line. As long as the cover is in good condition, no water should pass through it. The level beneath the cover should remain constant during the off season. Periodically scoop debris off of the tarp cover and pump the water off to avoid letting a swamp grow on top of it. We recommend using a leaf net with any tarp cover to make leaf removal quick and easy. Call us to order one.
Check your safety cover regularly over the winter and remove debris as it accumulates using a pool brush or leaf blower. This is especially important for pools located in areas with many trees. If you do not remove leaves and debris from your cover, improper water drainage may occur and will put too much water weight on the cover.
Once winter and freezing temperatures come to an end, we recommend keeping the water 1-2″ above the bottom of the skimmer with mesh safety covers. This will allow you to avoid having to add water at the pool opening and create a gap between the cover and the water’s surface. This gap prevents algae growth which occurs when the cover sits in the water. The cover’s straps may need to be tightened after stretching out under the weight of ice and snow.
Make Your Life Hassle Free
Sign up today for our Winter Care Service and we’ll take care of your winter pool woes! Our Winter Care Service was designed for the busy pool owner with better things to do than worry about pool maintenance.
Prefer to do it yourself? Stop by the South Shore Pool Supply Retail Store for everything you need for winter pool maintenance and talk to our friendly staff who will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Set yourself up for a successful spring opening with these
additional off-season pool care tips from our friends at Swim University.
“Taking care of your pool doesn’t end when you put the cover on. It’s important to continue caring for your pool
during the off-season (fall, winter, and early spring) to ensure a successful and clean opening…” 10 Tips From The Pros >>
Our friends at Swim University have a ton of helpful resources for pool owners, but their advice and content does not necessarily represent those of South Shore Pool Supply. Instead, the information is intended to provide you with additional resources for optimal pool care. Please contact us directly for specific pool care advice.
Don’t let leaf removal get you down! There is a simple solution to keeping leaves off of your tarp pool cover. The tarp cover will keep the leaves out of your pool, but how do you handle the leaves that fall from the autumn trees and land on your tarp cover? A leaf net will fit atop a tarp cover once your pool is closed. The leaf net catches the leaves on your cover for you. Simply remove the netting and shake it out into your compost pile to get all of the leaves off of your tarp, and protect it from deterioration from rotting debris. Remove the cover and store it for next fall once the trees are bare.
Stop by our retail store or call us to order a leaf net for your pool!
Choosing the best time to close your pool feels like a game played against Mother Nature. In New England, we follow the mantra “If you don’t like the weather just wait a minute.” It can be particularly tricky in the northeast to get your pool closing timing just right.
Early Close Woes
Did you know it can actually be a detriment to close too early? If the weather is still warm, your winter pool chemicals will not be sufficient to keep algae at bay. You’ll be even more disappointed when you open your pool next season to find it green, algae stained and in need of an abundance of TLC. Avoid having to drain and refill your pool or the expensive, labor intensive process of cleaning by increasing your chemical cocktail.
Keys to a Successful Close
As a general rule, avoid closing your pool until temperatures are consistently below 65℉. To play it really safe, wait until temps are averaging 50℉ or below. Pay attention to the forecast and your pool thermometer to be sure summer weather is over before starting the closing process. There is a perfect window of time when the summer fades away and autumn begins, right before the first hard frost of winter sets in. This is the ideal time to close your pool.
Have your water tested by a professional so you know exactly the amount and kinds of chemicals you will need to get through fall, winter and much of the spring. Keep in mind, if you’re hiring a professional to close your pool, schedule your closing well in advance as they are really busy this time of year (especially the good ones!). A well-timed close in the fall will set you up for a successful opening in the spring. Winterizing your pool properly prevents damage, costly repairs, and additional expenses.
If you need assistance winterizing your pool or have further questions on the topic, please contact us at (781) 383-3300. We’re happy to help!
When it is time to put away your Polaris cleaner for the winter, you will want to make sure the filter bag is thoroughly cleaned to prevent rodentdamage during the cold months. Hang the full bag on a fence to dry as it’s much easier to empty and clean once it has dried out.
Once your Polaris bag has been emptied, the easiest way to clean it is to throw it right in your washing machine! Wash the filter bag in your washing machine on gentle cycle, with cold water, WITHOUT detergent.
If you prefer not to wash your filter bag in your washing machine, hand-wash the filter bags in a bucket of water to remove all the dust particles from the filter bag. Hang to dry completely before storing it away.
Note: We recommend having an extra filter bag on hand for pool season, giving you the option to take off the full bag and immediately put a clean one on.
When it comes to your poolside oasis, beautiful landscaping can add both an aesthetic appeal and functionality. Set yourself up for success with plants that compliment your space and bring you joy.
Landscaping vs. Hardscaping
Whether you’re starting from scratch or sprucing up an existing patio area, you will want to account for both landscaping and hardscaping. The landscaping will consist of trees, plants, shrubs, flowers any other vegetation you choose to accent your space. As the name implies, hardscaping consists of hard features like stone walls, pathways, fountains, decks and water features.
Design for Functionality, Style & Safety
For most homeowners, your swimming pool serves as the focal point of your backyard. The landscaping and hardscaping should compliment both your home and pool.
Choose hardscape materials that speak to your sense of design, are durable, and make sense for your climate. Most importantly, keep safety top of mind. Choose products that will not become slippery when wet or when walking barefoot. Become familiar with your state building codes to avoid any potential design problems.
Landscaping elements bring life to a backyard. Trees provide shade and a habitat for birds and other animals while bushes and shrubs offer privacy and help prevent soil erosion. Vibrant flowers add beauty, fragrance and color while vines and ivy can supply attractive wall and ground cover. Don’t forget native perennial plants such as ornamental grasses that last through the seasons and come back year after year.
Avoid plants that drop a lot of leaves or debris in or around your pool. Be careful not to plant trees where they will grow to block sunlight from shining on your pool. It’s also a good idea to stay away from flowers that have thorns or will attract bees around the pool area.
Get creative, make a plan, consult with a local nursery or landscaping professional to learn which plants will thrive in your climate zone.
Once your backyard plan is in motion, take a minute to consider the details. Now that you’ve revamped your landscaping, you will need either automatic irrigation or easy access to a hose for watering. Create a convenient place to store your gardening tools.
Consider adding LED solar lighting to your pool and pathways to make navigating at night safer. The right lighting can help soften the space and set the mood. Hanging overhead lights can provide enough lighting to barbecue or play yard games. Resist the temptation to hang them over the pool as this is not a safe practice and they are not intended for this use.
With your landscaping complete, be sure to make time to enjoy the results of your hard work!
As much as we love time in the pool, we also love time spent around it. Your pool deck is a place for your family and friends to gather, a place to host meals and entertain. We spend so much time making sure your pool is winterized, we often neglect the deck that surrounds it. Before winter hits, take these steps to properly protect and maintain your pool deck.
Sweep your deck to remove all leaves, loose dirt and other debris. A basic broom should do the trick to remove all of the bigger debris and make step 2 easier.
Once your decking is clear of debris, use a power washer to get a more thorough clean. Whether wood, cement, stone, brick or composite, your deck should be power washed to remove ground-in dirt and stains from everyday use.
Remove and store your deck furniture, potted plants, grill, fire features, and anything else that may invite mold and mildew to grow. Moving these items will help avoid staining that will be hard to remove come spring.
For a wood deck, stain and/or seal your decking to add a layer of protection from the ice and snow. Sealing your deck will also protect against moisture and sun when it is pool season again.
For concrete decking, seal the concrete in the fall and be prepared to fix potential cracks that can occur from freezing and thawing throughout the winter.
When winter weather hits, shovel your wooden deck to remove snow from your pool decking. Avoid corrosive products like ice melt and salt that will cause damage to your decking material. By shoveling after every storm, you will help to avoid moisture and snow weight from causing issues with your deck’s integrity. Select a shovel without a metal edge to avoid scratching your deck’s surface.
Consider a deck cover that will further protect your decking from winter woes.
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to maintaining a beautiful entertainment space for your family and guests to enjoy year after year.
Safety is the most important element to pool ownership, but it is not just people that are at risk of drowning accidents in the pool. Our family pets, stray animals and wildlife can all run the risk of falling into your swimming pool and not being able to find their way out. Here are a few suggestions to keep your pets and neighborhood animals safe around your pool.
1. Install a Fence, Alarm and/or Pool Cover
Fencing and alarming your pool will help prevent unwanted animals from accidentally falling into the water and discourage them from using your pool as a watering hole. Be aware that many pool alarms only go off if an animal over 15 lbs. falls in. For this reason, alarms should be used as a backup safety mechanism, not your primary solution. Your first line of defense should be a quality fence that is at least 4 feet high. A sturdy safety pool cover will also keep animals from entering your pool and greatly reduce the risk of drowning accidents.
2. Trim Your Trees
If you have trees in your pool area, be sure to cut branches back so they are not hanging above the pool. Tree dwelling animals (especially baby animals) can easily end up in your pool when jumping from branch to branch. Reduce the risk by removing the branches.
3. Remove Trash Temptations
Make sure any trash you store outside is secure in barrels that are not easily opened. Trash cans with locking lids are preferable. Storing trash in a garage or shed also discourages critters foraging in your garbage. Having a potential food source in your yard will draw animals into your yard and pool area. Eliminate the temptation.
4. NEVER Leave Dogs Unattended
While some dogs are natural swimmers, others cannot swim at all. If they seem to like the water, it is wise to teach them to swim. If they do not seem to like the water, do not force them into it. Either way, it is important that your pets are aware of a safe way to exit the pool. Even if your dog is a good swimmer, he can become disoriented and panic if he can’t find a quick exit. Guide your dog in and out of the pool to show him where the stairs or ramp are located. Just as you wouldn’t leave your children unsupervised around the pool, the same rules apply for your pets. Fencing (as stated above) is the most reliable way to keep pets out of the pool area, while still allowing them to hang out in the yard.
5. Provide an Easy Exit
Having an easy exit strategy isn’t just for family pets. Installing a pool ramp (we like the Skamper-Ramp) will give wildlife and neighborhood animals that are not familiar with your pool a highly visible escape route. For critters like frogs and squirrels, we suggest the FrogLog, which attaches to the side of your pool and floats on the surface acting as a life raft for smaller animals. Try the Critter Skimmer as another safety mechanism. “The Critter Skimmer is an eco-friendly invention that allows frogs, turtles, mice, and other small critters to rescue themselves from in-ground pool skimmers. Replacing the pool skimmer cover with a Critter Skimmer allows animals that invariably end up in the pool to climb up the attached spiral rescue ramp and through the opening in the skimmer cover to safety.”
Share these pool tips with fellow pool owners and check back often for more of Tracy’s Tips on our blog.