Backyard Basking: 5 Reasons to Install An In-Ground Pool Today

The average American today has an incredibly busy lifestyle. Enjoying only a few hours at home most days, and most of that spent watching television, many Americans are probably not living the healthiest lifestyle.

So what’s the trick for getting your family outside and becoming more active? For some families, the key is a backyard swimming pool.

Swimming has long been acknowledged as one of the best forms of exercise. It’s low-impact, aerobic, and simultaneously works a large number of muscle groups. Installing a backyard pool can give you access to this perfect and enjoyable form of exercise, any day of the week.

But before you commit to the project, there are a few things you should know about backyard pool installation.

Design

When you contemplate installing a pool, you will first need to look at the design. How much space do you have to devote to a pool? Will you have room to install a locked fence, which is required in some states? How deep should the pool be?

Backyard Basking: 5 Reasons to Install An In-Ground Pool TodayFor some people, a pool large enough for swimming laps is a necessity. They want to have a place where they primarily can get in exercise, and are not interested in the aesthetics of a kidney-bean-shaped pool.

Other folks would prefer a pool that’s simply for soaking and relaxing, so including a waterfall or selecting a unique, aesthetic design is more appealing.

If your space is somewhat limited, you may want to consider doing a pool/spa combo. With this design, your pool may be used for cooling off during the summer and as a warm spa in winter.

Homeowners who have very limited space and do not require a great deal of swimming room will like this. However, this design can be especially pricey when you have to heat a larger body of water than what you’d find in the common hot tub.

Cost

Before taking on any large home project, cost must be considered. The average pool installation in the U.S. costs around $22,000. Following your initial installation, you are looking at upwards of $300 to maintain the pool each year. If you choose to hire a pool care company, that number will only increase.

If you assume all your pool costs will be recouped in the resale of your home, think again. Many homeowners find the return on investment for an in-ground pool is less than 50%. This figure will depend on your geographic location and climate, of course, but the ROI for pool installations is not promising if you’re looking for a resale boost.

Construction

Construction of an in-ground swimming pool is no simple feat. First, you must consider getting heavy machinery onto your property to dig the pool spot, as well as find ways to haul away the dirt.

In many instances, this construction phase alone can cause significant damage to your property and landscaping that will have to be fixed after the pool is completed. In the next phase, you will be pouring concrete and building retaining walls.
It’s crucial for you to work with a company that carefully calculates the weight and stability of the pool. Some companies may fail to install a retaining wall where one is called for, which could lead to cracks in the pool and eventual wall collapse.

Installing a pool is an incredibly involved job. It requires serious planning and a great deal of research. Your ground stability, slope, and space must be studied fully before you embark on this journey. To make the process easier for yourself, work with a company that has long-term experience in the pool installation business and provides a great deal of information.

Maintenance

Since annual pool maintenance runs upwards of $300, you’ll want to handle this yourself if you possibly can. To start the pool-cleaning process, remove debris from the pool on a regular basis.

Much of the gunk can be drawn out with a netted skimmer, but the heavier debris will sit on the bottom, which will make a pool vacuum necessary. The sides of your pool will also need a good scrubbing to remove algae and other slime that may have accumulated.

A filter should be running in the pool at all times to keep out most of the debris, and the filter will need to be replaced regularly. After you “shock” your pool with chlorine, you’ll need to test the pH levels in the water.

It cannot be too acid or too alkaline, because either can cause damage to your skin, mucus membranes, and pool surfaces.

Personal Health

Backyard Basking: 5 Reasons to Install An In-Ground Pool TodaySwimming is one of the very best forms of exercise by far. It’s low impact, so it allows individuals who have arthritic joints, or those who are pregnant, to experience solid aerobic activity with a minimum of strain.

It can also help to build up your endurance and increase lung function, which is especially beneficial for those who suffer from asthma.

Ties with Family and Friends

One of the most common excuses for the failure to exercise is lack of time. Many people say their time is overly consumed by work and social commitments to fit in exercise. But what if you could garner social benefits while exercising?

A backyard pool is one of the best arenas for spending quality time with your family and friends while working on your personal fitness. Imagine if backyard barbecues were spent exercising as well as consuming food? You would be able to work off the calories while enjoying a fun summer activity with family and friends.

In addition, many young people have become so preoccupied with their digital lives that they can hardly look up from their phone to eat. One place they will definitely not be utilizing their cell phone is in the pool.

Having a pool will allow your friends and family to spend more time outside exercising as well as creating long-lasting bonds.

Contact Gunite Pools of Tulsa

If you decide a backyard pool is just the thing your family needs, why not call in the professionals? With more than 16 years of experience building pools, Gunite Pools of Tulsa has the know-how and background to get your dream design underway. Contact us to get started on your pool project today.

 

6 Tips to Get Your Swimming Pool Ready for Warmer Weather

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to get your swimming pool back up and running. Whether you shut your pool down for the winter or enjoyed an unusually warm “cold season” with an occasional dip in the water, now is the time to prepare for around-the-clock use.

1. Get the Water Moving

6 Tips to Get Your Swimming Pool Ready for Warmer Weather If you’ve had a pool for a few years, you know that all-too familiar slimy green algae that starts to form at the bottom when the water hasn’t been circulated in months. Well, don’t wait until you want to take a dip in the pool to start cleaning things up. The best thing you can do is get the pool circulating a few weeks before you’re ready to use it.

You don’t have to circulate the water for 12 hours a day like you would during the peak of the summer, but go ahead and turn on the circulating equipment for two or three hours each day. This will get the chemicals moving around, help stabilize the whacked out pH level, and encourage things to return to normal.

You’ll obviously still have to make adjustments when it’s time to actually start using your pool again, but this little head start can accelerate the process once the weather fully cooperates for comfortable swimming.

2. Start Cleaning

6 Tips to Get Your Swimming Pool Ready for Warmer WeatherOnce you’re ready to start using the pool, you’ll need to participate in a little spring cleaning. While everyone has their own routine, here’s one good strategy:

  • Clean off the top of your pool cover and then remove it from the pool. Make sure you clean the cover well (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) so that you can maximize use. The last thing you want is to grab your cover at the end of the season and realize that it’s moldy and nasty.
  • Grab a nylon brush and start scrubbing the sides and floor of your pool. While you may not see all of the sediment and scum on these surfaces, it’ll become pretty apparent once you start scrubbing. Your water will begin to look less and less enticing – but don’t worry, you’ll take care of that.
  • Next, take your pool skimmer and start fishing out any leaves, trash, sticks, and bugs that are floating on the surface.
  • Start running your vacuum and put it on the “waste” setting if you have one. This will keep any left over debris from clogging your filters.

If you lost some water as a result of running your vacuum on the “waste” setting, now is a good time to get it back to the proper level. And at this point, the water should be looking pretty clear and inviting. However, it’s not time to dive in quite yet.

3. Balance Chemical Levels

While the water may look great, you have to ensure that the chemical levels are in their appropriate ranges if you want to enjoy safe swimming. And when preparing your pool for warm weather, you’ll want to pay careful attention to pH levels. Over the winter, these pH levels have probably moved well out of the ideal range and you need to rebalance them.

While pH may not sound serious, it’s actually very important. It’s the measure of acidity in the water and scales from 0-14. If the pH is above seven, it’s considered basic. If it’s below seven, it’s known as acid. Low pH can damage the mechanical components of the pool, irritate the eyes, and damage the pool liner. High pH can irritate skin, lead to cloudiness, and cause poorer chlorine disinfection. You ideally want your pool in the 7.2-7.6 range.

Other chemicals to measure and balance include alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine. Once you stabilize these levels for a few days and have clear water, you’re just about ready to open your pool for spring.

4. Perform a Manual Check of Hardware

Since your pool hasn’t been used for a few months, now is a good time to check on all of the various features to ensure they’re in tip-top shape. Inspect handrails, ladders, and the diving board. Are there any cracks, loose screws, or warning signs? If anything needs to be replaced or fixed, now is the time to do so. You don’t want any cuts or skinned knees happening on your watch.

5. Sort Through Toys and Furniture

Now that the pool is ready to go, you should take a little time to sort through pool toys, furniture, and equipment that’s no-doubt crammed in a closet or shed. Clean everything, toss stuff you no longer need, and get organized.

This is also a prime opportunity to organize pool chemicals. Are there any expired chemicals that need to be thrown away? Are you running low on something you’ll need? All chemicals should be clearly labeled and safely stored.

6. Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy

There you have it! It may sound like a lot, but remember that you should start this process a few weeks before opening up your pool. This will allow you to break everything down into steps.

And now that you’ve got everything ready, it’s time to throw on your bathing suit, lather on the sunscreen, grab a cold drink, and enjoy your backyard. You only get to appreciate your pool for a few months out of the year, so make the most of it!

Contact Gunite Pools of Tulsa

At Gunite Pools of Tulsa, we are considered the premier pool construction company in Tulsa. We’ve been a part of the local community for more than 16 years and counting and are both locally owned and operated.

Whether you’re looking for pool construction, renovations, or installation, we can help you create the backyard of your dreams. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss your project in further detail. And as a thank you for trusting us with your needs, we’d love to give you a free quote.

5 Tips To Prepare Your Pool For An Oklahoma Winter

5 Tips To Prepare Your Pool For An Tulsa WinterLet’s face it, unless you’re a member of the Polar Bear Club, whose members enjoy diving into ice cold water for some reason, then you need to winterize your pool. Especially in Tulsa, where the winds come sweeping down the plains with a vengeance. Even if you’re lucky enough to own a Gunite pool, you still have to take some common sense precautions for preparing your pool for the winter. Here are five simple things to do to winterize your pool for the winter.

1. Disconnect Everything

Nothing hooked to your pool should be lever connected. Obviously you’re going to drain the water out it, make sure everything else has all the water drained out of it too. Otherwise it’ll freeze and you’ll have major repairs come Spring.

2. Blow out Jets

Now this may sound like a major pain, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you have an air compressor, blow out all the lines connected to the pool. Make sure you do it to the point that there’s no question of anything being stuck in the line and clear bubbles appear at the end.

3. Put away Accessories

Anything you normally keep around the pool, net, lifebuoys, or other accessories, put the away. You’d be surprised how many people are too lazy to do this.

4. Leave the Water in the Pool

There’s really no reason to drain your pool, as long as you’ve cleaned out all the accessories that might freeze and damage them. Unless you live in Antarctica, you’re pool won’t freeze up, and it’ll be fine.

5. Cover your Pool

Hopefully this goes without saying. You’ve seen the dead frogs and birds that build up over the winter. A simple cover will prevent that.

Gunite Pools of Tulsa

With just a bit of simple maintenance, your pool will last a lifetime. But to be sure, contact Gunite Pools of Tulsa for professional advice on winter pool care. You can reach them at (918) 732-9485 or by using their online form.

How to Kill Algae Blooms in Your Pool

How to Kill Algae Blooms in Your PoolThe best method of killing pool algae is by keeping your pool clean and to attack algae spores before they can grow into full-fledged blooms. Circulation, proper sanitizer levels, routine brushing, and weekly shocking will get rid of the majority of spores before they flourish. But in some rare cases algae will overcome even these precautions. If your pool is one of these unusual cases, follow these easy steps to get your pool back to its original glory.

Test Your pH Balance

In cases where algae blooms are especially hardy, adjust your pH balance slightly higher than usual. A pH of between 7.8 and 8 should be enough to create a hostile environment for algae.

Check Your Filter

Clean or backwash your filter regularly. Remove debris and contaminants that may contribute to algae growth. Consider setting your filter to running 24 hours a day during algae season.

Scrub Your Pool

Cleaning your pool by scrubbing with a brush is always a good idea, especially if your pool walls are particularly porous. Some types of pool walls will become more porous over time. Wire brushes are best for use on plaster and gunite pools. Never use wire brushes on pools with vinyl walls, rather, use a nylon brush.

Shock the Algae

Using a strong algae shock treatment  is among the best ways to keep algae from forming. Follow the directions for proper dosage. Large algae growths may need to be treated with as many as two or three extra doses over a period of 36 hours. The water may become cloudy after a large treatment. This will normally clear up after running the filter.

After Shocking, Brush and Vacuum

After treating large algae blooms, there may be floating masses in the water. You should brush and vacuum in this instance. Using a flocculent will cause particles to clump together for easier removal.

Four Reasons You Need a Pool This Summer

Four Reasons You Need a Pool This SummerSummer is upon us and the temperatures are rising quickly. Are you considering purchasing the pool Tulsa residents recommend–a Gunite pool? If not, you should be. Owning a pool offers several benefits that are well worth taking advantage of. Here are four benefits owning a pool can offer you.

1. Gunite Pools Provide a Great Way to Beat the Summer Heat

Tulsa gets hot in the summer–will you be ready? Why spend all summer cooped up indoors in the air conditioning when you could be outside, relaxing and enjoying the summer from the side of a pool? Nothing beats diving headfirst in the deep end when the temperatures are soaring.

2. Getting In Shape Has Never Been Easier

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions this year to get in shape? With a pool, you can actually enjoy getting fit. Having a pool right outside your backdoor is a fantastic way to encourage yourself and your family to get off the couch and get moving.

3. Gunite Pools Encourage Social Interaction

Between work, extracurricular activities and family obligations, making time for friends and family often gets placed on the back burner. It’s not that you don’t want to be social; you just never seem to find a good enough reason to. With a pool, you have a great reason. You’ll love catching up with friends and family.

4. Swimming is Good for Your Mental Health

Have the long winter months left you in a bit of funk? Buying a pool is a great way to change that! Not only will you benefit from relaxing in the calm water at the end of a long day, but you’ll also benefit from the extra sunshine and slower pace of living that are sure to result as well.

If you’ve been thinking about owning a pool, now is the perfect time to check out the pool Tulsa residents recommend. Visit Gunite pools and make the most of your summer, starting today. Call us today!

Myths of Swimming Pools

Myths-Swimming-Pools

Myth #1: The heavy chemical smell around the pool is a reminder that chlorine is present in the water for killing germs.

Fact: A properly disinfected swimming pool has no strong chemical smell, despite the presence of chlorine disinfectant to destroy germs. That surprises most people. In fact, the odor we notice around pools arises from the presence of chloramines in pool water. Without turning this into a chemistry lesson, chloramines form when chlorine disinfectants react with contaminants brought into pools on the bodies of swimmers. These contaminants include perspiration, urine, body oils and cosmetics. Chloramines are irritants that can redden the eyes of swimmers and make their skin itchy. Ironically, while many people think a pool chemical smell means there is too much chlorine in the water, more chlorine disinfectant may actually be needed to destroy the irritating chloramines.

Myth #2: Chlorine in pool water turns your hair green.

Fact: Green hair is associated with swimming and blondes display this best, but don’t blame chlorine. The green color comes from metals, such as copper, in the water, which are added to control algae or may be leached from pool plumbing and fixtures. Hint: Wear a swim cap. If you hate that idea, experts recommend a thorough hair-rinsing as soon as you leave the pool, followed by a gentle shampoo.

Myth #3: Pool water is disinfected, so it’s alright if my children swallow some.

Fact: Teach your children to avoid getting pool water in their mouths. Chlorine does kill waterborne germs, but chlorine levels fluctuate in pools, especially busy, crowded pools. And germs are not equally susceptible to chlorine–some germs take longer to destroy than others. Pool staff are responsible for keeping chlorine levels within an acceptable range, but, unfortunately, not all pools are carefully maintained. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid swallowing pool water. But if this sounds like rather passive advice, please read on.

Gunite Pools of Tulsa

We provide unique beauty and craftsmanship in addition to value that far exceeds others in the pool industry. Our staff is qualified and cares about your satisfaction therefore our customer service is some of the best in the state! When you work with us, you can expect nothing but the best in materials, in addition to complete support before, during and after your pool construction. Our process is unlike all the others and the job isn’t done until you are completely satisfied. Call us today!http://gunitepoolsoftulsa.com/contact-us/

How to Properly Clean Your Pool

Properly Cleaning A PoolIt is now springtime! This means that you are getting closer to deciding the date to open your pool. Maybe this is your first year with a new pool and you do not know how to properly clean and take care of it. Here are 3 areas of the pool you need to make sure to clean very often.

Brush the Walls

For proper pool maintenance, it is recommended that you brush the walls and floor of the pool once a week. Pay particular attention to any areas that have poor water circulation.

Leaf Net

Use a leaf net to pull out leaves and debris. The lead net is useful for skimming the surface of the water to catch insects as well. You can also use your lead net to scoop up toys and other things your kids might have left or lost in the pool.

Proper Chemicals

Your swimming pool needs to maintain the proper chemical levels. It is very important to test your water regularly for to key factors: pH and sanitizers. By testing your water at least 3 times per week, you will begin to understand how bather load, rain, and chemical application will affect the pool.

Gunite Pools

Gunite Pools of Tulsa is a pool company focused on our customers and quality pools and service. Whenever you are looking for pool design and installation, it is essential to choose a company with experience, competitive pricing and great customer service. We are 100% sure that we are the best company for the job. Our professional will consult with you before we begin. Call us today.

 

Preparing Your Pool For Winter

Gunite Pools wants to make sure your pool stays protected from the winter freezing, and to keep it as clean as possible. If you know how to close your pool properly, it will save you a lot of work for when you open your pool up for the next summer. Here are some tips for you so that you can keep your pool in perfect condition.

First Step in getting your pool ready for winter

Make sure your water chemistry is balanced. You should make sure that your pH, Total Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness are all balanced. By balancing your water chemistry you are protecting the surface of the pool from staining and etching.

Lower Water

The next step is to lower the water below the mouth of your skimmer(s). This will get the water out of the throat of the skimmer, which can be easily damaged if water were to freeze there.

Blow Out The Water in Plumbing Lines

Blow out ALL the water is the plumbing lines. You can do this using a shop vac. Use the discharge of the shop vac to blow water out of each line from the filter system.

Cover Your Pool

You should cover your pool to keep out the debris. The type of cover you use will depend upon several factors.

Final Step

You must drain ALL the water from the filter system. Make sure to open the air relief valve on top, if you have one. Drain the pump, there may be two plugs to remove. You need to let all the chemicals run out of your feeder so there are no more chemicals left, then you can drain your chemical feeder.

It is a good idea to take the pressure gauge inside for the winter because water collects in its tube which can freeze and cause breakage.

Gunite Pools Wants You To Be Ready!

Gunite Pools wants to make sure that you have the best experience with your pool, and to be able to use it for a very long time with little to no damage. Protecting your pool from winter will help your pool last and stay damage free. Call us today with any questions you might have.

Pool Maintenance Tips

How to take care of and maintain your pool.It’s common for us to dream of the warm, sunny days when we’re dealing with the cold, yucky days. Part of this daydream could have included a pool; crisp, clear water just waiting to cool you off in the summer sun. This is something almost everyone enjoys about the warmer months, even if they don’t own a pool. If you do own a pool, however, then you may not exactly see it as the luxury that it is. How so? Because you’re the one who has to maintain it each year and sometimes this is a little frustrating. Luckily, depending on the type of pool you have, you can follow some basic steps to keep it in useable condition.

Preparation

Before you can use the pool you have to prepare it. This is the part that many don’t enjoy doing. The best time to start is once it begins to get warmer and the cooler days seem to be over. First you need to have all the chemicals and supplies that will be needed for and after you fill the pool. The filter and pump should be assembled and ready to go with a leak inspection made every season. Basic maintenance includes getting rid of any debris, vacuuming it regularly and frequently testing the chemicals to keep it properly balanced. If this sounds like too much work or you aren’t familiar with doing it, there are some pool companies that provide services for opening a pool.

Clearing Any Debris

It’s common for bugs and leaves to accumulate in the pool but it doesn’t make it any more enjoyable clearing the debris from the pool. In addition to being unappealing, it increases the risk of more serious issues occurring such as algae or issues with the circulation. Unfortunately the debris doesn’t always float atop the water, which would make it a lot easier to clean if it did. To clear the debris away use a long handled net and lightly run it across the surface, collecting the debris. Your skimmer and pump baskets should be cleaned out weekly; use a garden hose to get any stuck or stubborn debris out. To further prevent hassling with debris keep any trees or bushes near your pool neatly trimmed and keep a pool cover on it when not in use.

Cleaning the Pool’s Interior

In addition to eradicating any debris in the water, the pool’s floor and walls need attention as well. You can do this with either an automatic cleaner or a manual vacuum. Either way, every couple weeks you need to brush and/or scrub the interior to keep buildup from accumulating. This will be easier if you use the proper tools for your pool size and type. This type of pool maintenance will be much easier if you do it regularly.

Keep an Ideal Chemical Balance

The ideal chemical balance of your pool is very important if you want to have clean, clear water instead of unsanitary, algae-filled water. Testing your water weekly is often recommended; test the alkalinity, chlorine levels and the pH balance. You can purchase kits in the store to do this as well as all the chemicals you might need. Keeping it clean and properly balanced will prevent algae and other frustrating issues.

When to Use the Pump

Your pump doesn’t have to be constantly going necessarily. It really depends on the heat and how often you use the pool. Running it at least 8 hours a day should keep the balance of chemicals.

Keep the Filter Clean

The filter for your pool is a crucial component and needs to be cleaned regularly. The type of filter your pool requires will determine the difficulty of this task and how often you need to do it. As an example, a sand filter might require the system to be backwashed several times a month. Knowing when you should check it is also important and a requirement for anyone wanting to maintain their pool so they can use it each year. The manual that comes with your pool should tell you how this process works.

Keep the Proper Water Level

Water evaporates so it’s no surprise to see your pool looking slightly lower than when you first opened it. It’s important that the water level is sufficient for the skimmers to properly filter it unless you have an automatic water supply in place. However, should you need to add water at any time (which you can easily do with a water hose) you will need to re-balance the chemicals afterwards.

Winterize Your Pool Each Year

When you aren’t using your pool come the cold weather season it’s important that you winterize it to avoid issues or damage the next time you want to use it.

 

All of this information may sound a little overwhelming at first but if you don’t have the time to maintain your pool, consider letting the professionals do it for you. An upside to using a professional service is that they can notify you of any other existing issues that you might not be aware of and offer flexible scheduling so you can have them out as often as you like.

Or perhaps you are just looking for a pool that is nicer and easier to maintain. In which case you should contact the experts at Gunite Pools of Tulsa for a quote.