One of the most fun parts of designing your own swimming pool is adding customized features just for yourself or your family. Each choice adds up to a swimming experience uniquely tailored to your preferences. And of all the features you can add, what’s more fun than a swimming pool slide? Kids and adults alike love sliding into the water! But how should you plan for this new addition to the backyard?
Planning for Your Swimming Pool Slide
Adding a slide to your pool is more complicated than just updating your design. You’ll need to consider such complications as how to keep the slide wet, safety regulations to follow, and whether or not homeowners’ guidelines will allow you to build one in the first place. Let’s take a look at the most important factors to investigate:
- Homeowners’ association regulations
- Safety considerations
- Keeping the slide wet
1) Homeowners’ Association Regulations
Local homeowners’ associations have rules in place about changes you can make to your property. Depending on their exact regulations, your slide may have to have certain dimensions or be a particular color. Even if you don’t think adding a slide will cause problems, make sure to look up your local HOA regulations first. Knowing your responsibilities ahead of time can save you fines and significant revisions later on.
Pro Tip: Besides HOA regulations, what might get in the way of adding custom pool features to your yard? See if you have any pipes, power cords, or other underground obstacles that could be a problem before construction begins.
2) Safety Considerations
How tall will the completed slide be? Will it be made of the same material as the rest of your pool? Will the stairway to reach the top need a handrail? While most safety regulations apply to slides that will be sitting next to your pool rather than build into the structure itself, you should consider how the design and size of the completed slide will impact your family’s safety.
3) Keeping the Slide Wet
For both comfort and safety’s sake, your new slide has to stay wet. After all, who wants friction burns from sliding down a dry slide in a wet swimsuit? Fortunately, you have a couple of options. The simpler method is to simply get out the garden hose whenever you plan on using your slide and spray the surface down or install a spray kit to keep the hose hooked up to your slide while it’s in use.
However, using the garden hose can lead not only to a chemical imbalance in your pool, but also to potentially causing the pool to overflow and cause water damage to your yard. The better solution is to ask your pool contractor to add plumbing to your slide to pull water from the pool and keep the slide wet. This way, you can enjoy your slide in comfort without the added problems of using a garden hose.
Enjoy Your New Slide!
It may seem complicated to deal with all the questions and safety concerns during the planning phase. But once you’re done, you’ll be getting a brand new swimming pool slide perfectly tailored to your preferences! What more could you ask for?
Connect with us for more information on the custom features we offer for your pool.
If you’re planning to spend time outside in your pool, what’s the only thing worse than Houston heat that might hold you back? Probably bugs. Whether bees, wasps, or mosquitos, bugs in the backyard are one of the least pleasant obstacles to a fun afternoon in the pool.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to keep bugs out of the swimming pool. Before you call an exterminator, try one of these simple tricks to prevent the bugs from settling in and ruining your afternoon.
Get Rid of Mosquitoes
When it comes to mosquitoes, the best strategy is prevention. Maintain the proper pool chemistry to keep any mosquito eggs from surviving, and cover your pool when it’s not in use. Dump standing water in buckets or other landscaping fixtures and replace the water in any fountains or other features regularly. Don’t let them get a foothold in your yard.
If mosquitoes have already moved in, then it’s time to take stronger measures. Find a method to kill the ones already there and keep more from coming. One excellent choice is a mosquito mister, a device that sprays pesticides all around your yard. Just make sure to check with your local regulations first to make sure the chemicals you’re using are allowed. Some homeowners also set up a pond to attract dragonflies, the natural predator of mosquitoes. This is an effective method of curbing local mosquito growth in your local neighborhood as well as your backyard–you’ll be doing your neighbors a service!
Pro Tip: Aquascapes offers mosquito mister installation to keep bugs from ruining your afternoon! Get in touch with us to install your mister and keep your backyard mosquito-free.
Discourage Wasps from Moving In
Wasps are not easy to get rid of. Since they’re regarded as somewhat beneficial bugs, it’s best to try simply encouraging them to leave before you call an exterminator. You have two primary methods at your disposal for this. First, you can purchase and hang up decoy wasp nests to convince your unwanted visitors that other wasps are already living there. Since wasps are very territorial insects, they’ll look elsewhere.
Second, you can hang a chunk of raw meat far away from your pool to encourage the wasps to go there for a snack. Just don’t hang a piece that’s too big, or the wasps won’t be able to finish it all and it will rot.
Keep Bees Out of Your Pool
If you see bees hovering around your pool, chances are they’re after the water. The best way to get around this is to offer them an alternative source of water to drink. Set up a small fountain or waterer with a rock inside so they can climb out if they fall in. Not only will this keep the bees out of your pool, but you’ll also be helping the bees!
Unfortunately, an alternative source of water won’t be enough for every bee swarm. If you still can’t convince them to leave, set a few dryer sheets outside under a weight or in a decorative basket. Bees hate the smells dryer sheets produce. Even as you get to enjoy the fresh scent, the bees will want to move on.
Maintain a Bug-Free Pool
Not every bug problem requires an exterminator’s solution. As in the case of important bugs like bees, sometimes it just requires offering an alternative to keep the bugs happy. But your goal is ultimately to maintain a safe, enjoyable swimming experience for yourself and your family. Don’t let bugs ruin that for you! Keep bugs out of your swimming pool and enjoy your autumn.
Join the conversation to learn more about keeping bugs out of your swimming pool and maintaining a fun environment.
Occasionally, you’ll notice the water in your swimming pool lowering. This usually isn’t a big deal, since the water level tends to fluctuate with rain. However, if you notice the water is dropping rapidly and consistently with time, you may have a problem.
There are two primary reasons your pool water level may be falling: the water is simply evaporating, or your pool has a leak somewhere. The cause of your problem will determine how you fix it. Here’s how to determine if your pool is leaking or not and how to resolve the issue.
The Bucket Test
Before you hunt for the leak, make sure your pool is leaking. Place a bucket on the first step down into your pool, fill the bucket with water level to the rest of your pool, turn off the pool pumps, and leave the bucket alone for about a day. If both the bucket and pool have lost the same amount of water, don’t worry–the water loss is only due to evaporation, not a leak. If the pool has gone down dramatically compared to the bucket, however, you definitely have a leak.
Pro Tip: When you’re doing the bucket test, mark the water level in your bucket with a Sharpie or other waterproof material so you don’t lose your spot.
Turn on the Pumps
Once the bucket test has shown that your pool is leaking, the next step is to determine the location of the leak. Repeat the bucket test, but this time, turn on your pool pumps and watch the water levels over the next 24 hours. If your pool’s water level stays steady or decreases slower with the pump on, it’s very likely the leak is somewhere in your pipes. Call a professional to come take a look and repair the plumbing.
The Ink Test
If the leak is in your pool shell itself, you’ll need to try a more involved test to find it. Walk around your pool and find the wettest part of the ground, the part where it’s most likely that the water is escaping. Take a bottle of dye or food coloring and get into your pool near the suspected leak. While moving slowly so as to not disturb the water too much, squirt a few drops of dye under the water and watch where it’s pulled as water flows out of the leak. Take note of where it flows out. Your pool contractor will have to patch up this spot to prevent any more water from being lost.
Don’t Lose Any More Water!
A leaky swimming pool can rapidly turn into an expensive issue between the cost of repairs and your increased water bill. Don’t let it progress to that point! With these swimming pool leak detection techniques, you’ll be able to find the problem quickly and have a professional pool builder get you back on track.
Join the conversation to learn more about pool maintenance and checking for problems.
Building a swimming pool represents a significant investment of time and money. Before making that investment, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve hired a trustworthy pool contractor. If you notice that your pool contractor’s behavior is sending up a few red flags, it’s probably time to hire someone else.
Signs of a Bad Contractor
A few signs of a less than trustworthy pool builder seem pretty obvious. However, a few may be harder to spot at first glance. Don’t mistake these red flags for just personality differences–you’ll ultimately be the one paying for any mistakes or problems. Here’s what to look out for:
- Claims too good to be true
- Making themselves look fantastic and others look subpar
- High-pressure sales
1) Claims Too Good to be True
A pool contractor may tell you they can finish your pool in just 2 weeks. Alternatively, they may offer you a ridiculously low estimate that may seem like a fantastic deal. Both cases are massive red flags that something is going on. Make sure your contractor gives you a realistic time frame: a pool typically takes 8-12 weeks to complete, with 6 weeks being considered a rush job. Additionally, research the average prices for pools in your area. If the price seems too good to be true, the contractor is either lying or hoping to upsell additional expensive features to you further down the line.
2) Making Themselves Look Fantastic and Others Look Subpar
This isn’t to say pool contractors shouldn’t promote themselves. Good marketing is a critical part of any business strategy. However, their self-promotion should focus on what they can do for you and how well they can perform, not how terrible the competition is by comparison. This could indicate that they really don’t have much to offer you. Additionally, do you really want to deal with someone who has that low a view of others in their field?
Pro Tip: Does a contractor’s material focus on their own accomplishments and how well they can help you build a pool? If it demonizes their competition instead, you’re dealing with an unprofessional contractor.
3) High-Pressure Sales
The pool contractor is working for you, building a pool in your backyard for you to use. If they’re dictating to you what features you absolutely must or must not include (beyond the typical promotional offerings a salesman will have), they’re overstepping their boundaries. This can go hand in hand with the claim of a low price from earlier–demanding salesmen could make your estimate skyrocket by adding a bunch of features that cost unreasonable amounts of money. Find a contractor who will listen to your input and build the pool you want, instead of the pool they want to sell you.
Find a Good Contractor
Don’t let a scam artist ruin your pool project! Find a pool builder you can trust to be honest every step of the way, incorporate your input as much as possible, and do exactly what they’re capable of. Let our expert designers help you start creating your dream pool today!
Connect with us to learn more about our custom pool building services.