A Brief History of Swimming Pools

The earliest public water tank in the ancient world is the Great Bath. Found in the 1920s, it existed more than 5,000 years ago in Mohenjo-Daro (a core epicenter of the Indus civilization) Pakistan. Measuring almost 40 feet by 23 feet with a depth of nearly eight feet, two sweeping staircases lead down into the pool. Its significance is unknown, but historians generally link it to ritualistic or religious bathing of sorts. The ancient city featured numerous baths (most homes had restrooms) and a complex sewage system, suggesting that cleanliness and bathing was a priority for the indigenous people.

Ancient Greeks and Romans perfected the pool landscape, as individual wealth increased and luxuries were effortlessly implemented. Beyond aesthetic and enhancement of the property, pools were also used for bathing, war training, maintaining health, religious ceremonies, socializing, and much more. “Palaestra” were ancient Greek open-court wrestling or boxing sites that usually included pools for exercising, bathing, or socializing. Plato felt that every Greek child needed to learn how to swim along with a proper education in mathematics, writing, astronomy, etc. Starting in 400 B.C., it was standard to teach children to swim in pools.

In the 1800s, the British National Swimming Society introduced competitive swimming. New swimming strokes and kicking techniques were introduced, which lead to increased speed. In 1896, the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece introduced swimming as its own event.

Texas houses one of the oldest in-ground pools in America. Deep Eddy Pool in Austin has a bathhouse built during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration. Today, it’s still a popular pool maintained by the City of Austin. It is listed as a historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1907, the first recorded above-ground swimming pool was constructed by the Philadelphia Racquet Club. It, too, is on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.

The first pool to cross the Atlantic Ocean was installed on the Adriatic cruise ship from White Star Lines in 1907. The sister ship, The Titanic, also boasted a pool.

Following World War II, swimming pools became mainstream in America. They can be found in nearly every country in the world. The National Swimming Pool Foundation estimates more than 10 million swimming pools across America, including more than 360,000 year-round pools.

Pound Pool Plastering offers free estimates and complete pool renovations. Dale Pound, owner, personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, Marcite, Pebble finishes, Bead Crete, tile choices, coping stones, etc. We are pool renovation experts – contact us today at 248-476-4544 or poundpool@sbcglobal.net.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

Pandemic Pool Remodeling Is All the Rage

The sharp decrease in travel to exotic places with beaches or pools has caused many Americans to look elsewhere instead: their back yards.

Searches for pool and spa professionals are up three times from what they were a year ago. Sheltering-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic have influenced the high demand for home improvements and remodeling.

More than three-quarters of all U.S. homeowners have done some sort of home improvement project during the pandemic, according to a report. A majority of those homeowners who responded said they plan on starting a new project in the upcoming 12 months. They attributed the motivation to an increase in spare time, adding value to their home, and making the house more comfortable. Pools increase property values and are clean, fun spaces for the family.

Even Wall Street investors are taking note of the soaring pool industry. Poolcorp, an international distributor of swimming pool supplies, parts, and outdoor living products hit an all-time high recently, and is up over 54 percent from last year. POOL stock is on its way to have its best year since 2003.

Pool remodeling projects are expected to climb during the fall and winter months, as these are typically the busier seasons; read one of our previous blog posts to find out why.

Are you looking to remodel or redesign your pool before next season? The time is now! Contact the professionals at Pound Pool Plastering to schedule an appointment today. To read more about the pool remodeling sensation sweeping the nation, read the original article by CNBC.

Pound Pool Plastering offers free estimates and complete pool renovations. Dale Pound, owner, personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, Marcite, Pebble finishes, Bead Crete, tile choices, coping stones, etc. We are pool renovation experts – contact us today at 248-476-4544 or poundpool@sbcglobal.net.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Properly Winterize a Pool in Six Steps

With the crisp fall breeze upon us, winter will be here before we know it. Typically, pools are closed in the late summer or early fall. The process, called winterizing, helps protect pool’s structure from costly damage related to freezing water. It’s also a great way to ensure your pool is clean and ready for next year’s season.

Read the step-by-step winterizing process below:

  1. Balance water. Ensuring your pool water chemistry is correct can circumvent laborious maintenance issues when you re-open in the spring or summer. Pool testing kits are essential for this step. Levels such as pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and more are crucial to assess. Incorrect chemical imbalances can lead to corrosion, effect comfortability, and promote algae growth. Winterizing chemicals can help keep your pool water balanced.
  • Add a shock treatment. Chlorine is critical to pool water quality by preventing algae, breaking down bacteria, and keeping the water clean and fresh. Shocking pool water consists of adding a large amount of chlorine (10 to 12 PPM), then waiting a day or two for the PPM to be a normal level (1.5 to 3.5 PPM.) For best results, shock your pool a few days before you plan on shutting it down.
  • Remove/clean tools and accessories. Remove all skimmer baskets, heaters, slides, wall fittings, vacuums, pool cleaners, ladders, and handrails. Clean well, allow to dry thoroughly, and store in a secure, dry place. After removing the equipment, collect debris from the pool using a net.
  • Lower the water level. Use the filter pump or submersible pump to lower the water level in the pool. It needs to be roughly four to six inches below the plumbing line, which is normally the water return line. Ensure the water is below the skimmer; the above-ground skimmer can be removed.
  • Drain your pool equipment. Your pool pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator have drain plugs. Drain manually or blow water out with a Shop Vac or something similar. Wash your filter and store during the winter. If you have a chemical feeder, drain and empty it.
  • Add a winter cover. Solid pool covers keep out debris, block the sun, and discourage algae growth. Air pillows fit under the cover and help to relieve pressure and protect the pool’s walls as the water freezes. Air pillows also minimize the number of leaves, debris, and water that collects in the center of your pool cover.

Have more questions about winterizing a pool? Look no further; contact the experts at Pound Pool Plastering who can assist with winterizing and renovations.

Pound Pool Plastering offers free estimates and complete pool renovations. Dale Pound, owner, personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, Marcite, Pebble finishes, Bead Crete, tile choices, coping stones, etc. We are pool renovation experts – contact us today at 248-476-4544 or poundpool@sbcglobal.net.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Why Fall is the Best Time to Renovate a Pool

As the weather starts to cool down and the crisp fall breeze fills the air, pool owners slowly begin to close them until the following year. Perhaps any ideas of renovating a pool go by the wayside; once the pool is closed, there might not be a second thought about it until spring. As the weather warms up and the pool is reopened in spring, many owners are suddenly reminded of the renovations they thought about last year. Instead of missing out on valuable pool time, they push the idea off another year…and the cycle repeats itself.

Thankfully, there is a way to remedy this trend. Instead of suffering through deferred maintenance, autumn is the ideal time to give your pool a facelift. Why? Read on…

First, a fall pool remodel minimizes the amount of time lost using your pool during peak season. When a pool is under construction, it’s decommissioned until the project is completed. In Michigan, outdoor pools are generally not in use during the winter anyway, so it’s a win-win.

Home improvements of any kind are typically anticipated to be quick and seamless, but that’s not always the case. In the summer, construction crews can sometimes be pressed for time due to several circumstances. The fall relieves many of those weights as the pool will not be in high demand, and the construction team will have time to focus on the project at-hand. The best part? The pool will be beautiful and ready to use in the spring – like magic!

Lastly, many homeowners replace or refresh plants, shrubs, and other landscape features around their pools in the fall. If the homeowner is considering refreshing the green area around the pool, a fall-time renovation is a perfect opportunity to ensure everything coexists beautifully. Minor pool updates such as tile and coping usually do not affect the landscape, but that might not be the case with a more extensive remodel. With potential heavy machinery and crews on the premises, it’s wise to schedule both backyard updates simultaneously; the refreshed landscaping and pool renovation will complement each other nicely.

Looking to renovate your pool this fall or thinking about how it can be updated before next season? Contact the experts at Pound Pool to schedule a consultation today.

Pound Pool offers free estimates and complete pool renovations. Dale Pound, owner, personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, Marcite, Pebble finishes, Bead Crete, tile choices, coping stones, etc. We are pool renovation experts – contact us today at 248-476-4544 or poundpool@sbcglobal.net.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

What You Need to Know When Considering a Pool Renovation

If you are considering a pool renovation, we’ve got you covered. An updated pool can allow for more functionality and enjoyment, but it can also enhance your home’s value. In this article, we list seven things you can do to upgrade and renovate your pool. 

  • Resurface – If you want to restore your pool’s full beauty and get rid of cracked or rough surfaces, a complete resurface with a professional pool renovation and pool plastering company should be considered. Pools with a vinyl interior can have a replacement liner installed – and with a new pattern, you can completely transform your pool overnight. Fiberglass pool owners should consult with a PHTA professional for the specific products that will bring new life to your pool.
  • Add Water Features – Installing a waterfall or fountain can bring the natural sound and beauty of water flow in your pool’s environment. Features like a rushing spillover bring a bold focal point and add another dimension to an otherwise soundless and ordinary pool.
  • Add a Hot Tub – A hot tub in or near your pool will dramatically enhance the pool area. Allowing the option of either a pool or a hot tub for your guests to choose will be appreciated for those people who prefer relaxing in a hot tub over a pool. Hot tubs also bring other benefits to the table, such as warm water therapy for injuries, muscle tension, and other therapeutic benefits.
  • New Tile – Installing new tile can offer one of the most noticeable upgrades in appearance from a visual and aesthetic viewpoint. As with a backsplash upgrade in a kitchen, adding new tile will make your pool stand out like never before. 
  • Add Surrounding Environmental Features – There is so much you can do to enhance your pool area’s surroundings. If you don’t have a deck, now might be the time to consider adding one. If your pool area has a concrete patio, you can fill cracks or brush up the stressed areas with filler, followed by a layer of concrete stain. Think about adding a fireplace, outdoor bar/tiki area, and a media system that could have both audio and video elements. The options are endless, and adding small environmental features can transform the pool area into a mini paradise for you and your guests! 
  • Lighting Upgrades – There are many benefits to adding enhanced lighting to a pool other than offering better illumination. Lighting can improve safety, set atmosphere, and bring another layer of elegance to your pool’s environment. For special nights, halogen and fiber optic light can bring ethereal dimensions to your poolscape. If you don’t want to install or upgrade to a new lighting system, LED replacements added to your existing light system can add color and movement to an otherwise static and ‘normal’ lighting system.
  • Technology – Elements of tomorrow’s pool are already here, and you would be surprised at what’s possible. Digital controls, apps, WIFI, and voice command control integration for lighting and basic pool operations are already available. With the touch of a button on your smart device or command with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, you can set up many activities you would have to do manually. New robotic cleaning systems that walk on the surface of your pool require practically no supervision and little maintenance. Advances in technology will only get better and more automated as time goes on, so it’s worth looking into if you want a genuinely modern pool area. 

It’s worth noting that you don’t have to do all of these things at once, and upgrades can be done over several seasons. If you’re considering updating your pool, consult with a professional pool renovation company like Pound Pool Plastering Inc. They can help you put a plan together in terms of design features and budget forecasting, and you will be surprised at how much your pool could change within just a few years! 

5 Tips for Keeping Your Pool Maintained this Year

If you own a pool, you know how much work it is to maintain and keep clean. Making sure you have the right chemical balance, keeping debris out of the water, and continually cleaning the filters are regular routines every pool owner needs to do, no matter how old the pool is. This article discusses five pool maintenance tips that can help you right now. No matter if you just opened for the first time or have had your pool for years, the below tips will kick off your season right.

Skimming, Scrubbing, and Vacuuming – Keeping your pool clear of leaves and debris seems obvious, but surprisingly a lot of pool owners don’t do this often enough. To keep your pool presentable and welcoming, skimming, scrubbing, and vacuuming should be done daily. Additionally, using a pool scrubber to remove dirt and algae should be done daily as well.

Cleaning Filters – You can think of your pools filter system as a kidney – it’s constantly working to remove impurities. You’ll want to turn the filter system off to remove all the debris from the filter basket and spray off your pump filters at least once a week. Also, merely setting your pump system to “backwash” allows for water to drain from the pool and removes any debris that may be re-circulating. Backwashing should be done at least once a month.

Adjusting Chemical Levels – A proper chemical balance is essential to maintaining the cleanliness of your pool water, prevents algae from forming, protects the liner, and supports many other essential functions. Imbalanced water will become murky and can irritate the skin and eyes, and can cause your pool to become a breeding ground for bacteria.

It is best practice to test your water weekly to determine what chemicals may be required and make any adjustments needed. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), these chemical levels need to be maintained: Cyanuric Acid, Free Chlorine, Acidity/Alkalinity, and Calcium. With all the chemicals properly balanced, the water should be crystal clear, odorless, and leave little to no residue on your skin.

Keeping Clear Water – Many things can cause your pool’s water to become cloudy and lack proper alkalinity control. However, pool veterans know you don’t have to go to the store every time an issue arises with your water. One of the “hacks” many pool owners know is to use baking soda to help balance and maintain the alkaline levels. Regular baking soda does the same job as sodium bicarbonate for only a fraction of the price and it can help clear your pool water effectively without breaking the bank.

Using Shock – Shocking refers to drastically raising the chlorine levels for a short period to kill algae and bacteria. It’s done by adding high levels of concentrated chlorine to a bucket and slowly pouring it into the pool’s return line. Additionally, using granular solid chlorine packs of shock and sprinkling it around the perimeter of the pool slowly (not letting the granulates touch the pool liner), is also an effective way to add shock.

Keeping a pool in good shape may seem like a lot of work, but if done consistently, it becomes less of a burden and is manageable. Regular maintenance ensures that you will not have to spend money on a new liner, pool plaster, or a new filter system. To read more on essential pool maintenance tips, click here.

COVID-19 and Your Pools & Spas: What You Need to Know

According to the CDC, COVID-19 cannot survive in properly treated water within a pool and a hot tub. Additionally, the World Health Organization states that controlling water is necessary to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases.

During the Coronavirus crisis, here are things you should be aware of regarding pool and hot tub safety, maintenance, sanitary issues: 

  • The maintenance of properly sanitized swimming pools and other artificial bodies of water is crucial to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases and help maintain community health.
  • Without proper maintenance (including circulation and treatment of water), a plethora of germs can grow. The bacteria which are present in feces, like E. coli, can develop. It is believed that feces can carry COVID-19, so it is essential to make sure your water is properly sanitized. 
  • As we get closer to warmer weather, many pools will be opened for the year. However, some local governments are restricting pool companies to come out at this time, and it is best to wait until these restrictions are lifted to let your professional pool company help you safely open your pool this year. 
  • If you are attempting to treat your pool, necessary chemicals need to be purchased and applied. Please be sure to read the entire label and follow all manufacturer instructions when using and storing chemicals. 
  • Always wear gloves and goggles when handling pool chemicals. Be sure to store pool chemicals and related materials in a safe, secure place. 
  • Some retailers are making accommodations to service customers like curbside pick-up, ship-to-home, in-home appointments. Check with your retailers to see if they may be offering similar modifications to service your pool during this time. 
  • If you need structural or renovation work done to your pool, such as plaster, tile, coping, caulk, cement decks, or plumbing, it is best to wait and leave these jobs to the pool plastering professionals.

Steps to Replace Pool Plaster

Spring has finally sprung, and it will be pool season before you know it. Now is the perfect time to inspect your pool’s surface and schedule a professional pool plaster company to assess the damage. No one wants to be waiting around for the repair to be completed when the warm weather arrives.

Step 1: Knowing When Your Pool Needs Repair

The first question often asked is, “When does the pool need to be re-plastered?” The answer to this question is not always straightforward. A pool with a plaster surface has a life expectancy of 7 to 20 years, and many factors may adjust this time frame depending on the care and maintenance it receives. Often, many homeowners or commercial property owners do not repair or re-plaster their pools as regularly as they should. Signs that your plaster may need repair are an increase in staining, rough textures, and leaks. These are all indicators that the professional pool plasterwork needs to be done. 

Step 2: Choosing a Professional or DIY

Cost is always a factor when deciding to do any home repair, including the re-plaster of your pool. Pricing will vary depending on the area you live and the condition of the pool, but on average, you can expect to pay at least $200 in supplies along with 5 to 6 hours of labor. If you are considering a DIY project, keep in mind the following tools that will be required to do the job properly:

  • Acid Wash
  • Bond Coat
  • Chisel
  • Pool plaster/finishing plaster mix
  • Sump pump
  • Sander
  • Brushes/hose
  • Air compressor
  • Misc. – (gloves, face mask, buckets, etc.)

Step 3: Prep and Plaster

The first step in replastering a pool is turning off all of the equipment running to it (the pump, filter, heater, etc.), followed by draining the water. Use a sump pump to remove any remaining water at the bottom of the pool. Afterward, ensure to thoroughly remove any debris, such as dirt, leaves, and other sediment clinging to the surface. Next, prep the surface by sanding or chiseling any uneven areas before applying the new finish. The final steps include applying the acid wash and bond coat applications. Once these applications are complete, the new plaster can be applied. 

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Steps to Replaster a Pool

Owning a pool is a big investment not only for your money but your time and energy to properly maintain its beauty for many years to come. Over time, even with excellent care, you will notice the bottom of the pool will become rough, bumpy, and also sharp in certain areas. It will become time to replace the pool plaster finish not only for the appearance but to keep it safe to use for yourself and your pool guests. 

What and When to Plaster

Plastering a pool means adding a new layer of plaster on the walls and bottom of the pool. Pools are created from either concrete or gunite to form the outside “shell.” The reason for replastering is to make the pool waterproof since it was first originally installed. The two biggest problems of these materials are that they are porous and will not hold water. As a result, the pool will need to be continuously filled as it will slowly leak water over time. A solution to this is for an installer to add a half-inch thick layer of plaster. It will not only form a better barrier, but it will also give the water a beautiful blue hue appearance and a smooth surface. No plaster is designed to last forever, but depending on the correct maintenance and use, the pool plaster will remain intact anywhere between seven and twenty years. 

Risks That Increase with Neglect

So, what happens if the pool is not cleaned or taken care of regularly? If a pool is not properly maintained during its life, there are many factors that the plaster will affect that can be very costly down the road. First, you may notice new stains appearing on the surface due to certain minerals that may be contained in the pool water, such as iron or copper, that can often give a greenish-brown tint. Although this issue is only aesthetic, it can be quite frustrating to deal with after spending so much time and money to keep it looking clean and fresh. The next issue that may occur is the surface will form lumps, bumps, and scratching spots, which will cause concern for swimmers not to get scraped when jumping and swimming around. The bumps may not be too uncomfortable, but in the long term, they will make the pool harder to clean and be a place that algae will find and grow on. Lastly, the most significant danger is it can affect the integrity of the pool structure. As discussed earlier, the plaster is a protective layer that keeps the pool waterproof; if the plaster wears away, water will seep into the concrete or gunite, causing even larger problems.

Alternatives for Replastering a Pool

If replastering your pool is not something you have the time or budget for, there are several temporary options available, but these could end up costing you more money in the long run. One option is to do a patching job. If areas of the plaster are beginning to feel rough, a plaster patch could help the issue, but aesthetically it would not match the original plaster installed. Another solution for removing pool stains is to perform an acid wash. It’s a quick fix for the stain, but it does not help in any way with preserving the plaster. In fact, the acid wash will damage the plaster further, so its best to only use this method if the aesthetics are a necessity for you. If money is no object, installing tile can be a great decision since the material is incredibly strong and beautiful to look at. However, a full pool tile job is not cheap and will set you back anywhere between $75-$100 per square foot.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool, including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing for both commercial and residential services. More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Common Causes for Pool Plaster Issues

A pool’s plaster interior finish is created for two reasons; to create an appealing water feature that accents your home’s beauty and to protect the integrity and structure of the pool. Pool plaster prevents water from leaking through into the concrete, which could damage the building materials inside the pool’s shell structure. Keeping your pool plaster in good condition is key to the pool’s overall strength and longevity. However, even the most well-maintained pools will eventually show aging and signs of degradation in the plaster, which is a perfectly normal occurrence. With proper care and routine treatments, the life span of 7 to 10 years can be expected for traditional marcite plaster. The timeline can be extended an additional five years if the finish includes a quartz aggregate blend. Even a high-quality plaster finish that is professionally applied to a pool can still have complications occur, sometimes as soon as a few months or a few years after being built. Next, we will discuss common issues found with pool plaster such as streaks, stains, erosion and why they occur.

Pool Water Chemistry

One of the leading causes of plaster corrosion is improper pool water chemistry. Corrosion can occur when a new pool is filled up for the first time or if a large amount of water is added to a pool due to evaporation. Perhaps, water is added outside of your control, such as a big downfall of rain, which, for sure, will change the levels of pH, chlorine, and alkalinity. If and when these events occur, your pool levels will need to be monitored and adjusted to the correct amounts so as not to damage the plaster.

Objects Entering the Pool

Another item that can inadvertently get added to your pool that will change its chemistry is any organic matter such as grass, leaves, plants, or even flower pollen. Not only can it change the water chemistry but it also can cause staining to the plaster in only a few short hours. Other man-made objects can cause damage as well; fertilizer, for example, that can be blown into the pool has iron-rich minerals that can create dime-sized rust spots along the interior sides of the pool. In general, items that contain metal can also leave rust stains throughout the plaster, such as lost coins or hairpins from past swimmers.

Address the Problem Before Significant Damage Occurs

If you believe there is a problem starting to occur with your pool plaster, don’t ignore it! Once an issue begins and if left unattended, the damage will be more challenging to handle. Before trying to do any DIY fixes, it is advised to consult with a professional plaster company that specializes in the repair. You may need to take a few pictures of the damage and send them to a pool contractor where they can then guide you with advice or they may need to make an appointment to assess the damage in person. Simple fixes can be applied if the damage is caught early on, such as brushing out stains or rebalancing the water’s chemistry. If the problem can not be resolved with a quick fix, the pool may need to be drained or partially drained for hand sanding or for an acid wash to be completed. If all else fails and the damage is too extensive for repair, it will ultimately need a complete and costly replaster of the pool.

Pound Pool Plastering serves both commercial and residential settings and provides a variety of selections to service your pool, including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, and plumbing. More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.