Heated Pool

  • Swimming Pool Installation Mistakes

    Every swimming pool installation is unique.  If you are currently in the planning stage, it is essential to research and select the right pool builder and installer for your job.   An experienced and reputable firm will assess your property, space and landscaping goals.  They will be able to assist with budgeting, and outline long-term maintenance and operational costs.

    If you are in the process of obtaining quotes, you might find this list of common swimming pool installation mistakes the perfect quick reference or starting point.

    1. Research Your Pool Builder or Installer
    Pool owners will happily share their experiences. Be sure to check out websites, social media, the BBB.  Ask friends for referrals. Selecting an inexperienced or fly-by-night installer can lead to heartache and financial frustration.

    2. Cost of Installation versus Cost of Ownership
    Buying a swimming pool solely on price is never wise.  Be sure to entertain multiple quotes.  A lower cost or cheap installation can lead to unwanted, long-term maintenance or repairs.  Buyer beware.

    3. Location, Location, Location
    Have a location in mind? Let your contractor explain the pros and cons of your chosen location, and ask them for suggestions. An experienced swimming pool contractor will be able to assess your yard or property, and advise on the best location for a pool. They will take into account the existing or long-term landscaping, trees, the sun's path, municipal by-laws and proper drainage.  Consideration is given to safety and security, and many contractors can outline additional costs for mandatory fencing or other features.

    4. Bigger Is Not Better
    Sure, you have 4 acres.  Does this mean you should have a custom, in-ground Olympic pool installed?  Larger swimming pools lead to increased maintenance costs, more water consumption, and higher hydro bills.  Think twice about how big is big. When in doubt, ask your contractor for guidance.

    5. The Fine Print
    When it comes to designing your pool, do not let the excitement override the importance of reading the fine print.  Pay attention and review the warranties and guarantees. A swimming pool is a major investment, and reviewing the contract's fine print is essential.

    With a little bit of home-owner due diligence, many of the common swimming pool installation mistakes can be avoided.  Find yourself a reputable installer, and get ready to hit the water!

  • Osteoarthritis Water Therapy

    Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a degenerative condition of the joints. Caused by daily wear and tear, the cartilage which shields our bones deteriorates, permitting the bones to grind or rub against one another. Without a shock-absorbing layer, rubbing bones can produce stiffness, swelling, and even severe pain. For some, simply walking can be pure agony.

    While the medical profession does offer medication to aid in combating osteoarthritis aches and pains, there are a number of natural remedies being recommended. One of the prescribed therapies is called Osteoarthritis Water Therapy.

    What Is Osteoarthritis Water Therapy?

    Water therapy, otherwise known as aqua therapy, hydrotherapy, or swimming pool therapy, utilizes the buoyancy of water to counteract the pull of gravity. Studies have proven more than 50 percent of body weight is supported when in a pool or therapeutic tub with waist-deep water. Over 90 percent of one’s body weight is supported in neck-deep water. For many afflicted with osteoarthritis, especially of the knees, spine or hips, the simple reduction of weight on the joints facilitates the completion exercises.

    In addition to facilitating ease of movement, osteoarthritis water therapy plays an important role on the cardiovascular system. Health care practitioners note many patients see improved circulation, heart function, and muscular strength.

    What Exercises Can Be Performed?

    Do not be surprised to discover many land-based exercise programs or physical therapy moves can be performed in water. Across Canada, many public swimming pools or health care facilities with therapeutic hot tubs offer regular classes. These may include:

    Strength Training: Utilizes water weights, swim gloves and other handheld tools to work against water resistance.

    Cardio & Aerobic Training: Expect to discover the joy of water walking, water jogging or running, and ski movements, all to aid the spine and hips.

    Body Stretching: Simple, yet rewarding movements which help stretch the neck, upper back, arms, legs, lower back and legs.

    Tai Chi or Ai Chi: Depending on your location, Water Tai Chi or the hybrid Ai Chi, is a popular water therapy offering. Using gentle, slow movements in conjunction to controlled breathing exercises, this water-based training helps improve your balance and strength on land. Many report improved joint flexibility after 8-10 weeks of Tai Chi or Ai Chi.

    Is Osteoarthritis Water Therapy For You?

    Whether you are suffering on the early onset of osteoarthritis or find yourself struggling with pain management, talk to your health care professional about water workouts. Water therapy can provide an ideal balance between a strength and cardio workout, while offering relaxation, rehabilitation, and oftentimes weight management.

  • Winter Swimming Lessons

    With backyard swimming pools closed for the year, Canadian families may be searching for new activities to keep their children active and engaged. Many will turn to indoor soccer, hockey or ice skating. Some will explore skiing or snowboarding. However, the team at Sun Covers Canada wants to reminder parents everywhere: winter swimming lessons are a great investment for the warmer weather to come!

    Cities big and small normally boast an indoor swimming pool. Typically kept open all winter long, the summer-like temperatures offer a friendly retreat on the coldest of winter days. By enrolling your child or children in winter swimming lessons, they will continue to build strong water skills and master drowning prevention techniques.

    Finally, there is the unsung benefit of winter swimming lessons: zero impact aerobic exercise. If your children are already enrolled in a contact or bone-jarring winter sport, swimming helps utilize an entirely different muscle set. This diversity helps enhance skills across all other sporting platforms.

    So, what are you waiting for? Contact your local indoor swimming pool, and sign-up for winter swimming lessons today!

  • Water Resistance Training

    Owners of swim spas and swimming pools should take advantage of water resistance training. In the past, most residential spa and pool owners were limited to pool noodles and water weights. Thanks to the health and fitness industry embracing the need to offer unique, water-friendly devices, the range of products has expanded. Here are some affordable pieces of equipment to suit every budget.

    Pool Noodle
    Considered by many as the original pool fitness device, the pool noodle is a long, buoyant cylindrical tube. Thanks to its buoyancy, users must engage various muscle groups to counteract its flotation. By following a few simple exercises, including squats and lunges, a pool noodle can provide intense water resistance training with a focus on toning and sculpting.

    Pool Water Weights
    Looking to improve your overall fitness, with a focus on strength training? Consider investing in a set of pool water weights. Typically manufactured from Styrofoam or other water absorbing materials, pool water weights weight nothing when dry. Put them into the pool, and suddenly these weightlifting devices can provide a vigorous workout.

    Water Floatation Belt
    Commonly used by injured runners or cyclists in conjunction with physiotherapy, a water flotation belt is also recommended for aquatic cardio. The belts promote non-weight bearing cardiovascular training. It is proven to accelerate rehabilitation through improved circulation and healing. It also ensures users maintain or improve their overall fitness level.

    Swim Gloves
    Seeking added resistance training in your pool or swim spa? Swim gloves mold to your hands, and add load-bearing resistance to almost every water workout. Available in neoprene or silicone, these webbed gloves have gained in popularity as they create optimal drag.  With hand resistance increased over 50%, swimmers of all levels are assured a concentrated upper body strength training session.

    With swim spa and pool owners looking to simultaneously maximize their outdoor recreation and fitness needs, water resistance training devices provide the perfect solution. Why not explore the ever expanding options, and see how you can make the most of your backyard oasis.

  • Healthy Poolside Treats

    Canadians are rejoicing thanks to a stellar 2014 pool season.  Swimsuits and wet towels are taking over the laundry, the smell of sunscreen lingers in the humid air.  Without a doubt, families across the country are enjoying the final weeks of their summer vacation poolside.

    While a swimming pool can prove the perfect source of recreation in the summer, poolside food and drinks are notorious for being high in sugar, salt or grease.  Whether your children invite friends over for a cool down, or you like to entertain, a little planning goes a long way in keeping your poolside diet wholesome and nutritious.

    Healthy Poolside Treats

    Vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, peppers, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and more can be cut in advance.  Cherry tomatoes, snap peas and miniature seedless peppers are perfect for those unexpected guests who need a little sustenance.

    Fresh fruit is always a hit.  Strawberries can be served whole or cut, raspberries and blueberries are also favorites with all age groups.  Watermelon, cantaloupe and summer melons are perfectly healthy poolside treats with minimal prep required.  Grapes, either fresh or frozen, are another hit at pool parties.

    Olives, hard-boiled egg slices, brick cheese, cured meats and crackers proves a well-liked and fun poolside treat.  Keep in mind these items should not sit in direct sunlight, and on extremely hot days should only be kept outside for short periods of time.

    Nuts are also another fantastic source of protein, and perfect for munching on the go.

    Naturally flavoured water has become a go-to for many families.  Favorites with the Sun Cover Canada team include Cucumber Mint Lime and Watermelon Mint.  Check out the great recipes at Greatist.com for inspiration.

    Remember, being outside in the sun can cause dehydration and hunger.  Be sure you, your family and friends do not fall victim to these pitfalls.  With a little advance (or last minute!) preparation, you can save a ton of money, and keep everyone eating like a champ with healthy poolside treats.

  • How a Sun Cover Can Save You Money

    A sun cover is designed to maintain pool water temperature overnight, in addition to reducing debris.  If you have avoided purchasing a sun cover due cost, here are factors to consider in your cost-savings analysis.

    Water Waste
    Pool owners may not realize their pool can lose thousands of gallons of water due to evaporation. This is problematic for a number of reasons. First, the water has to be replenished.  With rising utilities costs, homeowners on municipal or well water services pay dearly for refilling.  In addition, with each pound of heated water removed by evaporation you lose 1,048 Btu of heat from your pool water.  A sun cover can reduce evaporation by 90 to 95 percent.

    Energy
    Believe it or not a sun cover can save you 50 to 70 percent in energy costs. Without a sun cover, residential pool owners spend approximately $1,500 annually on heating a pool to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Whereas pool owners who harness the sun’s energy can reach the same water temperature without hydro assisted aid.  All told, heading a pool is expensive.  Simply covering your pool during the day, and especially at night, can drastically reduce the operational costs of running and maintaining your pool.

    Chemical Consumption
    Pool chemicals can be costly, and harmful to the environment. By purchasing a sun cover you can reduce chemical consumption from 35 to 60 percent. On average, the Canadian homeowner spends $262 each summer on chemicals.  Whereas pool owners using a sun cover see this number drop from $79-$99 annually.

    Bottom line, a sun cover will help reduce time spent cleaning your pool water.  It can also save from unnecessary and rising costs.  In a time where lessening our impact on the environment is essential, you owe it to yourself, your wallet and our planet to explore the advantages of a sun cover.

  • Bubbles Down

    Bubbles down?  Bubbles up? Surprisingly, the most affordable energy saving tool for a recreational swimming pool is often a source of confusion.  The solar pool blanket, otherwise known as a solar blanket, solar cover, summer cover or sun cover, is a large sheet of clear, grey, light blue or dark blue polypropylene, Ultra Violet stabilized polyethylene or vinyl.  Like the popular bubble wrap used as a packing material, a solar pool blanket will have a smooth surface and a bubble surface.

    Considered a worthwhile investment by pool supply and maintenance companies, a solar pool blanket can help curb rising water and hydro electricity bills.  However, in order to maximize your savings, you need to use the solar cover correctly.  Thus this frequently asked question: Bubbles up or bubbles down?  Technically speaking, the correct answer is bubbles down, smooth side up.

    A solar pool cover acts primarily as a barrier between pool water and the air.  The cover can minimize overnight heat loss from evaporation.  The downward facing bubbles help trap the heat, pushing the warm moisture back into the water.  In addition, placing the cover on the surface with the bubbles down is said to help raise water temperature.  The general consensus is sunlight heats the air trapped within the bubbles, which in turn transfers heat to the water.  While experts may agree to disagree, most pool owners report a daily 1 degree temperature jump during the first 7-10 days.

    Accidentally cut your solar blanket with bubbles up to fit a unique shaped pool?  Do not despair!  While the insulation value will drop due lack of trapped inert air, the cover will still protect from overnight heat loss.  The only other potential setback is the early rupture of the bubble membrane.  The bubble layer is more susceptible to premature sun damage.  Typically, a cover installed bubbles up instead of bubbles down will last 2-4 years, compared to the industry average of 3-5 years.

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