Poolside Tips

  • Myths About Swimming

    Our sister company, Hot Tub Covers Canada, wrote a great post last spring about swimming pool myths.  With the weather warming up enough across Canada for outdoor swimming, we thought it would be a great time to review the insight.

    Here is a synopsis of their article.

    Swimming Pool Myth #5: Swimming is not good for children with asthma.
    The Facts – Swimming in a well-maintained, ventilated (indoor) pool is an excellent way for asthmatics of all ages to increase lung function.

    Swimming Pool Myth #4: Chlorine turns hair green
    The Facts
    – Chlorine may get the bad name, but copper in algaecide or metal plumbing is to blame.

    Swimming Pool Myth #3: “Red Eye” is caused by chlorine
    The Facts – While chlorine has been attributed as the cause of “red eye”, it is not at fault.  Nitrogen from sweat and urine, when coupled with chlorine in pool water, causes chloramines to form.

    Swimming Pool Myth #2: If you pee in the pool, a dye will activate, and colour the water around you
    The Facts – More than 50% of the population think pool operators and private owners utilize an additive or dye to give away people who pee in water.  Sadly, there is no such additive or dye!

    Swimming Pool Myth #1: Wait one hour after eating before going swimming
    The Facts
    – In a 1908 Scouting manual, swimmers were harshly warned of certain death by cramping.  107 years later, and there has not been a single report of death or near-drowning due to eating before swimming.

  • Upgrade Your Patio Furniture

    You installed a swimming pool, and for the first couple of years it was the highlight of your spring, summer, and fall.   Suddenly, the pool has lost its "new" novelty, and you find yourself looking for ways to spruce your the backyard.

    Poolside LoungersSure, you can improve your landscaping, invest in lighting, but what about upgrading your deck chairs or patio furniture.  Seems so obvious, right?  Yet countless swimming pool owners focus on making sure their pool is crystal clear and at the ready, and totally forget about making the yard welcoming and inviting!

    Whether you have a patio, a deck, or just a concrete pool surround, choosing comfortable patio furniture enhances your backyard oasis.  Here are some top looks the team at Sun Covers Canada has come to love.

    swimming pool patio furnitureSofa style seating with a large, overhanging umbrella.   Enjoy the warmth, but benefit from a shady retreat.

     

     

    patio lounger

     

     

     

     

    Double size, poolside lounger with individual adjustments for each lounger.  Heavenly!

     

     

    recliner

     

     

     

     

     

    The recliner has become a popular (and very comfortable) addition to backyard deck and patio furniture.  Pictured is the La-Z-Boy Outdoor Avondale Recliner, sold at Canadian Tire.

     

  • Swimming Pool Landscaping Plants

    Looking to create a tropical oasis or backyard retreat?  Many homeowners tend to shy away from landscaping near their swimming pool.  This reluctance is short lived, especially once you discover the right options to complement your home.

    Swimming Pool Landscaping Plants
    A popular choice for many above and in ground pool owners are flower pots or container planting.  Arranged at the surrounding edges of the pool, these bursts of colour are attractive and easy to maintain.

    Avoid petal dropping plants including geraniums, sweet alyssum, petunias, and impatiens.  Their blooms are notorious for sticking to pool decking, and they require plenty of upkeep.

    swimming pool landscaping plants herbsInstead, look to colourful marigolds, pansies, dwarf sunflowers, zinnias, dianthus, calendula, and the visually stunning gazania.  With regular dead-heading, these plants will bloom from spring to fall.

    If you are open to brining plants indoors for the winter, explore the world of tropicals.   Many have incredible flowers which bloom for long periods, and remain attached to the stems.

    Another option is herbs.  Suitable for container gardening or creating an attractive herb garden, the light fragrances and delicate flowers prove a wonderful poolside addition.

    Swimming Pool Landscaping to Repel Mosquitoes
    One of the Sun Covers Canada team members looked for ways to repel mosquitoes.  Last year, she had great success with planting marigolds, citronella, lavender, catnip, and peppermint.

  • Swimming Pool Landscaping Lighting Solutions

    There are countless ways to create your dream outdoor space, while maximizing your swimming pool landscaping. This week, the team at Sun Covers Canada touches on simple and effective lighting solutions.

    Let There Be Lightswimming pool landscaping lighting solutions
    More often than not, children tend to enjoy the backyard swimming pool during the day. Youth and adults tend to prefer evening swims. With this in mind, it's a wise idea to light up your outdoor space or water for safety... and a touch of dramatic flair!

    Popular Lighting Solutions
    Tiki Torches
    Hanging Lanterns
    Tin Can Lanterns
    Underwater LED Lighting
    Fairy Lights
    Fire Pit
    In-Ground or Deck Mounted Lights
    Floating Lights, Orbs and Lanterns
    Floating Funkins

    Light It Up
    Whether you are seeking whimsical, fun or elegant, there are numerous ways to add a little light to your swimming pool landscape. Scour sites like Houzz and Pinterest, and we guarantee you'll have the best backyard on the block!

  • Common Swimming Pool Designs

    swimming pool designsWith home-owners across Canada opening their swimming pools for the season, the team at Sun Covers Canada is delighted to take phone calls regarding proper sizing and cutting. One of the common questions we ask callers is to describe their swimming pool design or shape. The following are brief descriptions of backyard swimming pool designs or shapes.

    Kidney: Popular shape for small to large yards, looks like a kidney bean.

    Circular: Popular design, especially in above-ground models.

    Octagon: Another popular above-ground option.

    Rectangular: Classic design, often preferred by lap swimmers or those where space is at a premium.

    Figure Eight: A stunning pool design, suggested by pool professionals for residential settings. The figure eight visibly separates the shallow end from the deep end.

    Oval: Considered by many the most popular above-ground and in-ground swimming pool shape. Flexible in size, it is well suited to anyone with space considerations.

    Roman: Refers to swimming pools with rounded end zones and stylized corners.

    Geometric: Symmetrical and/or with linear or straight sides.

    Free Form: Defined as "any shape with the exception of geometric".

    Need more examples or want to better communicate your pool shape?  Trust us, Google can help!

  • 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!

  • Five Benefits from Family Swimming

    winter swimming lessonsFamily swimming is a great way for kids and adults of any age to get moving and have fun. From splashing around, to blowing bubbles, family lap races, to diving for treasure. There are countless swimming games to keep your family occupied, whether at a public pool or in your backyard.

    The team at Sun Covers Canada created a list of the five benefits we think family swimming offers.

    Weight Management
    Childhood obesity is on the rise. Sedentary office workers are plagued by the risk of premature death. Improve your odds, and give your kids a great start by participating in water activities. While swimming breaststroke for 25-30 minutes beats out a walk of the same time, not all young children can keep up. Instead, engage in treading water or working on swimming laps as a family. Set goals as a group, and work towards improvement.

    Improved Mood
    Swimming is known to improve your mood. Studies have repeatedly shown swimmers at novice, intermediate, and advanced levels leave the pool feeling refreshed and upbeat. Clearly, water does have restorative powers.

    Build Muscles
    Water is thicker than air. Therefore, your body must work harder to move through it. Regardless of age, swimming or playing around in a pool helps keep your body fit and toned.

    Good Night’s Sleep
    Parents love the fact swimming helps their kids gets a good night’s sleep. In fact, anyone who partakes in swimming or other forms of regular exercise benefits from reduced insomnia.

    No Sweat?
    It’s true! Some family fitness activities (like running, bicycling, and soccer) leave you feeling over-heated and sweaty. Whereas family swimming leaves you feeling energized. All thanks to one simple fact: water is cooler than your core body temperature.

    Next time you are looking for a family-friendly activity, consider jumping in a pool. Swimming is wonderful low-impact exercise, and a fantastic way to stay connected with your loved ones.

  • Garden Art from Recycled Covers

    Our sister company, Hot Tub Covers Canada, shared an unbelievable story last week.  A swimming pool expert in Paris, Ontario, creates incredible garden art and yard features using recycled hot tub covers.

    If you did not see the post shared on Facebook or Twitter, we urge you to have a quick read: Old Hot Tub Covers Get Recycled

    At Sun Covers Canada, we are always looking for innovative ways to recycle solar blankets and pool covers.  We can only hope someone out there can find a way to turn end-of-life plastics into creative décor, or even swimming pool friendly toys or gear.

    If you are interested in purchasing one of Steve's creations or would like to donate a hot tub cover to support his recycling initiative, be sure to visit Face Plants.

  • Pool and Patio Landscaping

    What better way to beat the winter blues, than by seeking inspiration for backyard pool and patio landscaping.  From quick visits to Houzz, to lengthy  perusals on Pinterest, there are many incredible suggestions to be explored.  Granted you may need to hit the jackpot to implement some of the ideas, but others are perfect for handy crafters, green thumbs and woodworkers.  Here are but a few of the recent favorites by team members at Sun Covers Canada.

    rustic-poolSan Francisco Home with "Spa in Pool" and rich fern and grass landscaping.   They describe as "rustic", we describe as luxurious and tranquil.

    traditional-poolThis stunning example of a natural pool comes from a home in Philadelphia.  The river rock bog is both focal and functional.

    firepit 3We found this little gem on Pinterest, and tracked down Brenda B's (the creator) website.  What better way wrap up a day of fun in the sun and pool, than  roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.  Having your family's imprint on the bottom - awesome!

    fun-inground-swimming-pool-and-waterfall-installation-mahwah-new-jerseyVanishing edge, water slide, water falls, and a pool big enough to kayak?   Clearly this family in New Jersey values their backyard oasis!

    pool planter herbs flowersLast summer, one of the Sun Covers Canada team members did large potted herb planters around her pool. They were wonderfully fragrant and beautiful. Seek out unique pots during the winter months, and plan your own floral, decorative grass or herb garden planters.

    Have you been scouring websites, looking for pool and patio landscaping ideas?   We want to see your favourites!

  • Recycling Your Solar Blanket

    The team at Sun Covers Canada was recently asked if recycling a solar blanket is possible.

    Given most solar blankets and sun covers are manufactured from Polyethylene and Low Density Polyethylene, they fall under plastic recycling code #4. Number four plastic products are typically reworked into garbage can liners, plastic lumber, squeeze bottles, frisbees, lawn furniture, and toys.

    While most municipalities include #4 plastics in recycling programs, a solar pool blanket or sun cover may require special handling. Before you dispose of the bulky plastic in your recycling bin, the team at Sun Covers Canada strongly urges you to call your local waste and recycling program for guidance.

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