It’s hard to believe, but trust us: Winter is Coming! Your iPhone Weather App currently shows Texas heat in the high 90’s with the heat index in the 100s. The air is humid, wind is little to none and we’re officially halfway through Summer. However, school is about to start which means a few more months of heat but that will soon give way to chilly weather, cloudy skies and changing seasons.
At Matt’s Water Pool Services, we believe it’s imperative that our clients understand the impact of Fall and Winter on their swimming pools. We often see a dichotomy of pool owners investing in our cleaning services during the Summer and then shutting down their service because of changing seasons.
In our eyes, this is a mistake (not just for business) but also for the health of their swimming pools. With each changing season, there are major differences to be aware of when maintaining your swimming pool. Neglecting a season or two for the sake of “saving money” is only going to lead to a higher cost of pool maintenance come Spring & Summer. Here’s why…
Differences in Water Behavior from Summer to Fall
Right now we’re all playing the same game: keep chlorine in the pool, backwash the filter, treat the pool with algaecides and enjoy your backyard while the heat is still here! It’s the good old days of Summer and everyone is outdoors and enjoying cookouts on weekends or sitting pool side for a Saturday morning breakfast. Let’s be honest – most people enjoy their pool the most during the Summer season and treating the water chemistry is pretty straight forward.
Fast forward a few months to Fall and what are the key differences that we see? Well, for starters, the onset of Fall means just that – falling leaves. Did you know that there are over 250+ species of trees that are native to Texas? Every backyard that we care for is sewn and laced with a variety of tree species – all of which behave differently.
Each type of tree drops a difference size of leave: some of which are easy to remove while others get into drains and filters. Other trees drop acorns, nuts, pine cones or other types of seeds. Left alone, seeds become debris with Organic minerals that can decompose inside of your swimming pool and stain your pool plaster.
Neglecting your swimming pool during Fall can lead to a whole host of issues, including but not limited to:
Filtration problems due to drain & skimmer blockages
Burned out motors & pump breakages – due to debris entering pumps
Stinky & malfunctioning heaters due to dust accumulation & nesting critters
Stains on pool plaster from presence of leaves and nuts
Corroded heat exchanges (in heater) & plaster etching due to cooler water temps and lack of Calcium in water (see LSI Index below)
Long story short, maintaining your swimming pool primarily means removing debris and balancing pool chemistry. It’s not always easy and yes, it’s a pain. Leaves do NOT fall all at once and often you’ll need to be in your backyard every weekend removing leaves from the pool, skimmer baskets, pump baskets and filter. It’s time consuming and if you have other things you’d like to be doing – that’s what we’re here for!
Understanding the LSI Index is Critical to Pool Health
Secondly, changing temperatures can lead to more aggressive water. Water requires a state of balance between the water and the pool surface (pool plaster or liner). If one of these two entities becomes unbalanced, both entities will transfer minerals on a molecular scale. Left alone long enough, you’ll start to notice some serious side effects including: Etching or Calcium Scale. The two problems are polar opposites of each other and both are based on the same principle – based on the LSI Index.
Water chemistry is easier to maintain during warmer months and that’s because the warm water temperatures can be a substitute for poor water chemistry. When water cools down, the cushion of warmer temps goes away and you begin to see what is truly wrong with your water chemistry.
In many cases, pool owners do not have enough Calcium (a mineral) in their pool water and left unchecked this can lead to heat exchanger corrosion and plaster etching. Ultimately, lacking in Calcium leads to water pulling minerals away from the pool plaster or heater at a molecular level to satisfy its craving for minerals – this becomes more exaggerated when water cools down.
There is a true science to understanding water at this level and there are actual measurements that we can perform to measure your pool chemistry. In all cases, we recommend that you consult with us or allow us to check your water chemistry before adding additional calcium to your pool. It’s always recommended to allow us to dosage the water for you to avoid overdosing your water with calcium.
What’s The Cost of Pool Service versus No Service
Long story short, it’s always nice to go from the hot days of Summer to the chilly months of Fall. It’s an enjoyable time frame that many of us Texans relish, but don’t get too comfy and neglect your swimming pool. This sounds a bit cliche but remember one important thing: next to your home, your swimming pool is the second most expensive asset that your own!
Owning a swimming pool is something that many people dream of and oftentimes once they have one, they don’t want to maintain it. Unfortunately, a pool is a lot like a kid. If you don’t give it the proper amount of TLC, it can become unbalanced and unhealthy – costing you additional money down the road. We are advocates of year round service and have plenty of options to help you maintain your pools while easing the strain on your pocket book.
We provide both weekly and bi-weekly cleaning services. Depending on the types of trees, number of trees, amount of rainfall, water drainage and many other factors – we can recommend the best service to keep your pool healthy all Fall and Winter long!
How to Have a Faster Spring Startup and Longer Swim Season
Lastly, by allowing Matt’s Water Services treat and maintain your swimming pool all Fall and Winter long – you’ll be able to swim earlier and with less headache come Spring. Many home owners wait until mid-Spring to ask us to begin cleaning out their swimming pool, but fail to realize that the entire town around them is making the same request.
That being said, if we maintain your pool all Fall and Winter (either weekly or bi-weekly) we can keep your pool in swimmable condition – allowing you to enjoy your backyard with no waiting period! Choosing this option will ultimately save you the most money by avoiding costly repairs or chemical treatments. You’ll also have a beautiful backyard to enjoy all winter long. Having a stunning backyard and one that you can enjoy all year round is important to you, isn’t it?
Many home owners are unsure of what to do when they notice stains in their swimming pool. Often these ugly marks result in frustration and bitterness towards the swimming pool that you once loved and enjoyed. You may try to remove these stains yourself, but it is highly recommended to reach out to a pool professional before you let too much time pass. Often these situations only worsen if left untreated for too long.
Matt’s Water is highly trained in Stain Identification Technology and we can treat any stain you come across. By contacting Matt’s Water we can quickly diagnose the cause of your stain & begin a treatment plan immediately.
What Causes Staining In Your Pool?
There are very many causes of stains in your swimming pool. Each cause has a root issue that almost always revolves around the chemistry of your swimming pool. We refer to the chemistry of your swimming pool as the Water Balance.
To understand this concept, we need to break your water balance into it’s individual components. Below is a list of each aspect of your water balance along with the recommended levels:
Free Chlorine: 1 – 3 ppm
Total Chlorine: 1 – 3 ppm
pH: 7.4 – 7.6
Calcium Hardness: 200 – 400 ppm
Total Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
Cyanuric Acid: 0 – 30 ppm
Copper: 0 ppm
Iron: 0 ppm
Maintaining these chemistry levels is often a challenge for most home owners. It seems easier to understand how your cable bill is calculated than understanding how to keep your water chemistry in balance. Oftentimes because these chemical levels seem daunting, most home owners default to the age old method of taking care of their swimming pools. Looking for clear water, shocking & adding chlorine tablets is general practice for most home owners.
Many Factors Affect Our Pool Chemistry
Unfortunately, this is often not enough maintain to keep your water chemistry properly balanced. Similar to the engine in your vehicle, your pool chemistry needs to be checked regularly (we recommend weekly checks). We emphasize regular testing because your pool water is impacted by many internal and external factors:
Sun screen & tanning oils
Grass, leaves & other vegetation
It’s important to realize that your swimming pool is an open air ecosystem that absorbs many elements & constantly seeks balance. Water by nature requires balance to be satisfied. When our pool water is allowed to spend ample time out of balance it will naturally draw elements from your pool plaster or pull molecules from “out of suspension.” This is not good!
Believe it or not, molecules such as metals are often unseen (or invisible) because your water is balanced and satisfied. However, if too many of a particular product exist in your swimming pool this causes that molecule to become too heavy and “fall out of suspension.” The same can be said for other elements of your swimming pool. Let’s continue diving in and learning more!
How to Identify Stains In Your Pool
Keeping all of this detailed information in mind, how do we recognize when staining is occurring in our swimming pool? Also, if we begin to notice stains, how do we treat them and remove them from our swimming pool?
Well, first thing is first. Since we have already identified that stains are primarily the result of chemical issues from unbalanced water, then we must treat our stains with chemicals to remove them. That being said, we utilize a very unique and handy produced – the Jack’s Magic: The Stain ID Kit.
This kit includes 4 topical tests that we apply individually to each stain. Within 30 seconds, one of these four tests will cause a chemical reaction or “erasing” of the stain. This indicates what compounds are impacting your pool plaster and helps us identify our treatment method.
Developing a Jack’s Magic Treatment Plan
Trust us, stains happen. They happen even to the best swimming pool owners at one time or another. Often they arise without notice and it’s not until they reach a size of 6″ or larger that we often notice them. By that point the damage is already done and it’s time to seek professional treatment to eradicate them.
Upon noticing a stain, we urge you not to panic. Instead contact Matt’s Water so we can identify the type of stain that is occurring and begin an immediate treatment to mitigate the damage.
The Jack’s Magic Treatment Plan is simple but must be followed correctly for the highest level of stain removal. The treatment plan follows this plan but you can find the complete treatment plan by clicking this link:
Identify – what is the cause of the stains? (use the Stain ID Kit)
Remove – after locating the cause of the stain apply a Jack’s Magic treatment product for proper stain removal
Prevent – once your stain is properly treated, we can set your up with a “preventive plan” to keep the culprit minerals out of your water
So What Was The Result of Our Tests?
You may have noticed the images of the Stain Tests throughout this article. By reviewing our first set of images from start to finish, we are following a process of elimination. We also are sure to test multiple stain locations around the swimming pool. This helps to isolate each stain to receive the best test results.
As you can see, we use the following test (4 topical treatments) on different points throughout the swimming pool:
The objective of using different tests is to see which ones consistently and effective remove our “test stains” from this swimming pool. As you can see from our set of images, it appears that Test #1 & #4 were the most effective at stain removal.
If you have any questions about which treatment method your swimming pool might use, just give us a call. We will come out and test your water and help you identify the appropriate treatment option for your swimming pool!
Matt’s Water Brings The Best Treatment Tools
There is a whole lot more that we can cover about Pool Stains & Treatment Options. In fact, this is a very involved subject that requires years of industry knowledge to truly grasp. However, for our purposes, we hope to just highlight the causes of stains (often chemistry issues) & identify a solution (stain identification & targeted treatment).
Matt’s Water has the equipment, team and expertise available to help you treat any pool stain that you are encountering. We also have the capability to service any other aspect of your swimming pool. In fact, we have a fully functional Service Plan, a Brick & Mortal Retail Store or Online E-Commerce store. We provide you with all sorts of options to get the products and services you need to service and maintain your swimming pool.
We service Corsicana, TX as well as all surrounding areas. We invite you to give us a call for a free estimate of our services or visit our store or Online Shop for more information over products and services!