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Pool Safety

Use a swimming pool cover

Town & Country Swimming Pool builders explain pool cover benefits

Swimming pool covers perform double duty; keeping your pool free of leaves and debris and helping your pool
retain heat. Pools consume a lot of energy and because  of that you should be diligent with pool cover usage.

Energy is lost mainly through evaporation. Consider that to heat water by only one degree, it takes 1 BTU per pound of water – for each pound of water that evaporates. Covering the pool could save up to 50% on your heating bill.

The swimming pool contractors from Town & Country Pool Builders explain there  are myriad styles of pool covers to choose. A low-tech option for a pool cover is the bubble/solar cover; these are inexpensive and while they aren’t ideal, they can certainly fill the bill. Ask your pool contractor for advice on a size, style and material that could fit your family’s unique needs.

Electric-powered covers glide across recessed tracks housed under the pool’s coping. They range in price from about $6,000-10,000.

Safety covers can support the weight of people – something that could come in handy if a child walks out without proper supervision.

Purchase covers that operate on a automation system so you can cover and uncover the pool and turn on pool jets or lights. Pool covers save you money in both water and chemical loss and could also be used an additional safety measure.



Keep your Pets Safe Around the Swimming Pool

Town & Country Pool builders offer pet safety tips

Swimming is great fun for everyone in the family — even your pets. You do need to pay special attention to your pets around the pool just as much as you pay attention to your children when they are in the water. You also need to keep in mind that not all dogs love the water and not all dogs love to swim. If you’re going to have your pet in the pool with you, let the swimming pool contractors from Town & Country Pool Builders know as they may need to readjust your pool cleaning schedule.

Here are tips to keep your pets safe in and around the swimming pool: 

  1.  A pool alarm is a safety device that you should use regardless of whether you have pets or children. The alarm sounds an alert if the water in your swimming pool is disturbed, ie someone, or something, has fallen or jumped in. There are floating alarms or alarms that are hardwired into the pool.
  2. Swimming pool fencing is likely required in your municipality and is an ideal barrier to keep curious children and pets out of the water when no adults are in attendance.
  3. Install a pet ramp to make it easy for your dog to get out of the water especially if he falls in and you’re not around. Once you install the ramp you will want to work with him to make certain he knows where it is and how to use it.
  4. Purchase a collar alarm that attaches to your dog’s collar and sounds if the device is submerged in water.
  5. Invest in a life vest for your dog and be diligent in using it when he is in the water with you.

If your pet is fearful and doesn’t go near the pool’s edge, don’t force him to be in the water with you. Give him some toys so he can be poolside, but not in the water if he doesn’t like it. Remember, if your pet loves the water and swims with you often, you will have to clean your filter  more often.



How to choose pool ladders and stairs

Town & Country Pool Builders explain how to choose pool ladders and stairs

The choice of a pool ladder, stairs or even a beach entry is something that will not only impact the design of your swimming pool, but the amount of space you will have available for swimming. Ask your pool builder from Town & Country Pools for advice and advantages and disadvantages of the various styles of ladders, steps and beach entries for your family’s swimming pool.

Pool railings

When you have stairs you will need to having railings installed as well. The railings must be stable and sturdy enough for support and for grabbing safety. These items are installed when the pool is constructed or could be added as part of a swimming pool renovation project. A railing is installed in the pool with the use of masonry screws and your pool contractor will inspect the railing to make certain it’s secure during his service visits.

You may want to consider having a ladder or an entry at both ends of the swimming pool — depending on its size and depth.

Railings for pool slides

If you have a swimming pool slide, and you will want to talk with your pool contractor to make certain your pool is large and deep enough to accommodate one. You may also need to check with your insurance agent to see if this accessory will impact your insurance rates or coverage. A pool slide will need a railing the entire length of the stairs. You may opt to have a safety railing at the top of the pool slide, in fact it may be required by local zoning ordinances.

Pool jump board versus diving board

Diving boards for swimming pools have fallen out of favor in recent years — partially because of safety concerns and partially because they take up a lot of space in the pool. If you’re still seeking this type accessory you can choose from:

  • A flexible board on a stand called a jump board.
  • A flexible board on a rigid stand, called a diving board, with with much less “spring” than traditional diving boards.
  • Diving platforms, stands that swivel or can be locked into a bench position.

If you’re considering a diving board or a jump board for your pool be aware that the pool needs to be at least seven and a half feet deep, or deeper depending on the height and length of the board. Check with your pool contractor and your local code enforcement agency to see whether it’s allowed in your area of the country.

Diving boards, jump boards and slides can be fun additions to a swimming pool as long as they’re used with care and caution. Remember, that any of these accessories will need to have railings affixed for safety reasons.


Covering your swimming pool

Town & Country Pools, serving DC, Maryland & Virginia discuss pool covers

If you consider a swimming pool cover a mere accessory rather than a must-have for your swimming pool you should spend some time with the pool contractors from Town & Country Pools. They can explain the benefits and advantages of a pool cover in terms of money-saving, water-saving, pool structure care and safety.

What should you be looking for when considering a swimming pool cover? Here are a few styles and information onswimming pool cover covers:

  • Safety Covers:  Many covers can offer a layer of protection, but safety covers are specifically designed to hold a particular amount of weight — at least 450 pounds and cannot have any spaces that would be large enough for a child to slip through. A safety cover can also be a tie down or a track style model. If you’re looking for a safety cover, make certain you tell your DC, Maryland or Virginia swimming pool contractor to assure you’re getting the style you need. The cost for a safety cover ranges from $1,000 up to close to 10,000 depending on the style and the size of your swimming pool.
  • Solar Covers: A solar cover is a commonly used style especially in the sunnier climates of the country. These covers can be used on above ground or in ground pools and are sometimes referred to as solar blankets. They help prevent loss of heat and also help not prevent loss of chemicals and water through evaporation. They may increase the overall temperature of the water by 10 degrees.  Solar covers are relatively inexpensive, but don’t provide the best “seal” when it comes to keeping dirt and debris from the water. They range in price from $50 up to a couple hundred dollars.  These are NOT safety covers.
  • Tie-Down Cover These covers are stretched across the entire pool and tied down with anchors. They do require that your swimming pool has at least two feet of decking (the anchors are embedded there). A pool cover manufacturer can design a custom cover that can fit over your spa, water features or other accessories your pool boasts. A tie down cover, like many of the others can be made of solid vinyl or mesh (the mesh allows water to flow through). Plan on spending at least $500 and upwards of $2,000 for a die down pool cover — again this depends on whether you want is custom-fit and the size of the pool.
  • Track Cover This is style that is one of the easiest in regards to getting the cover on and off the pool when you want to use it. As the name implies, the cover is installed on a closed track system above the pool. It can be operated manually or electronically.  Plan on spending anywhere from $300 to $15,000 depending on whether you want a fully automatic cover and the size of your pool.

Regardless of the style you choose, it’s crucial to the health and safety of your pool and those in the household who use it to be diligent in the use of one.

Hot tub safety tips for children

DC, Maryland & Virginia pool & hot tub contractors share child safety tips when in a hot tub

Spending time in your hot tub with your children is a great way to while away the winter hours and soak away the winter chill with your children. There are safety precautions you need to undertake when spending time with your hot tubchildren as the pool and hot tub contractors from Town & Country Pools explain. The main point is a common sense one:  Just as you’d never leave a child unattended in a bathtub you should never leave a child alone in a hot tub.

The hot water of a hot tub is dehydrating and can be dangerous to a child. Even with the inherent dangers, hot tubs are a great way to relax sore muscles and are even a great way to get a warm water workout. The jets that your hot tub contractor installed in the structure is a great way to allow the heated water to relax muscles and ease tensions.

Don’t keep the water temperature above 104 degrees and be aware that this temperature might be too hot for young children to tolerate and could lead to heatstroke and loss of consciousness.

Having a hot tub cover for your hot tub is a great way to prevent your child from falling in but these should not be considered a foolproof method of protecting your children. Purchase a hot tub cover from a contractor in DC, Maryland or Virginia at the same time you purchase the hot tub or spa.

Ask your contractor for advice on safety measure for the drains in the hot tub as they could also pose a hazard for young children if their hair gets caught.

Child proof the hot tub and use common sense when spending time together there and it will be a great place to spend fun family time together during the off-season in your pool.

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