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Expecting the Unexpected: how a remodel can (sometimes) turn into a larger project than expected Part 2

Posted on Mar 6, 2020 |

This is the second blog in our two-part series focusing on expecting the unexpected. It is important in the remodeling business to expect the unexpected. Unlike new construction, in remodeling you don’t begin with a clean slate. Often, remodels are constrained by the quality of the initial construction or by its unique features.

 

When remodeling swimming pools there are a handful of issues that we seem to encounter from time to time. These can often be attributed to old age, settling, poor construction, or even that the pool was constructed using techniques that are no longer utilized. Regardless of the cause, remodeling pools sometimes requires more work than what meets the eye. We always do our best to note these issues or potential issues, but from time to time, they aren’t discoverable until the work begins and the pool is drained.

 

This week—we’ll take a dive into some more of those issues that aren’t always so readily discernable and why its important to find a company with the experience to provide you with a top-quality remodel.

 

One of the most frequent encounters in pool remodeling is leaks. Nine out of ten times resurfacing will take care of leaks, however, without a repair to specifically address the leak, there is still a small chance that the pool will still leak after resurfacing. As such, leaks are best addressed before a resurfacing or remodeling job: leaks. Leak repairs in pools can be very difficult to find. Leak repairs and structural repairs usually require cutting into and patching or re-anchoring the underlying surface. If such a repair is made after a pool is resurfaced, it will be difficult to conceal where the repair was made. If the repair is made prior to a resurfacing, in most cases, the repair can be completed, and the new surface will cover the area which was repaired, leaving a new, uniform surface and no trace of the repair.

Further, the process of draining the pool can sometimes expose or exacerbate underlying problems. Because pool surfaces are designed to be continually wet, draining the pool can cause the surface to dry and crack or delaminate (separate from the layer underneath) especially if the finish is older or if it was not properly applied. In these cases, it is necessary to remove the areas of delamination to create a tight, bondable surface for the new finish to properly adhere. Sometimes, if the pool is very old or has been resurfaced multiple times, it becomes necessary to remove and rebuild these areas of delamination to ensure a more level and smooth surface when the new interior finish is applied.

 

The pool’s shape and design can also impact changes customers would like to make during their remodel. This is most glaring when customers are selecting new tile for their pool. Certain shaped tiles, such as the popular offset subway tiles, are not always conducive for certain shaped pools. For example, free form pools (depending on the angle of curves) may not allow the tile to lay flat, depending on the shape of the pool.

 

pool glass tileWith more than 35 years proudly serving the Tampa Bay area, Advanced Pool & Spa Inc., has the experience to assist you with all your residential and commercial swimming pool and spa remodeling needs. We take great pride in our work and are fully licensed, bonded, and insured. Whether you are interested in a simple resurfacing or a complete remodel, we would love to help! Please give us a call at 813-995-2939. Also, to see some of our current work or work in the field, feel free to check out our Instagram and Facebook pages! Our Facebook page is @advancedpoolspa and our Instagram is @advancedpools.fl.

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How it Works – The Process of Resurfacing Your Concrete Swimming Pool: Step 3 – Bond Cote

Posted on Jan 9, 2020 |

How it Works – The Process of Resurfacing Your Concrete Swimming Pool:  Step 3 – Bond Cote

This is our third blog in our series diving deeper into the main steps in resurfacing your swimming pool. We have had a short hiatus from our regular blog posts for the holidays but are very excited to continue this series covering the basic steps of pool resurfacing! As a short recap: there are five main steps to resurfacing a swimming pool (or spa), 1) draining the pool, 2) prepping the pool (which would include repairs and tile work, if any), 3) Bond Cote, 4) applying the interior finish, and 5) filling the pool. Our last blog delved into the second step of the process, prepping the pool which included a brief look at some of the different changes pool owners may elect to make to their pool, such as adding features, new tile, or making repairs. This week, we’ll dive into step three, Bond Cote.

Bond Cote

Once any needed repairs are made, changes constructed (or deconstructed), and new tile has been set, the Bond Cote is applied. Bond Cote is like insurance for your pool finish. The Bond Cote is applied to the interior of the pool on all the surfaces where the new finish will be applied. The Bond Cote helps the new pool finish to adhere properly to the underlaying layer of pool finish, creating tighter bond. Additionally, on a remodel as the interior wares unevenly, applying the Bond Coat will help to ensure a more uniform texture and surface.

Bond Cote is so critical to the pool refinishing process that pool finish manufacturer’s will not warranty their products if the pool owner does not utilize the Bond Cote before applying the new finish. Without Bond Cote, the pool finish has a greater likelihood of failing. The best example of a pool finish failure is when the finish delaminates. Delamination occurs when the new surface separates from the underlaying layer or layers. While delamination may occur for a variety of reasons such as age, improper chemistry, exposure to the elements, etc., it is much more likely in cases where the Bond Cote was not properly applied.

Next week we’ll cover the fourth step of the pool refinishing process. In the meantime, please feel free to check out our social media. Please “like” Advanced Pool & Spa on Facebook, follow us on Instagram to see some of our current work, and feel free to browse our blog for other pool related topics and to look through our gallery for more photos of our work. Advanced Pool & Spa has the experience to assist you with all your residential and commercial swimming pool and spa remodeling needs!

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The Process of Resurfacing Your Concrete Swimming Pool:  Step 1 Draining the Pool

Posted on Dec 13, 2019 |

The Process of Resurfacing Your Concrete Swimming Pool:  Step 1 Draining the Pool

You may already know it’s time to resurface your swimming pool, but do you know what that work entails?

The most frequently asked questions we receive in the office are about the pool refinishing process, how long it takes, and how does it work. While there are concrete pools of many shapes and sizes, the general process for refinishing the interior surface is the same—the only thing that changes is the length of time it may take (based mostly on the size of the pool) and if there are any repairs needed. We decided we would walk you through this process by writing a series of short blogs that give you more information on the process and each step.

There are five main steps in resurfacing a swimming pool: draining the pool, prepping the pool (which would include repairs and tile work, if any), bond kote, applying the interior finish, and filling the pool. Over the next five weeks we’ll look at each of these steps more in-depth to help you understand the general process used when we remodel your swimming pool!

Draining the Pool

The first step in resurfacing your swimming pool is to drain and prep the pool for the new finish. At this stage in the process—the prep crew will arrive and prepare the work area. In order to properly prepare the work area, the pool needs to be drained and the hydrostatic plug removed from the pool to prevent it from popping out of the ground.

Many homeowners are unaware that their pool has a plug in the bottom and that it is the water that holds the pool down in the ground. When the pool is drained the plug is removed to relieve pressure from the ground water that sits around the pool shell in the ground. If the plug is not removed, the pressure from the ground water can push the pool up and out of the ground. Therefore, we do not advise homeowners to drain their own pools.  Advanced Pool & Spa has 35 years of experience in refinishing and remodeling pools and will always do their best to care for your pool as if it were their own; however, as an extra precaution, we also are fully insured with “Pool Pop Out” Insurance which specifically covers this risk.

Once the pool is drained, in most cases a sump pump is placed at the deep end of the pool to remove any excess ground water that may be coming up from the plug. Often, this comes as a surprise to homeowners who may not realize how close the water table sits to the surface here in Florida.

Stay tuned for next week – we will dive into step two of the pool refinishing process. In the meantime, please feel free to check out our social media: like Advanced Pool & Spa on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to see some of our current work, and feel free to browse our blog for other pool related topics and to look through our gallery for more photos of our work. Advanced Pool & Spa has the experience to assist you with all your residential and commercial swimming pool and spa remodeling needs!

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Why you should NEVER paint your pool

Posted on Nov 20, 2019 |

Why you should NEVER paint your pool

From time to time we have homeowners that contact us, asking if we can repaint their pools. Painting your swimming pool might seem like a quick and inexpensive alternative to resurfacing your swimming pool but we strongly discourage anyone from painting their pools.

Painting your swimming pool will cost you more in the long run when it comes time to resurface your pool. Pool finishes are a concrete-based product that over time, interacts with the chemicals in your pool water and calcifies. This chemical process, over time, will cause your pool finish to pit, etch, or otherwise become uneven due to the chemicals in your water causing the pool finish to disintegrate. When swimming pools are resurfaced, this problem can be addressed. However, applying a paint or epoxy finish over your existing pool surface will not correct any of etching or pitting.

Additionally, painting your pool will lead to other issues. The chemicals added to your pool water interact with and break down the paint. Most often, this causes the paint to become chalky, causing the water to become cloudy. This chalky residue can get on swimmer’s skin, staining swimmers’ skin and bathing suits or clothing. Pool paint often cracks and flakes off which can also clog and cause damage to your pool filter.

If your pool has already been painted, in order to properly resurface your pool, the paint will need to be sand blasted, wet blasted, or otherwise mechanically removed back to the original surface in order to create a tight, bondable surface. If the paint is not completely removed prior to resurfacing your pool, it can lead to a bonding failure, where the new pool finish delaminates (separates) from the underlying surface.

As there are so many different paints and epoxy-type products on the market today, removing the painted surface can be difficult, expensive, and hard to price because it is often difficult to determine what product was used. This cost of removal will have to be added on to the cost of refinishing the pool, which can sometimes cost as much as resurfacing.

If you have a painted concrete pool and you would like to bring it back to its original surface, or if your pool needs to be refinished, please give Advanced Pool & Spa a call. Advanced Pool & Spa is family owned and operated and has been proudly serving the Tampa Bay area for the 35 years! We have the experience to help you with all your pool, spa, and deck remodeling needs! Please take a look at our website, advancedpool-spa.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram to see some of our beautiful work!

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Does your dog enjoy your pool too?

Posted on Oct 2, 2019 |

Does your dog enjoy your pool too?

Is your pool well loved by all the members of your family? Even the four-legged ones?

Some dogs are natural swimmers and L-O-V-E getting in the pool. Dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundland Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Portuguese Water Dogs, and Golden Retrievers even have webbed feet which help them be more proficient swimmers. Cat lovers—you may already know this, but there are even some cats that enjoy a good swim too!

At Advanced Pool & Spa, we are animal lovers and even have two dogs in our office daily! Daisy is a two-and-a-half-year-old Miniature Schnauzer. Gracie is an eighteen-month-old Golden Retriever. Daisy is not a huge fan of the water, but loves being around her family poolside. Gracie, on the other hand, loves the water so much, it is hard to keep her out of it (in fact, she was caught trying to swim in the bird bath at her first Thanksgiving)!

 

Here are the top five things to consider if your furry friends are enjoying your pool with you!

  1. The average size dog is equivalent to approximately three people in terms of the load on your sanitation system. That means, if your furry friends are regular swimmers in your pool, you should be testing your chemicals more frequently to make sure you are maintaining the proper balance. Any dirt, fecal matter, and bacteria that may be on their fur will end up in the water, so it is important to stay diligent with testing your water.
  2. If your dog is a big shedder (like our sweet Gracie) that hair will be in your pool so it will be important to regularly clean your filter or even change your filter out to a large capacity filter, if possible!
  3. Your dog’s skin is very similar to yours. That is—just as people’s skins can become irritated from the chlorine and chemicals in your pool, your dog’s skin might too. It is important to rinse your fur-baby off after they’ve been in the pool.
  4. Not all dogs are fond of water (or swimmers). Be sure to take extra precautions to keep your dog safe. Some dogs may need, or would be more comfortable with, a life jacket to help keep them afloat. Some dogs are not able to swim at all and pool owners need to be cautious to keep their dogs from accidentally falling into the pool.
  5. Dogs often have very sharp nails too, so it is important for the safety of your dog and the people who would be swimming with your dog, to make sure that your dog’s nails are properly trimmed to prevent scratches (we do not recommend your dog swimming in a vinyl liner pool for this reason too)!

And, here are three things to consider if you are remodeling your swimming pool that would make the pool even more enjoyable for you and your dog!

  1. Your pool entry/exit. Your dog may be more likely to give swimming in your pool a try if they don’t literally have to take the plunge to do so. Beach entries are very popular for dogs because they create a more natural feeling, like how it would be entering a lake or an ocean, for your dog.
  2. Dogs need rest too and they can’t hold onto the wall like you! Consider whether there are swim outs or sun shelves, or other places in your pool where your dog can take a rest if they need!
  3. If you have a puppy, an older dog, or a dog that cannot swim, consider adding a baby fence around your pool to prevent them from accidentally falling in. Our dogs are like children, so it is important to always supervise them when they are around the pool and it is important to take whatever precautions you can!

Finally, here are a few extra things to keep in mind if your dog enjoys your pool with you: make sure to always supervise them when they are swimming; take extra precautions if your dog is swimming with children or the elderly to prevent your dog from scratching them; and be sensitive to your dog’s comfort level—swimming is supposed to be fun and if your dog doesn’t enjoy it and you force them to swim, it could scare them from getting in the pool again in the future.

If you are considering remodeling or refinishing your swimming pool, please give Advanced Pool & Spa, Inc. a call. We have been in business for 35 years and have the experience to assist you in making your pool beautiful and enjoyable for the whole family! Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and on Instagram (@advancedpools.fl) to see some of our work and to see more of Daisy and Gracie!

 

 

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How to Make Pool Care Easier

Posted on Feb 27, 2019 |

How to Make Pool Care Easier

Why do so many pool owners struggle to take care of their swimming pools? The first reason is simply not understanding the technical aspects of pool maintenance such as water chemistry. If you do not understand pool water chemistry values or how to interact with these values then it would seem obvious that you might struggle with the difficulty of caring for your pool. Aside from not knowing what you are doing, which is an obvious concern, the next most common problem is complacency. This series of articles is intended to impress upon you the importance of establishing some good fundamentals when it comes to how you care for your pool. Nothing on this list should come as a surprise to a seasoned pool owner, but what is surprising is how often these important fundamental pool care steps are skipped. By going back to basics you can make it much easier to care for your pool.

Swimming pools are complicated and there are 1000s of ways in which you will need to interact with yours to one extent or another. This is one of the main reasons why pool owners can lose track of what is important over time and begin to skip on some of these fundamental processes. In the vast majority of cases with “pool problems”, the cause of the problem can likely be traced back to one or more of these simple, fundamental steps being skipped. Things such as showering before entering the pool, brushing the walls and floor, balancing your pH, vacuuming and skimming your pool, and most importantly, having your pool resurfaced with a Marquis Quartz or Mini Pebble surface will make the pool more resistant to stains with a smoother surface applied. So stay tuned for some easy ways to take care of your new surface.

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