Tag Archives: swimming pool maintenance

Create An Inviting Pool Deck For Every Season

Time by the pool is not limited to July barbecues and lazy day lounging. With the right accessories and upkeep, your pool deck can boast year-round benefits! Here are some of our seasonal tips for maintaining an inviting pool deck all year long.

Turn Up The Heat

It’s easy to yearn for the summer heat, but there are ways to replicate the sun’s rays until it returns. Looking to entertain outdoors? Keep a basket with blankets close by for both warmth and comfort, and place heat lamps close to the seating areas to make them cozy throughout the colder months.

Speaking of heat, don’t be afraid to fire up the grill! If the weather permits, continue with the cookouts well past early fall. Be sure to check the propane tank or use dry charcoal, and to clear away any snow and debris before use. Taking a few extra precautions will pay off when you’ve created a delicious meal for friends and family to enjoy.

Swap Out Accessories

A light, breezy deck chair may not last through a harsh winter, just as a winter pool cover is not necessary for summer activities. Delegate space indoors to store outdoor items that will suffer outside their appropriate seasons. This will keep your furniture looking new and intact for years to come!

In addition, be sure to take advantage of a sturdy, walk able pool cover by setting up an attractive entertaining space. This can serve as an extension to the deck itself! Placing furniture on the surface is not advised, but a sound system or table with party essentials, such as snacks and drinks, will enhance the deck and the event in question.

Tend to Other Landscaping Needs

Staying up-to-date with the deck’s foliage guarantees a gorgeous space. Plant new perennials in the spring, and gear up for the cold by managing delicate areas with trimming and treating in time for winter. For added convenience, place ceramic pots around the deck and simply swap out their contents with seasonal flowers. The options are plentiful!

Decorate For The Seasons

Placing thoughtful decorations around the pool deck will create a festive vibe for every holiday. Spread a patterned tablecloth over an outdoor table, or cover the deck furniture with fabric shams that celebrate the season. For a simple, classic look, white light strings are a versatile staple long after the holidays are over, and create a beautiful ambiance for time spent outdoors.

Contact Blue Tree

Looking to expand your pool deck’s usage? Let our team of experts advise you on the season’s current demands for your pool deck. At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on our outdoor expertise for any terrain. Contact us today!

Don’t Let Heavy Snow Damage Your Pool Cover

Winter can be harsh on homes, plants, and cars alike, but what about pools? The cover of your pool can take a beating, especially with the weight of snow as a threat to its structure. To avoid damage, here are our tips for managing heavy snow on your pool cover until warmer weather arrives.

Clean Up and Maintenance

Take a few quick trips outside to brush the snow off the pool cover surface. If the weight on top can be reduced, there is less chance of long-term damage or collapse. However, take care not to clear all of the snow. Weight on the pool cover will prevent wind and debris from damaging it or pushing it down below the water’s surface. Leave about an inch behind to keep it in place.

While outside, check the chemical levels. While there is less chance of evaporation in the wintertime, adding too many chemicals can damage the cover – and the pool – if it isn’t monitored. Adjust accordingly, to make the grand reopening of your pool clean and efficient for the spring!

Use A Snow Removal Tool

Your cover pump might remove excess water, but for fresh flakes, a different tactic is needed. If a heavier cleanup is needed, try an ice scraper or an apparatus with a foam or rubber head, to be gentle to the cover itself. This investment will provide peace of mind year after year, no matter the severity of the weather.

Invest in a Cover Pump

Get a machine to do the work for you! A pool cover pump is attached with wire and removes the water both from the surface of the cover and underneath it, regulating the pool’s water levels. This is especially useful for snow; when snow seeps underneath the pool cover and melts, it can disturb the water levels and the carefully laid-out surface that is protecting the system. Cover pumps are available online and wherever pool supplies are sold.

Consider Replacing Your Cover

For both above-ground and in-ground pools, the average lifespan of a high-quality cover can stretch to ten years or more! your pool cover is a few years old or sustained some rough seasons in the past, it might be time to replace it. There is a wide range of special pool covers that are geared toward handling the tribulations of winter weather. Don’t forget the tubes and weights to hold it down!

Trust Blue Tree

We don’t just install pools, we help maintain them! Our team of experts can guide you in choosing and installing the right means to protecting your pool cover this winter. Contact us for more information today!

Make Your Dream Of Owning A Pool A Reality

June 21st was the first day of summer in 2018, and this is the time that people are jumping into backyard pools and enjoying the water! If this is the year to begin construction on a pool of your own, there are a few factors to consider before getting started. Here are our tips for planning the pool of your dreams, from digging the hole to diving in.

Create a Timeline

Installing a pool is a lengthy process that spans over several months. The bulk of the construction should take place during mild months of the year when the weather will not pose a threat to the progress. Consult your contractor about the best time frame to perform certain steps in the process, from creating the hole to laying the materials, and even decorating the surrounding area.

Consider the Cost

A pool requires year-round maintenance to keep the structure intact, as well as the water and systems involved. See what type of pool can be maximized in your space, whether it be above ground or in-ground. There are pros and cons to both, from the cost of upkeep to amount of attention required, so write out a list and figure out what works best!

Once the type of pool is decided upon, compile a list of necessities. Equipment, insurance, and surrounding enclosures such as fences and retaining walls are all amenities to take into consideration during planning. Work with a budget to make decisions on what features to choose, such as polymer versus Pebble Tec walls, or a cement versus tile deck. If every facet of a successful pool is considered before construction, there will be no surprises later on.

Choose the Shape, Size, and Design

Study the layout of your backyard. Is the area long and narrow, uniquely shaped, or sprawling over an acre or two? In addition to the shape, the area immediately surrounding it needs to be considered, for a deck or furniture to accent the pool. Take measurements and draft up a few blueprints before committing to the details.

Keep It Beautiful

When the pool is installed, keep it clean! Chemicals are essential to balancing both the water’s pH and the pool wall’s integrity, and they flush out the filtration systems as well. Skim the surface for leaves and other debris, and invest in a vacuum that will travel underwater and remove buildup on the wall surfaces.

Let Blue Tree Landscaping Help

Above all else, enjoy the process! A pool is a personal venture, and it should be exactly to your specifications when the building begins. Take your time and craft something to be proud of. At Blue Tree Landscaping, we are a part of the entire process, from planning to installation to keeping the pool pristine year-round. Contact us for in-ground pools so we can get started!

Transform Your Backyard Into A Coveted Sports Venue

Few things are more enjoyable than getting friends and family together to engage in friendly competition, especially in your own backyard. No matter the size or shape, any backyard can be transformed to house sports equipment, setups, and courts to satisfy even the most gung-ho sports fanatics. Here are some ideas to create the next go-to sports center for everyone to enjoy!

Invest in a Sport Court

Multi-sport courts are both trendy and low-maintenance. Outdoor sports tiles are easy to clean and arrange, and several companies boast notable safety approval reports. Plus, they can house several sport accessory forms, such as basketball hoops, tennis nets, and more. Choose a generic surface or customize your own!

Plenty of Open Space

This is the classic, fail-safe route for optimal backyard fun. A simple expanse of well-maintained lawn can play host to dozens of outdoor sporting activities. Set up a volleyball net, croquet wickets, soccer goals, and so much more! The versatility of a spacious backyard will please all age groups, and make your yard a versatile spot for games of all types.

Water Sports and Accessories

Pools can be excellent venues for outdoor sports. Sporting good stores and pool supply shops offer poolside basketball hoops and nets that stretch over the entire body of water, creating a makeshift court in minutes. For those with lakefront property, try a floating trampoline or water skis to amp up the activities even further! Even water polo balls and beach balls serve as tools in a variety of outdoor sports and are sold almost everywhere.

Professional Entertainment

If the backyard is too small for traditional sports, make it a premium viewing spot! Invest in a television that will take center stage in your outdoor space, to watch the big game for every season. A prime sound system will enhance the space, immersing guests in a court side experience, and comfortable outdoor couches and chairs will beat plastic stadium seats any day.

No space at all? No problem! Tabletop tennis, pool tables, and darts are popular toys that can go both indoors and outdoors, and are durable and require little maintenance. Choose an air hockey table to create an arcade-like atmosphere or a rod hockey game for a nostalgic feel. Combine any of these with a sporty backyard to create the ultimate entertainment area.

Blue Tree Landscaping

Game on! Here at Blue Tree, we recognize the importance of a functional, fun backyard and want to help yours be the best it can be. Our team of experts will help design and implement the best surfaces and accessories for the space allowed. Call or email us to get started today!

Reasons Your Outdoor Pool Needs A Fence

When a yard has an outdoor pool, a fence might seem like a great option to help add some decor to the space. However, any enclosure like a fence can serve an important functional purpose beyond just looks, and stand as one of the focal points of the pool. If your outdoor pool doesn’t have one already, here are a few reasons why it could benefit from a fence, from the obvious to the fun:

Safety

First and foremost, a fence is an excellent safety measure for a variety of household inhabitants. Smaller children will be kept safe by being blocked off from the open water if the fence is secure enough, and pets that run the risk of slipping into the pool area will be shut out as well. If the design is solid, even larger forces such as debris from storms, or flyaway cushions from the furniture surrounding the pool, will be contained and blocked as well. Ensure that the material you choose to build your fence can stand up to most circumstances, and the worry of accidents or damage will be eliminated. It’s not a wise choice to make the investment if the fence can’t keep toddlers at bay.

Keeps unwelcome visitors out

Depending on the terrain of your yard, small creatures can wander near the pool of their own volition. This is out of the pool owner’s control, of course, so to save the risk of them falling in or damaging any of the surrounding equipment or surfaces, consider a fence that reaches the ground to minimize the intrusion of unwanted animals. This way, anything that enters the pool will be at your discretion, eliminating the worry of unwanted guests or endangering the creatures in question.

Boosts backyard style

Beyond the functionality of a fence, make a statement with yours! Choose from a variety of materials and styles to match your outdoor pool’s unique look and feel, from wooden to wrought-iron and beyond. A fence also serves as a prime decorating piece for parties, when the style allows for it. String lights through the slots of a thinner fence, or tie balloons to the posts to add a festive touch to any occasion. By protecting against inclement weather, a fence around an outdoor pool will accentuate every feature that brings the yard together, and maintain its many other uses as well.

Blue Tree

Let us help install the perfect fence to suit your pool! At Blue Tree Landscaping, our team of experts has ample experience implementing proper outdoor fencing that will create purpose and style that will last for years to come. Contact us for a quote to get started!

How to “Winterize” Your Yard

Winterizing your property requires paying careful attention to your lawn. Most households remove autumn leaves from the lawn to prepare for winter. Unraked leaves can suffocate your lawn if left out through the winter. A layer of leaves can prevent healthy lawn growth the following year. The easy way to take care of your lawn is to remove the leaves with a leaf-blower or a rake. Rakes, however, offer the added benefit of removing thatch – dead grass tissue – from your lawn. Raking your lawn yourself can be a tiring and long process. Try hiring a landscaper if you don’t have time to rake the lawn yourself. Landscapers can help prepare your lawn for winter by testing your soil for pH and adding sulfur or lime as needed. It also helps to over-seed the lawn in the fall, preparing it to grow abundantly come warmer weather.

Winterizing Your Pool

Winterizing your pool can be more work than expected. A pool installation or landscape professional can be a big help. A week before closing, you must balance the pH of the water. Then, remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets, and ladders, clean the pool, lower the water level, drain and winterize the plumbing, and cover the pool. These complicated steps often require the help of a professional. The process for in-ground pools also presents a more significant challenge than above ground pools. Swimming pool installation experts and landscapers can help. Often people that install pools know them best – they can recommend the best maintenance and make sure your pool is in good shape to survive the winter.

Additional Landscaping

Get any landscaping you need done before the winter! You also need to winterize gardens, shrubs, and trees if you want them to survive the winter and continue growing large and healthy come springtime. Spreading mulch, preening shrubs and bushes, protecting bulbs, and removing invasive weeds makes for a healthier garden and yard come spring. In wintertime, it’s often harder to get landscaping services. The ground hardens, making it more difficult to install landscape lighting, retaining walls, fences, or gardens.

Keeping Your Yard Healthy In Philadelphia’s Suburbs

Suburbs of Philly like Montgomery County and Chester County have some of the toughest winters. Persistent freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall can hinder the health of your yard and landscape if not properly cared for. Winterizing your lawn, pools, and the rest of your yard can mitigate the effects of a cruel winter. Listening to good advice from professionals like those at Blue Tree Landscaping is the best thing you can do for your yard and home.

Preparing Your Pool For Fall Weather

The seasons are beginning to change, and with nature’s preparation for winter comes leaves and debris that need to be taken care of before it’s too cold and the weather is unpredictable. Any yard with a pool requires extra attention and care for fall, whether that pool is in use or not. Check out these measures to keep in mind for the coming season!

Take toys out

This might seem like an easy one, but once the pool’s temperature gets too low to use, you should clear the pool of any children’s toys or floating accessories so that they don’t sustain any damage. Floating chairs and drink holders should also be removed and stored away. Clean them with dish soap and water before bringing them inside, and be sure to deflate them for optimal storage. That way, they will be fresh and ready to enjoy for next summer’s festivities!

Use a pool cover

For further protection (and a potentially smoother cleanup) consider investing in a plastic cover or tarp for your pool. The full-coverage benefit will shield the water from debris caused by wind and storms and will additionally shield any underwater surfaces as well. This can also provide adequate protection in the summer months during heat spells and summer storms.

Check chemical levels

Everyone’s pool sits at a slightly different chlorine level, so be vigilant about checking yours. All other factors, including the pH and any saltwater materials, should be checked before the weather affects these levels too much. Temperature, sunlight, and animals infiltrating the water’s surfaces all have an effect on the water, but with a bit of surveillance, the pool will remain healthy beyond the fall months.

Pool surfaces

Before snow and leaves coat the ground, ensure that the pool’s foundation and coatings are intact. If any grout or surface tiles are chipping or cracked, replace or repair them in a timely manner before it gets too difficult to do so. Any protective seals put on furniture should be inspected as well, or simply moved out of the way. Stocking up on materials to fix or polish damages done by the weather is not a bad idea either.

When it comes to pool surfaces, trust the experts to take care of any problem that’s too big to handle. At Blue Tree Landscaping, we are committed to helping protect your yard in case of unpredictable weather. Our in-ground pool knowledge will help to ensure its lifespan year-round, so call us for any questions or a free quote today!

Repair Summer Damages To Your Yard

As we transition into the warmest times of the summer, the sun is beating down upon all outside surfaces. It can be difficult to maintain the condition of outdoor furniture, plants, and even hardscape details when the weather is so unforgiving. Don’t let your outdoor investments go to seed; here are some tips on upkeep for your yard’s accouterments that will help to preserve them year round!

Replace Furniture

This does not necessarily mean replacing the whole setup. If cushions or delicate furniture is left out in the sun for extended periods of time, it can sustain unsightly tears and faded colors. Visit a local seamstress to tend to tears, or consider cushion covers that will not only disguise damages but allow the freedom of redesigning current pieces to fit the season.

Tend To Foliage

The sight of dry, wilted plans can be a sad one! Do some research on the best options for the changing season, and whether to add to already existing ones or remove some completely. Regardless of replacing flowers or planting winter vegetables, any small change will have gardens and landscapes looking fresh.

Check the Pool

Summer is by no means consistent in terms of weather, and a pool can see the brunt of Mother Nature’s actions. Skimming the pool’s surface to remove dirt and debris is only the start of it. If the tiles or ceramic coating are chipped and cracking, drain the pool to perform necessary repairs. Be sure to notice the surface surrounding the pool as well; any cement or tile work that looks faded and cracked should be tended to immediately, for safety reasons.

Clean Up

Sometimes, all a space needs is a good cleaning. Pull any weeds or animal excrement that may be settling in the corners of the yard. For a deeper clean, invest in a power washer to get the dirt off the sides of the house and any patio or hard surface that needs a good scrub. Look at fences too, and see if vines or dirt can be removed for a cleaner look. Now is not the best time to replace sod or large lawn surfaces, but it is possible to keep current ones looking polished until next year’s replacement.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you clean up your space! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on providing quality maintenance and upgrade services for homes of all shapes and sizes. Contact us today to get a quote on how to get your yard in the best shape it’s ever been in!

Protect Your Pets From The Pool

Keeping our kids safe and out of harm’s way around a swimming pool seems like a given, but what about our pets? Some of our furry companions cannot swim, or prefer not to engage in water. To eliminate any worries, here are some ways to take precaution against them sneaking in for an unsupervised swim.

Fence Them Out

The natural choice for keeping pets away is installing a fence that will stop them from walking into the pool and its surrounding area. Choose a fence that will cater to the pet’s size; a wrought-iron fence works well for larger dogs, but smaller animals such as cats, turtles, and various farm animals might need a more solid means of protection. Build the posts close together or with a thick material to optimize safety.

Wire Mesh or Wood

Wrap wire encasing around any existing fence to add a layer of protection for smaller animals. The design could be as simple as chicken wire, or a sleeker design from a home improvement store. Not only will this stop small pets from getting in, but creatures such as possums, squirrels, and rabbits will have a harder time entering the pool.

If the fence has yet to be built, consider a solid wood or plastic fence to surround the pool. The height can depend on the space available, and a simple latching system will make it easy to enter and exit throughout the day. The cost might be more in the long run, but in the winter months, that stable fence will hold up against harsher weather.

Add A Retaining Wall

For backyards with a hill, animals can climb up and around a ground fence and enter the pool area. By protecting the back of the pool with a sturdy foundation, animals of any size will have a harder time infiltrating that area. An additional fence can be built on top of this wall, to further protect against pests to the yard. Retaining walls can be customized to add to the aesthetic of the yard as well. You might consider tile work or stones that will stack and create a textured, unique surface to back the pool. Make it your own!

Contact Blue Tree

Let Blue Tree Landscaping help keep your four (or two) legged friends safe this summer! We specialize in hardscaping and preventative structures that will serve as functional, beautiful additions to any pool. Our team cares about your pets and your yard in tandem: contact us for a quote on your fence pool, or your next home improvement project!

Upgrade Your Pool for Summer Entertaining

The summer solstice, which marks both the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, is coming up on June 21st. Around this time, schools are out, people are taking vacations, and many folks are hoping to enjoy a nice dip in the pool! If your pool’s amenities are outdated or need fixing up, there are a few ways to do this in time for more festivities.

Clean the Grout

If the pool’s surrounding surface has tiles, the dirt buildup in the cracks can be unsightly. Scraping it out works, but this can be a huge hassle. A power washer will get rid of dirt and buildup, without having to replace any cement or artificial stone that surrounds your pool area. The power washer can be used for the rest of your surfaces as well, such as wood patios, resilient fences, and walls that need cleaning.

Inspect the Pool

Most pools have plaster or Pebble Tec surfaces coating the interior. With winter weather and the wear-and-tear of extended use over the years, these surfaces might be starting to show deterioration. You many want to refinish any surfaces that are chipped or stained before they are put to use. Often, a harsher surface begins to peek out from under the smooth plaster, and fixing this is a safety and liability issue that you should try to take care of early.

Perform Some Touch-Ups

After a harsh winter, the landscaping around your pool might need replenishing. Plant fresh flowers and vegetation to give a lively vibe to any space, and paint over any faded decorations or surfaces that could use a new coat. Check out couch and chair cushions as well: sunlight can cause fading of colors and patterns, and it might be time to replace anything that looks lighter or loses its texture.

Decorate

One of the easiest and most attainable means for improvement, decorating your pool area is a personal and fun process. It can be as simple as changing out plants or color schemes, or can encompass projects that are larger in scale. Consider swapping out decorative tile work, large furniture, and lounge pieces to stay current with styles and give your whole backyard the makeover it deserves.

Contact Blue Tree

Let the experts join you in your renovations! Blue Tree Landscaping is proud to offer hardscaping and decorative services for backyards of any size. Call today for a quote or advice on getting started. Summer won’t last forever, but with a few tweaks, any backyard can be revamped for months and years to come.