pool left open in the winter surrounded by snow

How to Close a Swimming Pool for the Winter

All good things must come to an end. After a fun summer season with your personal swimming pool, winter will inevitably arrive and along with it, the task of closing the pool for winter. It might seem easy enough to simply throw a cover over your pool and call it a day, but doing this will only cause further problems come next summer.

Importance of Closing Pool For Winter

Here are three reasons why you should learn how to properly close your pool for winter.

1. Regular Maintenance is Unlikely

During the regular swimming season, you were probably making sure that your personal pool was regularly maintained, including scooping out debris and occasionally changing a filter. During the winter months, however, maintaining your pool is a lot less rewarding when you have to brave chilly weather and aren’t able to utilize your pool. Closing your pool for winter will eliminate the need for regular maintenance during those winter months.

2. Debris

During the summer, having insects, leaves, or other debris fall into your pool wasn’t a big issue. Just a few minutes of work and you’re back to business as usual. However, during the winter months where you are less incentivized to maintain your pool, any debris in the pool will begin to rot, which will affect your pool’s chemical balance.

3. Time and Money

It might seem like a massive chore to properly close your pool for winter, and it many times is. But not winterizing your pool correctly will likely mean more money spent on cleaning parts and supplies, and more time spent getting your pool swimmable again. Learning how to correctly clean and close your pool for winter saves you time and money in the long run.

Contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas

If you have any questions regarding personal pools, or you are looking into closing your pool for the winter, you can contact us today via our website! You can also learn more about custom pools on our custom pools page.

 

orange fall leaves in swimming pool

4 Tips for Fall Pool Maintenance

With summer gone and winter right around the corner, keeping your pool in tip-top shape isn’t likely at the top of your to-do list. However, by staying on top of your fall pool maintenance, not only can you make your workload much easier, but you can also have peace of mind knowing it will be in good condition come spring. Keep these four fall pool maintenance tips in mind when tending to your pool:

Fall Pool Maintenance Tips

 

1. Trim the Hedges and Trees

Trimming the trees, shrubs, hedges, and any other foliage around your pool will make your workload much easier and reduce the risk of falling branches that can damage your pool cover.

2. Clean the Filters

Having clean filters at the beginning of the cooler fall months will help to ensure your pool stays as clean and debris-free as possible.  

3. Skim the Pool

As you know, autumn brings falling leaves that can be a pain when it comes to pool maintenance. By skimming your pool on a regular basis, you can remove the leaves and debris. This can also make your workload easier come spring because it prevents the leaves from sinking and staining the bottom of your pool.

4. Keep the Cover Clean

If you choose to use a pool cover during the fall and winter months, make sure to keep it clean and free of debris. Keeping the cover clean will help to keep the pool clean, too.

Partner with the Pros

To ensure your pool is as clean as possible and to reduce your workload simultaneously, partner with the pool specialists at Robert Allen Pools and Spas. With years of pool maintenance experience, the friendly, trained professionals at Robert Allen Pool and Spa know exactly what it takes to meet your needs. Whether you’re interested in custom pool design or year-round maintenance services, Robert Allen has your back. Contact us today!

5 Pool Safety Tips to Keep the Whole Family Safe

Having a swimming pool is fantastic fun for your entire family! It is great to have a space to relax and play on long hot, summer days, and it is definitely one of the best places to make special memories with your family and friends. However, with pool ownership comes the duty of making sure everyone stays safe. If you make a point to follow these 5 important pool safety tips, you should be able to enjoy your pool without any worries!

Pool Safety Tips

1. Fence Off Your Pool

Putting up a fence or other barrier around your pool is crucial for child safety. Young children don’t understand the danger of swimming alone and a barrier keeps them out until an adult can be with them.

2. Never Leave a Young Child Unattended

Whether in or even just around the pool, never leave a child without adult supervision. A child’s guardian should be the first person to safeguard their child, even if a lifeguard is present or your child has a floatation device.

3. Check the Chemical Levels

Make sure the pool chemicals are at the proper levels and test them regularly.

4. Learn CPR

Even after taking the above preventive measures (and more), make sure you know how to perform CPR on both children and adults. A lifeguard can’t always be there—especially in your own private pool.

5. Teach Your Kids How To Swim

Take the time and money to enroll your kids in swim lessons. They will have more fun and be safer overall if they know how to swim properly.

Follow these pool safety tips and do all that you can to keep your family and friends safe. And remember, if you have any pool needs or questions, please feel free to contact us directly at Robert Allen Pools and Spas. We are happy to help you out wherever we can!

The Difference Between Hot Tubs and Spas

If you are thinking about adding a hot tub or spa to your home, you have a lot of options available. There are many designs to choose from, which enables you to find one that will fit your needs. Of all the choices you have, the first choice you will need to make is whether to opt for a hot tub or a spa. Of course, making that decision is easier if you know the differences between the two and the advantages of each.

Hot Tubs

A hot tub is an above-ground spa that is completely self-contained in terms of its plumbing, pumps, and heating. Hot tubs are relatively portable as they sit on top of a pad like concrete and can be moved to another part of a property or to a new location altogether.

In addition to their portability, the main advantages of hot tubs include their relative energy efficiency and affordability. Hot tubs heat up quickly and hold their temperatures well. They also require little for their installation aside from a strong level pad.

Spas

Spa tends to be used as a general term and can also be confused with the term day-spa, which is something else entirely. In reality, a spa is a body of water built into the ground, much like an in-ground swimming pool. They are often attached to a pool or near the house and are similar to what you would find in a gym or hotel.

The main advantage of spas is the value that they add to a home since a spa is a permanent addition to a property. The disadvantages of spas include the higher cost of installation and their higher energy costs since they take longer to heat and do not typically hold their temperature as well as hot tubs.

If you are looking for something more cost effective, a hot tub is probably the way to go. If you want something more permanent to add value to your home, then you should opt for a spa. Contact us today to explore options for your spa or hot tub in Truckee and beyond. We offer the best service for hot tubs and spas in Carson City, Nevada.

Must-Have Pool Features

Swimming pools are great additions to any backyard oasis. But most people don’t want just an ordinary pool, they want an experience. Robert Allen Pools and Spas offers all the amazing features you want to make your water feature ideas a reality. There is a pool accessory to fit every need.

Pool Slides

If you have children in your life and want to up the fun factor in your pool, consider a slide. We’re not talking about one of those old-fashioned clunky models. We’re talking about a sleek design embedded into the rock so the slide blends in seamlessly with the pool. It’s a great way to bring more natural elements into your pool area. They are also a lot of fun.

Waterfalls and Arcs

Water features are a great way to add dimension and ambiance to your pool. Imagine relaxing poolside with the relaxing sound of a bubbling fountain or waterfall. We have waterfalls that can match any design, from sleek and modern to a gentle cascade down rock. No matter what kind of look you want, we have the perfect option.

Another water feature that is very popular is smooth water arcs. This water feature is beautiful to look at and fun to play with. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the smooth water arcs. These not only give you a beautiful water feature in your pool, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the trickling sound of water.

Landscaping

Natural landscaping is a great way to integrate your pool with the surroundings. Large rocks, native landscaping, stone, and gravel are just a few natural elements that can turn a pool from humdrum to fabulous.

When it comes to water features, natural pool landscaping, waterfalls, and smooth water arcs, there are a lot of things to consider. Luckily, the professionals at Robert Allen Pools and Spas are ready to help make your water feature ideas a reality as you create the pool area of your dreams. Contact us today and see what Robert Allen Pools and Spas can do for your backyard oasis.

Swimming Pool Requirements in Nevada

You’ve made the decision to add a swimming pool or spa to create your own backyard oasis, congratulations! In addition to deciding on the design elements of your new pool or spa, there are also laws required by the state of Nevada that must be met. But don’t worry, we have you covered. Our professional staff will help you make your new swimming pool in the Reno, Nevada area safe and beautiful.

In order to keep everyone safe around a pool or spa, there are several safety requirements in Nevada. These requirements cover both in-ground and above ground pools, spas, and hot tubs and they must include:

  1. A barrier at least 48 inches above the finished ground level that is measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the pool.
  2. There can’t be any openings in the barrier large enough to allow a 4-inch diameter sphere to pass through it. There can’t be any indentations or protrusions except for the normal construction tolerances and masonry joints.
  3. The spacing between the vertical slats in the barrier must be no more than 1-3/4 inches wide. This includes decorative cutouts as well.
  4. The maximum mesh size for chain link fences is 1-1/4 inch square.
  5. All access gates must comply with the same requirements as the barriers and must include a door that opens away from the pool and have a self-latching device located on the pool side of the gate at least three inches below the top of the gate. There can’t be more than a 1/2 inch opening between the gate and the fence.  
  6. If the wall of a dwelling unit is part of the barrier and includes a door, a sensor must be installed on the door and screen that emits a sound when the door is opened. The alarm should sound different than other household sounds.
  7. All pools must have a power safety cover that when closed can hold at least 485 pounds of weight.

 

Although there are quite a few regulations for Nevada pool and spa owners, we are here to help you make sure your new pool is safe and secure. Contact us and we can help you get started designing the pool or spa of your dreams.

Five Things to Consider Before You Buy a Pool

Installing a swimming pool here in Reno can be a large investment, so it’s smart to use a checklist to make sure it will work out and bring you the results you want. Here are five key considerations.

 

What Type of Pool Do You Need?

If you want a pool for relaxing with children, it may be different than one used for doing laps—or you may just want it to look good in your yard. Having a clear purpose for your swimming pool from the beginning will make later decisions easier.

 

Discover Any Problems with Your Property

Get a geotechnical report or at least a soil test. Find out if you have a high water table or unusually rocky, sandy, or unstable soil. Consider whether your area has earthquakes, flooding, or stormwater runoff.

 

Where Can You Install It?

Find out if any building regulations limit how large it can be, where it can be positioned on your property, or how much fencing is allowed. Also, think about whether you’ll supervise children from inside the house, how much sun and wind exposure it will receive, and where guests will enter the area and relax.

 

In-Ground or Above-Ground?

Many homeowners enjoy the permanence of an in-ground pool, but excavating the soil can be costly or may not be possible. On a steep site or a location with difficult access, an above-ground pool with a deck can be an economical and attractive option, one that you can take with you to a new home if you move.

 

Using Concrete, Vinyl, or Fiberglass

Concrete gives you great freedom to control the size and shape of your pool, and it can be customized with a concrete “beach,” marble plaster, and more. Vinyl pools are also customizable—and inexpensive at first—but may need to be replaced after five to nine years. Fiberglass pools come in a set shape, but they’re very quick and easy to install.

 

Swimming pools in Reno are perfect for our hot climate! Need help planning yours? Robert Allen Pools and Spas is happy to lend our expertise. Contact us today!

What Kind of Custom Pool Style Works Best For You?

Let’s talk about your dream pool for a moment. When you see it in your mind, what does it look like? Does it have a traditional look or is it more sleek and modern? Your custom pool can be as unique as you want it to be. No matter what size or style of pool you’re thinking about, we can help you design the backyard oasis you’ve been dreaming of. That’s where Robert Allen Pools and Spas comes in. We’re the experts at helping you decide the design decisions that will fit best with your vision.

Rectangle pool

This classic pool shape has been around for decades. With its perfect 90-degree angles, it lends itself to a modern style or contemporary design style while it retains that classic look. This style of pool is great for swimming laps or other kinds of water exercise. It’s also a good option if you have a long or narrow area you want to fill. It’s easy to customize a rectangular pool with gardens, a built-in spa, or a pool cover because of the classic shape. A full rectangle does require a lot of room for a large pool, but there are potential compromises like rounding off some of the edges if there isn’t that much space available.

L-shaped pool

This design is a great way to expand on the rectangular pool design. The L-shape allows you the flexibility to have the bigger open space rectangular pools are known for with the added bonus of a spa or shallow play area off to the side. It’s a great choice if you need a deeper area for diving but still want a shallow section as well. This is a great place to add stairs or incorporate zero entry into your pool design. Imagine part of the L being sheltered under a gazebo. There are a lot of possibilities.

Geometric shaped pool

If you want fewer straight lines, a geometric shaped pool is a great option. You can choose a traditional oval or kidney-shaped pool or opt for something more unique like a heart shape or a combination of shapes. You can easily add a tanning ledge, waterfall, or bench to this type of pool design. It’s easy to customize to create the exact style you’re looking for. Plus, a flexible shape can mean maximizing your swimming area if you don’t have abundant space to work with.

These are just a few of the ways Robert Allen Pools and Spas can help you customize your backyard oasis. Our talented pool designers will work with you to determine your needs and come up with a plan for your dream pool in the greater Reno and Tahoe area. Whether you want a simple, classic design or something a little more unique, let us show you how easy it is to transform your boring backyard into a stunning showpiece.

pool opening

Choosing Saltwater or Chlorine for Your Custom Built Pool

Congratulations on getting a custom built pool! Now it’s time to choose which type of pool system you want to be installed, saltwater or chlorinated. Here is a list of pros and cons for each type, but regardless of which way you go, you’ll be joyfully swimming in your own backyard in no time.

Custom Pool – Saltwater

For comparison, a saltwater pool contains 10 times less salt than the ocean. It’s so low, that you can’t taste or smell the salt in your pool.

Pros:

  • There are no health risks.
  • Saltwater is gentle on hair, skin, and eyes.
  • It requires less added chemicals.
  • Pool maintenance costs may be less expensive.
  • Algae and cloudy water are less common.
  • Swimsuits and pool toys will last longer and won’t fade.
  • Saltwater is very soft.
  • There won’t be any strong chlorine scent.

 

Cons:

  • Saltwater systems require a higher up-front investment.
  • You may need to buy a specialized heater, lighting, and liner for saltwater use.
  • Since salt can be corrosive, your pool will need to be regularly checked for signs of erosion and buildup.
  • The chlorine generation doesn’t work as well during colder winter months.
  • The equipment can sometimes be temperamental.

Custom Pool – Chlorinated

A chlorinated pool system uses the traditional method of daily testing and adding various chemicals to kill harmful microorganisms that can cause nasty health problems.

Pros:

  • A chlorine system is extremely effective at killing both bacteria and algae.
  • The system is less expensive upfront to install.
  • It’s easier to find a pool company who can treat and service your chlorine system.
  • It won’t cause damage to your pool decks or furniture.

 

Cons:

  • There are associated health risks from chlorine when it is absorbed through the skin or breathed into the lungs.
  • Side effects of chlorine include red and itchy eyes, skin irritation, and hair discoloration.
  • It can be difficult and time-consuming to balance all the pool chemicals.
  • Continually buying chlorine and stabilizers can get expensive.

If you want more specific and personalized advice on which type of custom built pool system is the best choice for you and your family, contact Robert Allen Pools and Spas today!

 

What Pool Cover Is Best for You?

 

 

One of the most important items you can buy for your pool is a high-quality pool cover, which leaves you with a choice: Which pool cover is best for your swimming pool?

Safety Pool Cover

Safety pool covers, unsurprisingly, are designed primarily around safety, which is why they are a popular choice for families with children or pets.

These pool covers are made to hold weight, which prevents kids and pets from falling through should they wander near the pool unsupervised.

You can choose between solid and mesh covers. Solid covers protect your pool from sunlight and debris, but you’ll have to pump out any accumulated water. Mesh covers protect your pool from debris, but sunlight and snow can seep through, which can lead to algae growth and dirty water.

Automatic Pool Cover

Automatic pool covers offer a lot of protection and are exceptionally easy to use, which is why they also come with a higher price tag. These covers are usually made of vinyl, and they are designed to open and close with the simple flip of a switch or push of a button.

Automatic covers can be used all year long, and they create strong seals that prevent debris, people, or pets from falling into the pool accidentally. These covers also help keep the pool warm and reduce water evaporation.

The cons include the price of installation and replacement, and some people find that the covers can keep the pool a little too warm.

Winter Pool Cover

The winter pool cover, despite its name, does not have to be exclusively used in winter when the pool is not in use. However, because of its bulk and difficulty to remove and replace, it is often only used during the winter.

These covers are made from heavy-duty materials that protect your pool from the freezing temperatures of the winter months. They also help reduce evaporation and exposure to sunlight, which in turn prevents algae growth.

It usually has to be anchored, and it often does not bear weight.

Solar Pool Cover

Many people enjoy solar pool covers because they are both inexpensive to purchase and easy to install.

These covers are designed to float freely on the surface. They can help prevent evaporation and help maintain the temperature of the pool even overnight, but because they are free-floating, they are not the most effective option for preventing debris from accumulating in the pool. Water can also easily collect on top when it rains, and these covers cannot bear weight.

At Robert Allen Pools and Spas, we are dedicated to providing you with the best swimming pools, spas, and maintenance. Contact us today for more information.