May is National Remodel Month—Renovate your pool for style and function! 

Technology changes fast—Is your pool still operating well? Does it match your style? Does it still meet your needs? Are you dreaming about an upgrade? We can help!

Increasing energy efficiency and operational ease are good reasons to upgrade your technology. Purchasing a new pump, filter, or updating to more current software are a few options.

A new filter or filter media will increase the clarity of your water.  A new pump will operate with greater efficiency, saving on energy costs and chemical usage. A UV or Ozone system can help you achieve clearer, cleaner water, saving on chemicals.

Auto-control systems can give you ease-of-use and the ability to manage your pool from afar with a tap of your smartphone or tablet.

An acid rinse provides a deep cleaning that improves the look of your pool and waterline tile.

Vinyl liners last about 5-10 years depending on proper chemical usage, weather, and other factors. A new liner with a fresh style can improve your outdoor enjoyment and help you stay ahead of leaks.

Perhaps you purchased a home with an existing pool its style is just not “you.” Maybe your children have grown and it’s time for a more romantic or restful outdoor space that you can entertain in. Your concrete pool’s finish will need to be replaced every 13-20 years, and you may want to make some other upgrades while you have that project completed.

 before

BEFORE

AFTER: “The pool is a central part of our place. When the girls were younger, this was a great pool for the family. Twenty years later, we’ve updated it to be more natural and switched to a new saltwater/ozone system. Now that we’re empty nesters, we have our grandkids over, and it’s being enjoyed by another generation. It’s a magnet: Sometimes it’s just us enjoying it, and sometimes we hang out by the pool with neighbors and friends ”

AFTER: “The pool is a central part of our place. When the girls were younger, this was a great pool for the family. Twenty years later, we’ve updated it to be more natural and switched to a new saltwater/ozone system. Now that we’re empty nesters, we have our grandkids over, and it’s being enjoyed by another generation. It’s a magnet: Sometimes it’s just us enjoying it, and sometimes we hang out by the pool with neighbors and friends ”

Some options to renovate the aesthetic appeal of your environment are: new waterline tile, a new pool finish, adding waterfalls, fire bowls or laminar jets; lush or colorful or romantic lighting; or a sunshelf, slide, or natural rocks.

These options require time and some construction, and will be well worth the effort to create a space you will enjoy being in, entertaining in or just looking at.

Take a look at a variety of options on our HOUZZ site and give us a call, we will be happy to guide you!

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Get Crystal Clean Water

It’s time to think about your pool! Bring in your water samples and ask questions—we are here to help you maintain your water

Our expert staff at Pool Tech love a product called Pool Complete. Pool Complete is a 3-in-1 additive that helps your pool water look just gorgeous—shiny, crystal clear, and inviting.

Your regular routine of adding chlorine to kill bacteria, shock to remove contaminants, and an algicide to prevent unwanted blooms keeps your pool water looking healthy and clear.

Adding a capful of Pool Complete each week ensures your water stays super clear, reduces unwanted phosphates and prevents unsightly waterline rings (who wants to scrub waterline rings?). Pool Complete doesn’t interfere with other chemistry. It’s a great value as one bottle can last an entire season for an average pool.

We also have Pool Opening Complete, which is specially formulated to remove winter grunginess. It works in all types of pools, above ground, in-ground, and saltwater.

Do you have cloudy water, other contaminants, particles or copper staining? Call or stop in and ask our staff for their expertise in choosing a specialty product to make your water crystal clean!

pooltech.com | 319-365-8609

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You deserve long-term value!

The internet is an amazing tool, one can access all sorts of information and products. You might be tempted to purchase an item required for your pool’s operation from a website touting BIG SAVINGS!

Are the savings real, or really worth it? Your pool or spa, just like your car, requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Mechanical parts break and wear out, storms can damage equipment, and so on. How will you get your new pump installed and repaired? Is there warranty center located nearby? Is my warranty valid if your brother-in-law installs your equipment?

Pool Tech installs and services items that we sell.

One of the advantages of purchasing equipment from Pool Tech is a better warranty. Items purchased from an authorized dealers tend to have a longer warranty period with better coverage.

Just a few of the numerous official certifications our talented staff has earned. Professional training is part of being an authorized dealer!

Just a few of the numerous official certifications our talented staff has earned. Professional training is part of being an authorized dealer!

Pool Tech service technicians have achieved the CPO designation (Certified Pool Operator). We are certified by Pentair, Jacuzzi, Raypak, Watkins, Sundance, ETS and Maytronics.

Because we represent several companies and are very experienced in pool construction, operation and maintenance, we are in the best position to advise you to ensure that you select the best products for the needs of your pool. Pool Tech can show you how to create energy efficiencies, provide cost effectiveness and increase your ease of use. Ask us to analyze your pool’s operation—you deserve the best value!

Click or 319-221-9127

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Add a Little Whimsey or Elegance? [Both!]

Laminar jets add visual interest and bubblers on the sunshelf are inviting.

Laminar jets add visual interest and bubblers on the sunshelf are inviting.

Adding a water feature or two or more is a great way to add personality to your poolscape. Beautiful to look at and to listen to, moving water creates sound, an auditory delight that masks the noise of traffic and helps you to fully relax and enjoy your outdoor oasis.

A bubbler fountain is joyful, the elegant arcs of laminar jets are romantic and sleek, and a waterfall can be a natural or a contemporary option for enjoyment. Watching the water make its way over and around rocks is soothing, as is looking at the varied movement of a rain wall or a sheer descent cascade.

Three different types of fountains, all great!

Three different types of fountains, all great!

Evening ambiance is enhanced with richly hued LED lighting. With a touchpad you can easily control the water flow and the color to suit your mood. We design our custom pools with different times of day in mind, ensuring maximum enjoyment.

Uplighting creates drama at night. Sunshine plays off the water during the day.

Uplighting creates drama at night. Sunshine plays off the water during the day.

 

Adding the pleasure of moving water to your pool requires expertise to design the circulation system so it has the capacity to operate the features. Pool Tech’s expert design allows for a visual treat that blends in well with your environment and is also highly functional. We partner with Pentair and with Crystal Fountains, the same supplier that helps support elaborate water features around the world.

 

Add water features to your list of “must-haves!” Pool Tech’s knowledge and experience ensures that your pool’s water features will be stunning, efficient and will add value to your investment. Give Pool Tech a call to discover the possibilities for your backyard resort!

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Iowa has a lot of freeze-thaw cycles!

Maybe not our best “Iowa Brag” but it is what it is! Freeze/thaw climates create a special circumstance for construction. If not built properly, the repetitive freezing and thawing of our winters can cause soils and structures to move and become damaged and/or uneven. We have all seen sidewalks and driveways and other flat concrete surfaces develop cracks and experience shifting.

A knowledgeable pool builder will be able to correctly evaluate your construction site and the adjacent structures in order to develop a design that manages and minimizes the effects of freeze/thaw—cracking, moving out of alignment, tripping hazards, and aesthetic issues. Pool Tech’s design and construction techniques help to protect your investment from costly repairs.

The concrete shell that is created for a pool is similar to that of your home’s foundation. As your home’s foundation is designed to support your house, your pool shell is designed to withstand the pressures of the earth. It’s a sturdy concrete formulation and is reinforced with steel. The weight of the water in the pool serves an important function to provide equal pressure to the interior of the pool shell (this is why you leave the water in your pool over the winter). Equalizing the pressure helps stabilize the structure.

This pool in Iowa City, Iowa is over 25 years old! Proper construction and design techniques have ensured that the pool operates well and looks good!

This pool in Iowa City, Iowa is over 25 years old! Proper construction and design techniques have ensured that the pool operates well and looks good!

An attractive coping finishes off the top edge of the pool and is attached to the pool walls. Your deck also is supported by the pool walls. The coping and deck slab are not attached to each other which allows for movement. The soil at a construction site is carefully reviewed and may need to be amended to ensure the integrity of your outdoor environment.

There are numerous other design and building techniques that we employ to take the freeze/thaw of our winters into account so that your pool and outdoor environment remain a valuable and enjoyable asset for you for many years to come. Doing things right means we can stand behind what we build!

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Waterline Tile

Useful and attractive!

The waterline tile surrounding your pool is an expression of your style and an attractive addition to your outdoor space. It also serves some very useful functions.

As your pool loses water through evaporation and splashing, and gains water through rainfall and replacing water with the hose, the water level shifts. Your pools finish is meant to be under water. Tile is a material that can be covered in water or not, that’s why we use it for the waterline.

You can assess your water level by knowing how many tiles down from the top tile is the spot where the optimal water level of your pool should be. If it is too low, add water until the waterline hits the correct height on the tile. Remove water as needed too.

Samples of waterline tile

From subtle to bright, express yourself with useful waterline tile!

The finish of the pool and the tile should complement each other and give you beauty and visual interest.

The photo above shows tile examples from Pool Tech pools in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and North Liberty Iowa. Iridescent Glass tile is a popular style now, and a great option for a remodel! We often use Lightstreams tile.

Tile denotes edges of steps and sunshelves. Ceramic tile has a non-slip finish for areas that will be stepped on.

Whether you prefer a strong contrast or a blended look, subtle colors or bright colors, your tile expresses your personality and is very functional!

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Sparkling clean and clear!

It pays to use quality pool chemicals

At Pool Tech we advocate using quality chemicals for your pool. We are a BioGuard dealer, and we carry other specialty products too. Why should you use better quality chemicals instead of what you can get at the big box stores?

• Quality Counts. You’ve heard it before, quality is more important than quantity. Read labels and see what amounts of chemical actually are in a unit of measure. In lay terms, better quality chemicals have “no additives and fillers.” Better quality is more cost-effective in the long run.

• Help. Accurate Help. What does that seasonal employee know about your pool (or anyone’s pool!)? It is very important to keep the chemicals in balance. More chlorine is not always the answer. When you shop with us at Pool Tech you have free testing available to you, an accurate analysis and printout with detailed instructions, and the solution you need.

• Variety. There are many different kinds of pools: above ground, vinyl liner, concrete; 5000 gallons or 50,000 gallons? There are also many different usages. Are you away often? Does your pool have a heavy load of swimmers? Is your pool in the sun all of the time? What type of filter are you using? Standard or mineral? Your specific needs are better met with products developed for those uses—”one-size-fits all” does not work in the pool industry. Using the proper formulations will help keep your water in balance, using less chemicals overall. And properly balanced water feels better, does not cause dry skin or irritate eyes, making for a healthier, more enjoyable experience.

• Special helps. Do you have algae, scale, cloudy water or foam? At Pool Tech we can help you troubleshoot and get you the product you need to correct your problem. Again, more chlorine is not always the answer!

Using quality pool chemicals will save you money in the long run, both in wear-and-tear on your asset and through less chemical use. Our goal is to assist you in keeping your water sparkling clean and clear, inviting, and enjoyable. We love helping people enjoy water!

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Got Leaks? Vinyl liner use and replacement

The vinyl liner in your above-ground pool or vinyl liner pool will not last forever. The recommended lifetime for this important pool component is usually set given optimal conditions for chemical use, activity, sun damage and weather damage. We find that in general, liners last about 5-10 years.

Sun and chemical overuse can cause the liner to fade, and lead to brittle vinyl. Technology is always improving, so the lifespan of a replacement liner could be longer than that of your original. Never add undiluted granular chemicals to your vinyl liner pool. The particles can settle and cause problems to the bottom of your pool.

Thicker liners are resistant to punctures, but it can happen. If your liner is leaking and you are fortunate enough to see a small hole, it can be patched. If you are losing an inch of water per week, not counting backwash and splashing, you may have a leak. Call Pool Tech (319-221-9127) and have it checked out. The consequences of leaks are corroding the walls, washing away sand on the floor, and other damage to the structure.

Installing the liner can be tricky. It requires making sure the liner has no wrinkles and is suctioned to the walls. It may be necessary to smoothly patch any pits or other marred area of the pool wall, so the liner adheres snugly. The flooring may require additional sand or floor padding. If this measurement is off, the liner could be pulled from the sides of the pool. The water holds the liner in place and assists it in fitting into corners and other spaces, such as stairs. Everything must be in sync to ensure a proper fit and a longest possible life.

There are many liner styles available for your above ground pool.

The cost to install a new liner depends on the size, location and complexity of the pool. The cost of a new liner varies depends upon the size and shape of the pool, the thickness of the material and the pattern. Give us a call if you suspect a leak or otherwise would like to replace the liner of your pool. We can help you make an accurate selection and a professional installation will increase the lifespan of your asset, helping you enjoy your water!

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Site preparation Part 2: Moisture concerns

In the previous post we learned that soil is the support for a swimming pool. The moisture content of soil is also a critical factor. Too much or too little water is not good.

It’s water that makes soil. Think about desert areas for a moment—shifting sands? Water sticks the particles of dirt together. You may recall the concept of surface tension of water from your middle school science classes. Water likes to stick together, and it has an affinity for surfaces. These forces cause water to act like glue, which is called “apparent cohesion.” “Apparent” meaning temporary! Should the water evaporate or become completely saturated the cohesion—the stickiness—is lost.

The moisture content of your soil is important to its sturdiness. How sturdy is mud? Squish! In the Midwest we have a freeze/thaw pattern to our winters. If you have ever accidentally left a soda in the freezer, you are aware that water expands as it freezes. Clay soils expand when water is added. To combat expansion with water, we place an adequate layer of washed gravel under your pool. Water cannot “stick” to the large particles of gravel and expand it. Should water rise from the ground it will have spaces in the gravel to fill. If need be, a pump will be added to your site to pull excess water from the area surrounding the pool. We have many years of experience and the expertise to develop the best solution for your site.

At Pool Tech, we stand behind our work. We are knowledgeable and follow best practices to ensure the longevity of your asset.

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Site preparation: Plan ahead to avoid surprises!

Soil and site preparation is a critical starting point for your backyard resort.

Soil weighs about twice as much as water and is the support for your pool. It is critical to examine the space and determine what, if anything, needs to be done to prep or amend the area that is slated for building. Often the existing soil is sturdy enough to support your new pool. Some yards are made up of soil that is not sturdy enough for construction. Our expertise and experience allow us to develop and implement solutions for the site when needed.

Testing the soil and the site can help avoid costly adjustments prior to excavation and construction. It is also necessary to build your pool patio on a quality foundation of soil.

Some of the consequences of building on poor soil are cracks, cracked finishes, leaks, uneven settling and raised patios. Some problems can be remedied, and some can’t. At Pool Tech, we stand behind our work, we care enough to get it right from the get go. You can trust that we understand how to analyze your site, giving you insurance and assurance about what will best benefit your investment, and keep you enjoying your water.

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