4 DIY Towel Racks for Your Mississippi Pool

As a Mississippi pool or spa owner, you have no doubt experienced the soggy towel phenomenon. There never seems to be a good place to put swimmers’ towels and they often wind up dumped on patio furniture or littered in messy heaps on the pool deck. Create a clean and orderly place to corral towels as well as a place for wet towels to dry with one of these ingenious do-it-yourself towel racks from around the web!

White wooden stand with four metal arms for towels.

 Wooden Wonder

First is this simple and beautiful option from My House and Home. We love how the copper accents lend such a touch of class! With a few basic tools, this can be built in about an hour. Let each family member claim a branch by painting the end cap in their favorite color!

Wall-mounted towel rack with hooks made from cast off wooden architectural piece.
Image Source: Thepleatedpoppy.com

 Architectural Acumen

Take a look at how Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy used a free architectural cast-off to create this simple, but lovely hook rack! With this lovely piece, you no longer need worry about sitting on a chair cushion soaked by damp towels. (Sorry, we can’t do anything about the dripping swimmer who sat there before you!)

For an added dose of style, copy that rustic-fabulous metal tub for storing fresh guest towels!

Wall-mounted wooden rack using painted vintage outdoor faucet knobs as pegs for hanging towels.
Image source: ourvintagehomelove.blogspot.com

 Vintage Vogue

Similarly, the imaginative folks at Our Vintage Home Love put together this quirky piece using old outdoor faucet knobs collected at junk shops and flea markets. With a little creativity, just about anything can be turned into an original, functional work of art. Consider mounting these cool knobs at alternate heights directly on a fence or deck railing for a fun decorative statement!

PVC Towel Rack

 Popping Piping

Finally, this amazing multi-tasker is perhaps the most useful of all! Made of lightweight yet durable PVC, this easy to make towel rack could be configured to hold as many towels as you like with room left over for a wet swimsuit or two! Also, the versatile brown color shown here would complement just about any outdoor furniture.

For more solutions to your outdoor living dilemmas, as well as helpful pool and spa maintenance tips, follow our blog and like us on Facebook. When you are ready to create the Mississippi pool and spa retreat you have always wanted, visit AquaPoolCo’s awesome showroom. Our friendly staff can help you pick out the above ground pool or spa model that perfectly fits your family’s needs and lifestyle.

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Pool Maintenance Tips for a Hot Mississippi Summer

A pool chemical test kit and brush.

It’s August on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. That’s all you need to know to expect long days of intense sun and scorching temperatures. These are the hottest months of the year, and chances are that you have been struggling to keep your pool clean and well maintained. The same weather that drives humans inside to the A/C also creates perfect conditions for algae to grow and flourish. Take heart, there is no need to question everything you know about pool maintenance. By following these few tips, you can win the summer battle against algae and keep your pool the clean and beautiful place where everyone loves to cool off.

You Are Just Skimming the Surface

When the thermometer seems to be running out of lines and there is not a cloud in the sky, trees and plants really feel the heat. It is normal for dry flowers, leaves, seed pods and bark to shrivel up and fall off, accumulating in your pool even more than usual. As organic matter decays, it releases nitrogen which algae needs to grow and thrive, thus the more plant debris in your pool, the faster algae can develop.

Don’t feed algae! Skim plant debris at least once a day, and be sure to empty the pool’s skimmer baskets daily as well. Heavy debris causes baskets to fill up faster and can impede the effectiveness of your filter.

Don’t Forget to Brush

We usually recommend brushing you pool’s walls, floor, steps and benches at least once a week as part of your regular pool maintenance routine. But when fighting a war with algae, upping to two brushings per week is a good idea to discourage build up.

Chlorine is Key

Many pool owners don’t realize that the UV rays of the sun can actually break down the free chlorine in pool water. This time of the year when daylight hours are longest and the sun is at its most intense, a perfect amount of chlorine in pool water can be degraded in as little as two hours! That is why it is so important to increase the frequency of your chlorine testing. We recommend testing daily until you get a feel for how UV rays are affecting your particular pool and how often you need to be adding chlorine during this crazy hot season. Knowledge is power, and testing arms you with the knowledge needed to be proactive with chlorine rather than struggling to get rid of algae after chlorine levels have dipped too low.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures!

Well, not really desperate measures, just a couple of steps that are not a part of a normal pool maintenance routine! If you are reading this blog too late to prevent algae from becoming a problem in your pool and spa, don’t lose heart. Follow the above steps, and stop by Aqua Pool Co for the algaecide product that produces best results for your area. Our helpful staff is always happy to make recommendations and give you step by step instructions. Use the algaecide as directed and be sure to brush and vacuum the pool well after the appropriate interval.

Finally, remember that once you do succeed in killing algae and dislodging it from your pool’s liner, it is removed from pool water by your filter. Unfortunately, algae can quickly clog up your filter, making it necessary to perform a good filter cleaning according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model.

For more help caring for your pool or spa, visit our store and be sure to like us on Facebook!

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Outdoor Dining in Style!

Everyone loves spending the long, lazy days of summer hanging out in the pool. Whether the whole family has gathered for a spirited game of water volleyball or you are simply lounging on a float in the Mississippi sun with an ice-cold drink in-hand, who wants the fun to end just because it’s mealtime? The pool area is the perfect place to enjoy laid-back summer meals, and here are 3 great options for poolside dining in style!

A traditional patio table and chairs.

The Traditional Patio Table

As perfect for upscale entertaining as for savoring some orange juice and a morning bagel, the traditional patio table and chairs are a backyard staple. Outdoor dining sets can be had at just about every price point and come in a wide array of materials from wood to wicker, glass or metal. From a huge trestle table with long bench seats to a tiny table for two, there is a shape and size to fit every space and accommodate any number of guests.

For comfortable dining beside your pool or spa, a traditional patio table and chairs can’t be beat. More than ever before, today’s outdoor dining furniture is thoughtful designed with ultimate relaxation in mind and is available with super plush, weather resistant cushions in myriad great looking styles for every taste. With matching outdoor couches, coffee tables and lounge chairs, it’s easy to coordinate an entire outdoor living area to entice family and friends year-round!

A cool outdoor bar with stools built along the edge of a pool deck.

Bar Seating

The rising popularity of the outdoor kitchen can be credited with the introduction of bar seating. Usually built into the back side or side of an outdoor kitchen, bar seating most often consists of counter-height stools arranged side-by-side and is perfect for casual dining. Bar seating offers guests the ability to interact with the cook and even a comfortable place to sit while assisting in meal preparation. Line the kids up to chow down on hotdogs served fresh from the grill, or spread the bar with assorted appetizers for hosting easy minglers. Common outdoor kitchen features like refrigerators, wine coolers, and even kegerators also make a bar a perfect, fun place to serve and enjoy your favorite beverages.

An Old-Fashioned Picnic

Perhaps best of all, why not spread an old quilt right in the grass or on the deck beside the pool and enjoy an old-fashioned picnic? No matter what is served, there is something personal and fun about sharing a picnic meal with family or friends. Make it a cherished tradition by using a designated family picnic blanket and investing in a picnic basket packed with special plates, cups and utensils. Just be prepared: there is something about a picnic blanket spread on the ground that seems to invite tickles and hugs!

All three of these poolside dining options create exciting new opportunities for entertaining or just privately enjoying your outdoor environment. You will be amazed by how they can increase the usefulness of your space as well and extend your enjoyment of it year-round.

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Outdoor Living: Capture Your Best Summer Memories

Capture your best summer memories

 

Summer goes by in a flash. Before you know it, the kids are heading back to school and the crisp air of fall starts to take over. So why not make the most of this precious summer season by maximizing your outdoor family time? As an extra benefit, being outdoors on sunny summer days helps boost serotonin levels which enhance your mood, meaning that outdoor play isn’t just great fun and a special time for creating memories, but will also help increase your energy level and overall happiness. So soak up the sun (in moderation and with sunscreen, of course) and capture the precious moments of each sunshiny opportunity. Here are a few ideas to help

Celebrate Anything

You don’t have to have a reason, an event or special occasion to enjoy quality time with your family and friends. Invite everyone over, toss something on the grill, splash around in the pool or make up some fun yard games but enjoy the special time together. Everyday life can get so busy that we don’t always take the time we should to just enjoy those closest to us. So whatever the excuse, celebrate family and friends. Celebrate life.

Capture Every Moment

Have a camera or cell phone with camera capabilities at the ready and snap away! Ask friends and family to do the same and share photos. The kids can even get in on the fun which is a great way to get a child’s perspective and some insight into those elements that they’ve enjoyed or found exceptionally special. Taking videos is another fun way to capture everyone’s antics and add to the memory mix. You’re the paparazzi and your guests are the stars.

Reflect

Take the time to look back at all those special moments that made your summer special. Create photo albums or collages, print out pictures for framing or send to guests as a special “remembering the fun” sort of gift. Not only have you had a wonderfully fun summer, but you’ve made memories that will last a lifetime.

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Planning the Small Backyard Landscape

Small backyard landscape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have probably heard the saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. This is so true when planning the small backyard landscape. Due to the limitations of your space, it is important to plan in order to avoid wasting time, money and effort. With a little thoughtful reflection, and by borrowing some tricks from the pros, you can transform a small backyard into your own mini oasis.

It Is What It Is

First of all, you must come to grips with what your space is and release any unrealistic dreams of what it isn’t. We have all heard the expression “You can’t stuff ten pounds into a five-pound bag”, so don’t try. You may not have a rolling lawn or huge entertaining spaces. However, by approaching the project with eyes wide open and embracing the nature of the space you have, you can maximize its potential and enjoy an attractive and functional yard with its own unique charm.

Identify Your Style

Next, identify which style of landscaping appeals most to you. Do you feel happiest with an organic flow and a natural feel like plants growing in the wild? Or does a more refined, carefully manicured landscape with clean lines and a symmetrical layout suit you better? Do you revel in the exotic textures and bright colors of lush tropical plants? Or is the stately southern elegance of spreading oaks, velvety grass, and sculpted shrubbery your ideal? Perhaps “less is more” is your mantra and you seek the Zen-like feel of a clean and uncomplicated space. Pinterest can be an invaluable resource of style examples to help you define your preferences.

Bear in mind that additional factors such as the architecture of your home, as well as the style and material of existing structures such as patio covers, pathways, and even the swimming pool may all influence your decision. Certain styles may require more effort and care to keep up, so it is important to gauge how much time you have for maintenance as well as how much interest you have in gardening!

Select Focal Points

Focal points are objects specifically intended to draw the attention. In landscapes, focal points may be items that vary in height from their surroundings or provide a distinct color contrast. Fountains, ornamental trees, trellises, brightly colored flowers, or interestingly shaped potted plants can all be examples of focal points. When planning locations for focal points, first identify the seating or gathering area from which people will be viewing them. Strategically locating focal points at the spot furthest from this gathering point emphasizes maximum distance and can create the illusion of a larger space. Consider using plantings or other elements that would form visual lines leading to this focal point to enhance this effect.

Create Contrast

Add visual contrast to your landscaping by incorporating various colors and textures of plants. Plants with variegated foliage can really pop against a background of dark-leafed shrubs, for example. Likewise, the lacy fronds of a fern can provide great visual contrast to the smooth, glossy leaves of plants such as boxwood, gardenia, or philodendrons. Visit a local garden center to discover the various species that work well in your area, and ask the experts there for their recommendations for good pairings.

Tip: Pair plants with similar water requirements to simplify watering routines, and observe the level of sunlight each area of your space receives to choose plants accordingly.

Introduce even more texture to your backyard landscape when choosing paving for seating areas and walkways. Look beyond standard concrete to paving stones, colorful gravel, or even flagstones interspersed with plant material such as small ornamental grasses or fragrant herbs.

Cut the Clutter

Just like in the rooms of your home, nothing makes a small space feel smaller than filling it with a lot of clutter. Even if you are going for a multi-layered, private courtyard-type environment, the spaces designated for people gathering should not feel claustrophobic. In other words, while your small backyard may not have the luxury of spaces large enough for a crowd, you can still strategically choose furniture and accessories that allow guests plenty of room to maneuver. No one enjoys having to duck their heads or pick their way through an obstacle course to access seats. Avoid the too-tight feeling of an overcrowded space.

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Contemporary Outdoor Living Space with Industrial Elements

Industrial style is one of the easiest looks to maintain and is perfect for modern, contemporary homes. The perfect combination of rustic metal and wood is a common combination seen. Make your outdoor living space feel inviting with special touches that show your personality with the theme. Here are some elements to create that perfect industrialized, contemporary backyard:

Furniture

Credit: Decoist

Credit: Decoist

For your patio, combine wood and rustic metal finishes to your furniture options. History tells us that iron and any other types of metal used to be prominent fixtures in plumbing, cabinetry, roofing and lighting. Thanks to the modern world, iron and metal now take center stage in the design area. These two elements can create beautiful pieces of furniture to pull together your industrialized look.

You can add your own style by recycling old metal works to create your own pieces. Consider the old fashion metal spring stools for your outdoor kitchen or bar.

Flooring

Often times, people keep flooring in industrialized settings down to basic concepts such as concrete or brick. You can add variation to your backyard by mixing up your options, perhaps use the concrete in your outdoor kitchen and brick in the patio area. By doing so, the modern backyard has a variety of textures that help liven up the atmosphere.

Credit: Meddiodesign

Credit: Meddiodesign


Lighting

Lighting can make the atmosphere you are trying to achieve in your outdoor living space. You can use rustic tin barrels as overhead lighting in your patio. For your pool, you can use a recycled pulley and transform your own street lamp.

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Safety Tips: How to Protect Yourself from Ultraviolet Radiation

Summer is such a fun time to enjoy drinks by the pool and time with family, but it is also a time of harsh sunlight. Enjoying the free time outside is fun but may cause you or your family to receive too much ultraviolet radiation. Overexposure to the sun can damage your skin and can cause premature aging, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and skin cancer. Avoid the harmful UV rays and stay safe in the sun with these tips.

ultraviolet radiation protection

Use Products with SPF

There are many options for protecting your skin with sunscreen. Aim to use a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Experts say that selecting a broad spectrum sunscreen is crucial as it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. UVB refers to the sun’s radiation that creates sunburn or skin burning. UVA refers to the radiation that causes skin damage, aging and skin cancer. Did you know more than just sunscreen can contain SPF? Consider making the switch to makeup with SPF to protect your skin on a daily basis.

Use Sunglasses

It’s very important to not only protect your skin but your eyes as well. The sun can penetrate your eyes and can damage the eyelids, the corneas, lenses and more. While many buy sunglasses for the style aspect, be sure to keep in mind function. Buy sunglasses with UV protection and with OHSA label with at least 99 to 100 percent of protection.

Wear Protective Clothing

This type of clothing can be very beneficial to protecting your skin. It can minimize the penetration of UV rays. Keep in mind that not all clothes can protect from UV rays, even if you layer. Try to find clothes that have specific UV protection on their labels.

Avoid Peak Hours

Try to limit your outdoor time as much as possible between the hours of 10 am to 4 pm. This is when the UV rays are at its strongest. If you must be out during this time, be sure to utilize all the tips listed above!

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Outdoor Living Ideas: 3 Things to Bring Life Back into Your Backyard

Are you tired of the usual design in your backyard? Do you want to have a makeover? Bring back life to your backyard with these great outdoor living ideas.

In today’s modern and busy lifestyle, it’s easy to fall into the trap of having uniform-looking designs with a predetermined location of where things should be. Your backyard area may feel dull and worn out. To give new life, add some creativity and personality to your yard!

FURNITURE

When choosing your backyard furniture, try to follow a theme or a design patterned to your personality and tastes. For example, if you are going for a cheerful, colorful yard, avoid using dark or subdued colors. Utilize furniture with vibrant colors. These will blend naturally and aesthetically with nature.

Try to mix and match colors and patterns to bring life into your furniture. Some additional items can be done individually. If you’re a DIY fanatic, you can design additional furniture for your backyard such as an old chair transformed into a swing.

OUTDOOR KITCHEN

Your outdoor kitchen is another area in your backyard that you may want to improve. Your outdoor kitchen serves as your main area for preparing dishes and meals. Hence, it is important to consider all the items that go along with this, such as the appliances. When buying appliances, make sure it complements your current design. If you have stainless items in your kitchen such as a stainless countertop, black appliances are good matches.

GARDEN

Many people think that a garden is already a given element in a backyard. While it can be a part of the overall landscape, gardens can still define the personality, taste and creativity of the homeowner. You can change the design by using flowers in different colors and sizes. You can even choose plants and flowers with similar shapes to create symmetrical value.

With smart planning and unique ideas, you can easily give your backyard a fun and fresh look!

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4 Ways to Overcome Calcium Buildup in Above Ground Pool

Pool Chemical Safety and Handling Tips | Aquapoolco Gulfport MS

Keeping your above ground pool in top shape condition doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There may be a lot of things you need to consider and look out for such as calcium buildup but if you know the rules and play by the rules, you are good to go.

Calcium is a natural mineral found in water mostly in high concentrations. Water with high calcium levels is known as “hard” water. Calcium buildup or scale deposits occur when there are high calcium levels in the pool water. High levels of calcium can cause a lot of problems to swimming pools and so do low levels. Scale buildup and other pool problems brought about by calcium buildup can damage your pool liners. Hence, maintaining pool water balance and keeping the allowed or required number of calcium deposits in the pool is important.

Here are 4 ways to overcome calcium buildup in above ground pools.

1. Test water weekly

Maintaining your pool’s water balance is highly important. By testing your pool water in a weekly basis will let you maintain the required number of calcium in your pool. The ideal number is between 200 to 250 ppm for concrete pools and 175 to 225 ppm for vinyl pools.

2. Brush the pool

By regularly cleaning your pool, you can avoid calcium deposits building up in your pool liner. It is best to brush the walls or tiles of your pool to remove unnecessary calcium buildup. You can also use a stain and scale remover for easier cleaning.

3. Partial draining

If your pool water has high concentration of calcium, it would be best to partially drain the pool and then refill with fresh water. After refill, test the water again for calcium hardness.

4. Maintain water balance

Other elements can affect the calcium buildup in the pool. Maintaining other elements such as pH level and alkalinity can greatly help maintaining or controlling calcium buildup in water.

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Green Pool 101: How to Get Rid of Algae Once and For All

Green WaterHaving a sparkling, clean swimming pool is not an overnight magic. It requires dedication and resources to resolve a marshy green pool. Some may say that getting a green pool could be the worst problem a pool owner may have. It could be but you don’t have to fret much about it. There are ways to solve the green pool problem and today, you will learn the proper method once and for all.

Maintain Pool Water Chemistry

Maintaining water balance of your swimming pool is important to ensure health and sanitation in and around your pool. This will also save you more money to avoid unnecessary maintenance or repair cost.

There are a lot of elements to consider when maintaining water chemistry. But the basics are total alkalinity, calcium hardness, saturation index, and pH level. It is important to test your pool’s water chemistry every week because your pool water changes from time to time.

To maintain pool water chemistry, remember the numbers:

  • Total alkalinity level of a swimming pool should be 100 ppm
  • Calcium hardness level should be between the range of 200 to 400 ppm
  • Saturation index or the total number of dissolved solids in the pool should be low. Once you have recorded 3000 ppm or more, drain a little and add some fresh water
  • pH level of a swimming pool must be between the range of 7.4 to 7.6

Chlorine Shock and Algaecide

Green pool is usually inhabited by bacteria and algae. To get rid of these, you need to chlorinate your pool a little stronger than usual – about 10 ppm which is 10 times stronger than the required minimum. This process is known as chlorine shock. Try to add three to four gallons first and see the effect. If nothing has changed, add more the next day until such time that you see the water turns clearer.

Adding algaecide can help, too. However, not all types of algae problems in the pool can be treated equally. Hence, it is important to know the type of algae problem you are dealing with. The most common and the easiest to treat is the green algae, which is the common culprit of a green pool.

Filter Cleanup

The core element of a clean pool is a good filter system. If you don’t have a good filtering system, your pool water will never clear up despite the efforts mentioned above.

To solve the green water problem, operate your filter for 24 hours. Since green water can easily block your filter, it is important to backwash for at least 3 to 4 times in a day for best results.

By following these steps, you can be sure you won’t be seeing that ugly green water forever.

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