Tag Archives: legacyofexcellence

Pool Care and Chemical Maintenance: The Basics

Unbalanced pool chemicals lead to water that will not only irritate and itch but also can cause damage to the pool. Slimy algae, stains, scale, and corroding pool equipment do not have to be part of owning a pool and maintaining chemicals does not have to be super complicated. Read more for some basic information about how to care for your pool and what all the different tests mean!

Basic pool care can be broken down into three simple steps:

  1. Sanitize routinely for a crystal-clear pool.
  2. Shock routinely to restore pool’s luster.
  3. Be proactive to prevent algae and other buildups.

What chemicals does my pool need? While there are many factors that determine how much chemicals a pool will need, regular testing will ensure you are achieving balanced water levels and maximum swimmer comfort. A pool will typically need more chemicals early in the season to balance the water and then fewer chemicals to maintain balance. Being proactive early in the season will help you save money on chemicals in the long run. At Vande Hey Company, we provide free pool testing and can recommend the necessary chemical quantities in order to achieve the perfect pool water. We recommend doing a complete test every 2-3 weeks and using strip testing intermittently to continue monitoring.

Desired Chemical Ranges:

What do my chemicals mean?

  • pH refers to the measure of acids and bases that exist in the water. Too much acidity in water will cause corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment while water that is too basic will result in scaling, deposits, and cloudy water.
  • Total alkalinity refers to acid buffers in the water that prevent the pH from bouncing up and down. When total alkalinity is too low, pools will not only see bouncing pH levels but also corrosiveness and staining. When total alkalinity is too high, the pool water will be cloudy.
  • Calcium hardness refers to the amount of dissolved calcium in the water. If there is not enough calcium, the water can cause plaster finish etching and shorten the life of vinyl liners. If calcium is too high, you will begin to find calcium deposits on your swim equipment.
  • Metals such as iron and copper should be removed from the water as much as possible because they can cause staining.

Pool maintenance is more than just chemicals. It is very important that the water is regularly circulated with a pump to keep the water moving and filtered in order to remove dust and dirt. Given the wide range of pools and sizes there is not really a “one size fits all” solution so we recommend checking with our pool team to ensure proper circulation and filtration.

Be Safe. Adding pool chemicals should not be a science experiment. Always read labels, do not mix chemicals, do not add chemicals while people are swimming, and make sure to wash your hands!

Stop by today to have your pool water tested! Happy swimming from all of us here at Vande Hey Company!

Big Trees and Big Statements: The Benefits of Trees

“Trees are exciting! If you want to make a statement in your yard, do you go with a little perennial? No, big tree! BOOM!”

~Corey, Vande Hey Company Horticulturist

When we think about trees at Vande Hey Company, we think about making a statement! Whether it’s fall colors or beautiful spring blooms, trees bring beauty and value to your yard in numerous ways. While it’s commonly understood that trees are good for the environment, the extent of their benefits is much less known! In honor of Arbor Day, this week’s blog post will be highlighting the benefits of trees!

Environmental Benefits

  • Combating Climate Change– Absorbing carbon dioxide, storing the carbon, and releasing oxygen back into the air, trees do some heavy lifting when it comes to helping out mother nature!
  • Cleaning the Air- Reducing the greenhouse effect and filtering toxins, trees absorb many pollutants and help keep our air clean.
  • Keeping Things Cool- Not only do they offer cool looks, but trees literally keep things cool by offering shade and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.
  • Preventing Erosion- Trees extensive root systems can help hold soil in place and slow runoff!
  • Supporting Wildlife- Trees provide protection and homes for birds, bees, squirrels and a variety of other species.

Personal Benefits

  • Increasing Curb Appeal- Not only do trees help break up your landscape and provide beauty, they also can increase your property values by as much as 10-15%.
  • Creating Privacy- Trees certainly can be used as privacy barriers between you and your neighbors, but they do more than just prevent nosy neighbors from peering over. Trees also muffle sound and knock down the wind helping you create a beautiful place for quiet relaxation.
  • Providing Oxygen- This one speaks for itself. You need it, trees give it, and there’s not much more to say about that.
  • Saving Money- By simply shading the air conditioner and other parts of the house, strategically placed trees can significantly reduce your air conditioning bill saving you money and conserving energy. The same is true in the winter when cutting down on wind can reduce your heating bill.
  • Good for Kids- Trees reduce UV-B rays by up to 50% protecting kids from harmful exposure. Trees also provide great playmates: climb a tree, hide behind a tree, build a fort with a tree… I may not be a kid, but I can think of a lot of fun ways kids could benefit from trees. Throw in the added bonus that interacting with nature helps reduce mental fatigue and increase concentration and you have a big win.

If you were unconvinced of the awesomeness of trees, hopefully after reading this week’s blog post you have learned a thing or two. If you are totally sold and want to get more trees added to your property, make sure to double check the “Top 5 Questions You Should be Asking Yourself to Create the Backyard of Your Dreams” to make sure you really optimize your new plantings.

Happy Arbor Day, and don’t forget: trees are awesome!

Pool Face Off: Concrete Vs Vinyl Vs Fiberglass

Congratulations. You have finally decided to pull the trigger on the big pool install in the backyard—the new centerpiece of your landscaping, and your next big investment. Now you are likely deciding between the big 3 types of in ground pools: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Let’s break down some of the key points between these pools.

Concrete Pros

Concrete undoubtedly provides the greatest versatility with almost unlimited customization. If you want a pool bigger and deeper than your neighbor’s house, or maybe one that’s shaped like a guitar, you can do it. You can create unique shapes, water features, and levels that flow flawlessly with your landscaping.

Concrete Cons

Along with the ability to customize comes a rough surface, by far the most expensive maintenance, and an install time that takes months. The rough concrete surface not only can lead to scratches, but also becomes a desirable home for algae. Concrete pools require vigorous scrubbing and vacuuming, yearly acid washing ($200-800), more chemicals because of concrete’s alkalinity, and resurfacing which typically happens about every 10 years (~$10,000). Concrete also absorbs heat from the pool requiring more energy to keep the pool warm. 

Vinyl Pros

Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit of vinyl is the lower initial expense. While not as customizable as concrete, vinyl allows for customization and addition of steps, seating, etc. at an additional cost. Vinyl is non-porous, smooth to the touch, and therefore requires less maintenance than concrete. 

Vinyl Cons

Vinyl liners, which often tear and fade, need to be replaced about every seven years or sooner if punctured by pet claws, toys, or sticks. Unfortunately, most liners have minimal warranties and these replacements typically cost $4,000-5,000 plus labor and water cost. In the long run, the costs will surpass fiberglass. These liners can also be very slippery, show seams and sometimes even wrinkles depending on the quality of installation. If you would sell your house in the future, vinyl pools have the lowest resale value, especially if you are nearing the end of your pool’s vinyl life.

Fiberglass Pros

Fiberglass pools have the lowest maintenance costs, require about 30% less chlorine, and can be installed in 2-3 days. Prefabricated in a climate-controlled factory, fiberglass pools maintain a beautiful façade over time, are smooth, but not slippery, resist algae, and are also more flexible as the ground naturally moves. They are by far the most durable and come with the best warranties. With a fiberglass pool, you save big in the long run on maintenance and time while having a pool that continues to look beautiful year after year.

Fiberglass Cons

 Fiberglass pools have the least amount of customizability because they come prefabricated. That being said, they can be customized by adding tile and mosaics, lighting, water features, etc.


The choice is yours. If you want a unique pool customized to your imagination and are willing to pay extensive long run costs—concrete is probably a good option. Vinyl is cheap to install, but fragile and more expensive than fiberglass in the long run. Lastly, fiberglass has the most benefits by far, but somewhat limited customization.

As you consider your options you should also consider your pool surroundings! You have the opportunity to create a tropical paradise right in your backyard. Our pool team at Vande Hey Company would love to help you make that paradise a reality!