Reef Tropical Pool & Landscape

Virtuosity in Pool & Landscape Service: Fostering Long-Term Strategies

Jun 1, 2021 8:24:28 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance, Pool & Spa Construction, Landscape Maintenance, Hiring a Pro, south Florida

As defined in gymnastics, virtuosity is "performing the common uncommonly well." My fitness coach taught me to apply this in training by focusing on the fundamentals above sophisticated movements, i.e., air squats vs. squat cleans. Candidly, I can use this mindset in everything I do, i.e. safely driving my car vs. leading a company. Likewise, in the pool & landscape industry, our field service teams must perform the essential things well because our service quality is on stage. Moreover, our customers readily recognize the basic stuff and our company efficacy is at risk if we do not learn how to perform the fundamentals exceptionally well and consistently.

So why are there still green pools and brown grass? The basic reoccurring requirements of our trade remain which can often lead to burnout and counter-productive behaviors, including negative compliance, work avoidance, unwarranted absenteeism, and failure to follow safety regulations. How is it possible for our management teams to maintain their joy and emotional health while addressing identical customer complaints? What does virtuosity look like in the work environment, and how can we apply this in our leadership? How can we instill values to do the basic things exceptionally well and onboard virtuosity? This article will begin to answer some of these questions and discuss ways to build a service-minded culture.

If you survey our customers, you will find that we are still far from perpetually sustaining quality in service delivery. Therefore, I am no expert in this conversation, and we are growing and learning just like others in the industry. Yet, based on numerous organizational interventions over the past years, our customers have experienced a renewed energy and passion for improving and addressing their needs. These changes have allowed the right customers to join us on the mission and professionally acknowledge our continual task completion duties under adverse and monotonous circumstances. Nevertheless, I'm profoundly aware that we will fail in our mission without a clear and sustainable purpose for executing these basic tasks "uncommonly well." So here are some things we do:

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Building People through Essential Business – A Family Story about Legacy

Aug 27, 2020 8:47:15 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Construction, Landscape Maintenance, Hiring a Pro

This story is dedicated to my daughter Harper who just entered the maintenance phase of her cancer journey after nine consecutive months of fighting. I love you Harper and I pray that one day you will read this story and it will help you through challenging times in your career. 

By writing this in the first person, my biases and personal experiences will shape the content of the story. Yet, just as our service minded team brings their authentic selves to pools and landscapes in South Florida each day, I want to bring a transparent and relatable story about family life and business at Reef Tropical to readers and followers. Maybe the story may move people towards action and shape beliefs, but primarily, it is a story of ethical and empowering leadership within a dynamic and competitive work environment.

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Why I Should Keep my Pool and Spa Clean during COVID-19

Apr 21, 2020 10:42:14 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance

A pool technician arrives at your property to perform routine service—weekly pool cleaning for residences, and service three to five times a week for commercial properties. You see the pool cleaner take various measurements and then add some liquids and powder chemicals to the pool water. You might be wondering, "Will this service keep my family safe from the virus?" "Is it more dangerous to have another person on my property?" "Is it safe and prudent to swim in my pool during this time?" "Should I do my pool service myself in this time?" “What is that stuff?” “Are those chemicals safe?” 

The importance of pool cleaning during COVID-19: why this service is essential 

Regardless of who does it, it is imperative to keep you pool properly sanitized and clean for many reasons that we will discuss. It is especially important during this season of COVID-19, not because the virus has been proven to spread in pools or spas but because of the ongoing sensitivity to sickness. Any "pooling" liquid of any kind that is untreated is a threat to your health and safety. 

According to the CDC and local DOH, maintaining properly sanitized swimming pools and spas would be considered essential to public health. They further explain that having a body of water that is not being properly maintained would increase the health risk to the public. When pool water is not properly balanced, that’s when you run into issues like bacteria growth, the presence of microorganisms, and other “nasties” that can make you sick. Disease can be transmitted through dirty pool water—and that’s why chlorine and the pool chemicals we described here are absolutely critical for maintaining the health and safety of swimmers.

Can COVID-19 spread through pools and spas?  

Thankfully, as mentioned above, there is no conclusive evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs or spas, or water playgrounds. Yet the CDC further explains that proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools, hot tubs or spas, and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. 

While there is ongoing community spread of COVID-19, there should be appropriate care taken both in and outside the pool, to protect yourself and others. Owners and operators of community pools, hot tubs, or spas should follow the interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19.

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5 Pool Lighting Ideas That Will WOW Your Guests!

May 8, 2018 11:14:17 AM / by Jeremy Guillen posted in Pool & Spa Construction, Pool & Spa Repair and Renovation

Imagine changing your pool lighting from a cool, blue, crisp glow to a starry night scene or an energetic light show—all with a few taps on a smartphone app. Pool and spa lighting has evolved big-time in the last several years, and the range of LED and fiber optic lights completely change the dynamic of a pool environment. Lighting is a game changer.

Pool lighting has always been important for safety—and, of course, for extending swimming time. But what we love about today’s cool pool lighting is how high-tech illumination and easy-to-use controls gives you the flexibility to create a range of moods in the pool area. Hosting a football Sunday? It’s easy to pop on the pool light colors of your favorite team and wash your spirit over the water. Having friends over for an evening cocktail party? Who says you can’t match the pool lighting to the color of the cosmopolitan cocktails you’re serving? Then, flip on a light show to wow your guests.

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5 Landscaping Tips and Tricks that Will Help Your House Sell

Apr 25, 2018 5:51:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscaping

Outdoor living spaces on Florida properties can be as much of a selling point as a remodeled kitchen - if you know how to showcase your landscape at the time of sale. Buyers expect to spend their time relaxing on the back patio with views of the water, or kicking up their feet poolside while they gaze at the golf course beyond their property.

Landscape enhancements that spruce up a landscape will help a house sell. Whether you are a homeowner who wants to move on quickly, or a realtor who’s focused on closing, you’ll want to partner with a landscape provider that can prepare the grounds for sale time, then maintain the property prior to showings. What should you expect? Here are 5 ways to improve the landscape - and the chances of selling.

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The 10 Best Smelling Plants in South Florida

Apr 16, 2018 10:13:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance, Tree and Shrub Care, Landscape Design

Plants can offer more than good looks and curb appeal—and flowers are more than eye candy for your South Florida property when you choose aromatic plants that smell great. You can literally enhance the sensory experience of your outdoor living space by selecting plants with fragrant blooms, leaves or bark. There is the subtle yet true cinnamon scent from the peeling bark of the aptly named Cinnamon Bark tree—and the floral perfume aroma from gardenia. Great smelling plants and trees add another layer of interest to your landscape that you can’t see, but you can experience.

So, what are some of the best smelling plants in South Florida to enhance your landscape? Here are 10 you can include in your landscape.

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My Pool Is Losing Water. Now What?

Jan 30, 2018 11:13:48 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance

Your pool is losing water, and you’re not sure why.

Is it a leak? Could there be a problem with the plumbing? Is the South Florida heat causing water to evaporate—and how much water loss is too much? If you’re examining your swimming pool and asking any of these questions, it’s a good idea to call your pool maintenance provider to find out whether there is a deeper issue.

Low water level in the pool is a common reason for customers to call us, and we can identify the problem quickly. We urge property owners to reach out to us right away if they suspect their pool is losing water. That way, we can diagnose and fix any issues before they become costly repairs.

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Why Is There Algae In My Pool—And What Can I Do About It?

Jan 23, 2018 10:45:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance

If your pool is “seeing green” and you’re wondering how you can get algae out of your pool—and why it’s happening in the first place!—you’re certainly not alone. And let’s face it, no one wants to plunge into a pool with green-tinged water or telltale dark spots on the walls that indicate black mold.

The challenge is, because of the tropical climate in South Florida and The Keys, all plants (including bacteria) are constantly growing. The moist, warm air is a ripe environment for algae. Not to mention, there are a number of factors within your pool that can cause algae. Remember, your pool is a delicate system that demands proper balance for clean, healthy water.

So, why is their algae in your pool water, and what can you do to get rid of it? Let’s talk about some common algae triggers and how a pool professional can take care of the problem.  

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Child Safety Fences and the Reality of Pool Code Enforcement

Jan 16, 2018 4:01:51 PM / by Don Cook posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance, Pool & Spa Construction

Your vision of a stunning pool and spa is becoming a reality—and whether you’re in the initial design and planning phases, or nearing the end of pool construction, it’s always the right time to be thinking about swimming pool code. One question property owners frequently ask is, “Do I really need a child safety fence?”

The simple answer is, yes.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) unintentional drowning statistics note that an average of 10 people die every day because of unintentional drowning, with 1 in 5 of those being children 14 and younger. That National Safety Council’s drowning report cites that about 250 children under age 5 drown each year, with most incidents occurring in backyard pools when an adult was nearby but not watching and the child fell in the pool.

So yes—yes, you need a child safety fence for your pool and spa even if you don’t have children.

You need the “pool baby fence,” as they’re often called, even if your property backs up to a waterway. (And yes, we realize that a child could easily get into the waterway, too, but the safety fence still must surround your pool.)

Yes, you need the safety fence even if you have a postcard perfect view of the ocean that you don’t want to block.

And, yes, there are a few other options aside from a physical barrier, and we’ll talk about those here, along with answering questions about why this code exists, what you can do to comply, and what happens if the inspector arrives on your property and you don’t have the proper barrier in place.

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The 5 Best Shade Trees For South Florida

Dec 21, 2017 4:50:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance, Tree and Shrub Care

Shade trees provide reprieve from the South Florida sun—they cool down your landscape and make outdoor spaces more enjoyable, even during the hottest times of day. Not to mention, shade trees are beautiful specimens! They introduce character, texture and color to the landscape year-round.

We’re fortunate in South Florida to have a variety of shade trees that thrive in our acidic soils. You’ll find a range of flowering trees with showy, vibrant color—and plenty of non-flowering shade trees that offer other fine qualities: textured bark, eye-catching foliage and interesting branches.

Since we already shared the top 10 flowering trees, let’s get to know the best shade trees for South Florida. It’s time to think beyond the classic palm tree and consider some of these picks, several of which are natives.

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