Reef Tropical Pool & Landscape

What’s In My Pool? The Truth About Your Pool Water

Nov 2, 2017 10:25:53 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, “What is that stuff?” “Are those chemicals safe?” “How long should I wait to swim after the pool cleaner leaves?”

These are questions that our Certified Pool Operators (CPO) get often when they’re in the field servicing pools and spas. Ultimately, people want to know: Is my pool water safe? And, more specifically, some families are concerned about the health of babies, young children, pets or individuals with skin conditions that could be aggravated by chemicals.

We think these are important questions to ask your pool professional. As a wise consumer, it’s good to know exactly what is in your pool water—you need the truth.

The good news: When a trained, experienced CPO is cleaning your pool on a routine basis (as determined by the pool’s use and typical bather load), the water is safe for swimming. Pool water is healthy, well-balanced, clean and comfortable.

Let’s get more specific now and answer the question concerning what chemicals we add to pool water, what they do, and what other pool water safety concerns you should know about.

Read More

After The Storm: Disaster Clean-Up After Hurricane Irma Destroys the Landscape & Pool

Sep 15, 2017 3:07:08 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance, Pool & Spa Maintenance

Mother nature gave us a stern reminder of who’s really in charge when the catastrophic Category 4 Hurricane Irma hit land, devastating South Florida properties.

Many who have lived or visited The Keys for decades say this was the worst storm they experienced in their lifetime. Ninety percent of homes suffered some type of damage, according to a report issued by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Irma destroyed 25% of houses in the Florida Keys, with 65% of homes weathering significant damage.

Now that the winds have died down and flood waters are settling, we face an overwhelming hurricane cleanup task that demands assistance from qualified, experienced professionals who can be on call around the clock.

Read More

How To Protect Your Pool and Landscape During Hurricane Season

Aug 29, 2017 7:03:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance, Tree and Shrub Care, Pool & Spa Maintenance

The Florida Keys are a sought-after destination for tourists and property owners who own vacation homes in South Florida and appreciate the area’s stunningly beautiful environment. The beaches, the oceanfront homes, the luxury living and tropical climate make The Keys a true paradise. But nature isn’t perfect—hurricanes are a reality here, and you want to protect your pool and landscape from damage.

With hurricane-force winds, coconuts from your amazing palm tree become missiles and flying patio furniture can break through windows. Pools without proper overflows installed can flood.

The good news: You can prevent further property damage and protect your landscape and your pool during hurricane season by taking some precautions.

Read More

General Contractors Can Add Value To Properties By Partnering With Reef Tropical

Aug 24, 2017 11:04:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Construction, Landscape Design

Let’s face it, no one can do it all. Building a house is your priority, but what’s outside is critical for boosting property value and providing the lifestyle homeowners seek in South Florida. By outsourcing pool and landscape design and installation—including pool and spa construction, landscape design and installation— you can save time and resources.

Reef Tropical has partnered with general contractors in South Florida for 20 years, and there is virtually no pool, spa or landscape issue we haven’t dealt with in our market. That’s why sophisticated general contractors including Coastal Construction, Suffolk Construction and Brodson Construction, among others, rely on our team to manage specific tasks related to the pool or landscape, or to take those components of their property developments from conception to completion. (Most turn the keys over to us because they know we are the pros in this space.) We specialize in creating and maintaining an outdoor entertainment area.

Read More

The Top Issues We See When Maintaining Pools

Jul 12, 2017 5:03:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance

We care for hundreds of pools and spas in South Florida, and many are located at private clubs, luxury resorts and incredible estates. After decades of experience, our pool maintenance team has seen it all and we know to expect the unexpected.

What kind of unexpected issues do we find? Here are some of them.

Read More

The Best Flowering Trees for South Florida

Jun 13, 2017 10:21:20 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Design, Landscape Maintenance, Landscaping, Tree and Shrub Care

Vibrant blooms are a focal point in the landscape, and there are a range of flowering trees that thrive in South Florida and introduce color, texture and shape to your property.

Which flowering tree is best for your property? That depends. Are you looking for a specific color of flower to complement existing plants or to establish a theme? Do you need a flowering tree that is salt-tolerant because your property weathers ocean breezes? Do you prefer a tree that is compact to preserve views from your site—or, do you want to establish a natural screen with a flowering tree that offers coverage?

These are all questions to think about as you consider which flowering trees suit your needs and taste. Here is a list of our favorite 7 flowering trees for South Florida.

Read More

Do You Need A Saltwater Chlorine Generator?

Jun 2, 2017 1:26:22 PM / by David Minchener posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance

From the advertisements you read for saltwater chlorine generators, we understand how you might think that you will never have to add chlorine to your pool again, or even maintain it.  “Produce all the chlorine a pool needs.” “No need to buy, handle or store chemicals.” “Never worry about manually adding chlorine to your pool again.”

Is this true? Could a generator that converts food-grade into chlorine eliminate the need for adding chemicals to the water (therefore saving maintenance, materials and time)?

As with most things that seem too good to be true, such is the case with some claims you’ll hear about saltwater chlorine generators and their capabilities. Yes, they will convert food-grade salt into chlorinated water, therefore reducing the need to add concentrated chlorine to your Florida pool. So as a result, you will use less materials. (Though, we’ll point out that the cost of chlorine is an insignificant part of your pool maintenance bill.)

But what a saltwater chlorine generator will not do is eliminate the need to add any extra chlorine, or reduce pool maintenance. Your South Florida pool still requires cleaning and proper maintenance to ensure that the water is balanced and safe. You’ll still need to purchase chlorine, along with chemicals to sanitize the oxidize the pool, such as acid, sodium bicarbonate and stabilizer. (These chemicals preserve the pool finish and ensure equipment longevity.)

So, do you need a saltwater chlorine generator? You might benefit from one. Let’s talk about what it can do to improve your pool environment and its limitations so you can make the best decision for your Florida swimming pool.

Read More

Swimming Pool Automation Offers Remote Control, Monitoring and Cost Savings

May 1, 2017 8:04:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Maintenance, Pool & Spa Construction

You’re stepping off the plane, thinking about wading in your warm South Florida pool—so you pull out your mobile device, click on an app and adjust the pool temperature. The water will be ready by the time you arrive home.

You’re renting your Florida Keys home to visitors during the months you are away. Rather than worry about guests adjusting pool settings (and possibly emptying a gas tank or running up electric costs), you remotely adjust and lock the settings. Wherever you are, you can check in to see if the pool temperature, lights and filtration systems are where you want them to be.

You’re entertaining in your outdoor living space, so you use your tablet to turn on an LED light show that changes the pool color. You also can slow down or speed up the flow of water streaming from the pool’s waterfall.

Swimming pool automation gives you the control and flexibility to manage pool settings with the click of an app on your phone, tablet or computer. Plus, a pool maintenance provider can gain access to the master controls to monitor efficiency, sanitation and filtration.

Pool owners gain peace of mind knowing that they can manage pool settings when they’re not at home—and the convenience of using a mobile device to change lighting, water temperature and other features.

Here is how today’s advanced swimming pool automation equipment works and why about 98% of our pool and spa owners are adopting this technology.

Read More

How Our Tiling Process Has Changed The Way Pools Are Built In South Florida

Apr 26, 2017 4:10:00 PM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Pool & Spa Construction

Do you notice a white film covering your pool tile that requires constant care but never goes away? Are pool tiles popping? Do you notice darker tiles that indicate areas where groundwater is leaching into pool?

Unfortunately, poor pool tile installation reveals itself months and even years after a job is complete. By then, you have invested thousands of dollars in materials and labor—and your pool is in use.

There are a number of pool contractors in South Florida that bring in tiling subcontractors who do a fine job of tiling bathrooms, kitchens, floors and backsplashes. But the process and materials required to correctly apply tile in a submerged application like a pool are completely different. The pool tiling process is sophisticated, requires ongoing training and an understanding of pool tile and manufacturers’ tiling requirements. (Don’t expect a manufacturer to uphold a warranty if tile was not installed according to their specifications!)

Inferior pool tile is such a problem for many property owners, so Reef Tropical has focused resources on developing a pool tiling process that is designed to maintain the beauty and integrity of tile. Our process may take longer and cost a bit more than competing pool contractors, but the difference is, you won’t be calling us six months or several years later with tile problems that require expensive renovations.

We can’t emphasize “buyer beware” enough. If the price of tiling your pool sounds too good to be true, it is. We educate general contractors and architects about the proper pool tiling process so they can include the time, cost and materials in the overall scope of work. (For example, you cannot rush the curing process, unless you want tile problems down the road.)

What is the pool tiling process at Reef Tropical, and what does this mean for your pool project? Let us fill you in…

Read More

What Is Heavy Pruning and Why Is It Important In South Florida?

Apr 17, 2017 7:05:00 AM / by Claude Kershner IV posted in Landscape Maintenance

The fragrant, beautiful flowering Bougainvillea bush makes a statement in many South Florida landscapes. Vibrant green hedges are a defining feature, and grasses lend a textured, natural feel to properties. The growing never stops in South Florida, so routine landscape maintenance often includes trimming plants to maintain their shape and general size.

But when plants are only lightly pruned throughout the year, you’re essentially removing new growth. By trimming every few weeks, plants’ leaves and flowers never reach their full potential. Instead, you get a “nice looking” flowering plant or “just fine” shrub. We have higher standards for the landscapes we maintain, and annual heavy pruning is important for achieving lush, healthy plants.

We know it seems counterintuitive to prune back up to a foot of growth, even removing most foliage. But the reality is, heavy pruning is much better for plant health and appearance than continuously trimming back.

Here’s why heavy pruning is beneficial for your South Florida landscape if you want your plants to peak perform.

Read More

Subscribe to Email Updates

Free Pool Building Guide

New Call-to-action