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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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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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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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.

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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 Pool & Spa Maintenance, Landscape 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.

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How To Protect Your Pool and Landscape During Hurricane Season

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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