Simply said: “A salt water filtration system is the best thing you can do for your pool. It is healthier. You do not have to use chemicals and the maintenance is lower”, explains Jamie Snyder of The Albert Landscaping Group.
How Salt Water Filters Work
Here is, how it works: When adding salt to a salt-chlorine generator, the pool’s filter system splits the “Sodium Chloride”, which is salt, through electrolysis into sodium and chloride. While the sodium-part gets taken away, the chloride keeps the water clear and algae free.
The water might taste a little salty, but the chloride, or chlorine, which is set free during the filtration process, is very natural. That means no more red and burning eyes, chlorine odor or bleached out bathing suits. You might wonder if the chlorine dispersed through the saltwater filtration system is as effective as the store bought chlorine. Be assured, it is. Whether you add Sodium Hypochlorite (liquid chlorine), Tri-chlor and Di-chlor or Lithium based, it all makes Hypochlorous acid when dissolved in water. And Hypochlorous acid is what works as an active sanitizer.
Another advantage is, that salt-chlorine generators disperse the chlorine in a very steady manner, which keeps the chlorine level consistent. This way it is much more difficult for the water to get cloudy or develop algae. You do not have to add a new chlorine tablet every week or shock the pool whenever the necessary.
While Snyder usually recommends checking the water quality every day, he observed, that pool owners using a salt chlorine generator “found that the water quality was just fine” – and stayed that way. Of course you still have to maintain the pH-level properly, but all in all the maintenance of a salt-water system is much lower.
If you find yourself adding routinely more water to your pool than you usually did, chances are, that your pool has a leak. Naturally your pool will loose some water due to evaporation and the kids splashing around, but this amount should not increase over the years.
“To catch a leak early can save a lot of money”, says Jamie Snyder of The Albert Landscaping group. He recommends getting the pool checked professionally if there are serious concerns about a leak.
Leak Detection Check
“First we use our machines to pressure test the lines. If the lines are not leaking we check the fittings and look for cracks”, explains the swimming pool expert. To completely check the whole system he dives the pool with special equipment. A full swimming pool check costs about 500 Dollar. Repairs are not included.
“Before you call, make sure to test, if your pool is really leaking”, Snyder says. Here are some recommended ways to detect a leak. If you suspect, that you put in more water than usual, make the bucket test. This is a relatively simple test, which does not require any special equipment.
The Bucket Test
Just fill a bucket with water from the pool and mark the water level with a piece of tape. Than mark the water level in the pool. “It is very important to be exact. Make sure, there are no waves and the water is level. Take your time”, explains Snyder. 24 hours are usually enough time to see a change. If the water level in the pool has decreased more than the water level in the bucket, chances are, there is a leak.
Air bubbles in the pump are also an indicator for leaks. The same, if there are bubbles coming out of the return line. If you detect a leak in your swimming pool contact The Albert Landscaping Group for a full Leak Detection Check.
Siddartha, the main character of Herman Hesse’s classic tale, finds tranquility and peace while sitting next to a trickling stream. Every mother knows, that even the steady sound of a fish tank-filter can calm a restless baby. And most probably everyone has experience how stress and tension gets washed away when resting next to some kind of moving water.
Benefits of pondless waterfalls
Today it is easy to add a beautiful water feature to your own yard. There are many benefits to it. Landscaping-expert Jamie Snyder of Albert Landscaping Group recommends to get started with the installation of a waterfall. “A pondless waterfall does not take up much space, but can easily be expanded”, he explains. “Just make sure to leave enough space around the base.”
While the water feature will be an eye-catching addition to your yard, it will also increase the value of your home. There is a good reason, why waterfront property is usually priced quite a bit higher. Today customized waterfeatures can easily be added anywhere in the yard.
“Water features like waterfalls or pondless waterfalls used to be extremely expensive, time-consuming projects. But thanks to a revolutionary concrete additive pioneered by StoneMakers, these projects can now be done at a fraction of a cost, and completed much faster than before, with minimal disruption to your home routine”, says Monroe landscaper Jamie Snyder.
While the maintenance just requires a few minutes a week, the benefits of the microclimate are amazing. According to the US Department of Energy water helps to temper heat and is a beneficial feature for every environmental friendly garden. As a natural gathering place, the water feature will also add to your family space; see it as an extra outdoor room, like a deck or patio.
Contact Hudson Valley Landscaping-Expert Snyder to design the best feature for your yard.
Stamped Concrete simply looks great – and is probably the best choice for your pool deck. It does not only offer impressive design options, but is cost effective, long lasting and fairly fast to install.
Concrete was already used in ancient Rome, and although the ancient builders did not use reinforcing steel, many of the concrete core structures are still standing, like the Aqueducts or the dome of the Pantheon. While the Romans added horsehair to prevent cracking, today a wire mesh will increase the durability of the concrete - even when exposed to harsh winter weather.
There are various ways to customize the looks of the stamped concrete surface. Ask Monroe landscaper and pool builder Jamie Snyder about the different options. There are basically two ways to add color. The concrete can be dyed, which will give the surface a brighter look. Stains will make it look more naturally colored. A great option if your other, more expensive choice, would be natural stone.
In addition to the low cost the easy maintenance is another huge advantage of stamped concrete. While natural stone and precast pavers require regular weeding and refilling of the joints, stamped concrete simply needs to be resealed every few years to protect the surface from stains and the colors from fading.
Versatile and Easy to install
Since the concrete can simply be poured and pumped into place, the installation is twice as fast as putting in natural stone for example. And the concrete can be poured in any shape, which makes this building material incredibly versatile. Todays stamping patterns can give your concrete any look you want: flagstone, natural stone, tiles or something new and unique. Contact The Albert Landscaping Group for all available options.
Building your own swimming pool can very much help you to start a healthy workout routine. Have you ever asked yourself, why there is hardly a gym, which does not offer Aqua Gym classes? The reason is simple: Water is a natural fitness tool, providing resistance, which strengthens the muscles without putting weight on your joints.
Water offers natural resistance
This makes water the ideal workout environment for just anybody, and especially people with joint injuries, patients who recover from surgery and people who want to get back into shape. Water also helps to burn calories faster. While the activity itself helps you work off some pounds, your body also has to keep its temperature up. Being immersed with water, we loose our body temperature 25 times faster than on land.
It is pretty safe to say, that you use about 8 calories per minute by simply swimming. Of course, the exact amount depends on your body weight and your speed. Here are some ideas of how you can increase the benefits of working out in your backyard pool.
Working out with little kids
Use your child as extra weight. That’s right. Instead of lifting iron, just lift your little one 20 times up and down with your arms. Another fun exercise is the leg-ride. Hold on to the edge of the pool, your back towards the side, than put your child on your legs and let them ride up and down by lifting and lowering your legs. The more you stretch your legs out, the harder it gets. Use one leg to strengthen the leg muscles, use two legs to strengthen your abs.
Use Noodle for extra resistance
With the help of a noodle you can transfer almost any exercise you would do on land into the water. Wrap the noodle around your back and hold on with your arms, than try to jog. This can even be done in deep water. For a great abs-crunch raise your legs to a 90 degree angle and push them back down again. If this is to hard, try to pull your knees up and push them back down.
Now hold the noodle in your hands in front of your body and slowly push it down. Since the noodle is buoyant you can use it as an extra resistance tool. Depending which part of your arms you want to work out, you can push the noodle, down, sideways or backwards.
Challenge your friends and kids to an underwater run. The deeper the water gets, the more challenging this will be. Push noodles or kickboards from one side of the pool to the other, the bigger the surface the bigger the resistance and the greater the workout. This also can be used as a handicap for swimming races. If you still can beat your six-year old while pushing a horizontal board through the water, you should consider to join your local swim-team.
Let us know how you are doing! We are also looking forward to hear about your ideas for fun workouts in your backyard pool. Ask Monroe pool builder Jamie Snyder about added features, like hot tubs and spas, to relax after your daily exercise.
There are several ways to make your pool environmentally friendly. “We recommend our clients energy efficient pumps, salt-chlorine generators and the use of materials, like fiberglass, which is not only a natural insulator, but also requires less maintenance and chemicals”, explains Monroe pool builder and landscaper Jamie Snyder.
Safe Energy and Money
It does not necessarily have to be more expensive to invest in an environmentally friendly pool. In fact, “going green” and managing your swimming pool in an environmentally healthy and sustainable way will save you a fair amount of money in the long run. By upgrading to a variable speed pump you can save up to $800 per year in electricity. Equipped with an automatic timer the new pumps just use the amount of energy they really need.
According to the US Department of Energy a Swimming Pool Cover reduces evaporation by 90 to 95 percent and will cut down the heating costs dramatically. An automatic cover is also a great safety feature and can help to minimize the use of chemicals, which dissipate with the wind blowing across the surface.
Use “green” materials
When deciding to go with a fiberglass pool you instantly make an environmentally sound decision. While vinyl liners tend to tear and need to be replaced after a few years, the new fiberglass pools are built to last for a lifetime. The material is strong and allows the pool to flex without cracking (like cement pools), which is ideal for the extreme temperature changes in the north. You won’t need to worry about repairs, resurfacing and costly liner replacement. Plus you won’t add another old liner to the landfill.
Aquaguard Gel-Coat prevents Algae-Growth
With Leisure Pools exclusive Aquaguard Gel-Coat surface for fiberglass swimming pools there are far fewer chemicals needed and algae can’t bond that easily. In Vinyl pools algae often grows in seams and in the texture of the liner or in the cracks of a cement pool. Fiberglass pools don’t need to be scrubbed and can be cleaned easily. They are also pet proof, and as of today the longest lasting swimming pool surface available on the market.
Now you have a family pool and it is time to get in the water. Even if your child cannot swim yet, don’t hesitate to bring her with you. There are various ways to help your child enjoy your pool in a fun and safe way.
Make sure, she understands, that she is never allowed to climb into the pool herself. If you are interested in efficient safety features, read our entry about pool-covers. But most of all, take the time to teach your little ones how to float, swim and get out of the pool-section that is to deep for her.
Teach confidence first
As with all new skills it is most important to teach confidence first. This will help your child not to panic in case of an accident, but to use the skills you taught her. Start with blowing bubbles. Consider using a straw at first when your child is scared to put her whole head in the water. Sometimes watering cans and little buckets help to overcome the fear of getting head and face wet. Goggles are also a good way to help your child loosing the fear of diving under the surface.
Once the child is comfortable with this, increase the amount of time spent under water. Let her watch you sit down on the bottom, make funny faces and talk and hum to each other under water. You might even add an educational session about the ways dolphins and whales communicate. Soon your little one will be in charge of the role-playing session in the pool.
Add fun with floating and diving toys
Bring floating toys for a treasure hunt across the pool. Bigger kids love diving for things on the ground. For little ones it is a great confidence boost to dive under a noodle, which floats on the surface. If you do not have a noodle, just use your stretched out arm.
When your child is comfortable being wet from head to toes, teach them to float. Try floating like a starfish (on the back with hands and legs stretched out like a star), glide like a needle-fish (all straight, please guide your child in this position) or let your feet dangle like the tentacles of a jellyfish. Your child will find out quickly which position will be the most comfortable one to float (starfish).
Use songs to teach skills
Use songs to encourage your child to do the correct swim movements. The wheels of the bus go round a round can easily be changed to: “This is the way we blow our bubbles…” or “This is the way we move our arms/feet... “A game of “Ring around a rosie” can end with blowing some bubbles, diving under or throwing your child in the water – depending on their skill and confidence level. Many swim classes use the “Itsy bitsy spider song” to let the child climb along the side of the pool to get to the steps or ladder.
Remember: Your goal is to help your child learn to paddle or float to the side of the pool and safely get to the next exist. But safety comes always first. Never leave your child alone in or at the pool. Ask Jamie Snyder of The Albert Landscaping Group of possible safety features for your pool area.
“Basically there are three types of pools”, explains
James Snyder of Albert Group Landscaping. “Vinyl, concrete (gunite) and fiberglass.” As a swimming pool and landscape contractor in Monroe he has experience with all three of them., but “fiberglass pools have clearly won the race.” The advantages are obvious: Fiberglass Pools can be installed faster, they have a smooth finish, are low in maintenance, are surprisingly strong and durable, reduce the necessity of chemicals and lower the heating costs.
Fiberglass pools come direct from the Leisure Pool manufacturing facility and are ready to install. The only disadvantage might be, that “there are no custom jobs”, says Snyder. “Fortunately the company knows this and strives to design remarkable pools. Click here to see the shapes available from Leisure Pools USA.
With the aquaguard finish from Leisure Pools Fiberglass pools now have a smooth clean gel coat finish that is non-abrasive and comes in a variety of colors, which will make your pool look sparkling clear. There are not sharp edges or rough finishes.
Low Maintenance – Less Chemicals
The aquaguard finish has zero chemical reaction with the water. “This means that the pool is the easiest of any type of pool to keep clean. Algae will not be a problem and there will be no “scum” line to scrub as there is in vinyl and concrete pools,” explains Snyder.
Strong and Durable
Fiberglass is strong and long lasting and resistant to temperature extremes. “Did you know, that the Boeing 777 airplane uses fiberglass in key structural areas?”, asks Snyder. Pools made by Leisure Pools USA have a tensile strength of 21,000 Pounds per square inch (psi).
Lower Heating Costs
Fiberglass is an insulator – this means less heating costs and a longer swimming season. “For instance I met with a family 2 years ago that had previously owned a vinyl liner pool that had a 450,000 BTU natural gas heater. When I told them that their new fiberglass pool only needed a 150,000 BTU heater they thought I was nuts”, says Snyder. “Well, here we are 2 years later and every year they ask me to open their pool 1 month earlier and close it one month later than they had ever done before. They even mentioned that their new pool is so efficient that it really doesn’t cost them anything extra to do so.” They are not Snyders only clients to extend their pool season. Click here, if you want to become one of them.
Jamie Snyder, of Albert Group Landscaping, was recently honored as one of Leisure Pools most successful dealers. Not only did he break the sales record of Albert Group but also exceeded the highest standards of his customers and his company. Leisure Pool is one of the top three pool manufacturers of fiberglass swimming pools.
Originally founded in Australia in 1988, it dipped its toe in the U.S. waters in 2002 and already had established its permanent US-headquarters one year later. Snyder teamed up with the company a few years later and started immediately to get heavily involved. He never missed a Leisure Pools Dealer Conference and built a strong network to exchange expertise and ideas with other top builders.
He says that it is not only the product and construction knowledge that he appreciates but more importantly the “energy and sense of family that is the Leisure Pool core”. As a builder Snyder stays on top of the swimming pool industry. Customers are assured not only of receiving expert advice but also that Snyder and his staff will use the most innovative and high quality products on the market.
Snyder has experience with projects of any size and will customize your pool setting with the perfect landscaping for a 100 percent satisfaction. Check out Snyder’s unique 3D rendering system, which will allow you to see your pool area before you even buy it. And don’t forget to visit the “Over 1000 pictures”-section for some inspiration.
We don’t want to boast - but Snyder was also an award winner in Leisure Pools picture contest. Our system of putting our clients in touch with exactly what they are looking for through the use of our custom designed landscape checklist is unmatched by our peers. Our 3D rendering system is unique in the industry and will allow you to see your project conceptually before you buy. Check out some sample designs here.
Imagine waking up one summer morning. The water is sparkling in the sun. You enjoy your coffee, maybe a glass of orange juice, some fruit and bagels. The perfect weekend morning. The perfect time to kick back and relax.
While you are reading the newspaper, the kids are already having fun in the pool. No need to entertain them. They won’t leave the water for hours. Later you join them, and challenge your oldest to a quick lap-race. Better than a gym-membership – and the whole family is involved.
There are many reasons, why any pool is a great addition to your home. You might choose to add a pool for aesthetic reasons; you might to aim for a healthier lifestyle or just a fun gathering place for your family and friends. No matter what your priorities are, Jamie Snyder of The Albert Group Landscaping will have the perfect pool and landscaping solution for you.
He will consider the size of your property as well as your family’s needs and your budget. Make the purchase of your pool a family decision, consider the needs of the kids as well as your own. How deep or shallow should the pool be? Do you want to swim laps or just play around and cool of? Do you want a hot tub or spa?
How much this will cost? “It is like purchasing a pick up truck. You can get the basic model or spend up to 60.000 $”, says Snyder. Whatever you decide to go for, compare it to what you usually spend on a family vacation. The only difference: With a pool you will have this vacation year after year. Plus: A pool will not only enhance your lifestyle but also the value of your property. Don’t wait. The pool season is starting soon!
Each year 300 children drown in a swimming pool, according to the statistics of the U.S. consumer product safety commission. In addition more than 2000 children have to be hospitalized for submersion injuries. Those accidents usually happen in a pool owned by the family – despite safety precautions like fences and door alarms.
“The problem is, that the kids are still enticed by the water when the pool is just surrounded by a fence”, explains Jamie Snyder from Albert Group Landscaping and Swimming Pools. “They simply climb it or somebody forgets to close the gate. It is just not as safe as it could be.” To prevent even the possibility of an accident he recommends the new power safety pool covers.
“Not only is it one of the safest barriers, it also hides the water, which usually tempts the children to play at the pool”, he says. “Parents simply have to turn the key and don’t have to worry anymore.” Some of the covers can carry up to 12 adults. “That does not mean, that you should use the space as a BBQ-area”, explains Snyder, “but the cover will surely carry a few of curious 5 year olds.” Some states like Florida, California, Indiana even recognize the new pool covers as “stand alone barriers”. New York State still requires the pool to be fenced in.
But the safety feature is not the only advantage. According to a study of the US Department of Energy a pool cover can reduce the gas heating cost for a pool from $1.904 to $296 this equals a yearly savings potential of $1791. Plus, an Automatic Swimming Pool Cover is green. As per the study, the cover does not only save water by reducing evaporation by 90 to 95 %, it also can help to cut down on chemicals, which mainly dissipate with the evaporation and the wind blowing across the pool surface.
And last but not least, it is convenient and easy to use. Ask Monroe's pool-expert Jamie Snyder about the cover which might best fit you needs.
Tragedies happen every year. Little kids can easily get stuck in the powerful drain or suction outlet of your swimming pool and drown. While all commercial pools had to upgrade their system according to the new safety standards in recent years, there are still many private pools which do not feature a SVRS (Safety Vacuum Release System) or are not VGB (Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act) compliant.
Jamie Snyder from Albert Group Landscaping and Swimming Pools recommends the pool being checked before the season starts. Often the solution to more safety is as simple as a new VGB cover for the drain. “The new covers are a little bit wider with more holes, but will fit every standard pool“, he says. “While new pools are required to feature two of the new drain fittings by law, many older pools might still not be up to date. Last year in Monroe, NY alone I was called to over 20 pools that were not up to date. ”
Another interesting and money-saving option to comply with the new safety standards is the installation of a new variable speed induction motor with built-in SVRS system. “These new motors are not only safer than the regular motors, they also can save you $600 to $800 per year in electricity”, explains Snyder.
The trick is, that these motors have integrated programmable timers mounted on the top of the motor. While you need to run the motor on a higher speed (about 2400rpm) for the suction cleaner, you can slow it down to half the speed if you only need to use the filtration system.
This will make swimming not only safer, but you can also save about 75% percent of the cost for electricity. Plus: The motor runs much quieter and shuts down automatically when something is stuck to the drain. Read our in depth article about the new variable induction motors.