Buying a Home with a Swimming Pool? Get a Pool Inspection

Pool Inspection - MarylandIf you’re buying a home with a swimming pool, a pool inspection can alert you to potential safety problems and money traps. While a general home inspector may inspect your pool for you, it doesn’t hurt to have a professional pool inspector check out your pool.

Here are a few tips for getting a pool inspection:

  • Research the Pool Builder. Some pool builders earn a reputation for good work, while others earn a reputation for poor craftsmanship. Check Google+, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau for reviews of Maryland pool builders. (Side note: Check out the most recent reviews of Hohne Pools).
  • Inspect While the Pool is Operational. Any inspector who claims he can inspect a winterized or empty pool is misleading you. A proper pool inspection is done when the pool is operational. If the pool is currently out of commission, prepare to spend around $500 to bring the pool online and re-winterize if you purchase in the fall or winter. You may be able to negotiate with the home seller to cover the cost of bringing the pool online.
  • Check All Pool Systems. Your pool inspector should evaluate joints, ladders, diving equipment, pool covers, pumps, filtration systems, heaters, sanitizing system and other components. This is why a pool needs to be operational during the inspection and why a pool expert is better than a general home inspector.
  • Get a Written Inspection Report. A few hundred dollars for a pool inspection report is a small price to pay for piece of mind when buying a home. Nothing is worse than signing a mortgage, only to discover serious problems when opening your pool in the spring. A written pool inspection report ensures any issues are documented when negotiating with sellers.

If you’re buying a home with a swimming pool, contact Hohne Pools. We’ll help you identify potential issues before the sale and get the pool ready for swimming after the sale. You can reach us at 410.668.1300.

Pool Drain Covers Help Reduce Entrapment Risk

When the five-year-old son of singer Usher Raymond nearly drowned last week after getting stuck in a pool drain, it opened many parents’ eyes to the importance of pool safety.

There were 79 injuries and 12 deaths associated with pool drain entrapment between 1999 and 2009, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

I spoke with WJZ reporter Linh Bui about steps pool owners can take to reduce the risk of pool drain entrapment, such as installing pool drain covers. Video of the interview is below:

How to Prepare a Pool for Summer Storms

It’s been a rainy spring in Baltimore, and with summer storm season coming, many pool owners are curious how to prepare a pool for summer storms. Rainwater itself doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but flooding, wind, debris, and falling trees all pose risks to swimming pools. Here are four tips for storm-proofing your pool this summer.

Pool after a storm rolls through

Source: Uploaded by user via Lex on Pinterest

1. Don’t Drain It

Believe it or not, the water in your inground swimming pool actually protects the finish from damage caused by flying debris. Moreover, most pools have built-in overflows that drain excess water, preventing a flood from occurring in case of heavy rain. Although this should give you plenty of backup, you can slightly lower your water level by no more than two feet to be sure. Any more could increase hydrostatic pressure, causing your pool to actually dislocate from the ground costing thousands in pool repair.

2. Bring Outdoor Hazards Inside

They say the best cure is prevention, so save yourself some time and money in the post-storm cleanup process by limiting potential hazards. Before the storm, stow all outdoor furniture, grills, pool toys, and other loose items in a storage shed or inside the house. Heavier items should be fully covered and tied down whenever possible.

3. Turn Off the Power

After you’ve gathered up plenty of candles and flashlights for backup in case of an indoor power loss, be sure to protect the outdoor pool area from dangerous power losses as well. Luckily, Maryland ranks pretty low in total energy consumed per capita (256 Btu in 2010), but there’s always something more homeowners can be doing. Turn off the circuit breaker powering the pool heater and lighting, remove the motor, and disconnect propane tanks, electrical systems, and gas systems. Make sure to have a generator on hand in case of emergencies after the storm.

4. Trim Your Trees

Again, prevention is key to avoiding disaster. So if you’ve got some long-overdue pruning to do, right before a big storm is the perfect time to finally get it over with. Trim shrubs and small branches on your own, but make sure to contact the pros for more complicated limb removals.

This time last year, a destructive derecho caused $19 million in damage and massive power outages for the state of Maryland, and this year we can’t take any chances. You might not be able to control the weather, but these simple precautions to prepare your pool for summer storms can keep your pool and your home safe.

Check out our “Pool Maintenance” page for more tips on how to prepare a pool for summer.

Inground Pool Landscaping Ideas

Looking for pool landscaping ideas to transform your swimming pool and yard into an outdoor oasis? Here are a few of landscaping ideas that work well with inground pools.

(Need more ideas? Ask us. We’ll help you design the ultimate pool landscaping for your yard).

A Limestone Patio

Add a Limestone Patio Around an Inground Pool

Source: Uploaded by user via Lex on Pinterest

 

Is there anything more inviting than limestone? The warm, buttery color and cool touch underfoot make limestone an irresistible choice for pool patios. Build an outdoor fireplace to keep you warm after a night swim. Incorporate plants to soften the transitions on your patio.

A Poolside Kitchen

Inground Pool with Kitchen and Bar

 

Guests will love sipping cocktails poolside as the enticing aroma of grilled shrimp rouses their appetites. You’ll love never having to leave the pool for dinner. Entertaining is easy with a poolside kitchen — the ultimate pool landscaping idea for the consummate home entertainer.

An Antique Gazebo

A Romantic Antique Gazebo

 

The romance of an antique gazebo beside your inground pool is ideal for enjoying your swimming pool when you’re not swimming. A perfect place to sit quietly and reflect on the beauty of your surroundings.

Tuscan Gardens

Build Tuscan Gardens Around Your Swimming Pool

 

The villa gardens of Italy reflect the sprawling sunny hillsides of Tuscany. What better way to bring European grandeur to your inground pool and yard. Incorporate Tuscan design elements to blend home, swimming pool and landscape into a unified relaxing environment.

Get More Landscape Ideas for Inground Pools

Believe it or not, you can create pool landscaping in Maryland based on the pictures above.  Looking for something more your style? Hohne Pools provides landscape design services. Simply call us at (410) 668-1300 to get started.

[Infographic] Get Serious About Swimming Pool Safety

Opening a swimming pool is a rite of summer. Nothing signals the arrival of warm weather like removing the pool cover and getting your swimming pool ready for a summer of fun, exercise, and entertaining guests.

And nothing ruins the joy of swimming like tragedy on the water. Hohne Pools strongly encourages pool owners, swimmers, and non-swimmers to practice pool safety.

Drowning is a serious matter. This infographic from LifeguardHub.com reveals some sobering facts about drowning: About 10 people drown every day in the United States. Drowning is far too common among children. Men are 3x as likely as women to drown. In many cases, alcohol is a factor in drowning deaths.

Proper pool safety begins with responsibility. Let’s Get Serious about safe swimming.

Drowning Facts