After spending more than enough time inside, what better way to fully enjoy summer than being in the water.
For this issue, we met up with Fred Pimentel owner of Longtail Pools and winner of the 2020 contractors awards to talk about the do’s and don’ts to keep your pool swim ready in these upcoming months. Taught by the best, Fred has some amazing recommendations for every type of pool.
- How long have you been in the pool maintenance business and how long has Longtail Pools been in business? What services does your company offer?
I have been working in the pool maintenance industry over the course of 16 years and Longtail Pools have been in business for about 15 of those years. Outside of weekly maintenance my company offers, installations, pool start-ups along with a variety of repairs from cracks to leaks.
- What sets Longtail Pools apart from other similar companies?
Being not just a small business but an older one, Longtail Pools strive to be an honest and reliable service who are able to do a great job for a good price. We have also changed with the times by offering the option to make your pool as chemical free as possible if you are willing.
- What sort of training have you had?
I am pleased to say that my early training was accomplished by the influence of the two best pool companies at the time in hopes that in developing my business could live up to their same standards. As to course training, I have also acquired my Pool Technician Certification an absolute must of this kind of business.
- What are 3 of the simplest tasks one could do for their own pool at home to maintain its quality?
The first tip I have is to keep the hedges trimmed back as far as you can, doing this could lessen the mess keeping the pools surrounding area clear from decomposing leaves. Second, when it comes to the filter scoop out leaves, it isn’t just a winter chore. Third, as soon as you notice any change in your pool Inform your pool technician and do not always wait for the obvious ones like Murky water, bubbles and algae. Delaying small problems could lead to big ones in the future.
- How often do you believe is best to have a pool professionally serviced?
At the very least weekly service all year round is a must. The issue becomes that If you wait too long between cleanings, it takes more time for your pool to get back in shape, not looking as good and cost more money in the long run.
- Can you explain what shocking a pool is – do you recommend it?
Shocking the pool is a way of spiking the chlorine up with chlorine granules which is important if the chlorine level is low. A simple fix like adding chlorine tablets may not raise the level fast enough therefore, causing algae to grow. Shocking will also kill bacteria and viruses that may have made your pool their forever home. Also, color changes don’t always mean a low chlorine level – you need to find the problem and fix it.
- What are the benefits to having a chlorine pool versus a saltwater pool?
Both pools have chlorine, but a salt system is easier on the skin, eyes, pool surface, ladders and lights. As I mentioned, tablets are very harsh and corrosive, so your skin tends to dry out and over time the pools surfaces and fixtures over time. The benefit of having a saltwater pool is that they do not require the tables tablets, Ph, Alk, and reduce the amount of algaecide and shock used in the water.
- In your experience, what are some things that work best and ones that don’t work at all here in Bermuda?
Although salt pools can be a lot of work to maintain, I believe they work the best here in Bermuda. This gives a variety of options of water to use like fresh water, tank water, gov water to fill your pool vs well water. Some minor things I would say is that I prefer sand filters over cartridge filters due to their high maintenance and I also recommend automatic pool vacuums.
- What is a realistic budget you recommend with pools? or what do you expect people to spend? And are there any ways to keep costs low?
Each pool company is different so the pricing will vary. Depending on what type of pool you have: Salt or Chlorine tablets will also make a difference in price. The size of the pool and its surroundings like hedges, grass, construction, dirt and direct sunlight all have an effect of the water, which can affect cost. For Longtail Pools, price can range between $280 – $420 a month but you can keep the cost down by keeping the pool as clean as you can throughout the week.
- What do you enjoy most about working with pools?
I wouldn’t call myself a designer but making the pools look their absolute best has to be my favorite part hands down. I also enjoy working outside, which makes it even better during the summer months.