Gifts for the spa-lover

49744612_S (2)Do you still have a few names on your gift list? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to get in good with your favorite spa buddy?

If so, you’re in luck. We’ve got some ideas that will make your loved ones have a Christmas that is merry and bright and that keeps them smiling into the new year.

How about:

  • A towel heater. Imagine stepping out of the hot tub and into the warm embrace of a warm, terry-cloth blanket. You know your friends are going to send warm thoughts your way every time they use it.
  • Maintenance service. Sometimes, the people who most benefit from the therapeutic features of a hot tub aren’t able to keep up on the maintenance. Fortunately, Skovish Pools and Spas offers weekly, bi-weekly and monthly maintenance service calls. It’s a perfect gift for your favorite spa owner. (And selfishly, you’ll know you’re stepping into a properly maintained hot tub when you come to visit.)
  • A floating hot-tub cover. This blanket of sorts, which can be trimmed to size, increases energy efficiency and protects the underside of the cover from hot-tub chemicals. It also cuts down on evaporation, saving money on your buddy’s water bill.

We could list many other gifts, of course, including a floating drink tray, waterproof playing cards and a mug proclaiming your love of hot tubs. But we think you get the idea! Give us a call at Skovish Pools and Spas if we can help.

Bundle up!

23086746 - gingerbread cookie men in a hot cup of cappuccinoTemperatures are dropping, the holiday frenzy is beginning and, if you’re lucky enough to own a Skovish spa, relief is only a few steps away.

It’s time to stoke up the hot tub and soak your worries into oblivion!

Keep in mind, though, that you can’t stay in there forever. Twenty minutes at 100 degrees Fahrenheit is a good stretch for healthy adults. Ask your doctor first if you have chronic heart issues or are taking certain medications.

When it’s time to step out, make sure to bundle up before the weather puts your body into a tailspin. Here are a few tips:

  • Take along a pair of gloves. Remember that scene in “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie’s friend is stuck to the school flagpole? The same can happen to your hands as you lift a damp cover from the hot tub. Why take a chance? Wear gloves and you’re good.
  • Pull on a winter hat. Believe it or not, wearing a hat in the hot tub helps regulate your body heat. It also makes good sense since your head is out in the elements!
  • Keep a towel or robe and footwear with non-skid treads close at hand. When you step out of the hot tub, you’re going to want to wrap up in a warm fuzzy for the dash inside. If the deck is wet–and icy if temperatures drop–you’ll want sure footing.

A final note: If you keep these clothes outdoors, don’t leave them lying around the deck where they might freeze to the flooring. Wrap them in plastic and store them on a nearby chair or table so when you’re ready to bundle up, they’re up to the task.

Today’s chemistry lesson

41145702 - closeup clear water in water testing glass bottle.jpgAfter more than 30 years in the industry, it’s probably natural that you know us best for building pools and spas. You’ve trusted us with your dreams, and we’ve done our best to make them come true.

But there’s another side to our family-owned business that will take your pool and spa experience to a new level. At our retail stores—located at 369 Main in Luzerne and 10 East Union in Shickshinny—we carry the Leisure Time line of chemicals that make maintenance a snap.

On our website, we’ve included a Spa Care Guide that will help you find the products that suit your water-quality needs best. Here are some steps you can follow as you start the maintenance process:

  • Begin by testing your source water, either with Leisure Time Spa and Hot Tub Test Strips or by taking a sample to our store. This will give you an idea of the chemical balance. Emptying the spa also provides the opportunity to apply, say, Fast Gloss, which protects an acrylic or fiberglass liner from fading in the sun.
  • The big three readings are pH, which should settle between 7.2 and 7.8; total alkalinity, between 80 and 120 ppm, and calcium hardness, between 150 and 400 ppm. If you’re not on the spot, we have the chemicals that will put all in order.
  • When it comes to sanitizer, the chemical that keeps your spa bacteria-free, we have options. Although chlorine and bromine are familiar to most pool owners, Leisure Time also offers a natural mineral purification system. Come visit us and we can talk more about what will work best for you.

There’s more you can do, too, such as showering without soap before going into the hot tub. If you encounter specific problems that fall outside of the mainstream, please let us know. We have a vast array of troubleshooting solutions and are here to help you get the most enjoyment possible out of your spa.

The one form of fitness almost everyone can do

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For anyone who suffers a bad back, aching knees or overall joint pain, just getting around every day can seem like a challenge. But unfortunately, even though you may have these problems, your doctor will still probably recommend you get some kind of exercise. Pool time to the rescue! (But check with your physician before beginning any fitness program, of course).

Range of motion

Many people, such as senior citizens, have what is known as “decreased range of motion” (this can also happen after injuring a certain part of the body). Basically, it means certain parts aren’t as flexible as they used to be or don’t bend and turn as easily. Exercising in water can help, since it allows you to gently increase your range of motion, bit by bit.

Don’t get out of joint

Pressure on joints is one of the chief causes of pain in those areas. But doing fitness activities in water can take pressure off painful joints, allowing a freedom of movement you may never have enjoyed otherwise.

Exercise at your own pace

Unlike machines that you can’t keep up with (face-plant on a treadmill, anyone?) or lifting weights that seem impossibly heavy, water allows you to work at your own pace. Who cares if everyone else completes a marathon on their stationary bike? You’re gliding by in your own blissful, water-filled world!

Falling leaves can be a pain for your pool

16419294 - fall leaves floating in swimming pool waterNothing can quite compare to the gorgeous colors of fall foliage.

But those gorgeous reds and oranges look a lot less appealing when they are clogging up your pool. Of course they can be skimmed off, but it’s so much easier if they aren’t there in the first place. Using a pool cover is the most obvious solution, but here are a few handy tips:

  • Use a leaf net and secure it with a few bungee cords or twine. You can even use weights like planters or decorative rocks. The nice part about a leaf net is that it can be installed by one person, and makes scooping up all the debris a snap.
  • Trimming trees in the surrounding area every few years will be a huge help. Trimming will also help prevent an unexpected limb breaking.
  • Landscaping with pool-friendly plants will also help. Consider small to medium trees that don’t bear fruit or flowers, or topical plants that don’t lose leaves or have invasive root systems that won’t interfere with the structure of your pool.
  • Set up a leaf block. This can be temporary — like boxes — or more permanent like retaining walls or a surrounding hedge. This will keep the leaves up against the barrier and out of the pool.

We hope you have a fantastic autumn full of mild weather so it’s warm enough to use your pool long into the season!

The mental benefits of being near water

40296403 - young woman relaxing in the waterYou’d love a vacation, but maybe you can’t afford to take one this year. Or your summery getaway was in June, and it just seems so far away! No worries, relaxation-seeker. There are plenty of ways to calm your mind – right in your own backyard.

Carved in our DNA

There may be an evolutionary reason being near water relaxes us. Ever since humans have been around, water has been essential to our survival. Obviously, we need it to drink. But we also use it to clean ourselves, our tools and our homes. Game animals also seek water, so living near ponds and streams increased our ancestors’ chances of a successful hunt – and survival.

Water waves and brain waves

Studies show that the sound of ocean waves have an effect on brain patterns, making people more relaxed. But a gently lapping pool can have the same effect so try taking out those earbuds the next time you’re poolside and listen to the sweet sounds of water!

Pure relaxation

One final benefit of water is that it helps regulate body temperature. Being able to make yourself cooler in the summer or warmer in the winter (if you have a heated pool) makes insta-relaxing super easy!

Top-secret pool-cleaning tips

36455542 - young adult man, personnel cleaning the pool from leaves

You may think you know everything about pool-cleaning, but there are some surprising hacks that can save you the time associated with it. And the less time you spend cleaning your pool, the more time you can spend enjoying it!

A clothes case

Most of us know to use the pool in a bathing suit. But sometimes, you get a guest who thinks it’s okay to dive in with their T-shirt on, or your son wears regular trunks in the water instead of ones made just for swimming. The problem is that the textiles and chemicals in clothing can turn pool water cloudy over time. Make it clear (nicely, of course) that swimsuits are de rigueur in your pool!

Don’t let it bug you

Ugh – is there anything more disgusting than dead insects in the pool? But don’t despair – it turns out a fast way to clean out bugs is not to let them in the pool in the first place! By planting flowers and foliage they despise (like lemongrass, lavender and peppermint) around the pool, you’ll enjoy an insect-free swimming experience!

The sun ain’t the only thing that bakes

Baking soda … that all-purpose household cleanser. Is there anything it can’t do? Apparently not, because if you combine it with water to make a paste, you can clean your pool’s tile and grout with it!

To pool or not to pool

45903149 - little girl dives into the water and shows the gesture ok

You’re on the fence about getting a swimming pool. The family’s been begging you but you’re still not sure it’s a good idea. Here are few things to consider when pondering adding a life-changing pool to your landscape.

Insurance

Pools usually require extra homeowner’s insurance, which may be available as a rider on your current policy. Or you may have to purchase an entirely new policy. Check with your insurance company before making any fast decisions.

Little kids

Having small children can be both a pro and a con when it comes to pools. On one hand, they’ll need constant supervision while using it. On the other hand, they’re also some of the most likely people to get super-excited about it! It also helps keep them active and enjoy family time. A pool’s good for creating entertainment that doesn’t revolve around sitting in front of a screen!

Maintenance

Pools do take time and effort to maintain. Will you have the hours available for this or the funds to outsource it?

Well-being

Finally, there can be no doubt that pools increase a feeling of well-being. They’re good for exercise, relaxation and socializing.