Reviews


Challenger Pools Celebrates Top Ranking at Top Golf

Challenger Pools 2019 Celebration

The right employees are the catalyst to any company’s success and recently Challenger Pools celebrated its staff with an event at Top Golf in Tampa. There were 55 attendees who enjoyed an afternoon of golf-related activities, food and drinks with their colleagues and families. Challenger Pools is part of Cody Pools, recently named the #1 pool builder in the nation by Pool and Spa News for the 7th year in a row — a recognition that the event highlighted.

“Being named the top pool builder is an honor we don’t take lightly, even several years in a row. We also know that a huge part of that honor is due to our fantastic staff,” said Mike Church, President and CEO of Cody Pools.

2019 marks 25 years of service for Cody Pools, headquartered in Austin, Tex. Since 1994, Cody Pools has won 60+ design and business awards, including recognition as a Top 100 Companies to Work for in Texas.

“Our company has been built on the strength and expertise of our employees. We celebrate them any chance we get,” Church said.

About the Pool and Spa News Ranking

The 2019 Top 50 Pool Builders list is the latest of an annual list compiled by Pool and Spa News that highlights the most dependable and successful pool builder companies in the nation. Cody Pools topped the list, ahead of 18 other companies that are headquartered in Texas. In 2018, the 50 pool companies listed accounted for approximately $1.4 billion of the industry’s revenue and more than 12,000 of its residential pools, creating 331 new jobs.

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Pool Safety for Dogs

Swimming pools are great fun for our human friends and family as well as our furry friends. If you have a 4 pawed family member, it’s important to ensure their safety so that all parties remain safe and have fun. A few simple steps can make pool time for the family dog easy and fun.

Make sure they can swim:
If you are not sure if they know how a great starting point is the buy a cheap kiddy pool and get them warmed up in a shallow pool. This will help them get used to the feeling of the water and get more comfortable in it. Then move to the larger pool by swimming with them. This makes them feel safe and keeps you close as they get comfortable.

 
Understand the personality of the dog:
Often people think that certain breeds of dogs can swim or not swim, but please understand that the breed of your dog does NOT determine whether they can swim or not. It depends on their personality.

Life Vests:
There are a lot of options out there now for life vests for your dog. This will ensure their safety and even when swimming with kids or larger crowds, this will make sure they are safe, and they can keep their head above water.

Train your dog:
This doesn’t mean you need to prep your pup for the highest level of training. Simple steps, such as “shake”, “sit” and “come” can go a long way and ensures their safety in many situations, not just around the swimming pool. So take the time and commitment, reward your dog when they do what you ask, this teaches them positive reinforcement.

Learn pet CPR:
Just in case…better safe than sorry.

Don’t drink the water:
It’s often hard to prevent but keep fresh options around the pool area and teach them to drink the fresh water and to not drink the pool water. The chlorine is not good for them.

Provide a shaded area:
Be sure that they have a place to relax that is not in the water but in the shade.

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Tips on Preventing Pool Algae

Algae or green water is a very common issues with swimming pools. There are a few, simple and easy steps to help prevent the growth of it in your pool before it begins. If you wait for too long it can take multiple types of pool chemicals and numerous days of waiting for it to go away.

Keeping algae spores out of your pool is impossible to do. However, keeping the spores from growing into algae blooms is the key to keeping your pool from turning green. Swimming in algae water is not safe or healthy for your family and friends. It can create skin issues such as rashes or if you have an open sore, it can create infection. If you were to ingest algae water, it could cause bacterial infections that could bring diarrhea and fever.

Step #1 – Be sure your pool’s circulation system is running correctly
This step is #1 for a reason as we feel that it’s one of the most important steps to help prevent algae from growing. Check the skimmer and pump strainer baskets regularly. This will keep the flow of the sanitizing chemicals even within your pool. Also be sure to clean or backwash your filter. Over time, filters become clogged with dirt and debris, and require some simple maintenance. No matter what type of filter you use, it is necessary to clean your cartridge filter or backwash your sand or D.E. filter whenever the pressure gauge reads 8-10 psi higher than normal. Routinely checking and cleaning your skimmer, pump, and filter will help keep your pool clean and algae free.

Step #2 – Use chlorine & ‘Shock’
Green pool water or visible algae usually equals lack of chlorine. So make chlorine your best friend when trying to prevent algae. If you do see algae starting to form in your pool, try ‘shocking’ your pool. This means you use a large amount chlorine at once. This will kill any algae that is forming within 1-3 days

Step #3 – Brush the walls and floor of the swimming pool
Keep your walls, corners, steps and floor of your pool free of algae by scrubbing them. This will reduce the kill time of the forming algae.

Step #4 – Balance the pool pH
Aim for pH levels between 7.2 and 7.6 to help your chlorine work most effectively. You can do this by using a swimming pool pH test that you can purchase at any local pool store. If the pH is above 7.6 — which is common during an algae bloom — add a pH reducer (such as sodium bisulfate) to your pool according to label instructions. Wait at least a couple hours, then test the pool again.

To enjoy your pool year-round, follow these simple steps to maintain a ‘green free’ pool. Or easily hire a pool maintenance professional to maintain and tackle all this for you.

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Simple Exercises You Can do in Your Pool

A swimming pool is mostly known for its relaxing benefits; however, it can also be used for a great exercise tool. Simple exercises can help provide healing, gain muscle, improve strength, increase flexibility or burn some calories. If you have arthritis, back problems, joint pain, foot or knee pain, or are pregnant or obese, exercising in the water will greatly benefit you as the impact is MUCH less than on land. Water lessens the effects of gravity, so you’re able to move your body through a wider range of motion, which improves flexibility and helps heal. Below we provide you with a few simple basic moves that can get you started right away.

Running: Running in the water is a very basic yet effective exercise. Simply run back and forth, from wall to wall. Try to start with the water being at your waist level. However, by varying depth, it will either add or lessen the difficulty for you. This will help strengthen your core, legs and hips.

Noodle Bike: Sit on a noodle, in a vertical position, so that one end is in front of you and the other end is behind you. Peddle as fast as you can throughout the pool. You can either hold your hands in the air to increase the resistance to your legs and abs or use your arms to help you navigate throughout the water.

Standing Toe Touch: Stand chest deep in the water and raise one leg straight out in front of you. Try and touch your foot with your opposite hand, then switch legs. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible and do 3 sets of 10-12 on each leg.

Knee Tuck: Again, standing in water a little over waist deep, pull both knees up and tuck into your gut. Tap your knees with your hands. Put your feet back down on the bottom of the pool and do it again. Add speed to increase the intensity.

Kickboard: One of my favorites because it’s so simple, is to grab a kick board and do laps kicking. Your legs will feel this one and your heart rate will rise.

There are many more ways you can gain strength and flexibility in the water, but the above examples are a great way to get started. Exercising in the water is low-impact and can easily be tailored to anyone’s fitness level. Everyone can benefit from water exercise, regardless of age or agility.

Create your own moves, get creative, and mostly have fun!

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Hosting the Perfect July 4th Pool Party

Have a party coming up to celebrate the 4th of July? Well, we have some tips to help you make your party the one everyone will remember. No time to waste, it’s right around the corner!

Decorations and music:
Red, white and blue can be used throughout the pool area to add a ‘patriotic’ vibe. At your local party store, you can find simple decorative plates, flags, napkins, etc. However, to add a bit of creativity to it, you can find American flag floaties or inner tubes and throw them into the pool, or roll-up a few red, blue and white towels and have them set aside for those who enjoy the pool and need to dry off after. Another simple, yet creative decoration is to add colorful paper straws to mason jars. Or again using a mason jar, use colored blue and red rice and create layers of white rice in the jar along with the blue and red and place a tea candle at the top for lighting later in the evening. Also, be sure to turn on some low-level tunes to add a nice vibe to the party.

Food:
Get creative with your dishes! Keep in mind finger foods are the perfect party foods, so have dishes your guests can eat with their fingers. A great way to save on decorations and feed your guests is to get creative with your food dishes. A simple and easy idea would be layering blueberries, strawberries and marshmallows on skewer stick. Or make some red, white and blue cookies cups. Check out this delicious recipe here: https://hungryhappenings.com/red-white-and-blue-cookie-cups/

Grilling out burgers and hot dogs is an easy and simple way to serve food as well, especially when you are cooking for a large group. Also take note, that many people eat differently, so be sure have a wide variety of foods to ensure all your guests are happy and feed.

Prepare your pool:
Clear the pool deck of any clutter. Remove everything you can except furniture, pool toys and necessary pool accessories. Check your deck for any cracks or chips and repair what you can to make sure your guests are safe. If you can’t repair it, try using furniture to cover up the broken areas.

Also, be sure to test and balance your pool water, and check your pool pump in advance, so the water is safe, clean and comfortable for your guests.

For the adults:
Creating a party drink for your gathering adds a level of fun to your gathering. Be it a traditional margarita or creating your own signature drink. (Tip: Frozen drinks are fun for those hot summer nights). Whichever you decide, be sure to have options for people and have plenty of drinks for your adult guests. Also, be sure you have water available, don’t forget the basics. It’s hot out there, so water is necessary to make sure your guests stay hydrated.

For the kids:
Fun drinks, games and of course sparklers! Simple creative drinks can add so much fun for the kids. Like these Ocean Water drinks.

Recipe:

  • 3 ounces of blue fruit punch
  • 2 ounces of 7UP or Sprite
  • 2 teaspoons of sweetened lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of pineapple juice
  • Red gummy fish
  • Lime wedges

 

A few games, in and out of the pool will keep the kids having fun as well. A simple ‘Treasure Hunt’ can entertain them for some time. Grab a handful of coins and throw them in the pool for the kids to dive down and get.

Sparklers for when the sun goes down are a tradition of the 4th. However, keeping everyone safe can be a bit challenging. A great way to ensure the safety of your guests is to use the red cups and a barrier, prepare your ‘Sparkler Cups’ in advance so it’s easy to manage during the party.

Have Fun!

Often times when we plan parties, we want it to go well, so in turn we run around cleaning up, trying to replace food that is diminishing, making drinks, etc. Make sure your guests are happy and enjoying themselves BUT, please, don’t forget the point of the party, to have fun and that includes you! Enjoy yourself, mingle and be sure to laugh.

Here’s to a safe and happy 4th!

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5 Summertime Pool Safety Tips

Summer is officially in motion and filled with parties, fireworks and friends. If you’re a parent, you know keeping your kids busy during summer is the biggest challenge of the summer months. A pool is the perfect afternoon activity, especially on those hot summer Florida days and practicing pool safety will ensure a fun and successful summer. So, we offer you tips below on having the safest summer for you, your family and friends while you enjoy any swimming pool.

The biggest and most important tip is to make sure all children are supervised at all times while in the pool area. NEVER leave a child unattended in or near water.  Please keep the phone and/or book at bay and watch what is happening in the pool as they swim. Setting rules for the children is the best way to maintain safety. Rules such as not climbing on each other, no hitting, no dunking, no pushing, jumping in feet first, etc. are easy ways to keep the children safe while in the pool. It has become common that if pool owners have small children, that they install pool screens that wrap around the pool. With this comes a much greater amount of safety, but many pools don’t have this feature. So, keeping an eye on all children is essential.

Second, know how to do CPR! Bystanders and/or pool owners are often the first to help a drowning victim, so learning and knowing CPR could save a life. Take a class to the learn the steps to help adults and children if something where to happen in your pool or any public swim pool. CPR classes are easily and readily available at your local community centers, hospitals or your local American Red Cross. There are also small companies throughout the US that offer classes throughout the year.


Third, bring sunblock and be sure to use it. The Florida summer sun is strong, and your skin needs to be protected. The trick if you are spending the day outside is to reapply. Applying sunscreen once and swimming for 2-3 hours, just doesn’t do the job. Try to reapply as the sunscreen bottle directs, depending the SPF level. Sun shirts and hats are also great ways to protect your skin from the sunrays.

Fourth, teach your kids how to swim. I know this may seem silly, but the basics work. If you have young children, it’s important that they are taught how to get to the side of the pool in case of an emergency. For example, toddlers are taught to swim on their backs and swim to the nearest side. This keeps them safe and makes sure that one time you look away for a quick moment, they will be ok. Also, don’t rely on water wings, pool toys and/or noodles to keep your children safe.  If your child can’t swim they should be fit into a personal flotation device (PFC) and you should be in the water with them at all times.

Last, but not least, when you’re in a very crowded pool, make sure you have a buddy. The buddy system works as each ‘buddy’ keeps an eye out for each other. Knowing you have someone helping and keeping an eye out will maintain another level of safety when the crowds get larger.

If you have a pool or spa, or if you plan to spend time near one this summer, it’s very important that you are prepared and knowledgeable of the dangers and safety steps to ensure a fun time in the water this summer. Stay cool and safe this summer!

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Preparing Your Pool for a Hurricane

With hurricane season at its start, there is no better time to begin preparing your home and family for what could come our way. As Floridians, we know what kind of damage hurricanes can bring to our families, homes and towns. In order to protect your home and pool, there are some steps you can take to ensure optimal safety.

Wind/debris and water from rain and/or flooding are the biggest factors to what causes damage during hurricane storms.

First, wind is one of the biggest factors of damage during a hurricane. It’s vital to help protect your home as well as potential damage to others in your neighborhood. So, securing outdoor furniture, plants in pots, wind chimes, outdoor structures, bikes, pool toys, etc. is a great place to start preparing. Place these items in a garage, or inside your home behind closed doors. If you don’t have a space available for this, you can place them inside your concrete pool. Also, if time allows, do your best to trim your trees and branches back. This will help eliminate or lessen the chances of branches breaking and flying into a window or breaking your screen enclosure, if you have one.

Second, rain and/or flooding of water is always a potential during a hurricane, especially if you live close to a body of water. First draining your pool is necessary. However, there is an optimal level to drain it to. You don’t want to completely drain it as that can cause serious structural problems down the road. To learn about the optimal level for your pool, please reach out to your pool cleaner or build builder for more information.

Please remember that these pre-cautions help reduce damage to your home as well as to your neighbors. Hurricane damaging winds can grow from 40mph up to 140+, so your outdoor chair could potentially end up in your neighbor’s window down the street. Please, as soon as you first hear a hurricane is heading your way, the earlier you prepare the better for everyone. Waiting until last minute, can be very dangerous.

Here at Challenger Pools we take hurricane season seriously and are happy to help with any questions you may have. As a Florida pool company we urge you to take all precautions during Florida hurricane season and then helping your neighbor do the same.

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3 Ways to Add Charm (And Value!) to Your Outdoor Kitchens and Patios

The very nature of an outdoor kitchen is honestly pretty charming. Who doesn’t love the chance to eat a fresh meal in the sunshine, surrounded by their garden, overlooking the swimming pool?

Beautiful swimming pool with fire pit and early morning sun in the tropics.

However, with a few smart design strategies, you can take your outdoor kitchens and patios to the next level. With a keen eye for color and a creative imagination, anyone can turn simple outdoor kitchen designs into even more colorful and wonderful realities.

If you’re starting to draft plans for new outdoor kitchens and patios, or looking for ways to spruce up your existing outdoor dining area, read on. Here are three design tips to make your backyard oasis stand out from the crowd:

1. Include Clever Storage Spaces

One thing all magazine-worthy outdoor kitchens and patios have in common is cleanliness. Just like indoor spaces, outdoor spaces should be kept neat and clutter-free. With good design, you can prepare an outdoor kitchen that’s a piece of cake to maintain. Simply ensure that the kitchen has plenty of clever storage solutions for hiding away would-be clutter. Include a few different sheltered trash and recycling receptacles under the counters, and use drawers to store utensils, cleaning supplies, and flatware. A refrigerated drawer is a great way to store drinks, and an under-the-bar cabinet can be a place to store extra beach towels.

2. Add a Firepit

Outdoor kitchen spaces are meant to be enjoyed both day and night. Including multiple light sources can help make the space more useful after dark. However, you can take your lighting one step further by adding an outdoor fireplace or campfire pit. This step will encourage guests to gather ’round the flickering firelight for drinks and storytelling. Adding a fire pit can keep you warm on chillier autumn evenings, and it might even keep pesky mosquitoes at bay.

3. Use Unexpected Paints and Patterns

Many homeowners opt for simple outdoor dining spaces, but why not take your kitchen’s personality up a notch with fun colors and patterns? Save the formal dining for indoor events, and use your outdoor eating area to express creativity and flair. Choose a bright accent color, unusual seating choices, or a vibrant collection of plants to decorate your space. After all, it’s yours to use as you please, so go wild!

In a 2014 Houzz Spring Landscaping Trends Study, 83% of respondents considered the backyard “an ideal entertaining space.” With these tips, you can take any outdoor kitchens and patios from “ideal” to “fun and fabulous!” For more outdoor construction inspiration, contact us at Challenger Pools today.

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5 Great Pool Renovations to Consider This Year

Swimming is the most popular recreational activity for children and teens between the ages of seven and 17 in the United States. Even having the most simplistic pool on your property can be great for the whole family, but there are so many custom pool designs and pool renovations that give it an aesthetic and practical boost.

Keep in mind, it’s best to work with experienced pool contractors whenever you’re upgrading your pool.

Here are some great swimming pool renovations to consider this year:

  • Install LED lights — Conventional floodlights and other basic pool lighting can look fine, but imagine how awesome your pool will look at night with LED lighting. This kind of lighting is much more energy efficient than other options and can look incredible.
  • Waterline Tile — Updating your pool’s waterline tile will give it a much more modern and visually appealing look. If you really want to transform your pool’s appearance, combine the waterline tile with entire deck and pool resurfacing jobs, as well.
  • Handrails — Handrails are not only extremely safe, but they can improve the pool’s accessibility and boost its appearance, as well. Rather than installing shiny metal handrails, which can be extremely hot and even burn hands in triple-digit temperatures, consider installing powder-coated handrails.
  • Tanning Ledge — A tanning ledge — also known as a Baja step — is a large, flat, shallow surface in a pool that is extremely popular in resort pools. But you can have your very own lounge chair in your backyard pool after installing an underwater tanning ledge.
  • Efficient Pool Pump — Though new poolside equipment isn’t exactly the nicest thing to look at, it can end up saving you money. Pool experts say a variable-speed pump can end up saving a significant amount of money and even pay for itself within one to three years.

Instead of just having a plain, boring pool, consider making some aesthetic upgrades. You, your entire family, and everyone who comes over for a swim with love it! If you want to learn more about custom pool renovations and work with experienced pool contractors, give Challenger Pools a call right away.

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5 Calls to Make Before You Install a Swimming Pool

Yes, you enjoy your yard. That’s a good thing! But there’s always room for improvement, right? If that’s how you’re feeling, then you are not alone. According to the responses of 56% of the people participating in a Houzz study, people want to make their yards more friendly for entertaining. Here are five ways they are doing this.

They are Calling Pool Contractors
Swimming is an extremely popular sport. It is also a very popular leisure activity, and residential pools are a great feature for a home. People who are interested in improving their yards are calling pool contractors. They can find out about what is involved in having a pool installed in their yard. Do they need an above ground pool or in-ground pool? What would be best in their yard? A pool contractor can also handle questions about spas and other water features for the yard and the pool area.

Call Landscaping Professionals
Dramatic lighting, flowering trees, flower beds, custom stonework and more are all fantastic features that and add to the dramatic impact and monetary value of your property.

Call Home Improvement Specialists
One of the most popular features to add to outdoor property has to do with cooking and cuisine. In fact, the home design site Houzz has compiled data which indicates that barbecues or grills are one of the top three selections when homeowners are making improvements their yards and outdoor areas. It has been reported that outdoor kitchens are being added to the backyards of 14% of consumers.

Call Trainers and Doctors
Pool contractors will tell you that a really good reason to add a pool to your property is for your overall health and general well-being. Swimming is a wonderful exercise! A call to your doctor or your trainer will confirm this. It gives a great cardiovascular workout since it is more difficult to move in water than it is to move through the air. Water is much denser than air, actually ten times denser, so the increased resistance translates to a fantastic workout.

Respondents to the Spring Landscaping Trends Study by Houzz in 2014 overwhelmingly endorsed their backyards. In fact, 83% said it was “an ideal entertaining space.” If you are thinking about updating your yard, professionals such as landscapers, pool contractors, and home improvement specialists will help make your dream a reality.

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