If You’ve Got Salt (Water), You Need ‘Pepper’

While salt-water pools are a great way to pass the time in those hot summer months, the salt can also be damaging to your pool and pool accessories. Luckily, APi created a product called “Pepper” in 2013 that helps combat the negative effects of salt water.

Pepper was created exclusively to work with salt-water pools. It oxidizes debris and assists in the filtering process, which leaves your water looking clean and ready to jump into. In addition to this, it also boosts your sanitizer, keeps phosphate levels low, keeps pH levels from fluctuating, and prevents buildup.

You simply need to use the product twice a month, and you’re free to swim immediately after. And after your first use, you can usually operate your salt water generator at a lower setting.  Less pool maintenance in one little step! All you need to do is sprinkle Pepper into your salt-water pool. Each bottle is 2 pounds, and you should use 1 pound for every 10,000 gallons. One bottle can do 20,000 gallons!

If you ever need advice on how to reduce the amount of maintenance you need to do on your inground salt-water pool, or you’re looking for ways to cut back on your maintenance costs, give us a call at (412) 741-4774. We know the products and techniques to help you keep you inground pool clean and refreshing all summer long.

Your Concrete Inground Pool Deck Options

A perfectly built inground swimming pool with clean, clear water is nice… but it’s not the whole package. A beautiful and functional concrete deck can put the finishing touches on your at-home oasis.

The cost to install a regular concrete pool deck depends on how large you want the deck to be, but it generally costs from $6 to $10 per square foot. You can do a very rough estimate on HomeWyse, but be sure to call us for a more exact estimate.

Two things to keep in mind when deciding how to design or treat your inground swimming pool deck are that it needs to be slip resistant, as well as resistant to the elements, which includes mold. Element protection can come from sealants and special coatings, which are waterproof and prevent cracking, while slip resistance comes from a textured surface.

At Professional Pool Services, we have a variety of pool deck offerings that we recommend to our customers, with a variety of styles to fit their needs as well as their design tastes.


The Rubber Depot – Rubber Pool Deck Surfacing

Add some color and style to your deck with ethylene propylene diene monomer, a synthetic rubber that can be applied on top of your concrete deck for a perfect slip-proof surface. A polyurethane binder is added on top to lock our moisture, preventing mold and mildew.

You can choose a variety of colors for your deck, including terra cotta, purple, cork, emerald green, and chocolate! And it’s easy to do it yourself, with the starter kit on sale for under $90.00. You can also cover patios, porches, garages, steps, and walkways with this rubber surfacing! Check out The Rubber Depot FAQ page for more information, and be sure to give us a call if you have any additional questions.


Multicoat Product Systems Solutions

Multicoat Product Systems offers a variety of waterproofing solutions for inground pool owners, including their Above Grade Waterproofing System, which combines, “Mulasticoat® waterproofing membrane, metal lathe, and Krete Kote cementitous coating to provide concrete waterproofing, deck waterproofing, balcony waterproofing and wood waterproofing.”

This coating includes an anti-skid surface, resistance to both fire and freezing, and withstands high impact.

You want your pool area to be attractive while still safe and comfortable for friends and family. Give us a call at (412) 741-4774 today to discuss your concrete pool deck options.

Getting Your Pool Ready for Summer

Spring is here, even if the temperatures aren’t quite showing it yet. It’s time to start thinking about opening your pool for summer in order to stock up on the supplies that you will need. In case you’re not really sure where to start, here are the steps you need to take in order to get your inground swimming pool summer-ready!


Remove debris from your cover.

If your pool cover is covered in leaves, those leaves will end up in your pool unless you remove them first. Use a blower, rake or broom to clear your pool cover of any debris before beginning the cleaning process.


Remove the cover.

When it comes time to remove your cover, the important thing is to make sure that it is clean and dry before putting it into storage.


Clean and vacuum the inside of the pool.

With your cover removed, it’s time to take a good look at your pool and make sure that it is as clean as possible. Remove any floating debris with a skimming net and remove any extra dirt and debris with a thorough vacuuming.


Make sure your water level is good.

Your inground swimming pool’s water level should be at about the halfway mark of your skimmer opening. If the water does not reach this level, it will need to be filled more.


Check your equipment.

A lot can happen over a long winter. You need to make sure that each part of your pool is functioning correctly, including your filter. But don’t forget that things like diving boards, slides, and pool decks can also take a beating in the winter that may require a fix in order to be safe before you take a dip. Make sure that everything is inspected so that the swimming experience can be clean and safe for everyone!


Check your pool’s chemical levels.

You need to be sure that you have the correct levels for:

  • Chlorine
  • pH
  • Calcium
  • Bromine
  • Stabilizer

If these levels are too far off to be fixed with some adjustment, your pool may need to be drained and refilled. This usually happens every 3-5 years.

Once your pool is opened, remember that it needs regular maintenance! If you have any questions about closing your pool for winter or what tools you will need to keep your pool clean and functional during the upcoming summer, give us a call at (412) 741-4774.

Clean Your Pool Using Ultraviolet Technology

Whether you want to admit it or not, your pool can be a dirty place. It can turn into a breeding ground for algae and bacteria, which is why proper pool maintenance is so important.

Chlorine is the most common chemical used to keep pools clean, but chlorine can irritate swimmers’ eyes, skin, and hair. So how can you maintain good pool chemistry while making the swimming experience better for friends and family? Consider cleaning your pool with an Ultraviolet (UV unit).

Ultraviolet light has been used to disinfect drinking water for decades, but the technology is now making a splash on the pool industry. These UV units, like the Delta UV unit we recommend at Professional Pool Services, harness the power of UV light in order to kill algae and bacteria and balance your pool’s chemistry. In fact, the UV light actually changes the DNA of microorganisms in order to remove them.

By doing this, the UV system also reduces the amount of chlorine you need to use in your pool by 70-85%. And since the process is quick and easy and doesn’t harm people or animals that may come in contact with the pool, it’s clear why more and more pool owners are looking to this option.

The only thing you will have to do to maintain your UV unit will be to replace the UV bulb each year. Find out more about UV units from the Delta website.

If you’re thinking about installing a Delta UV system to your swimming pool, give us at call at 412-741-4774.

Vinyl, Concrete, Fiberglass: Which Inground Pool Type is Right for You?

Inground pools are split up into three categories: Fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl. The type of pool that is right for each person varies, depending on their price range.

The first step in determining which pool type is right for you is understanding how they differ and what you should consider in order to make the most informed decision.

Types of Inground Pools 

Fiberglass pools:  These fiberglass-coated (made from glass and resin) pools are usually one solid piece, which limits size and depth. They are hauled on a flatbed trailer truck and set in place with a crane.

Vinyl-lined pools:  Vinyl liners are fitted to your pool in order to provide protection, but the liner needs to be replaced in about 7-10 years.  A vinyl liner is installed over a steel wall kit or plastic resin wall.

Concrete pools:  Concrete pools are either formed and poured, or shot with gunite.

A great pool for the Northeast freezing climate is a “Family Fun” pool, which has fiberglass walls and concrete floor and steps. These pools are more permanent than vinyl or one-piece fiberglass shells, and are less costly to install and maintain than concrete pools.

Some things to Consider When Choosing a Pool Type

  • Price (Including Energy Savings)
  • Installation
  • Maintenance
  • Appearance


Vinyl liner pools come at the lowest price. Each pool is unique, but fiberglass pools can cost you anywhere from $15,000 – $50,000; vinyl from $15,000 – $40,000 and concrete from $40,000 – $80,000. If you wish to discuss a more specific price for the pool that you are envisioning, give us a call!


Though each project varies, average installation periods are:

  • Vinyl:  3 – 5 weeks
  • Fiberglass:  3 – 4 weeks
  • Concrete:  6 – 8 weeks


Each of these pool types takes a decent amount of maintenance. Vinyl liners need to be replaced around every 7 – 10 years, and the price tag for a new liner can be $4,000 – 6,000. Homewyse has created a handy tool to estimate these costs. Concrete pools may need to be retiled after 10 – 12 years. If a concrete pool requires replastering, the cost may be $8,000 – 15,000.


Vinyl liners come in a variety of patterns and colors for those who want their pool to be a piece of art as well as a place to exercise and cool down. Concrete pools and Family Fun pools can have an extremely customized shape, perfect for creating a unique look for your pool.

Depending on what is important to you, each of these inground swimming pool types could be the right option for you. Call us at (412) 741-4774 to find your perfect fit!