Category: Blog

Oasis-Style Pool With Rock Formation and Beautiful Fauna By New Image Pool Builders Phoenix AZ

5 Must Know Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Pool And Spa

The desert can be a hot and unfriendly place to live, but you obviously know the secret to staying cool – air conditioning, insulation and of course, a sparkling blue pool in your backyard.  Nothing lowers your core body temperature better than a dip in the pool just before going to bed, but if your pool is green and nasty, are you really going to want to get in it?  With all that is wonderful about having your own pool or spa comes much responsibility; you’ve spent a lot of money on your pool, now it’s time to work on keeping it clean and healthy so you can enjoy it for years to come!  Here’s a list of the 5 things professionals are checking for when they test your water to keep your pool running smooth and staying clean.

Alkalinity

The proper alkalinity level for your new pool must be around 80-100 ppm (parts per million) for an optimal pool environment. When testing for alkalinity you will find this also provides you with a baseline for your pool’s pH balance(See item 2 on this list).  If you need to raise your alkalinity level, you can add sodium bicarbonate (yes, we are talking about baking soda!), but this will also raise your pH levels.  We discuss the chemicals you can use to ONLY raise your pH balance in item number 2 as well.

pH

Testing for pH levels is testing the acid levels in your water.  Acid is measured on a scale of 7.2 to 8.2 with the perfect level being between 7.4 and 7.6.  (We’re betting you didn’t know you were going to have to remember your high school chemistry to maintain your pool, did you?  Believe it or not, it’s relatively simple once you get the hang of it!)  If the numbers are below 7.0, your pool is too acidic; if the numbers are above 7.8, it is too alkaline.  On the rare occasion that you need to raise your pH levels, a small amount of soda ash will do the job.   To lower pH, use muriatic acid.  Maintaining correct pH levels is extremely important…if your water is too acidic or too alkaline it can damage your pool equipment or even the surface of the pool.

Cyanuric Acid

Also known as stabilizer, cyanuric acid, in combination with chlorine, helps keep your pool water safe from damaging UV rays.  Keeping the stabilizer level between 30 and 50 ppm will help maximize the effects of the chlorine you add to your pool.

Chlorine

Battling against harmful bacteria you can find in your pool is made easy with the important addition of chlorine.  Chlorine sanitizes away all the bad germs, but is sensitive to high water temperatures, UV rays, and can even be diluted when it rains…it is extremely important to be vigilant and continually add additional chlorine to keep the levels between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm.

Water Hardness

Hard water is a big problem in the desert – our water contains calcium and other minerals which leads to the white chalky residue left behind after evaporation and does not lead to optimal pool water condition.  Mineral levels should stay between 200 ppm and 400 ppm.  If your water isn’t hard enough, add calcium chloride carefully…too hard of water can be damaging as well.

In the end, the best way to determine the needs of your pool is through regular testing with at-home kits you can find at any pool supply store.  One thing about the water here in the desert: it is recommended you drain your pool every other winter.  Never drain a pool in temps higher than 75 degrees – it is bad for the surface of your pool.  We know it sounds difficult and even a little scary, but we promise it won’t take long before you are able to keep your water crystal clear and sparkling clean with the least amount of effort.  Keeping the chemicals at the right levels will also lengthen the life of your pool and spa equipment.  Happy swimming!

Grill with built-in stone ledges on paved backyard patio by New Image, Arizona's landscape company

5 Easy Tips to Keep your Patio Clean Year ‘Round

We Phoenix, Arizona residents are a lucky bunch, as mild temperatures allow for outdoor living year round, even during scorching summer months, and as such, our patios have become second living areas.  We put a lot of thought, time, and effort into creating a backyard oasis that is both beautiful and functional for our needs, but the problem with it being an outdoor area is keeping everything clean.

Initially, the terrace is bright and sparkling clean, bringing you great happiness as you sit comfortably amongst your fauna, flora, and decorative items that have caught your eye throughout the years.  And then come the dust storms during monsoon season, creating unbelievable havoc on your patio, or worse, the rare rain storms that can cause mud and even mold to appear in places where water puddles.  Before long you find yourself avoiding a spot that used to bring you such pleasure and happiness; the dirt, the grime, and mold all creating a dingy backyard “black hole”! Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way, and we have compiled a list of tips to help you keep that sparkling clean oasis you loved so much!

  1. Schedule a time each week for a deep clean –
  2. Cleaning is boring, but if you take 15 minutes or so a week to clean, you will find your private paradise much more enjoyable.  Take your cushions off your furniture and shake them off, sweep up dirt and grime, even dust your décor.  Anything water resistant can be sprayed down with a hose to completely eliminate the dust; just remember to let the cushions air dry in the sun before putting them back on your furniture – you don’t want mold growing!

  3. Clean as you go –
  4. It sounds simple, but you would be amazed at how many people leave water bottles, newspapers – even dishes and glasses – out on patio furniture and then are shocked at the mess they find even a day later. Enjoy your daily respite in your private paradise, but take everything you brought out back into the house when you are finished; recycle newspapers and water bottles, and put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  Food grime attracts bugs, and just one dirty plate can entice ants, flies, and cockroaches to set up residence on your back patio.

  5. Hire a contractor –
  6. The ground shifts often and can cause your patio to become uneven, leaving low places for water to puddle in, which could lead to unsightly and unhealthy mold or mildew growth. Yes, even in the desert mold and mildew can be an issue if you are not careful!  Sometimes you may have to do some hard core construction to level out a concrete patio, or just have some minor repairs for brick and paver porches.  Level patios create less options for puddling water.

  7. Prevention can be beautiful –
  8. Bamboo blinds keep the sun out, the dust away, and can be an attractive addition to your patio paradise. Curtains are another option, softening and creating a space that would work equally well inside or outside; both help keep dust, water, or debris to a minimum.  Outdoor furniture without cushions (wood, plastic or even wrought iron) can still be comfortable, inviting, and one less thing to clean.  Painting a decorative rug, instead of using a real one that needs special cleaning treatments, is a fun way to add a touch of the inside out, and the only limits (besides your artistic ability!) are the limits of your imagination!

  9. Freshly painted and sparkling clean –
  10. Maybe you have waited too long before deciding something needs to be done about your dirty patio and accessories. In the end, nothing cleans up better than a fresh coat of paint!  Paint your house – or just the back area where the patio is – no one but those closest to you needs to know you’ve taken a “shortcut”! Wood and metal furniture can be painted to look like new; you CAN paint plastic, but it doesn’t offer the best results. If your patio furniture is plastic, consider buying a new set.  Stain or paint the concrete flooring, just remember to seal it really well, and reseal at any signs of fading or peeling.  If you follow these 5 simple steps your backyard paradise will stay clean and inviting year round!

Beautiful lit perogola and pool with water features by Phoenix Landscaping's pool builders in Phoenix

2016’s Best Pool Company of the Valley

As the Valley’s most dedicated pool and landscape company for over 35 years, our custom pool builders have been hard at work designing and maintaining some of the finest swimming pools Phoenix has ever seen. Throughout the years we have been allowed the luxury of working with many of Phoenix’s esteemed residents; time and again our work has been greeted with warm appreciation in return. We personally appreciate each and every customer that has played even the smallest role in our success, and as such, it is with happy hearts that we extend our gratitude to all the wonderful Phoenix residents and customers that have helped us to earn recognition as this year’s Arizona Foothills Best Pool Company of the Valley!

Customer Centric

If you are already a customer, you are probably pretty familiar with our opinion on the matter, but for all you newcomers out there, at Phoenix Landscaping, we think you should have the pool and landscape you deserve, and that is exactly what we intend to provide you. Accordingly, our design process has been fashioned to give the customer control, and the comfort of being in good hands. We are more than willing to not only work with you every step on the journey, but provide you with all the financing and budgeting options to make your new Phoenix swimming pool affordable as well. We provide some of the best pool, spa, and landscaping packages in AZ; they may actually leave you wondering why you have put off that new pool for this long.

Valley Wide Service

Whether you are need of a little pool or spa remodeling in Mesa, or a complete pool design and installation in Gilbert, Phoenix Landscaping is attentively at your service. We have performed projects all across the Greater Phoenix area, so we are more than happy to work in whichever borough you call home. With a staff this dedicated and experienced, there’s no task too big or daunting. Come check out our site today, and see what we’re all about, or contact us and see what we can do for you!

Best Lawn Care In Phoenix AZ. Synthetic Turf Lawn Surrounding Tiled Pool Area, Provided By New Image

How to maintain your well-landscaped yard

You’ve put a lot of work into creating a yard that is lushly landscaped, serenely beautiful and the closest thing to a tropical lagoon you are going to find in Arizona and now comes the hard part…maintaining your patch of paradise.  The more care and time you put into your lawn, the more enjoyment you will get out of it, but don’t think you have to spend all your spare time coddling your property…just follow these few simple tips and stay consistent in your upkeep.

Lawn

We live in the desert, but a large portion of desert inhabitants still try to keep a yard full of lush green grass, the most common type being Common Bermuda.  Making sure your grass gets enough water is the most important key to a beautiful lawn.  If you don’t water it enough, your grass will turn a bluish-grey (brown if you’re not watering it at all!)And get crunchy, the soil will be too hard and stay warm long after the sun sets.  If you water it too much you will find puddles, notice a musty smell and may even find mushrooms growing in it.  Water during the cool part of the day, fertilize once a month and mow frequently.  When weeding, make sure you get the root of the weed or it will soon grow back.  Aerate your soil in May to help with root growth…you can rent a mechanical aerator if you have an especially large yard.

Plants and Flowers

Nothing helps add beauty to your yard more than beautiful plants and flowers.  Follow instructions that are provided with your new plants and only plant in areas recommended.  Shade plants obviously do best in the shade and because the desert sun is so very hot and bright, if planting sunny plants, only plant ones that can survive a desert environment.  Now that you are at the maintenance stage, water levels are very important…watering too much can be just as bad as not watering enough.     A Plant that is wilting but has wet soil or one that has leaves that turn brown and then wilt or even one with yellow leaves that end up falling off the plant can all be signs of overwatering.  Blooming plants stay healthier if you deadhead them and younger plants can benefit from the added support of twigs or other props to keep them from falling over in the windy or extremely rainy conditions.  (Yes…we DO have rain in the desert!)

A landscape is more than plants and grass

It’s also involves the structures you have built for the added beauty of your property.  Stain your wood pergolas frequently to keep them from getting dry and brittle.  Have your home painted every 5 to 10 years (better paint will stay fresher looking longer) and be vigilant about water damage.  Repair and replace and rotting or damaged boards in the eaves of your home as soon as you spot the problem…water can be extremely harmful to wood.  If your patio furniture is out in the bright sunlight, consider putting cushions away in storage containers to keep their colors bright and hose your patio and your furniture down frequently to maintain a clean and dust free environment.  Keeping things neat and tidy contributes to the beauty of a well-landscaped yard and will bring you much happiness throughout your life.

Synthetic Grass Gets Rid of Pesky Landscape Maintenance On Your Phoenix AZ Property

WHY SYNTHETIC GRASS IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR LANDSCAPING FEATURES IN PHOENIX AZ

Are you tired of having to constantly perform landscape maintenance on your Phoenix lawn? Are your water bills too high? Are you sick of paying for professional lawn care service on your Phoenix AZ property?

If you are tired of prolonged lawn maintenance, then synthetic grass may be the answer for you. Today, many homeowners and commercial landscapers are saving time, money, and back pain by switching from traditional lawn to synthetic grass.

Practical applications for synthetic grass include dog runs, play areas, rooftops, putting greens, decorative borders; some of the most popular landscaping features in Phoenix AZ.

In addition, artificial or synthetic grass used for recreation and landscaping in Phoenix AZ, and the U.S., is growing rapidly—at about 10 and 15 percent countrywide per year.

If you’re tired of constant landscape maintenance on your Phoenix property, such as watering, weeding, fertilizing, and mowing, then it may be time to consider synthetic grass for your yard.

If you don’t want to use chemical fertilizers and herbicides around your home, and you believe artificial grass looks as good as the real stuff (or even better) artificial grass may be the right answer for you.

What is Artificial Grass?

In simple terms, synthetic grass consists of nylon polyethylene, or polypropylene that is colored to look like different species of grass. It also consists of filaments threaded into a backing that allows water to run through it

How is it installed?

The backing is laid on a drainage layer, usually compacted gravel, and then fastened along the perimeter. It is then filled with recycled crumb rubber or sand to keep it from blowing away in a stiff breeze.

How much does it cost?

Artificial grass comes with a big upfront cost—somewhere $5.00 to $20.00 per square foot, installed. But once it’s down, it doesn’t cost anything for the next 15 to 25 years.

On the other hand, professionally laid sod costs only 14 to 60 cents per square foot. But real grass comes with a lot of maintenance, and professional lawn care service in Phoenix AZ isn’t cheap.

You also have to water, mow, fertilize—all of which costs money and takes time.

What are the benefits of artificial grass?

  • It saves water.
  • It’s easy to maintain.
  • It’s environmentally friendly.

What are the drawbacks?

  • It isn’t completely maintenance-free.
  • It can’t absorb and break down pet urine.
  • It heats up in direct sun.
  • It can’t be recycled.
  • Some HOAs and municipalities won’t allow synthetic grass.

Since weeds can still grow and leaves that can accumulate around artificial grass, you’ll have to spend time blowing or raking it.

Beautiful Pool Design by New Image Premium Phoenix Pool Builders.

TOP 5 POOL TRENDS NOTICED BY PHOENIX POOL BUILDERS

Phoenix pool builders say that the top swimming pool trends are a little more complex than the regular pool plastering and resurfacing Phoenix homes normally showcase; instead they focus on some of the artistic elements that appear in and around the pool. Whether you’re thinking about building a new swimming pool or reconstructing an existing one, there are some new trends to keep in mind, depending on the type of pool you wish to redesign or build.

The top five trends in swimming pool design place an emphasis on artistic design elements, including the following:

Fire

In many backyards across Arizona, the current trends in pool design incorporate a “hot” design effect, and Phoenix pool builders look for ways to incorporate these elements in and around pools in an artistic way, instead of a source of warmth.

Glass tile

Since glass comes available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, there are many choices that give designers an array of different ideas for designing swimming pools.

Even though glass tile is an expensive item for pool construction, designers can still find a way to use tile as a way to add more artistry to your pool. Glass tile also enhances different focal points of your pool, such as columns and spillways, leading to their popularity as a pool resurfacing material in Phoenix.

Natural stone

The use of natural stone in swimming pools dates back centuries ago when stone masons constructed pools and baths with massive stone blocks. Today, Phoenix pool builders use natural stone in order to add definition, color, and depth both in and around your pool.

Spouts

When it comes to various design elements in the pool, accented spouts add a cool and soothing sound in order to make your pool even more inviting.

The shape and size of accent spouts add a more artistic and ornamental element to your pool.

Beadcrete

Beadcrete also adds an interior finish with tiny glass beads.

Available in two-dozen different mixes, Beadcrete gives your pool a richer look that is similar to an all-tiled pool.