Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Thursday was an unique day in Southeast Texas, as it actually snowed! It stuck too, which made for some classic holiday scenes that we don’t see too often. We decided to take a video of one of those snow scenes.

You can watch that video, and a few others, on our new YouTube channel. We’ll try to stock it with more videos down the road.

It’ll be another cold one tonight, so take a look at our winterizing article. And for those of you who have had your fill of winter, don’t worry, it’ll be 70 by Monday.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

Pool maintenance: Five things to check in the fall

The chilly weather we had this weekend was a reminder that fall is upon us. While we’ll have plenty of time to swim in the upcoming months (thank you Southeast Texas subtropical weather), now is the time to make sure your pool maintenance is on point. Everyone likes lists, so we’ve compiled a quick checklist of five things you need to check on this fall to keep your pool maintenance up to date.

Five fall maintenance steps

1. Clean your filters: As we have written in a previous article, fall and spring are the ideal times to clean your pool filters. With the increased amount of leaves and debris that fly into your pool during this time of year, you want to make sure that your filters are in tip-top shape. It’s more important this year than normal, as the rainwater and biologicals (leaves, dirt, and other natural debris) from Hurricane Harvey have certainly tested the capacity of your filters.

Clean filters allow for your robotic cleaners to do their job and your water chemistry to stay on point. And it’s best to clean them now while it’s still warm — going out and doing it in the winter when the water and air temperature are in the 40s and 50s is no one’s idea of a good time.

2. Cover/drain your backflow preventer: One of the biggest problems one can run into in pool maintenance is a frozen backflow preventer. When a freeze comes (and it’ll most certainly come), the backflow preventers are susceptible to cracking. They crack because they aren’t completely drained, therefore the remaining water inside freezes, expands and puts stress on the backflow preventer. Near-freezing temperatures and wind can also cause trouble, as cold wind sometimes cools the preventer enough to cause freezing and cracking.

Draining the backflow is important (and something we’ll come over to do for a fee), but covering the preventer to keep out the wind is important, too. There are several ways to do this: you can wrap the preventer in a plastic bag, shield it with a dry box, or even put a trash can upside down over it. Call us for consultation or head to the websites of our suppliers (Febco, Wilkins and Watts) for covering and draining tips. These tips also work on backflow preventers for sprinkler systems. A Total Coverage can handle those issues.

3. Check your water chemistry: This is something that you should do regularly, but if you only do it a few times a year, the fall is one of those times. You’re just emerging from the high-usage summer/early fall months, which typically involves regularly placing chlorine tablets in the pool. If you use chlorine tablets regularly (or more than that), there’s a chance that your pool chemistry is a little off-kilter. Too much chlorine can result in too much cynaric acid, which not only will stain the surface of your pool, but could also corrode the elements of your heater (which we’ll go into more in point No. 4).

Along with the cynaric acid, it’s important to check your water’s calcium and alkalinity readings as well. Checking on these things are something you should do weekly via your IntelliChem system, but it’s very important during the fall months.

4. Make sure your heater and lights are tip-top shape: When it’s 95 degrees with 90 percent humidity, as it is during the summer months on non-rainy days, the last thing you think about is heating your pool. But come Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the water and air are cooler, a heater is suddenly very important for that post-meal/post-giftgiving dip. So it would stink if you turned on your heater Thanksgiving Day, only for it to be needing maintenance. As much as we’d like to help you right away in those circumstances, the logistics of the holidays make it extremely difficult to do so.

Therefore, this is the perfect time for a dry run of your heater to make sure everything is good to go. Hopefully all will be good, but if there’s corrosion or any other problems, finding that now will give you plenty of time to contact us and for us to come out and attend to the problem. A quick check/call now is a heck of a lot better than discovering the problem on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. The same logic applies with lights — discovering any lighting problems now will allow us to fix them in time for your holiday get-togethers.

5. Skim your pool for leaves: This plays into No. 1 a bit, but it’s important to make sure that the leaves that fall in your pool don’t stay and accumulate. Not only do they make the surface of the water grimy, but they put stress on the the filters and the water chemistry readings. Stagnant leaves can get stuck in robotic cleaners and filters and clog skimmers. The remnants of them can also throw your chemistry out of whack and make your pool prone to staining. Here’s a previous article we wrote on leaf removal.

Leaves can also wreak havoc on variable flow pumps. They can crack baskets and manifolds while causing all sorts of issues. The IntelliFlo VF pump has monitors that alert you before such things happen, but even if you have one, be sure to remove falling leaves from your pool regularly.

While you can do a lot of this maintenance on your own, feel free to give us a call for help at any time. We’ll come out and perform these services for you for a fee.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

Ultimate Pools now has YouTube videos!

We’re always looking to expand the ways we can reach our customers, which is why we’re now dabbling in YouTube. Here are the first two YouTube videos in Ultimate Pools history. The first one below takes a look at water features, most notably the sheer descents.

This one shows off the swim jets that not only put fresh water in your pool, but also feel pretty cool to have brushing against your legs.

I hope you enjoy these YouTube videos — we’d love to put up more! Here are links to their YouTube pages — video 1 and video 2.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

Meet Renee Fawcett-Dunbar

Not only does Ultimate Pools look for the best in new customers, but we also look for the best in new employees. With that said, we’re confident we hit a home run in hiring Renee Fawcett-Dunbar.

Renee has been with us since June 19 as our Client Services Coordinator. Chances are that when you call our office, she’ll be the person you talk to. It’s something that comes natural for her and a big reason why we’re happy to have her on the team.

“I love it,” Renee said. “The great thing about this company is that it’s almost like a new company even though they’ve been around for a long time. Bryan and Deb [Stuart] want to change things up and move forward while keeping the same great service they’ve provided. I’m happy to be a part of the team and am willing to do whatever it takes. I’ll work on the computer, hang flyers, whatever it takes to move the company forward.”

With all due credit to the Hair Club for Men, Fawcett-Dunbar was a client before joining the team. Ultimate Pools designed her pool and she was an instant fit with Bryan and Deb. She had just retired after a 33-year teaching career, most recently as the RTI (Response to Intervention) Coordinator at Francis Elementary School in the Aldine Independent School District. Her work in that capacity, especially on computers, made her a perfect fit for Ultimate Pools.

“I had worked retail at the mall to make extra money in the past and am always looking for something interesting to do,” Fawcett-Dunbar said. “I got to know Bryan and Deb from working with them on our pool, got to know them very well and got to be friends with them. They needed some help, and with my experience with computers, I thought I could help.

“I love it. I always am looking to challenge myself and learn new things, and this job gives me that opportunity. It’s different from anything I’ve ever done and I really like the vibe of it.”

Renee is using her previous teaching job to help her serve Ultimate Pools’ customers. She’s well-versed in computers and data entry and, more importantly, in dealing with the public. Her main job as Francis Elementary’s RTI Coordinator was serving as a go-between for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade that were between regular classes and special education.

That experience also led for frequent interactions with parents in situations where clear communication was necessary. Those communication skills and ability to relate are invaluable assets that we covet at Ultimate Pools.

“A lot of my job as a teacher was data entry, campus technology, progress reports, report cards, and I try to use the knowledge I gained from that in this job,” Renee said. “And I enjoy working with the public and that was a big part of what I did before as a teacher.

“It reminds me of having conferences with parents. A big part of that is making them feel comfortable with me and feel comfortable with the situation. Bryan and Deb do a great job of communicating with the customers and that’s something that I want to do.”

While Fawcett-Dunbar has been a great public liaison since becoming our Client Services Coordinator, she wants to branch out from there and get familiar with the design portion of the business.

“I want to work with Bryan and learn everything about pools,” she said. “I want to learn about pool design, look to do some pools with Bryan. I feel like part of the gang here and will do whatever is necessary.”

Say hi to Renee when dropping by our office or while giving us a call. You can also contact her via email.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

Ultimate Pools among best pool builders in Montgomery County

Since we started building pools in 1999, Ultimate Pools has strived to be one of the best pool builders in Southeast Texas. It seems that work is getting recognized online. Two online business ratings companies, The Prime Buyer’s Report and Nextdoor.com, have rated Ultimate Pools among their top 10 pool builders in the Magnolia area and greater Montgomery County.

They’ve come to these conclusions using different methodologies. While Nextdoor.com relies on direct online reviews from customers, The Prime Buyer’s Report utilizes phone-call surveys, along with research into licensing and business practices. Their methodology is outlined here. We appreciate both companies for their approaches and for recognizing the work and effort that is the bedrock of our business.

Don’t take our word for it, though. Here are the links to the Prime Buyer’s Report and Nextdoor best pool builders lists for Magnolia, The Woodlands, Conroe, Montgomery County and Southeast Texas.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!