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6 Expert Tips on Swimming Pools: An Interview with Todd Marcus of Atlantic Leak Detection and Utility Locating, LLC

By Todd Marcus

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Atlantic Leak Detection and Utility Locating, LLC began in 2010. We are highly trained and experienced professionals at Atlantic Leak Detection and use state-of-the-art technology to accurately locate and repair pool leaks as well as locating slab and water main leaks, saving you thousands of dollars without destroying your residential, commercial or municipal property. Because we focus solely on leak detection and utility locating, our team brings an expert approach by eliminating costly damage and prolonged time spent finding the leak and locating buried utilities. Our leak detection and utility locating teams serve the entire New Jersey, New York City and Eastern Pennsylvania region with prompt leak detection service, expert repairs, utility locating services, swimming pool consulting and professionalism you can count on.

My company is basically broken into 3 services, Leak Detection, Private Utility Locating and Swimming Pool Consulting.

The leak detection services include the following:

  • Pool and spa leak detection and leak repair on both residential and commercial swimming pools.
  • Slab leak detection on residential, commercial, and municipal properties.
  • Water main leak detection on residential, commercial and municipal properties.

Our swimming pool consulting services offer the following:

  • Swimming pool inspections for home buyers with comprehensive reports (We are CPI's - Certified Pool Inspectors by the National Swimming Pool Foundation - NSPF).
  • Swimming pool, patio and backyard design consulting.
  • Swimming pool construction oversight.
  • Swimming pool safety, inspection and indoctrination.

The private utility locating services we offer:

  • Private Utility Locating and Markouts.
  • UST (Underground Storage Tanks) locating.
  • Environmental Boring Locations Cleared
  • Concrete Scanning and Imaging.
  • Utility Mapping.

Most of our utility locating services take place on commercial, industrial and municipal sites. Private utility locating is necessary whenever you plan to dig, drill and/or locate buried objects. Locating these buries utilities can prevent costly damage and potentially serious injury or death. We perform these locates using the latest GPR and EM technology.

What are the most important things for homeowners to consider before they start building a new pool?

Some of the most important things to consider before building a pool are:

  • Find a licensed, insured and reputable company with referrals that date back 5 years up to present jobs
  • Understand that there are more expenses to consider than just the pool. The pool patio, landscape, fencing, sprinkler installation and/or repair from excavation. General repair to the access for construction is usually the burden of the homeowner as well.
  • Figure out a realistic budget considering what was just mentioned above and then add 10% - 20% on top for add-ons, upgrades and unforeseen issues.
  • Keep it Simple, Less is More!! Don't get over-complicated. Too many accessories such as in-floor cleaning systems, sheer descents, deck jets, etc. can and will only lead to issues down the road that may be expensive to deal with. The Less there is to repair the More you will enjoy your pool.

Can you talk briefly about any pool safety and compliance issues that people in Pennsylvania should be aware of?

Some safety factors to always be aware of are:

  • Never dive in a pool that is not a diving pool. Never dive from anywhere other than a dive board or dive stand.
  • Always make sure that the pool and/or yard has a fence that meets the standards for pool barriers and that the gates both self-close AND self-latch/lock.
  • NEVER EVER leave small children unattended in or around a pool. NEVER take your eyes off small children in a pool.
  • Make sure that the pool meets the VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act. www.poolsafely.gov/pool-spa-safety-act/
  • Make sure that you install a safety cover when the pool is winterized.

What are the most common types of swimming pool remodels that you've seen people in Pennsylvania need?

The type of renovation depends on the type of pool you own. A vinyl liner pool may need a new liner after 10 or so years. In concrete/gunite pools it is quite common to renovate the coping, tile and re-surfacing the plaster painted finish. After that, patio renovations as well as equipment replacement are quite common after they become old and in disarray on any style pool.

What is resurfacing and what options do homeowners have when it comes to resurfacing their swimming pool?

Re-surfacing a pool is a term used when talking about a concrete/gunite pool. There are several choices you can make when re-surfacing a pool. I would always recommend using a plaster finish as opposed to a painted finish when the budget allows for it. Painting a pool can be far less expensive than re-plastering a pool. Plaster finishes range from your basic white or colored Marcite plaster finish to exotic finishes such as glass bead, pebble or high-end exposed quartz aggregate finishes.

What are some of the most popular pool features and styles for homeowners in Pennsylvania?

Features and styles all depend on the personality, space and budget of the pool owner. Pool shapes and styles range from rectangles, Roman or Gothic style pools which are more traditional and formal to geometric shaped pools which are more contemporary or modern. Additionally you have free-formed pools which can offer a more natural lake or pond style. Some common features aside from dive boards and slides are water features. These can both add beauty and an element of sound that can provide tranquility and help drown out some unwanted noise. Waterfalls, deck jets and sheer descents are some of the most common water features installed these days.

Do you have any advice to help people design a pool that they'll enjoy for years to come?

When designing a pool keep in mind what is most important to you and your family. Do you want to be able to dive? Do you want a pool for exercise and swimming laps? Do you want to have a large shallow area to set up a volleyball net? Make a list of what you want out of a pool and discuss this with your pool builder when coming up with a design. Always keep SAFETY in mind when designing the pool.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

The best way to reach our company is either on the web at www.AtlanticLeak.com or www.PrivateUtilityLocators.com OR you can call us as well at:

215-867-8150 in PA

732-546-3800 in NJ

718-576-2033 in NY

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