The idea of having a pool in your own backyard will always be incredibly glamorous. But, in those daydreams, one crucial element of pool ownership is often forgotten: the maintenance.
Without a proper maintenance routine, your pool could succumb to a variety of less-than-luxurious conditions – green water, broken filters, and algae build up, just to name a few.
Here are pool maintenance tips that you need to try right now.
- Skimming the leaves and debris off of the surface of the water is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. For a truly pristine pool, skimming should be done daily.
In addition to skimming, you need to scrub the sides of the pool to prevent algae build-up. Thankfully, that doesn’t need to be done quite as often. You can get away with scrubbing once every other week. Just look for any growths and go at them with a scrub brush to keep your siding looking fresh and clean.
- Your pool’s filter is responsible for removing impurities from the water – think dirt, leaves, and even small toys.
Most of the time, the pool can be cleaned by turning off the filter, removing the filter cap located on the pool deck, lifting out the filter basket, and removing any debris before replacing everything. It’s best to clean out your filter basket at least once a week.
Once a month you’ll also want to clean out the pipes utilized by your filter system, which you can do by backwashing. To do so, simply set your filter to “backwash,” remove the leaf basket and clean it out. Then turn on your pump and let it run until the waste pipe ejects clear water.
- Chemical levels are arguably one of the most important facets of pool maintenance. Improperly balanced water looks murky, irritates skin and eyes, and can cause your pool to become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Testing the water is easy. Simply buy a few testing kits from your local pool store. Fill it with a sample of your pool’s water. Add the provided solution to the testing kit and close the vials. After a few seconds, your sample water will change color and a comparison of the sample water to the colors shown on the testing kit should allow you to determine the current chemical levels. You should adjust the levels, as needed, to achieve an ideal balance.
- As important as the chemical composition of the water is, the physical water level is just as important. The levels will naturally fluctuate after a heavy rainstorm or an afternoon of kids doing cannonballs.
You want to maintain a level that is halfway up the opening of your skimmer. If the water is too low, simply use a garden hose to add the necessary amount of water back in. If the water level is too high, rent a submergible pump from a home improvement store to drain the excess.
- Most of the time when people think about tennis balls in a pool, they think about playing catch. However, those toys can do double duty.
When swimmers exit the pool, certain oils can get left behind in the water – suntan lotion, hair product, the natural oils produced by our skin. While it’s unpleasant to think about, luckily there’s an easy solution.
Simply throw a tennis ball into the water. The fibers used to make the tennis ball will help absorb the oils and keep them from leaving a slick sheen on top of the water.
- The area that surrounds your pool is just as important as the physical structure itself. You can help keep your pool deck shining by power washing.
Power washing, also known as pressure washing, will help get rid of any rust or weather stains that occur over time. You can rent a power washer at any home improvement store.
- Sometimes you need to trust an expert. Especially when it comes to your pool’s mechanical equipment – pumps, filters, heating systems – you may not have the proper knowledge for care. At least once a year, have a pool service professional come out to check your devices.
By incorporating these pool maintenance tips into a regular cleaning routine, you can ensure that you’ll spend more time sunbathing than doing chores