It’s such an awesome opportunity to have a pool in your backyard and be able to swim whenever you want. Throwing pool parties or just inviting your friends over to swim, spending hot summer days and evenings in water and relaxing while lying on an inflatable mattress, having a nice cool drink – what else do you need to spend a great time? Whether you live in a place where it’s hot all year around and it’s impossible to survive without spending some cooling time in the water or even if you have a pool heater to keep appropriate temperature of the water whatever the weather and time of year, it’s always hard to resist the temptation and not jump in. Unless the water is so disgusting and unpleasant that you’re not even willing to deep a finger into it.
In fact, it requires a lot of consistent and regular work to do in order to keep the surface spotless and the water clean and sparkling blue, free from different junk. Pool maintenance is essential not only and not so much for cosmetic reasons and its pleasant appearance, but rather for people’s safety and health. As if the water gets cloudy, more and more junk accumulates in it, the more clogged pool’s filters and skimmer baskets become – the more bacteria proliferate in the water, making it dangerous to swim in.
Not only various particles, leaves, bugs, etc. contribute to the deterioration of pool’s water, but it’s actually people and animals (dogs, for instance) who’re the main factors of pool’s pollution. Natural processes like precipitation, temperature changes, the difference of day and night temperatures, water evaporation influence the pool’s condition, gradually aggravating it and making not so suitable to swim in.
Spending time in such environment may lead to different health issues and skin infections, so it’s better to avoid such traumatizing experience and spare some effort and money to retain the proper state of pool’s water, equipment and tiles.
Here’re some tips that might help you maintain your pool clean and safe for people to swim and have fun in.
Skim and scrub your pool regularly
Even if you decide to hire a pool guy to come over every single or every other week to clean the pool and check all the factors that indicate its normal state, it’s necessary to do something almost every single day to make your pool look nice and enticing.
Removing leaves and other debris from the water should become your everyday chore, almost like doing the dishes. Skimming every single day allows keeping the water surface really neat all the time. It might get annoying, but no one wants to swim in junk anyway. What about you?
Besides, it’s good to clean the pool’s bottom and sides. A robot vacuum will make your life easier in terms of coping with the first task. And, scrubbing will work perfectly on the sides. You don’t have to do this part as often. Just inspect your pool every other week or more often if you need to. If you notice the slightest algae growth, get to work and get rid of that thing. Even if the sides and bottom seem perfectly fine, you still should clean them regularly.
If you’re having hard time removing a really stubborn spot, then a piece of cloth with chlorine, placed on it and left there for couple of hours, will help you get rid of it.
Clean filters once in a week
As filters have to deal with pool’s pollution, they become cluttered rather quickly. And, when they don’t function decently, pool’s water is not being cleaned properly. That may cause major problems considering the water’s safety. To avoid making an unplanned professional call, pick a day to turn the filter off, get to its basket and remove all junk that accumulated in there and put everything back together.
Moreover, it’s necessary to clean the filers’ pipes system every single month by setting a filter onto a “backwash” mode. The next things you want to do are to clean out the basket and turn the pump on. Keep it working until clear water starts coming out of the waste pipe.
If you’ve been procrastinating, chances are that your pipes are too contaminated. Maybe, you will even have to call a plumber to deal with this problem, as your filter might not be able to remove dirt and debris from pipes on its own anymore.
Keep an eye on chemical levels
Inconsistent and unbalanced levels of chemicals in the swimming pool might cause the well-known cloudy water effect and bacteria breeding if the levels are too low or skin irritations if they’re too high.
It’s necessary to carry out water tests once in a week to see if the levels of cyanuric acid (normal reading is 30-50), free chlorine, acidity (7.5-7.8), total alkalinity (60-120) and calcium hardness (220-350) fall within their ideal rates. Keeping chemical levels within their normal indexes will prevent health issues, damages of pool’s surface and equipment’s corrosion.
Maintain pH level (7.0 – ideal index) to make sure that pool’s water is safe for your skin and eyes and that chlorine levels are also not affected by the pH deviations. They might be caused by intensive use of the pool, rain storms, top-ups of water or chlorine. If pH index is too low, you may improve it by adding a little bit of soda ash, which is also known as alkaline. Pool acid will decrease the pH level.
It’s also vital to sanitize your pool by adding chlorine manually or installing a special salt chlorinators, which may do the job for you and require the least maintenance, as it’s possible to opt for a self-cleaning option.
Another way of sanitizing is improving your filtration system by building liquid chemical feeders right into it.
You may hire a pool builder to install these facilities for you, as it requires getting into the pumping mechanism, filters and different pipes. So, it’s better to be really careful not to disrupt the adequate operation of that system and entrust the mounting process to the professional. It’s unbelievably easy to find one on HireRush.com. Just scroll through the ads of pool servicemen, who work within your local area, and make a call to book their visit. It’s quite beneficial, as they will not only install those feeders, but also tell what kind of equipment will suit your pool and where you can find it.
Once the rates of all chemicals are balanced, the cloudy effect will disappear and the water will become completely transparent and crystal clean, without having any particularly strong scent.
Normally, water in your pool should reach up to the half of skimmer’s opening. But, natural evaporation and human activities may lead to decrease or increase of water if compared with its normal level. When it’s lower than that, fill your pool to the desired level using a garden hosepipe or remove the excess water with a pump.
Each time you change the water level, check the chemical balance and fix it if necessary, as the amount of water directly influences the content of those substances in your pool.
It’s quite unpleasant and even dangerous to walk barefoot on a slippery and dirty deck. Besides, you’ll carry all the germs, debris, grease and other stuff into the water, polluting it and making you conduct the cleaning procedures even more often. Moreover, various stains and spots on the pool’s surround may ruin its glamorous and shiny look.
The most effective way to clean the pool’s deck is power washing. You may buy an according machine or even rent it from pretty much any home improvement shop.
Before you start power washing, sweep all the dust and leaves from the deck not to spread that rubbish all over the surface later on. Then, take your machine and start removing weather spots and other stains by spraying water all over the deck. Keep the washer’s nozzle 2-3 feet away from it to be safe.
Major annual inspection and cleaning
It’s necessary to book a visit of a qualified expert from pool service at least once or twice a year, even if you’re sure that everything is all right. But, you should ask a professional to see if all devices and equipment in your pool function properly, if there’re any leaks, unwanted smells or any other problems to fix. Of course, you or a pool guy you’ve employed are able to take proper care of the pool, but sometimes we can’t detect small issues before they develop into serious problems. So, it’s better to be proactive and conduct regular check-ups (just like going to the dentist two times a year).
Quick and easy tricks
- Don’t let your dogs swim in pool to keep it clean for longer periods
- Check the chemical levels after pool parties and clean the water by adding ordinary baking soda
- Check out pool maintenance services to get professional assistance and supplement your own cleaning efforts
- Throw a tennis ball into the pool to let its fibers soak up any oils like fake tan, hair products, sun cream and natural oils our body produces.
- Purchase a cover to protect your pool in the winter time or during bad weather conditions
- Keep water a little bit cooler (around 80-82 degrees) to save electricity or consider using solar-powered heaters for pools.
- Caulk the cracks on pool’s deck or tile using clear silicone to avoid water leaks