Tips for Home Pool Maintenance
With warmer summer weather just around the corner, many homeowners have started to turn their attention towards backyard BBQs, festive gatherings, and pool parties that quickly turn into neighborhood legends. Before you invite all of your friends over and pull that pool cover off for the first time this season, there are a number of important things you'll want to keep in mind regarding maintenance.
You Can Never Do Enough Skimming
Everyone knows that if you wake up in the morning and see that leaves have built up on the surface of your pool from the night before, it's time to break out the skimmer before you take a dip. However, many people don't realize that skimming is absolutely something that should be done daily - at a minimum.
If you let too much debris build up on your pool even when you're not using it, you could be throwing off the delicate pH balance that keeps that water looking pristine. You'll also have the added benefit of preventing algae from building up on the sides of the pool, which can save you hours of scrubbing later on.
Chemicals, Chemicals, Chemicals
The fact that your pool needs chlorine is common sense. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, there are actually six different chemical levels that you need to concern yourself with if you want to keep levels consistent and the water looking terrific. These include:
- Cyanuric Acid — A chemical that helps prevent harsh sunlight from neutralizing your chlorine.
- Free Chlorine — Helps to sanitize the water.
- Calcium Hardness — Maintaining an appropriate balance here helps prevent physical damage to your pool walls.
- Overall Alkalinity — Helps to maintain your pH balance.
- Acidity and Alkalinity — Also maintains your pH balance and prevents irritation when people hop in on a warm day.
It's Not All About the Water
Sure, water quality is arguably the most important part of your pool, but it's also just one small part of a much larger story. To truly take control over your home pool maintenance, you'll need to inspect every aspect of your pool on a regular basis.
This includes any vinyl liner, which you should always check for holes and tears after gatherings. If you see any repairs that need to be made, make them as soon as possible to help prevent a small problem from getting much worse (and much more expensive) over time. If you have a gunite pool, make sure that you check for any cracks throughout the season and, if you find them, call in the professionals as soon as you can.
The same goes for fiberglass pools, but with a bit of a twist. Hairline cracks are nothing to be concerned with — such is the nature of fiberglass. However, if you happen to spot a major crack or some other type of significant physical damage, call not just a pool specialist but one that specializes in fiberglass pools in particular. This is absolutely not something you're going to want to leave to chance. Make sure you get these types of issues taken care of as soon as you can and don't let anyone swim in your pool until you do.
Owning a pool is incredibly rewarding, but that doesn't mean you aren't looking at a certain amount of "give and take" in terms of maintenance. So long as you take small, but frequent actions like the ones listed above, you'll be well on your way to guaranteeing that your pool stays in great shape all throughout the summer months and beyond.