Safe Splashing: Pool Maintenance Dos and Don’ts
People love spending the summer poolside, but that time can be soured by dirty water and slippery surfaces. Every pool needs to be properly cared for so it’s hygienically safe and ready for cannonballs, deep dives, and splish-splashing. To guarantee yours is up-to-par, follow these pool maintenance dos and don’ts.
DO: Start Things Off by Cleaning
Your pool likely has some wear and tear and a buildup of debris from the cooler times of the year. To fix it up and eliminate any gunk, you’ll want to kick maintenance off with skimming and scrubbing. That means removing things like branches and leaves with a pool net and polishing the sides of the pool. You should also clean your pool’s filter and let it run through a full cycle before adding any chemicals. Doing this gives it a refresh and preps it for maximum use and enjoyment.
DON’T: Neglect Testing Your Water Quality
Chemicals are the key to maintaining a clean and safe pool all summer long. Without the proper balance, bacteria can form in the water and cause illness. This is why you should check your pool’s water quality at least once a week. Purchase a pool test kit and review the numbers for things like chlorine and pH levels. The former is measured by the unit parts per million (ppm), which focuses on the concentration of chlorine in the water. Levels should stay between one to three ppm. The latter should stay between 7.4-7.6, as an off-balance pH level can lead to a buildup of calcium around the pool and other issues. If chlorine levels are too high, you can reduce them by heating the pool up with sunlight exposure or raising the temperature on a heated unit. For levels too low, simply add chlorine in tablet or powder form as needed.
DO: Maintain Appropriate Water Levels
Because low water levels can cause your pool’s pump to burn up or run dry, you should use a pool skimmer to check how much water is in your pool from time to time. A good barometer for safe levels is the halfway point of the cleaning tool, with reason to be concerned if your pool runs significantly higher or lower. If levels are too high, drain your pool and measure until it’s low enough. If levels are too low, pump water until you get to the desired amount. It’s especially important to check levels after a storm or significant usage, as these events can cause noticeable rises and dips.
DON’T: Forget About What You Can’t See
Plenty of potential pool issues can sneak past the naked eye—one of the most notable being microscopic algae. Buildup can lead to green water and slimy surfaces, but growth can be avoided with the consistent use of algaecide. By adding some to your pool on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, your water will stay perfectly blue and make diving in an easy decision.
DO: Take Closing Seriously
As summer winds down and temperatures head towards a cooldown, you’ll want to safely secure your pool for the winter. This means running through a checklist similar to the one you would for summer prep. That list should include:
- Checking chemical and water levels
- Filtering the pool
- Cleaning the inside of the pool
- Cleaning chairs, appliances, and landscaping around the pool
- Removing any unnecessary accessories to protect from freezing
- Covering up the pool tightly to avoid debris and buildup
DON’T: Be Afraid to Get Professional Help
If taking care of your pool is overwhelming or you’d like to confirm everything is in tip-top shape, it’s never a bad idea to call a professional. There are plenty of companies ready and willing to clean out your pool area and make sure you have the right equipment. A professional tune-up could extend the lifespan of your pool and help you avoid costly repairs, allowing you to enjoy your swimming space without the worry.
Take Care of Your Grill, Too
Nothing says summer quite like hanging out at the pool and grilling some delicious food. Give your barbecues just as much care as your pool parties by reading our article “Grill Maintenance 101.” In it, we give you all the best tips and tricks to make sure everything’s ready to go before, during, and after grilling season.