There are few things worse than suiting up, applying some SPF, and heading outside only to discover that your once shimmering pool now looks more like a swamp. Even Gator fans will tell you that this is definitely no bueno.
If it’s gotten this bad, you may be asking yourself why you ever wanted a pool in the first place. But as my good friend Peter once told me, “With a great pool, comes great responsibility.” So it’s time to talk about setting up a basic pool maintenance schedule.
When putting together a maintenance plan for your pool, there are four critical components that must be addressed at least once per week, if not every day.
The simplest place to start your regular maintenance is skimming the surface of your pool. This is usually done with a skimmer, which is basically a net on a long pole that allows you to clean leaves and any other debris off of the water surface.
It’s important to keep in mind that skimming is the easiest way to remove debris from your pool especially if your pool is screen-protected. Getting the leaves out while they are still on the surface is much easier than removing them once they sink to the pool floor. For that reason alone, it’s worth it to skim your pool as often as possible.
The next step is to break out the pool vacuum and clean the sides and bottom of your pool. This will allow you to remove anything that you weren’t able to catch with a skimmer that has since sunk to the floor. Vacuuming will also help to keep algae and other [gross] bacteria from building up on the sides and bottom of your pool.
The third (and my personal favorite) step in your maintenance program should be to make sure that the chemicals you’re using in your pool are at their proper levels. After you have properly put on your mad scientist costume*, it’s time to take your test kit to test a sample of the pool water. These test kits will tell you which chemicals you need more or less of based on the color of the test water. Chemicals can be very tricky, so you will definitely want to go over your specific plan with an expert at your local pool supply store.
*Costume is optional.
4. Water Level
The final aspect of a basic pool maintenance program is to make sure that there is enough, but not too much, water in the pool. If the water is less than halfway up the filter inlet, you’ll need to add more to ensure that the filter can continue doing its job. If the water level gets too high, as can happen often after several days of storms, simply grab a bucket and bail out some of the water.
Share the Responsibility
For many homeowners, even this basic maintenance plan can become more than they bargained for when they first signed up to be a pool owner. Daily and weekly pool maintenance is often times overlooked when home buyers envision life with their new pool.
If doing your own pool maintenance just isn’t for you, then I fully support your decision to own a personal swamp.
Actually, no I don’t. But I do recommend hiring a responsible pool professional to handle everything for you.
As with any other professional you hire to work around your house, you’ll want to check references and make sure you are hiring someone reliable with a proven track record who will also keep you informed as to what steps they are taking to keep your pool exactly how you always pictured!