When you buy a home with a pool, your mind may swirl with visions of summertime fun. But the amount of enjoyment you derive from your investment depends largely on how you care for it. You likely need to stock up on pool maintenance tips.
If you’re new to the world of pool maintenance, you have a lot to learn. Fortunately, most tasks aren’t challenging to master. Here are 10 tips that first-time homeowners can use for taking care of their pool.
1. Get Familiar With Your Equipment
In-ground pools have many moving parts, and even above-ground models have filters and pumps you need to maintain. Please take the time to review the owner’s manual.
If you bought a home with an existing pool, ask the previous owners which company they used for previous service calls. If not, ask your new neighbors for recommendations.
2. Learn About Algae
One of your biggest pool pests is recurrent algae. These aquatic organisms use light energy to make their own food, so all they need to flourish is a moist environment.
Most algae forms don’t flourish in a well-chlorinated pool, with one exception. Yellow algae are more resistant to chlorine and may require manual scrubbing and water changes to address.
3. Test the Waters
Unless your pool came drained, you’ll need to test the water for quality. You can purchase test kits inexpensively at nearly any big-box hardware store or, better yet, a specialty pool shop. Some facilities will show you how to perform the test in-house so you can keep up with routine testing by checking chlorine levels two to three times weekly.
4. Collect the Tools You Need
While at the supply store, make sure to pick up any tools you need if the previous owner didn’t leave you a full set. Look for the following items:
- Test strips
- Algae brush
- Manual vacuum
- Telescoping pole
- Surface cleaner
- Pool cover
When purchasing these items, choose quality over price. Doing so is a wise pool maintenance tip because, otherwise, you could find yourself making repeated store runs to replace surface-cleaning scrub brushes that keep shedding bristles.
5. Keep Your Filter Running
Although they bring pleasure and exercise opportunities galore to your life, swimming pools do cost electricity. Please don’t make the mistake of turning off your filter and forgetting — stagnant water can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Keep it running at all times, or use a timer if you must turn it off to cut costs.
6. Cover Yourself
If you live in the desert southwest, you know what a monsoon can do to your pool water. It transforms taking care of your pool into dealing with waters straight out of “Swamp Thing.” However, your pool can become a muddy mess from blowing dust anywhere you live in the country.
Invest in a pool cover to prevent excess dirt from getting into your water and filter. As a bonus, it keeps your water warmer, which is a concern if you live in a cooler climate.
7. Skim Out Debris
Even if you keep your pool covered while not in use, Mother Nature has a mind of her own when it comes to wind. One of the top pool maintenance tips is skimming leaves and other debris from your water as quickly as possible. Allowing it to accumulate can clog your filter and lead to costly repair bills.
8. Run Your Vacuum Cleaner
There isn’t much difference between taking care of a pool with your pool vac and using a standard model to clean your home. The principal distinction is that you must wait until the hose fills with water before you get suction so that this device can put its bristles to work scrubbing your pool’s walls and floor.
9. Tend to the Surrounding Surfaces
Leaving toys scattered poolside is an accident waiting to happen. Even if you don’t get injured when you fall, it’s no fun taking the plunge at 3 a.m. in your pajamas.
For safety’s sake, keep the area free of debris. Trim back all bushes and trees so you don’t accumulate a bunch of leaves and branches in your pool.
10. Shock It Once Per Week
Adding chlorine alone isn’t enough. You need to free that chemical to do its job of keeping down algae and other contaminants, which requires shock. You can pick up packages at nearly any store — your grocers may even stock them. Add a container to your pool once a week when you know you won’t use the water for a few hours.
Take Care of Your Pool With These 10 Tips
Taking care of your pool is vital if you want to enjoy your investment season after season. Keep yours clean with these pool maintenance tips, starting today!
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