Swimming pools are a common staple in California backyards and provide homeowners with a convenient retreat to and get some relief from the hot sun. But like any other component of a home, they need regular maintenance and upkeep.
If you’ve got a pool or are thinking of installing one, there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to maintaining it. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of tasks that you’ll want to get familiar with in order to ensure your pool is always in perfect condition for a dip.
1. Skim Debris
You’re going to have to get used to skimming your pool’s surface because this important task should ideally be done every day. This is especially important if you’ve got large overhanging trees that drop leaves in the water at all times. And heavier, denser objects that might make their way in the pool water can eventually sink, which will make them harder to remove and is why daily skimming is a good idea (unless you’ve got a pool cover).
By tackling this task every day, you can effectively boost the pool’s circulation system’s efficiency and reduce how hard it has to work.
2. Clean Out Baskets
The baskets are eventually where pool debris will end up if you haven’t skimmed them out. Depending on how much debris falls into the pool water, you could find full baskets every time you check on them. You’d be surprised what can make its way in there. Even dog hair can accumulate (if you’ve got a furry friend who’s fond of swimming) if you don’t clean out this basket on a regular basis.
Consider cleaning out the basket a couple of times a week – or more if required. If there are smaller particles that won’t become dislodged when shaking out the basket, take a hose to it to really get it clean.
3. Vacuum and Brush the Pool Walls and Floor
Heavier debris that makes its way to the bottom of the pool, algae, and calcium deposits can all accumulate. That’s where vacuuming and brushing can be really effective. Depending on the exact type of material that your pool’s interior is made out of, you’ll want to make sure that you use the right tools so you don’t damage the pool’s interior. The right equipment will also ensure a more effective cleaning job.
Stiff brushes are best suited for plaster-lined pools while softer brushes are better for fiberglass, vinyl, or tile pool walls. Be sure to add this to your list of weekly chores.
4. Check the Pool Chemistry
In order to make sure your pool water is sanitary and safe for swimming in, you’ll want to check the chemistry of the pool about once a week. A proper pH level should be around 7.2. The higher the pH level is, the less effective chlorine becomes. By keeping your chemical levels in proper rages, you won’t need to add as much chlorine to keep the water clean.
5. Keep an Eye on Water Levels
If your location experiences a major downpour of rain, you might notice your pool’s water level is a bit high, which will interfere with how well the skimmer works. On the other hand, a string of hot days or plenty of roughhousing in the pool can cause water levels to reduce, which can damage the pump. Whether you pump some water out or pour some back in, take steps to ensure the water level goes back to where it should be.
6. Keep Your Chlorine Generator Functional
If you have a salt-water pool, then you’ll likely have a chlorine generator. This unit is responsible for producing chlorine so you don’t have to keep messing around with the chemical. It’s important for the cell to be kept clean and the water chemistry to maintain proper pH levels.
7. Clean Out the Filter
Your pool’s filter needs to be cleared out on a regular basis. This component plays an extremely important role in keeping the pool water clean. When the pool water is filtered, dirty water makes its way through the filter’s pipes and ends up at the water distribution head within the tank.
Any tiny particles will be caught by the filter. Depending on how often the pool is used and how harsh the outside elements are, the filter will have to be changed as needed. The dirtier your filter is, the harder it will have to work and the less effective it will be at keeping your pool water clean.
8. Have the Heater Professionally Serviced
If your pool is heated, it may need to be serviced from time to time. This isn’t really a DIY type of job and should be left to the experts to deal with. The only thing you need to do here is keep tabs on it to make sure it’s operational. If you notice any signs of problems, call the pros to have the heater serviced.
9. Caulk Cracks
As your pool ages, its structure and the hardscaping around it might start to show signs of cracking. If you notice any cracks, be sure to seal them up right away with caulk. Any water that makes its way into these cracks and under the surrounding deck can cause problems down the line.
The Bottom Line
Having a swimming pool and keeping it in pristine condition requires some work. But if you set up a schedule and tackle it a little bit at a time, it shouldn’t have to be a major ordeal. It’ll all be worth it in the end when you’re relaxing by the cool, clean, crystal waters of your very own pool.