Having a swimming pool in your home is a great way to beat the searing summer heat. There's nothing like diving into a clean, crystal clear water. However, there is some maintenance you need to perform to ensure it stays that way. And let's be honest, most of us have been putting off scrubbing our pools because it's quite a daunting task and not as fun as swimming in it. Just the mere thought of it is enough to tire and bore us.
Keep in mind though that a pool that's been unattended or stagnant for a long time without circulation, cleaning, and chemicals will not last long. If you don't' clean and maintain it properly on a regular basis, you will wake up one day with a pool that's unswimmable. They become mossy green within weeks, mosquitoes and frogs will call it home within months, and its surfaces will start to decline if not given proper cleanup for too long.
Hiring a pool company to the job for you can set you back on your budget, and most of these companies will not be honest with you. Read this pool service companies secrets list to know what they don't want you to know with regards to pool cleanup.
Fortunately, you can revive and restore your pool yourself easily these days with the help of automatic pool cleaners. Aside from keeping it safe for you and your family to swim, maintaining your pool on your own can also save you money in the long run.
Should I Drain My Pool?
If you have a gunite pool, you may need to acid wash and drain it to get the best possible result. Draining fiberglass and vinyl type pools entirely come with a bit of risk. When the water is removed from a vinyl pool, its liners will relax, and if it's really old, draining it will result in the liners shrinking and snapping. On the other hand, fiberglass pools are lightweight, and when water is drained completely, its shell may slightly shift or even pop off the ground.
It is advisable to drain your pool if the water is very poor and looked like a swamp. You'll have to undergo a long process to revive it and may cost you hundreds of dollars in pool chemicals. It will clear ultimately, but it will still carry harmful organic matters which will make it harder to prevent algae problems in the future.
You also need to drain your pool if there are plenty of stains surrounding it. Neglecting your pool for a long time can result in it soaking up deposits and stains quickly. You can restore its finish by acid washing it which will strip away a little layer of its plaster to expose the fresh one underneath. Another reason to drain is when there's a need to replenish the pool liners or make improvements on the fiberglass.
Essential Tools For Pool Cleanup
Before starting on your cleaning project, make sure you have the necessary tools and equipment in place. The whole process will be easier for you if you have the pool cleaning tools handy. Here's a checklist for you:
- Pool brush. This is for scrubbing the floors and walls of your pool to get rid of algae and remove dirt.
- Skimming net. One of the tools that you'll regularly use. It'll let you gather debris and dirt such as hair and leaves that have accumulated on the below and on the surface of the water.
- Telescopic pole. You can attach all sorts of pool cleaning accessories here including skimming net, pool brush, and vacuum cleaners.
Do an inventory in your storage first and check what you already have to see if they're still good for use or needs to be replaced. And then jot down those that are missing and what you need to buy.
Manual Vacuum Vs Automatic Pool Cleaners
It is recommended to vacuum your pool every other day. However, manual vacuuming will require a lot of time and effort from you especially if you have to clean after a storm. It can be handy at times, but an automatic pool cleaner can make the whole cleanup process a breeze and will make your life easier.
There are three types of pool cleaners: robotic pool cleaner, suction side cleaner, and pressure side cleaner. Suction side cleaners are not advisable since they tend to suck up rocks and this is not good for the filtration system of your pool. Pressure side cleaners, on the other hand, is attached to your pool filtration system's return jet, and then you place it in a detachable bag. However, you still have to do a bit of filtering.
The most efficient type is the robotic pool cleaner. These machines can do all the hard work for you while you sit back and relax. It's a convenient, self-contained small machine that goes around your pool and sucks up dirt and debris. You can simply watch it do its thing while sipping a cold cocktail by the poolside. It's that simple.
The price is its drawback though, as this innovative pool cleaning equipment comes with a higher price tag than a manual vacuum. Repairs in case something goes wrong can also be costly so make sure to purchase one with a good warranty. But overall, its convenience and efficiency overshadows its price tag.
Maintaining Your Pool
Maintaining a pool will require a bit of work from you. Aside from cleaning it regularly, you also have to check its chemical levels at least three times a week. It may sound overwhelming, but it's necessary to keep your pool clean and safe for the whole family to use. Here's how to properly maintain it:
- Skim your pool's surface using a skimming net. It is recommended to do this every day. Attach it to a telescopic pole before starting.
- When you've removed all the dirt and debris, use a pool brush to clean the sides of your pool and its ladder. Do this every week. Make sure to attach it to a telescopic pole as well.
- Vacuum your pool using either a manual or automatic pool cleaner. You may save some money on the side with a manual vacuum, but automatic ones can save you time and enables you to do other stuff while it does all the cleaning.
- Make sure to read the manufacturer's manual first. Vacuuming your pool is just like what you'd do with your carpet. Move it across the bottom of your pool and stay longer in dirtier spots. Do this at least once a week.
- Manage the chemicals and test the water pH level of your pool, it should be around 7.2 to 7.6. pH testers are easily available in your local supermarket.
- Adjust chemicals if necessary.
- Ensure that the area surrounding the pool filter is free from grime and debris.
- Consider adding sanitizing chlorine tablets to kill all kinds of bacteria in the pool water.