Lyon Financial

Keep it Clean!: Tips & Tricks for DIY Pool Maintenance

We love pools. There is no better way to say it. We love the way they sparkle in the sunlight and the way they welcome us into the weekend. We love planning the simple BBQ and those rustic, yet elegant poolside celebrations – from weddings to graduation parties.

Whether you welcome friends and neighbors to drop in any time or desire to keep that little piece of paradise to yourself, backyard pools are one of the single best things you can do for your family. Not to mention for your home’s value and for the pure aesthetics a pool brings to that open plot of land behind your home.

If you enjoy tending a rose or an herb garden, you know there’s a lot more to it than admiring your handiwork from the kitchen window. Flowering blooms and fragrant basil sprigs are the result of careful tending. They are not “set it and forget it” scenarios. You need to remain passionate about their maintenance. Too much fertilizer or too little water will likely result in an epic fail.

If you’ve never had a pool in your backyard, the number one thing people complain about is the upkeep. It’s not as much about the price, as pool installation costs are more reasonable, because installation methods have become more efficient over the years. The timeframe is also reasonable considering the scope of work involved.

But it’s still the maintenance part that can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

Easy Pool Maintenance

Your first step is to do some research. Consult with your pool contractor, your neighbors, and your local pool supply company to get the names of companies which they recommend to keep your pool in top condition. If you get names from contractors and service providers, ask them to give you references so you may get feedback from their clients. As you would with a financial advisor and your portfolio, we recommend seriously vetting anyone who will be maintaining your investment.

Your budget will certainly be the deciding factor, but depending on your lifestyle and the time you have to devote to these tasks, spending money on a resource to do this work may be worth every penny.

However, unless you receive an outstanding rating from every reference, you may not want to sign up for a full year service contract. There might be a cost break with an annual commitment, but it may be better to pay a little more than to be tied to an ineffectual professional for twelve months. Giving a pool maintenance resource a trial period is recommended.

DIY Pool Maintenance

If hiring a “pool person” is something you can’t afford or don’t care to do, then it’s time to divvy up the work. In the ideal world, all responsible adults in the house should participate. If they use the pool, then they’re on the pool care roster!

Even the family members too young to be handling chemicals, etc. can make sure to bring their towels to the laundry room or stow their toys in the shed at the end of the day. When everyone commits to making it a community effort, it lends to pride of ownership. Participation also teaches responsibility. And that way mom doesn’t have to “do everything.” And children get early lessons on working for something so they appreciate it more.

Tips for a Cleaner Pool

In your home’s HVAC systems, the only maintenance you should practice is the preventative kind. If you inspect things like your:

  • Windows for caulking
  • Smoke alarms for batteries
  • Filters for inside air quality
  • Air conditioning for seasonal upkeep

… you’ll be ahead of the curve before any bigger issues happen that are always more expensive to repair. Home experts generally suggest selecting a major holiday weekend as the one to execute certain tasks, like changing smoke alarm batteries every Memorial Day, or some date easy to remember.

For your pool care and maintenance, the same is true. A simple calendar by your home’s back door will keep everyone on track.

Besides shapes and styles there are several pool types that require unique treatments. Your pool may be a chlorine pool, a saltwater pool, or a UV pool so be absolutely certain to maintain it depending on manufacturer-suggested steps as detailed by your pool contractor.

The following are the simple to execute but easy to forget tips for a cleaner pool by Home Instructions:

  1. Skim regularly

Skim your pool on a regular basis. How often depends on how much debris normally falls into your pool; but don’t put it off — even on the days the pool is not being used. Get in the habit of checking the skimmer basket every time you use the leaf rake. Don’t let it overflow or sit for hours full to the top with debris. Doing so leads to poor water circulation which gives algae a foothold.

  1. Test the water

Pool water needs to be tested a minimum of two to three times per week. If your pool sees a lot of use you might have to test it every day. This is because pools that are used more frequently are more subject to chemical imbalance than pools that are used less often.

Suntan lotion, tanners and other chemicals increase the chemical levels in your pool water when more people use your pool. That’s why it’s so easy to end up with cloudy water after a pool party.

  1. Brush and vacuum

How often you have to vacuum your pool and brush the sides will depend on how often the pool is used. Some pools only need weekly vacuuming while others need it done every other day. If you see leaves or other debris at the bottom of the pool it is definitely time to vacuum.

Some folks like to get in the pool while they vacuum. This is a fun way to get the task done. If you do this, bring an algae brush with you. If you have had algae in the past, brush the sides where it occurred even if you see nothing there.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Pool Maintenance

  • Don’t forget about shocking your pool. It is not just something you do at the end and at the beginning of the season. It should be done throughout the season, especially if your pool gets high usage and you allow your pets to swim too.
  • This is one of six interesting tips for some surprising pool maintenance tricks from Home
    • Toss in a tennis ball. Suntan lotion and sun block often end up in the pool after they’re applied to a swimmer, and these substances can make the pool dirty quite quickly. Throwing a standard tennis ball into the pool to float for a while will suck up all those extra oils and chemicals that don’t belong in the pool. It’s fine to leave the tennis ball floating in the pool at all times.

The sunny, bottom line is – putting in a little time will yield a lifetime of family fun.

Lyon Financial loves the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.