Category: Pool Care

taking care of a pool

Seasonal Pool Care: A Guide on Taking Care of a Pool Year Round

Did you know that there are over 10 million residential pools in the United States? And while they provide hours of recreation for the family, they also require yearlong maintenance. 

Whether you have a pool or you’re thinking of installing one, constantly taking care of a pool can seem like a daunting task.

But it doesn’t have to be. Read on for our guide on seasonal pool care!

Taking Care of a Pool During Winter

Winter maintenance will vary depending on your climate.

If you live in a place that has a risk of freezing temperatures, then you’ll need to close the pool for the winter months.

If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll experience a freeze, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Frozen water will damage pool equipment which can result in expensive repairs.

About 10 days before you plan to close your pool, begin testing and adjusting the pool water to balance pH levels, chlorine, water hardness, etc. 

Next, remove any pool attachments like ladders and diving boards. You’ll want to use a soft brush that’s approved for your pool’s finish surface to gently scrub all the interior walls and the floor.

While you likely won’t need to drain your pool completely (unless you live in a severe winter climate) then you’ll just need to drain the water to a few inches past the skimmer. This prevents water from getting into the filter pump or other equipment.

Drain the water processing equipment thoroughly. Make sure there isn’t any debris on the pool surface or underwater.

And finally, put your winter pool cover in place.

Pool Maintenance During Spring

When the temperatures rise and it’s time to take off that winter pool cover, make sure to clean the dust and debris that have probably collected there over the winter months.

You can use a broom, leaf blower, or other gentle tools. After removing the cover, use a hose or spray washer to clean it, allow it to dry completely (if it isn’t completely dry it will mold), then store it in a dry place for the warm months.

Now before you jump in, you need to adjust your water pH levels and treat any potential bacteria growth. Using a chlorine booster treatment will kill any algae that might have grown over the winter.

Then scrub the walls, raise the water level, turn on the filtration equipment and jump in!

Keep in mind, the spring maintenance process can take about a week at the most.

Summer Pool Checklist

The summer maintenance is relatively easy. Make sure that whenever the pool is being used, that the debris net is also being used. The less debris the fewer bacteria.

Every week clean out your strainer baskets and use your pool vacuum as regularly as is recommended. Test the pop-up nozles monthly. Regularly brush the sides and floor of your pool.

During heavy usage, it’s important to monitor pH levels. Check chlorine, alkalinity, and other particle levels weekly.

Run your pump according to recommended guidelines

Fall Pool Care Guide

If you’ve got any kind of leafy plant in your yard, then your biggest fall maintenance will be skimming. You may even have to skim debris every day.

It’s important to make sure that falling leaves don’t clog your filtration equipment because that can result in extensive repairs.

If you live near the coast, then be sure to have everything you need to protect your pool during the hurricane season.

Now What?

Don’t let taking care of a pool scare you away from enjoying the fun they offer. It’s easy as long as you maintain a proper schedule.

Now that you know how to maintain a residential pool, you’re well on your way to getting the most out of it. 

Contact us today for a free consultation on a custom pool installation in your backyard!

pool maintenance

Just Keep Swimming: 5 Pool Maintenance Tips You Should Follow

There are around 10.4 million pools in residential homes in the United States. You’ll spend most of your time having fun in your pool, but there’s also some swimming pool maintenance that you have to do occasionally.

Whether or not you hire someone to service your pool, you’ll probably still have to put in some work to keep things running smoothly.

Here are five pool maintenance tips you should follow.

1. Skimming is a Part of Pool Maintenance

Remove debris from your pool as needed throughout the week with a skimmer to consistently maintain a clean pool. You can also invest in a robot vacuum cleaner that will be able to get and clean those hard to reach areas of the bottom of your pool.

2. Don’t Forget to Brush Your Pool

Brushing your pool may seem like a tedious task, but it’ll help prevent the potential buildup of algae around the sides of your pool. You’ll want to complete this maintenance task around every other week to keep your pool looking the best it can.

If this task seems like too much work, or you simply don’t have the time to do it, remember that a professional pool service can come out and help you regularly brush down your pool.

3. Cleaning the Pool Filter

You’ll need to clean out the filter baskets around once a week. These filters should be running around six hours every day to pick up any impurities. Turn off the filtration system and take off the cap that covers the filter. This will reveal the plastic basket that needs cleaning.

Then, just dump and shake out any of the debris that gets caught in the basket during circulation. To make sure the basket is really clean, you’ll need to use a hose to spray out any stuck debris.

4. Maintaining the Chemicals and pH Levels

One of the main ways you can keep the pool a healthy place for your family to have fun is to always maintain the chemicals and pH levels in the pool.

Take a pH testing strip and submerge it into the water. This will change the color of the strip. You’ll match up the color to the kit to figure out the alkaline levels. The alkaline levels should stay around 7.2 to 7.8.

Other chemicals that you’ll need to maintain are chlorine, calcium hardness, acidity, and cyanuric acid. Test these levels every week or every other week so that they don’t get too out of balance.

5. Check Out Your Water Level

Keep an eye out on the water level in your pool after heavy rainfall. Also, be aware of changing water levels is if your family had a large get together with many hours spent in the pool splashing around. Both of these things can lead to too much or too little water in your pool.

You can easily fill a pool that’s too low with a garden hose. You can invest in a pump that you can submerge in the water to drain any excess water. You can also rent one of these pumps or have a professional pool service company do it for you.

Keep Your Pool Running Smoothly

Proper pool maintenance makes sure that your pool always functions as it should and ensures a good pool for your family to enjoy for years to come.

Sahara Construction and Custom Pools will help you design and construct your dream custom pool and outdoor area.

Continue reading through our articles for more tips and information about how to best care for your pool.

Preparing Your Pool for a Hurricane

With Hurricane Harvey quickly approaching the Texas coast, and the Katy and overall Houston area anticipating heavy rainfall anywhere from 15-25+ inches, it’s time to do some hurricane pool preparation to protect your investment and get things back to normal quickly and easily.

Do NOT Drain Your Pool

First thing’s first… do NOT drain the pool. This applies before AND after the storm. Depending on the amount of rain or flash flooding that occurs in the area, your pool may overflow. Let it. The water in the pool will help to reinforce the walls and floor against any outside pressure caused by overly saturated ground.

Shock it Beforehand

Give your pool an extra dose of chlorine to “shock” it and let the system run for a few hours for good circulation. This will prep the pool for the extra rainwater. You’ll want to get it more toward a 7.2 pH level.

Clear the Pool Area of Items

As most people would naturally assume, clear the area of any patio furniture, floats, toys, etc. that could be damaged in the storm or find their way falling into the pool. If you can’t bring them inside, see if you can weight them down or move them to a more sheltered area, such as under a patio cover, close to an outside wall.

Cover at Your Own Risk

Depending on the severity of the storm, covering your pool to keep out debris could cause costly damage to the cover itself. In many respects it will be easier to simply remove any debris that enters your pool versus risk damaging an expensive pool cover.

Disconnect Power and Protect Your Pool Equipment

The easiest method would be finding the main breaker dedicated to the pool and turning it off. Once you have safely disconnected power, you can do a combination of things to protect your pool equipment. Use a waterproof wrap to cover your pool pump and any exposed equipment. If possible, you could remove your pump and bring it indoors to protect it from damage. If your pool’s pump is submerged in water, it could lead to permanent damage.

After the Storm Passes

Whether it’s a hurricane, tropical storm or just a major series of downpours, you’re going to be faced with some pool cleanup. You’re going to want to get started soon in order to avoid any potential staining due to debris and imbalances in the pool’s chemistry.

As stated above, leave the water in the pool. Also keep the power turned off to your pool equipment for the time being.

Next, start with any large pool debris, such as branches, leaves, your neighbor’s patio umbrella, etc. Use a leaf rake skimmer to get leaves and such off of the pool’s floor.

Dry Out Your Equipment before Turning Back On

Uncover your pool equipment and let it air dry for a day before restoring power to the system. If you removed your pump, go ahead and reinstall.

Once dry, turn the filter pump on and let it run for most of the day. It will take a few days to get everything nice and clear again. Backwash the filter as needed to keep things flowing efficiently.

Restore Chemical Balance and Add Chlorine

At this point, you can work to adjust the pH and other levels to get them back to their normal points. Check levels daily.

Another shock will be due to protect against the storm water. If your water is discolored due to dirt and debris, you can use a flocculant to draw the solids to the floor for vacuuming. A phosphate remover will also help counteract the effects of soil in a flooded pool.

Alternatively, you can have a professional come out and perform a thorough check of your pool equipment and begin treatment to restore normal operation.

Safety First

As with any major storm, the safety of you and your family and friends is the most important part. If you are uncomfortable or unsure of how to handle the preparation or clean up of your pool, especially with regard to the electrical equipment, consult a professional or experienced person to either guide you through the process in detail, or perform the work themselves.

Be safe out there!