Whether you choose above-ground or in-ground, swimming pools are an expensive investment. If you’re going to put in the time and effort to create your personal paradise, it’s worth your while to get as much out of it as possible.
Crystal clear water doesn’t happen by accident or on its own. You’ll have help with built-in skimmers and filters, but most of the upkeep is on your shoulders. If you neglect your pool, the cleanup job can be time-consuming and expensive, and you’ll have to go a long time without using it.
Swimming pool maintenance is no small chore, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult chore, either. Follow our swimming pool maintenance guide to make your backyard the place to be when the sun comes out.
Swimming Pool Maintenance Chores
There’s a lot to juggle when it comes to maintaining a ready-to-use pool. To make it simple, keep track of a cleaning and maintenance schedule breaking down daily and weekly chores.
You should be checking your pool every day during the busy season. It’s crucial to keep equipment and supplies on hand to test and treat your pool as needed. Have these essential tools ready to clean your pool:
- Net skimmer
- Scrub brush
- Pool vacuum
- Water testing kits
- Chlorine tablets
Let’s look at the basic tasks that will keep your pool ready to use.
Your skimmers will take care of debris like leaves, twigs, and bugs, but they can’t handle everything that falls in your pool.
Keeping your pool clear of toys and other items when it’s not in use is a critical safety habit to protect your filters. At a certain point, you’ll have to skim your pool to get rid of excess leaves and debris before they sink to the bottom. Checking your pool daily and skimming as needed will keep you from having to scrub broken-down organic gunk from the bottom of your pool.
If you’re keeping up with your daily pool skimming, you won’t have to scrub your pool walls and floors as often. Scrub when you see algae buildup, but otherwise, you only need to do it once every 1-2 weeks.
After scrubbing, vacuum your pool to suck up any sunken debris that could dirty the pool. Be sure to clear out the filter after you finish. For a new level of convenience, consider investing in a hands-free robotic pool vacuum to do the hard work for you.
By making a habit out of skimming, scrubbing, and vacuuming, you won’t have to rely as much on chemicals to battle cloudy, unbalanced water.
Performing a water test at least once a week is the key to a safe and sanitary swimming pool. A test strip will tell you everything you need to know through these key measurements:
- Free chlorine
- Cyanuric acid
A collection of stabilizing chemicals will allow you to keep your levels in check. You can handle many causes of imbalances before they start with proper chlorination.
Make sure you add new chlorine tablets weekly and super-chlorinate, or shock, your pool when needed.
Some pool owners shock their pool once a week to get their pool back to normal. You may not choose to do so for your pool, but don’t hesitate to shock your pool if it’s getting murky or starting to smell like chlorine. It’s usually necessary to shock your pool after a heavy storm or a big party.
Keeping your skimmer baskets clear will maintain your pool’s circulation and take the pressure off your chemicals. Check and empty your baskets every week to stop debris from sitting too long, breaking down, and clogging the system.
After clearing your skimmers, you’ll need to go a bit further and clear your pool filter.
For sand or diatomaceous earth systems, you should backwash your pool filter weekly to clear debris clogging the system. Flush the system after scrubbing and vacuuming the pool. Cartridge filters can go a couple of weeks before needing a cleaning under typical circumstances.
Clear the Pool Deck
Don’t forget to clean the pool deck while you’re out refreshing the water. Leaves and algae create an unsafe walking surface, and buildup will naturally transfer to the water.
Sweep your deck and hose it down as needed. Pressure wash it every 1-2 years to get rid of deep inset dirt, mold, and algae.
What to Watch
Swimming pool maintenance opportunities aren’t always obvious. Dirt, bugs, algae, and leaves stick out like a sore thumb, but there’s more to healthy water than keeping out debris.
During your daily pool checkup, pay attention to your circulation and your water level. Even if you keep up with regular testing and treatment, poor circulation and improper water levels can make the job more difficult for you and your filter systems.
Good water circulation prevents algae from finding places to thrive. Normally, your return jets will be pumping out a strong, steady stream to indicate the water’s moving.
A noticeable decline in power means you’ll have to check your skimmer for clogs. You may also notice high filter pressure, which can indicate a deeper backup in the system. Contact a swimming pool maintenance contractor if you face consistent pressure issues.
Some areas of the pool may be prone to poor circulation, such as around ladders. If you’re dealing with a recurring algae buildup in certain spots, consider changing your return jets to reach them.
There’s a Goldilocks zone for your pool’s water level that ensures your filter operates as it should and resists wear. Your pool level should be about halfway up the skimmer.
If you have too little water, your pump will run dry and risk getting damaged. When it’s too high, your skimmer won’t be effective at filtering debris. Drain your pool down to normal levels after heavy rain, and refill it with a garden hose after a long day of splashing around.
Talk to a Swimming Pool Maintenance Consultant
Pool systems are complicated, but these swimming pool maintenance tips will make life easy when it comes time to care for yours. With the right supplies and discipline in your routine, you’ll keep your family happy and costly pool repairs at bay.
The most crucial part of pool maintenance is knowing when you need help. If your pool issues have you stumped, our service experts at Sahara Construction and Custom Pools will get your backyard escape back up and running in no time. Contact us to schedule a maintenance and cleaning appointment today.