If you have a swimming pool in your yard, or are thinking about having one installed, it’s important to know how to keep it clean and maintained. Not properly taking care of your pool will quickly leave you with a grimy, unsafe mess instead of a relaxing spot. However, with some easy pool maintenance, you can get back to sunbathing and swimming laps in no time.

Safety First

A lot of pool maintenance has to do with chemicals that can be harmful to people and animals if mishandled, so first we’ll go over some basic safety precautions.

Always read the instructions for proper use for the chemicals you will be handling. Many can irritate or damage your skin and eyes and can be fatal if enough is ingested.

Safely store all chemicals in a place that is away from children and pets, and store according to any instructions on the label. Keep chemicals away from moisture and flame.

Wear protective gear like rubber gloves and goggles when handling abrasive chemicals. If you get any dangerous chemicals on your skin, rinse with cool water for 15 minutes and call a physician. Remove and clean any clothing that get chemicals on them as soon as possible.

Follow all dosage instructions on chemical labels. Use clean, dry measuring equipment, and rinse them after use.

Do not mix the chemicals together before adding them to the pool. Don’t mix household or other kinds of chemicals together with pool chemicals.

Safely dispose of waste chemicals and empty containers. Some should not be thrown out with the normal trash. Don’t return spilled chemical to its container or add water to the container, since this will contaminate the chemicals. Don’t reuse chemical containers. When you close your pool for the season, discard unused chemicals according to local ordinance rather than leaving it to sit for months.

General Maintenance

To keep your pool in the best shape possible, establish a weekly routine. Check the pH and chlorine levels and do regular shock treatments. Especially check for unbalanced water after storms, extreme temperatures, or lots of swimmers, and keep an eye out for algae, murky water, odors, or discomfort after swimming.

Balance the Pool

Beside pH, you also need to check the balance of your pool’s alkalinity and calcium hardness. If unbalanced, metal can corrode and plaster can become damaged. Balanced water also helps keep grime, stains, and murkiness from forming. Kits for checking pool water balance are available that will have instructions for how to determine the levels, usually with colored indicators.

Chlorinate the Pool

Chlorine keeps your pool sanitary by reducing bacteria and algae growth. The chlorine levels should fall between 1 to 4 ppm. There are several ways to introduce more chlorine to your pool, including using tabs, liquid, or granules. Slow-dissolving tablets are easy to use because they are pre-measured. Liquid chlorine is similar to liquid bleach and is easy to use, but has a shorter shelf-life than tabs or granules. Granules are multipurpose products that perform several functions at once by introducing several kinds of chemicals.

Shocking the Pool

You need to shock your pool every week to remove contaminants and prevent many issues like cloudiness, odor, and irritation. Basic shock products kill bacteria and break down human contaminants like lotions, cosmetics, perspiration, etc. Multifunctional shock products kill bacteria and contaminants while also balancing pH and adding protection from algae and other problems. Shock treatments for your pool maintenance tend to be fast acting, allowing you to get back into the pool in under an hour.

Algae Treatments

Algae can grow quickly, making your pool cloudy, clogging up the filters, and producing an unsafe swimming environment. If you have problems with algae even after keeping regular maintenance, don’t fret. There are plenty of products that target algae and kill it off quickly. Some algaecides are general and work on all kinds, but some are targeted towards certain types. The most common kind of algae in pools is green algae, and you can easily find chemicals that target it directly.

Clean the Pool

During peak swimming season, you should skim debris out of the pool and clean out skimmer baskets daily. On a weekly basis, you should test the water for chemical balances and clean the walls and floor. Use dedicated cleaners, brushes, and vacuums for use on the pool, and cover all areas thoroughly. When using a pool vacuum, keep the head under water at all times when it’s on. When you’re done with cleaning, hose down the area, angling the spray away from the pool.

If you perform regular maintenance on your home pool, you will have a clean, clear, and safe area to relax in during the warmer months of the year. If you have further questions about pool maintenance, feel free to ask us at Complete Home Protection.