Would you want to swim in a dirty pool filled with algae, bacteria, and floating leaves? Of course not! A clean swimming pool keeps your backyard sparkling and more inviting. Discover why it’s essential to clean your pool regularly to enjoy swimming and minimize health risks for your family.
In this guide, we’ll show you the strategies to keep your swimming pool clean. The good news is that cleaning a swimming pool is very simple and doesn’t require any expertise. Follow these instructions to minimize the dirt found in and around your pool:
- Clear leaves & debris
- Scrub the shell
- Clean the water
- Check the filters
- Enjoy your clean pool
Clear Leaves & Debris
Nothing is more disgusting than swimming in a pool full of debris like leaves, twigs, and dead bugs. Such contaminants will easily find their way into the pool when there are many trees around. If not removed, the debris can block the pool filters and damage the pool’s filtration system. Since leaves float on water, you can use a skimmer basket or leaf net to remove the debris. Skim the pool’s surface daily to prevent the trash from sinking to the bottom of your pool.
Scrub the Shell
Failure to scrub the pool walls or shell regularly can result in a massive growth of algae. If you begin to see some algae growing, scrub the shell using a pool brush. The type of brush you use might depend on the material of the pool shell. Most brushes consist of stainless steel and nylon bristles. You can also use a robotic pool cleaner or a telescopic pole to clean hard-to-reach areas.
Clean the Water
As you remove leaves, twigs, and algae from your pool, don’t forget to check the water quality. Take samples of the pool water and test for chlorine levels and pH. Thankfully, there are many pH kits for measuring the pH in real-time. The pool water shouldn’t be too acidic or too high in alkaline. If that happens, neutralize the water by adding the right pool chemicals under professional guidance.
Pro Tip: If your pool water appears to be oily, consider using a quality oil absorber to remove the excess oil from your swimming pool.
Check the Filters
Although removing leaves and debris from your pool can help to prevent the filters from blocking, it’s no doubt that some dirt will find their way into the filters. With the help of the manufacturer’s manual, backwash your clogged filters at least once every month. Consider washing it more frequently if your swimming pool gets dirty quickly. If a filter is too dirty to clean, replace it with a new cartridge filter.
Enjoy Your Clean Pool!
A clean swimming pool is not only visually appealing but also safe for your family. Remember to perform regular maintenance practices to keep the pool water crystal clear and your backyard looking fresh. Although cleaning the pool can be time-consuming, it will ultimately be worth the time in the long term as you’re able to keep using your pool.
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Autumn brings with it the perfect weather to go swimming in your own backyard pool. After all, when else can Houstonians expect such lovely weather in the middle of the day? You might as well take advantage of it!
Unfortunately, the nice weather attracts more than just people looking to spend time outside. Bugs will use this opportunity to move into your backyard and, in some cases, start breeding in your swimming pool. An infestation can make your pool unpleasant and unsafe to use. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to keep your pool bug-free this fall.
Even the most hardcore bug lovers will admit that wasps are difficult to admire. This is particularly true when they’re swarming in your backyard and infesting your swimming pool. Try one of these strategies to keep them away from your water:
- Hang up a chunk of cheap raw meat far away from your pool to attract the wasps to the snack. Be sure to check on the bait periodically though so it doesn’t rot and leave you with maggots.
- Hang up fake wasp nests to fool the wasps into thinking other wasps have already set up shop in your yard. The territorial insects can’t stand living near each other and will leave.
Bees, while they actually serve a positive purpose in the natural ecosystem, are still stinging insects and unpleasant to have around your pool. Here’s how to get rid of bees:
- Put drier sheets around your pool, whether weighed down with a rock or in a decorative basket. Bees hate the smell and will avoid your yard.
- Set up a small fountain away from your pool to give the bees a chance to get a drink somewhere other than your swimming pool. Put a rock in the water so the bees can climb out safely if they fall in.
It’s no secret to Houston homeowners that mosquitos love water. Wherever they can find it, even in a tiny bucket with rainwater, they’ll breed and cause havoc when the eggs hatch. Here’s how you can curb the tide of mosquitos in your own yard:
- Cover your pool when it’s not in use. Aside from a safety measure, this also discourages mosquitos from exploring your pool.
- Balance your pool’s pH regularly. Clean water full of cleansing chemicals repels mosquitos.
- Install a mosquito mister or bug-repellent candles or lamps to keep the bugs from coming into your backyard in the first place. Just check your local regulations first to make sure the misting chemicals are allowed.
Pro Tip: If all else fails, call an exterminator to get rid of your bug problem. The professionals can handle this.
Keep Bugs Out of Your Swimming Pool
Don’t let bugs take over your swimming pool and ruin your autumn! Stay on top of pest control and pool maintenance to keep infestations at bay. Not only will this ensure you have a clean pool, but you’ll also prevent your family from getting sick from mosquito bites or insect stings. Keep bugs out of your swimming pool and enjoy the fall!
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Any homeowner with a swimming pool can attest to the endless hours of fun and socialization the pool can provide. However, the same homeowner can also tell you about the maintenance and periodic repairs the pool requires. If you’re considering having a pool installed, maintenance should be a serious consideration before you get started. What can you do yourself and what will you need to hire someone to do for you?
There’s no easy answer to the question of when to perform DIY maintenance and when to hire a pro. While some tasks are easily handled by the homeowner, others may require a more expert touch. Let’s take a look at the different types of pool maintenance and which you can easily handle yourself.
When DIY Pool Maintenance is Fine
A lot of standard pool maintenance is easy enough to do and doesn’t require a lot of time or expertise. If you’re willing and able to do a little of the work yourself, you can probably take care of your pool with these simple methods:
- Weekly testing your pool water’s pH levels and adding chemicals as needed
- Scooping out small, floating debris with a pool net
- Inspecting the pool filters and pumps
Hiring a Pool Maintenance Specialist
Some homeowners simply don’t have the time or knowledge required to maintain their pool by themselves. Maybe you don’t know how to use a water testing kit or you’re just away from home so much you can’t afford the time. In that case, it may be time to hire someone to perform these basic maintenance tasks for you. The small monetary investment is more than worth the saved money in expensive restoration if you neglect basic work.
Hiring a Professional Pool Contractor
Finally, there will be times when you simply can’t do the repairs or required maintenance yourself. Even a hired maintenance specialist might not be able to help you. If you notice a leak in your pool, chips or cracks in the pool shell, or a severe malfunction in the pump mechanism, it’s time to call an expert. Don’t make the damage worse or hurt yourself trying to fix something you don’t fully understand.
Pro Tip: Trying to fix a broken pool pump could lead to pretty severe consequences if done incorrectly. It’s best to leave this job to a professional.
Maintaining Your Pool for the Long Term
Swimming pool maintenance is a rather unpleasant but necessary part of owning your own private pool. However, don’t feel like you need to carry the entire burden of maintenance yourself. With a sufficient blend of DIY work and professional help, you can keep your pool clean and pleasant to use.
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Does your pool have a leak? If you’ve noticed your water level is lowering and you know you’re not losing water to evaporation, it’s quite possible there’s a leak somewhere in your pool. For rather obvious reasons, this is not a good arrangement for your pool or your backyard. You’ll want to find and fix the leak as quickly as possible.
There are three primary methods of pool leak detection: the ink test, the bucket test, and checking the piping. These tests are designed to help you determine if a leak is present and to give you an idea of where it might be located. Try performing all three of these tests before calling an expert to fix the leak.
The Bucket Test
This should be your first step in leak testing. Set a bucket in the pool on the first stair and fill it with water until it matches your pool water level. Leave it there for a few hours to a day and watch the water levels change. If both go down at about the same speed, don’t worry about a leak–you most likely just have a lot of evaporation happening. However, if the pool water is lower than the bucket when you check, there’s a leak somewhere and it’s time to move on to the next method to find it.
Check the Pipes
The most likely place for a leak to occur is in your pool’s pipe system. Check your pipes for leaks or weak points, and inspect the ground near your pool for any signs of excessive moisture. If you find the leak in your pipes, patch it up temporarily and call a professional to fix the leak. However, if your pipes are just fine, the leak is somewhere in your pool shell and it’s time to employ the final leak detection test.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to repair your pool pumps on your own. Without a good knowledge of the machinery, you may just make a leak worse or create a new one.
The Ink Test
Use the ink test if you know your pool shell is leaking but you aren’t sure where. Find the wettest point in the ground outside your pool–this is where the water is escaping. Once you’ve found it, get into the pool with a little bottle of dye or dark food coloring. Moving slowly to avoid stirring up the water, squirt a few drops of dye into the water near where you suspect the leak might be. Watch where the dye drains and make a note of it. You’ve found the leak! Now it’s time to get a professional patch job done.
Keep Your Houston Pool Usable
A swimming pool leak can cost you a surprising amount of money in wasted water, not to mention the damage the excess water can do to your backyard. Detecting and patching pool leaks quickly is essential to maintaining an enjoyable backyard for the foreseeable future. With these pool leak detection techniques, you’ll never have to go long without a properly maintained swimming pool!
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Generally, maintaining a healthy pH of pool chemicals will keep your swimming pool from becoming an algae habitat. However, sometimes you’ll find yourself facing a pool green with algae growth and other unpleasant surprises. Whether you’re restoring an abandoned pool or simply forgot to perform regular maintenance, you’ll need to clean this green swimming pool thoroughly before it’s safe or pleasant to use again.
Steps to a Clear Pool
The most important part of cleaning a green swimming pool is killing the algae and removing all traces of it from your pool. While there are several ways to do this, the most effective is vacuum residue out of the pool, brush the algae off, and use a special combination of pool chemicals to make sure it’s all dead. This tried-and-true method will keep your pool fresh for the foreseeable future as long as you keep up with the maintenance. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Vacuum the pool
- Scrub the pool shell
- Shock the water
- Filter the pool
- Test and balance the chemicals
1) Vacuum the Pool
Start by running your pool vacuum across the entire bottom of the pool. Remove as much dirt and residue as possible this way before proceeding. Don’t try to suck up the algae–it still needs to be in the pool so you can kill it with the shock later. For now, just target dirt, leaves, twigs, dead bugs, and other debris.
2) Scrub the Pool Shell
With a stiff algae brush, scrub the entire pool shell vigorously to dislodge the algae. This will make killing the growth much easier. Just make sure you use a heavy-duty brush for this part since a soft brush won’t really do much other than just shove the algae around.
3) Shock the Water
Now comes the step where you kill the algae: shock your pool. Using a pool shock that contains a high level of chlorine, shock your pool at least twice. The darker green your pool water is, the more times you should shock it to get every last remnant of the algae.
Pro Tip: Even if you don’t normally use chlorine shock, you must use chlorine to kill algae growth in this case. Other shocks only do a temporary job.
4) Filter the Pool
After you’re satisfied that your pool has been shocked enough, turn on the filter and leave it running constantly until the pool is crystal clear. This will take several days at the very least. Just be patient and keep a close eye on the pool to ensure it’s actually improving. You can add pool clarifier to help the water grow clear faster, but even then, you must continue running the filter for at least 24 hours after adding the clarifier.
5) Test & Balance the Chemicals
Once your pool is clear again, test the pH and sanitizer levels. After all, the cocktail of chemicals you added during the cleaning process probably imbalanced a few things. Add more chemicals as necessary to restore your pool’s original condition. Once you’re satisfied with the rest results, you can start using your pool again!
Restoring a Green Swimming Pool
Regardless of how your swimming pool turned green and disgusting, you’ll want to get it clean as quickly as possible. Fortunately, with a little care and dedicated time, you can restore your pool to its former glory and keep the algae from ever returning. Keep your pool pleasant and safe for everyone to enjoy!
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