FAQs: Backyard Pool Maintenance
The onset of spring and summer means warmer weather, longer days, and more time outside enjoying the patio or lawn.
Living here in the coastal region of North Carolina, you can also bet on some steamy temperatures and more dense humidity. The best way to beat the heat? Invest in a backyard pool!
Pools can be a great way to cool off, but if you see yourself moving someplace new in the future, they can also help boost the value of your home and make it easier for you to find a buyer when the time is right to sell. The key is in making sure you take care of your new backyard feature, and we can help by giving you a few pointers to get started.
How often should you test the water?
Testing your pool water not only tells you about the chlorine content, but also pH balance (acidity). You can purchase easy-to-use test kits at any pool supply store, which will give you the appropriate feedback you need to maintain your pool water’s chemical content.
During the busier summer months, when you’re more likely to use the backyard pool on a regular basis, weekly testing is a safe option. According to Lowes.com, it’s also very important to do additional testing after any of the following occur:
- Very heavy rains and windstorms
- More swimmers than usual
- Foul odor from the pool water
- Extreme temperatures
- Swimmers with burning, red eyes
- Algae growth
- Murky, slimy water
Should the water be drained annually?
It’s not a bad idea, since leaving standing water year-round when you don’t have the pump running and won’t be splashing around could attract pests like mosquitos and other insects, not to mention larger visitors like the occasional reptile. But, if you choose not to, putting off a complete draining of your backyard pool won’t do any lasting damage to it in the short run.
As a compromise, you can always empty some water, but leave a shallow layer during the colder months to avoid the risk of the pool’s concrete cracking or shifting in place.
[When you’re done with the pool – check out some back porch maintenance FAQ’s here!]
How can I keep debris out?
Keeping debris out of your pool completely is a lofty goal. However, to attempt to reach that goal you need the right tools. First, you need to purchase a quality leaf rake. There are also chemical products which are used to keep surface tension high, moving small debris to the sides of the pool.
Another great tool is a skimmer. Investing in one with a higher quality will have you some trouble and headaches down the road. Make sure it is operating properly so that it creates a draw or “waterfall” into the skimmer basket. Be sure to check that the water level is not so high that it is above the opening of the skimmer.
Finally, be sure to trim some of those trees and bushes near the pool. Taking care of the yard will not only keep your backyard looking fresh and manicured, but it will also help limit some debris.
How effectively can plaster and tile be cleaned?
The elements are just another factor in any outdoor modification, but a pool brings its own challenges into the deal. Organic matter – such as dirt, leaves, and other debris – have a habit of building up and even staining the plaster or working its way into the grout of the tile. You can combat some of this by regularly circulating granulated chlorine in the pool. For non-organic wear and tear, invest in a good pumice stone or some sturdy sandpaper to get your stains out with old-fashioned elbow grease.
Maintaining a backyard pool isn’t as daunting as it may sound at first. So go ahead, take the plunge, and enjoy your coastal North Carolina summer!