A backyard pool can be a refreshing but expensive addition to your home. Whether buying a new pool or maintaining a pool you already own, it’s a big investment of time and money every summer. During hot weather, it’s important to keep up with pool maintenance, including water levels and chemical balance, because heat and humidity will affect them. The pool will look its best, be safest and most comfortable for swimmers if you follow the tips in this article on taking care of your pool during the summer months. Your homeowners insurance plan must also be updated if you add a pool to your home to protect you and your property.
Five Pool Maintenance Tips for Summer
The best ways to keep your pool at its best during summer include keeping it clean, keeping the chemicals in balance and making sure all pool hardware is running correctly. Swimming pools won’t take care of themselves, so here’s a list of pool maintenance tips for summer.
1. Keep Your Pool Filter Clean
A clean pool filter helps keep the water moving in your pool and keeps it free of dirt and debris. If you have a skimmer basket, clean it daily to keep the water flowing free through the filter. How often you clean your filter will depend on the type of filter attached to your pool and how often you use the pool. There are ways to tell when your filter isn’t working at its best, and it might be time to backwash it or take it apart completely. If there’s an abnormal odor, a clogged drain or the vacuum that runs through the filter isn’t working correctly, check the filter—it may be time to clean it. It’s also a good idea to check the filter after storms; it might need to be cleaned a little sooner than usual.
2. Monitor Chemical Levels
The chemical levels in your pool can get confusing if you’re not a chemistry whiz, but luckily most pool stores will test your water for free if you bring them a water sample in a clean bottle. The CDC recommends free chlorine remain at a concentration of at least 1 part per million with a pH of 7.2-7.8. You can purchase chemical test kits or strips at most stores that sell pool chemicals. These will show the current chlorine levels, pH, alkalinity, water hardness and more. You might need to adjust the chemicals to get your pool to the perfect, safe swimming level. Don’t forget to shock your pool (add chemicals to raise the free chlorine level) about once a week.
3. Vacuum and Brush
Your filter and chemicals will do what they can to keep your water looking pristine, but there will be times when dirt, leaves or grime gather and you’ll want to prevent algae buildup. Using a pool vacuum that runs through your pump filter will help eliminate any particles that have settled at the bottom of the pool but are too small to grab with your hand skimmer net. Use a brush to loosen any grime or algae, particularly on the sides, steps and corners of the pool, then allow any algae to settle again before vacuuming. This is an excellent way to make sure all areas of your pool are being cleaned properly.
4. Maintain Water Levels
Your pool should have an ideal water level, and keeping the water around that level is important not only so your chemicals stay in balance but also so all the mechanical parts continue to work as they are intended. If the water is too high or too low, the skimmer door won’t be able to open and close properly, and your pool might end up with bugs, leaves and other debris in it until the skimmer can do its job again. Extremely hot temperatures in the summer can accelerate the evaporation of water from your pool, so make sure to add water if the level gets too low. This prevents the pump from running dry, which puts it at risk of burning up. Replacing pool pumps can get expensive fast! As always, if you add water, check the chemicals.
5. Keep Your Homeowners Insurance Up to Date
If you decide to add a pool to your home, your current homeowners insurance policy likely won’t automatically cover it. You can purchase additional coverage, like personal property coverage, other structures coverage or dwelling coverage, all of which may help with an unexpected pool repair or replacement or if someone is injured in your pool. Adding coverage for your pool makes sure you and your new investment are protected so you can enjoy it with peace of mind all summer long.
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