Although winter is well and truly on the horizon, it’s a good idea to start getting prepared for summer – when your swimming pool will come out of retirement and will be enjoyed frequently. As you prepare for parties and get-togethers, it’s important to know what your pool will need to get it into tiptop shape after a season of sitting dormant. In the list below, we have covered the main pool maintenance tasks that will be required for clear and cool water:
• Skim Debris
If you have trees, bushes and other plant life growing on your property (or even on neighbouring properties), it’s likely that some debris will be blown into the pool. You will need to use a skimmer to remove this debris, ensuring that the water is clean and clear whenever someone wants to jump in. It is recommended that you skim on a semi-weekly basis, although you should do it more often if required.
Skimming also helps to increase the water’s circulation and decrease the amount of chemicals that are present in it.
• Vacuum the Shell
Get rid of hard-to-reach debris and decrease the amount of chemicals that need to be added by vacuuming the swimming pool on a weekly basis – better yet, invest in an automated vacuum that will operate on schedule. It should take around half an hour to completely vacuum the shell. Ensure that you overlap each part to ensure that you haven’t missed any spots. Check and clean the filter as needed to ensure it operates effectively.
For any algae or other stubborn debris that the vacuum cannot remove, you’ll need to scrub it with a nylon brush and chemical cleaner.
• Clean the Filter
Your pool filter will come in one of three different types – cartridge, sand or diatomaceous earth (DE). Maintenance will vary depending on which type you have, but each will require periodic cleaning. If your filter isn’t cleaned regularly, it won’t be able to trap the debris properly – which could lead to the water becoming discoloured or murky. The flow of the water will also change if it is dirty.
To ensure that you are cleaning the filter correctly, follow the directions provided by the relevant manufacturer.
• Maintain pH Levels
To avoid injuries and ruined clothes, you need to ensure that your swimming pool’s pH levels remain the same. A pH scale measures the acidity of the water, which can fall anywhere between 0 and 14. The ideal for a pool is between 7.2 and 7.8, which is safe for swimmers whilst keeping the water clean. To monitor the levels, you will need a testing kit with test strips that you place into water samples.
If the water is above or below the safe range, you will need to add chemicals to fix it.
• Repair Leaks
At the beginning of summer, before anyone has jumped into the pool, you should check it for leaks and other problems. It can be hard to find some leaks if your water just seems low at the start of the season, so the best way to test it is to perform a bucket test – fill a bucket ¾ of the way full and mark the water line. Put it into the pool, mark the waterline outside the bucket and leave for a few days.
If the water goes down the same amount, it’s just evaporation; if it goes down more on the outside, there’s a leak.
Whether you want to get a head start on preparing for the next swim season or you’re reading this article during the summer, we hope that you’ve found the above list of maintenance tasks useful in returning your concrete pools to its former glory. Just remember that all of these tasks will be so much easier if you have properly winterised your pool before shutting it down – neglecting to do this correctly will only lead to more work down the track.