Blue skies, warm temperatures, and summer vacations are in the air. May signifies a renewal of the spring and summer season weather, even though we must wait another six weeks for summer’s official start date. It also means more time spent outdoors doing the things many of us have waited months to enjoy like hanging out by the pool.
If you’re one of the 10.4 million homeowners with a backyard pool, you know the routine tasks to keep your pool running correctly seasonally or year-round. Whether you own a backyard pool or are currently building or planning to build a pool, taking the proper steps to maintain your pool isn’t hard, but it is necessary.
Pull the cover off, clean and store it and follow our six simple steps to get your pool ready to enjoy all season long.
- Check chlorine or salt levels: it’s best to check first thing in the morning and again in the evening, particularly after a full day of use. Routine testing — using test kits or strips from your local pool supplier — alerts you to the health of the water and determines the appropriate chemicals or salt to add. The tests check for the proper pH levels, total alkalinity, and, if relevant, the calcium hardness adjuster.
- Filtration: no one wants to jump into murky pool water. A pool filter device collects things like dirt and debris from the yard, sunscreen lotions and other residues, and loose clothing pieces like strings, threads, and buttons. Filters trap all of this, and they need regular cleaning so your pool water can filter through and continue to collect non-water items. Filters typically last one to two years, so mark your calendar when you need to replace your filter, so you don’t have to guess.
- Pumps for circulation: pumps serve as the force behind the filter. Pumps circulate the pool water, and any debris toward the filter drains located on the pool’s sides. It’s essential to ensure your pumps are in working order because without it you the rest of the components — filter, drains, returns — are unable keep your pool clean.
- Drains and returns: drains and returns are built-in parts of the pool construction. The purpose is to act as a filtration system, essentially draining the dirty water and debris from the collection system, run it through the filtrations system, and returning clean water to the pool.
- Vacuum: while it’s not your household Roomba, it acts like one. A pool vacuum travels all over the pool’s bottom, vacuuming all the accumulated dirt. There are several pool vacuums to consider depending on the size and structure of your pool floor.
Regular pool maintenance isn’t complicated, but it is necessary to keep it in working order for the structure’s life. Keeping your pool safe is just as important as ongoing maintenance and is our sixth step to getting your pool ready to enjoy.
6. Security: drowning is the single leading cause of death among children 1-4, and it is preventable through several layers of protection. In addition to supervision, CPR and lifeguard training, alarms, a four-sided physical barrier, or fence is the first line of defense against unwelcome entry into the backyard.
At Nationwide Industries, we take the safety and security of your backyard pool perimeter seriously. We recommend adding a heavy-duty, fully adjustable hinge, like our new CornerStone 2, which includes a self-closing option on a fence gate to ensure complete closure. Our Keystone Traverse 400 latch locks from both sides with an option for reversible mounting for installation on various post sizes without having to drill holes through the post. For pool safety fences, choose the Trident Magnetic Pool Latch to ensure your gate stays closed with a strong magnetic closing power.
Swimming is one of the most popular activities in the country and something to be enjoyed in your backyard. With a few simple maintenance steps, you can maximize its use and entertainment all season long.
Learn more about pool safety and how you can prevent senseless accidents.
Check back next week for more Pool Safety tips.