The fantasy is universal: Soaking up the sun’s rays in your backyard next to a luxurious inground pool while your family and friends splash around, making golden memories that last a lifetime.
Funny how pool maintenance is never part of that dream.
But after choosing a pool contractor you can trust and understanding the pool design and installation process, swimming pool maintenance is the most important part of adding a water-based oasis to your property.
Whether you’re just considering diving into pool ownership, you’ve recently moved to a place with an existing pool, or you’re the proud proprietor of a freshly installed Brothers Grimm swimming pool, you need to know all the details of inground pool maintenance.
Brothers Grimm Landscape & Design Co. has been making outdoor living in Northeast Ohio more beautiful and fun since 1995. Our mission is to tap into a homeowner’s vision for a lush and livable space that elevates al fresco dining, entertaining and relaxing. Not only do we help create gorgeous and functional outdoor areas — we’re experts at maintaining them.
Let’s dive into our tips on how to take care of a pool so that your family can enjoy its beauty and diversion for years to come.
The Importance of Pool Maintenance
Why are pool maintenance and cleaning important? First off, clean pool water helps protect your family from getting sick by clearing it of contaminants or pollutants. Second, regular pool maintenance helps you save money by keeping the liner, filter and other parts working properly and lasting longer. Finally, if you invested in any luxury pool amenities, like a waterfall feature or fancy lighting, a bit of effort toward inground pool maintenance is worth it to see the dividends of their long-term beauty and enjoyment.
How to Take Care of a Pool: The Three Cs
There are different types of inground pools, but they all require similar upkeep. Whether yours is made of fiberglass, vinyl or concrete, basic swimming pool maintenance boils down to three elements:
- Chemicals that must be kept in a precise balance
- Cleaning both the water and all the surfaces in contact with it
- Circulation that prevents the growth of algae
We’ll dip into each one separately with more detail. Learning how to keep your pool clean involves putting all three on a regular schedule.
If high school chemistry class wasn’t your shining moment, don’t worry. Testing kits are readily available at most pool supply stores, and they’ll make this pool maintenance step a breeze. The three most relevant chemical levels you’re looking to balance are:
- pH – This is a measure of how acidic or basic the water is. To prevent algae growth and avoid corrosion on equipment, an ideal pH range is 7.4 to 7.6.
- Alkalinity – Those of you who excelled in science class know that alkalinity is at the opposite end of the pH scale from acidity. So why is this its own category in the chemistry phase of pool maintenance? Because an alkaline level in the range of 100 to 150 parts per million (ppm) helps avoid spikes or dips in pH levels, which can manifest as cloudy water or stains on hard surfaces.
- Sanitizer – Chlorine, bromine and other sanitizers help keep harmful bacteria in check, but too much will knock those pH levels off the charts — potentially causing harm to your family’s skin and eyes.
Include chemical testing as a daily or weekly part of your routine inground pool maintenance. You should also “shock” your pool water with a sanitizer overload to kill off excess bacteria and organic matter every couple of weeks, as well as after a big storm or an algae outbreak.
Skimming debris off the water’s surface and scouring the vinyl or tile lining with baking soda is a necessary part of weekly pool maintenance. An automated pool vacuum makes the job easier, but using that skimmer before every swim is a reality of how to maintain an inground pool that’s both healthy and attractive. Brothers Grimm Tip: Tossing tennis balls into your pool’s skimmer basket is a zero-effort way to absorb surface oils left in the water from tanning lotions and cosmetics.
Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria, algae and other unwanted pool guests. All your pool maintenance and cleaning chores will be easier if you let the filter run for 10 to 12 hours every day. An occasional backwashing of the filter — which involves reversing the flow to push any lingering contaminants and dirt into the waste port, then emptying the port — is a crucial part of how to keep your pool clean and functioning for the long term.
Bonus: Winter Pool Maintenance Tips
Living in Ohio means embracing the beauty of all four seasons — and that means taking a break from pool maintenance in the winter. But before you hang up your skimmer and start hanging Christmas lights, you need to know how to clean a pool before closing it for the season. You’ve likely got gorgeous Brothers Grimm landscaping around your inground pool, so you won’t need to worry about it looking too desolate in the colder months. But before putting on a good-quality cover, take these end-of-season pool maintenance steps:
- Skim, scour and vacuum one last time.
- Test and balance the chemicals to optimal levels.
- Give it one more shock treatment.
- Retest and rebalance those chemicals.
Custom Pools From Brother’s Grimm
Now that you know how to maintain a pool with the Three Cs, you’re ready to get back to living your best life. And if this swimming pool maintenance guide has convinced you to take the plunge into designing and building your own backyard oasis, contact Brothers Grimm to book your consultation today! We’d love to help you bring your inground pool dreams into reality.