With summer here and most COVID restrictions have been lifted, its time to plan for that vacation you missed last year but what about the daily and weekly maintenance you do to your swimming pool? No to worry we are going to give you our best tips to take care of your pool throughout the summer so when you return from those sandy beaches you can dive right into your backyard pool and relive some of those recent vacation memories.
But before we share our tips, lets discuss why swimming pools need maintenance during summer time more than the rest of the yea. In one simple word Heatwave! When temperatures rise, you lose a measurable amount of water through evaporation, while the rain may fill it back up often that’s not the case and your biggest concern is what that is doing to your water chemistry. Depending on the heat, humidity, and wind a pool without a solar cover can lose more than 5 mm of water per day, that my not seem like a lot but in hotter climates like Katy that can actually be anywhere from 2 to 5 a week and drastically can pools chemistry. In addition, when pool water evaporates it also leaves behind minerals, metals, and other dissolved liquids such as salt. If you go away for a week and leave your pool alone, you may come home to an unusable pool or worse pool repairs. So here are a few tips you want to consider before vacation to ensure your pool stays in tip-top shape whether your away on vacation or simply taking a staycation and enjoying your backyard oasis.
Tip #1: Check water chemistry
Before heading off on your family vacation be sure to test your water chemistry is in good shape. If you are maintaining your own pool collect a water sample to take to the local pool store and have them test it.
Take a sample of your pool water to your local pool store and get it professionally checked or use a pool test strip. There are a lot of fast and convenient pool water testing kits that will check such things as the hardness, choline levels, pH, total alkalinity, and stability of the pools water. The easiest test strips to read and you can pick them up for a really reasonable price.
pH: 7.4 to 7.6
Alkalinity: 100 parts per million (ppm) to 150 ppm, with 125 ppm being ideal
Calcium Hardness: 175 ppm to 225 ppm, or 200 ppm to 275 ppm for concrete and plaster pools
For Chlorine Pools: 1 ppm to 3 ppm
For Bromine Pools: 3 ppm to 5 ppm
For Biguanide Pools: 30 ppm to 50 ppm
For Salt Water Pools: 0.5 ppm of chlorine
For Mineral System Pools: 0.5 ppm of chlorine
Tip# 2 Clean your pool
Make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned the pool so its sparkling clean this means cleaning out all the baskets including the pump basket, skimmer, pool cleaner, and debris bags. Brush all of your pools surface including the perimeter tiles so that the gunk attached to the surface doesn’t end up in the pool and bio film doesn’t continue to accumulate while in the pool while your away. Also, since your pool needs to be vacuumed once a week, the day before you eave make sure to turn on your automated pool cleaner to suck up any small debris that the skimmer did not catch so your pool floors are in good shape.
Tip #3 Invest in a pool timer
If your someone who is always on the go and doesn’t like having to manually turn the pool pump off and on make sure you have a pool timer, they are your best investment in pool maintenance. Set your intermatic digital pool timers to run the pool between 8 to 12 hours a day, perhaps have them clean the pool four hours in the morning and four hours in the evening. There are a variety of pool timers but if you are an active family and enjoy taking vacation often considered investing in a pool timer that can be regulated via an app on your cell phone. Its always better when your away on a vacation to know what’s going on and leave your pool in the hands of a timer rather than a trusted neighbor or friend, especially if they have never maintained a pool. Us people forget, timers are dependable!
Tip #4: Find a fellow pool owner
If you know a friend who has a pool, consider having them look after your pool while your away on vacation and then the next time they need someone to watch after theirs you’re their go-t for help. Ask a friend to empty the baskets, skim the surface, check the filter and backwash, if need be, test the pools chemistry, and add chemicals if needed. Yes, that’s a tall order! This is also the primary reason you do not want to entrust your pool to anyone who has no experience with backyard pools. It can cost you thousands, this is why we recommend calling on a local Katy pool maintenance company such as Katy Swimming Pool Services.
Tip #5: Wash your swim suit!
This tip is more about when you return from a vacation, but it can’t be left off the list of vacation pool cleaning tips because far too many homeowners make this tragic mistake during the summer. If you hit the beaches on your vacation or even a swim park there is what people refer to as “black algae” however this is not algae but is bacteria and its worse than algae for your pool. When your swimming in the beach or have flotation devices that you took from home and used in the river it can get into the fabric or material and if not washed correctly these black flakes can be introduced into your pool that are so harmful they can lead to structural damages, these bacteria are also very difficult to treat and make your pool unsafe for swimming so make sure you wash your swimwear or anything you took to the beach before you dip it into the pool.
The best way to ensure your pool stays in pristine condition rather on vacation or at home is to hire a weekly pool maintenance company. Katy Swimming Pool Services has been handling pool maintenance and repairs for over a decade and is professionally trained and insured for your peace of mind. Give them a call and set up your pool for vacation and summer time care so you can jump right in knowing the waters exactly right!