With proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your in-ground pool
The construction is done and you’re finally relaxing in your new pool, enjoying the gentle waves of the water as you float on your raft. To keep this serenity year after year it is important to take care of this investment, giving it the attention and service it needs to continue its role as your backyard oasis. We visited with Roger Banks of Banks Pool and Spa, asking him to share some important tips on taking care of your pool.
KCH&S: What is the most important thing to know regarding pool water maintenance?
BANKS: Many pool owners think that the chlorine level is the most important portion of their water chemistry and so that is all they monitor. While that is important, what they really need to focus on is the balance of the water in the pool. Water balance is the most important contribution to safe swimming and the pool water’s impact on pool equipment, particularly heaters, will affect all of the pool surfaces. Water is corrosive. When Alkalinity and its helper PH are not within the proper range, especially if too low, it will lead to corrosion, scaling or mineral fall out. To prevent this, pool water should be tested reliably at least once a month.
KCH&S: What would you say are the most important preventative maintenance steps when caring for your pool?
BANKS: Pool surfaces live outside 24/7, year-round. Be sure to check all the cosmetic surfaces in the fall so that repairs can be scheduled for the spring. Many pools will require deck resealing, coping resealing, caulking and tile grout. All drains from the pool area should be kept clear. When these surfaces are well maintained they will last longer.
KCH&S: If you’re not using your pool in the off season, what type of winter maintenance should be done?
BANKS: Water levels should be monitored to minimize ice and freeze damage. This past winter was a tremendous challenge for most pools. When we get a stretch of warm weather while the pool is closed, shock the pool with diluted chlorine as this will help open to a cleaner pool in the spring. The PH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness should also be checked over the winter. Cleaning the filter at closing will aid with an easier spring opening. Winter covers are your best choice to keep debris out and are often an excellent safety measure.
KCH&S: How should one go about hiring a pool service company?
BANKS: Good swimming pool companies get booked early on so don’t wait until the last minute to schedule any work your pool may need. Delaying making that appointment could result in a delay on getting out to enjoy your pool come the warm weather. If a pool company is immediately available, it might indicate a lack of business for a reason. Be smart and get references, ask friends and then determine how responsive to all of your pool needs they are. While online referral services are available, sometimes they have difficulty getting experienced and reputable service companies to do the work required. In general, it is always best to contact the company directly that will be doing the work for you.