Summer is nearly here, which means it’s time to get your pool back into shipshape form. Before you bring out the floats, sunscreen, and other pool accessories, there are a few steps you need to take to get your pool ready for swimming. Whether you kept your pool under a cover, or the water’s turned into a green, leafy soup, the following quick tips can get you well on your way to that first summer swim.
1. Clean the deck
The pool deck area is, aesthetically speaking one of most important aspects of the pool, and it’s been practically abandoned during the cold winter months. Before you pull off the pool cover, be sure to sweep away or hose off any leaves, pine needles, or other debris from the pool deck.
2. Remove the pool cover
Before you remove the pool cover, be sure to wipe off any leaves or debris that has collected. If water from rain or the hose has collected on the pool, drain it using these instructions before you take off the pool cover. Feeding that water back into the pool is a bad idea, as it could drastically upset the chemical balance of the pool. Once you’ve removed the pool cover, lay it out on the deck and give it a thorough cleaning. Use a mild detergent to remove any dirt stains, and then simply hose it off.
3. Top it off
Water from the pool will evaporate when it’s not in use. If the water level dropped during winter, you’ll need to top it off with clean water. When you fill it up, allow the water to reach the middle of the pool tile or the middle of the skimmer opening.
4. Check chemical levels
Before you start treating your pool, you’ll need to check the chemical levels. Read the instructions that came with your pool to find the recommended water chemistry levels to keep swimmers safe. You can take a sample of pool water for testing by a pool professional, or you can purchase test kits which determine levels of alkalinity, stabilizer, hardness, pH, and chlorine.
5. Filter the water
Before you use a filter, inspect and clean it if necessary. To clean a filter, remove the cartridge and wash it with a hose. If you need to lubricate any of the filters, check the manufacturer’s recommendation. Replace broken filters and fix any filter leaks before they become an expensive repair. After you’ve turned on the filters, clean them every day until the water is clear. This process can take about a week.
6. Clean pool tiles
After you’ve balanced the chemicals and filtered the water, you can focus on cleaning the pool tiles. Calcium deposits and stains from hard water can be removed by gently rubbing a pumice stone against the tile. Use a disposable cleaning sponge and a small amount of diluted detergent to remove residue and grime that builds up on tiles. If some areas still look dirty, go over them again with the cleaning sponge. Through the summer, you can periodically clean the tile to keep buildup at a minimum.
7. Keep it clean
Some simple and regular housekeeping will keep your pool pristine all summer. Keep filters clean of debris. To remove any fallen leaves or debris, vacuum the pool once a week. For safety reasons, check the water chemistry levels every day and have a pool professional test the water once a month.