Tips for Affordable Pool Maintenance
Having your own swimming pool in the backyard is a luxury that many families dream about having. So, when it finally falls into place, it only makes sense to keep the pool in the best possible condition for use whenever those holiday weekends or impromptu pool parties happen to pop up. However, keeping a pool clean and bright blue is not always an easy task and may require quite a bit of work on your part.
There are different ways to approach the subject of swimming pool maintenance. For those with greater resources to allocate to the problem, you may wish to hire a pool service to take care of things for you. Although many who may have tighter budgets may find that hiring a professional service starts to eat into their barbeque budget. In these instances, it helps to understand how to make the most of those maintenance dollars.
Choosing a Pool Cleaning Service
For those who wish to contract their pool maintenance needs out to a professional pool cleaning company, it is best to do your homework and get the most value for your dollars. There are many service providers who are nationwide companies and typically have services available wherever pools are plentiful. There are also small, local pool maintenance providers who operate locally throughout various areas. Choosing one or the other level of pool service is one consideration when deciding to farm out your pool maintenance needs.
The larger, nationwide chains in operation can often provide the services you require at lower costs than the locally owned companies are able to manage. However, not all the savings are due to the scalability of a larger company with multiple outlets across the country and/or state. Oftentimes they are less expensive than the local companies because they hire employees who are less experienced, and the companies provide minimal training.
Furthermore, pool maintenance is also less expensive relative to many of the other services for your home that you may find necessary to hire. This in turn means the pay for those providing the pool services are also lower. Smaller companies may also need to subcontract out certain maintenance and repair issues to specialists because they do not have the right professionals on staff. Simply ask your technician to find out more about the certifications they have for performing the repairs in question.
Ideas for Cutting Down Your Pool Maintenance Costs
There are always ways to improve efficiency and longevity when it comes to taking care of your pool. Finding ways to cut down your expenses and save more money for food and drinks to enjoy by the pool rather than pouring those dollars into it can be both challenging and fun at the same time. Oftentimes, some of the best practices are a mix of common sense and trial and error learned over time. There are many things you can do to help save your budget.
Being able to properly store and protect your pool and the components needed to keep it sparkling are among the easiest and least costly to execute. These can include any number of items including:
- Vacuum storage – Taking care of the vacuum head properly should be at or near the top of your list when managing your pool. The most common reason for replacing a pool vacuum head is because the brushes wear out over time. The winning formula for keeping your vacuum head working well for the longest possible period of time is storing it so the brushes are preserved. To do this, keep the brushes out of the sun. During the winter months, be sure that you store the head away from chlorine.
- Pool covers – Keeping your pool covered is a given, especially in inclement weather. One strategy that will cut down on your pool bills is employing a solar powered pool cover to work in conjunction with your pool heater. Simply turn up the heat to warm the pool and then shut it off and let the solar cover do its job. You will discover that the pool stays heated for longer periods of time.
- Liquid solar blankets are an alternative to a cover that you have to take on and off every day and night.
- Remember to keep whatever pool coverings you do decide to deploy as clean as possible, especially during the winter. By keeping it clear of water, leaves, and other debris you can ensure a cleaner pool when the weather warms and you remove the cover for pool season.
- Pool chemicals – Buying the chemicals necessary for your pool early and in bulk supply is often the best strategy to save yourself some money. Many stores that sell these chemicals, including chlorine, often run specials and sales on these items prior to the pool season in order to get people in the store and buying early.
- Shocking your pool on a weekly basis is also a good idea. Even some minor errors or missed days where you put in regular care may result in a green or cloudy pool. A regular weekly shock can help alleviate this.
Do-it-Yourself Hacks for Pool Maintenance
Doing your own pool maintenance is one sure way to help lower the cost of your pool expenses. In addition to conventional methods of taking care of your swimming pool so that it is ready for barbecues, parties, or your morning laps, there are a bevy of hacks discovered by do-it-yourself types that get passed on as gems to those looking to stretch their maintenance dollars as far as possible.
Using your vacuum to drain your pool is effective for above ground pools that lack a central drain in the deep end. By placing your vacuum upside down in the center of the pool you can drain it more quickly in order to help clear cloudy water. Another hack is using pantyhose on your skimming baskets to help clear fine debris that your normal nets and skimmers cannot pick up. Using tennis balls to remove oils left behind by swimmers is a cheap and effective method. Simply let them float freely in your pool or place them in your skimming basket.
Baking soda can be used for different reasons. In addition to employing it as a paste for cleaning the tiles in your pool, you can also use it to increase the alkalinity and pH factor in the water. Another cheap hack is the use of diatomaceous earth in your filter instead of sand to more efficiently sift out finer particles that may be floating in your pool. One other hack that works well and saves you money is finding ways to use dryer sheets around your pool in unobtrusive ways as they ward off bees and other insects.