Spring is finally coming! After a long and cold winter, its high time we get some poolside relaxation.
As the temperatures start to climb, it’s time to embark on getting your pool ready for swim season. Even if you had your pool covered throughout the winter, it’s critical that you first clean it before swimming as it’s likely dirty and unbalanced.
So, what’s the best way of cleaning your pool after a long period of no use?
Let’s find out…
Don’t wait for the weather to get too warm before you start the cleanup. When pools go for long periods without use, algae may start growing inside the pool. While cold temperatures don’t facilitate algae growth, warmer weather is great for algae growth. Ideally, you’ll do this process once the outside temp reaches about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check Your Pool Supplies
Doble check that your supplies haven’t passed their expiration dates. Supplies that are passed their dates need to be disposed of and replaced with fresh chemicals.
Clean up Debris
Look for and clean up plant debris that might be around the pool deck and patio. Be sure to prune hedges and trees that might have grown during the recent months which are now hanging over your pool.
I can already tell you’re excited to go swimming. So let’s quickly cover the steps you want to take before actually jumping in.
1. Clean & Remove Your Cover
If you have a pool cover, chances are that a good amount of water and debris has accumulated over the fall and winter months. This makes it difficult to remove the cover.
As such you may need to remove this water first. To avoid mixing the water on top of the cover with that in the pool, it’s a good idea to use a sump pump to drain the water off the cover before removing.
Pool covers are pretty heavy so you may want to grab a friend to give you a hand. While moving the cover, take care not to spill debris into the pool.
After removing the cover, the next step is to clean, fold, and properly store it to avoid damage. Spray it off with a hose, brush it if you need to remove dirt, let it dry and sprinkle talcum powder on it before folding it up. The powder helps prevent mold while it’s being stored.
2. Inspect The Pool
This is the best time to check your pool for any problems or issues. Check for signs of excessive wear and tear. Be sure to check for any small cracks or chips in the tile. Remember that even the smallest of spaces are still susceptible to developing mold and mildew. As such, make sure to inspect every inch of the pool including the walls, floor, and stairs. Addressing those small issues will prevent larger problems from manifesting down the road.
3. Reconnect Equipment
Start reconnecting all the pool equipment that you disconnected as you prepared for winter. This includes equipment such as the pump, filter, heater, and automatic cleaner among others. While you’re at it, ensure that you reconnect any ladders, handrails, and other pool accessories that you took down for winter.
Take this moment to inspect these accessories to ensure they’re in good working condition.
As you reconnect the equipment, take a second to lubricate all the O-rings, seals, and hardware using a silicone lubricant. This keeps your equipment in proper working condition all year long and makes it easier for you to disconnect during winter.
4. Brush and Vacuum Thoroughly
Even if you covered the pool with good cover, there is still a good chance there’s a significant amount of dirt and debris inside the pool. You, therefore, need to give the pool a thorough brushing and vacuuming before you shock the pool. This prevents algae and bacteria from sticking to and staining the walls.
As you’re brushing the pool, begin with the shallow end as you progress towards the deep end. After brushing and vacuuming the pool, let the filtration system to run overnight before you shock the pool. This gets all the algae and other stuff out. In the morning, clean the filter to prevent that stuff from recirculating.
5. Fill The Pool
Now the fun part! It’s time to fill your pool. As long as you’re satisfied with the pool’s cleanliness, start adding freshwater to top it off. If you’re working with an above ground pool, smoothen out any wrinkles that might start forming in the pool liner.
6. Balance Your Chemicals
The chemical balance of the water in your pool needs to be carefully tested and monitored to ensure that the water is safe to swim in. This is because pool water chemistry can easily get altered by a myriad of things ranging from basic use to environmental changes. This is why you need to test the water frequently.
Here’s what you’re going for:
pH level – this needs to be between 7.2 and 7.4.
Total Alkalinity – should be between 80 and 120 ppm.
Calcium – have these levels between 150 ppm and 250 ppm.
Chlorine – ideal chlorine levels need to be between 1 ppm and 3 ppm.
When you’re filling your water for the first time, it’s a good idea to take a sample to your pool supply store. They can give you a more accurate reading than most home testing kits.
Now you’re ready to swim. Ahhhh…it’s been a long winter and it’s time to get some sun.
The above tips are useful in helping you clean and prepare your pool. However, if you don’t have experience or you just don’t feel like doing it, consider calling in professional pool service. They’ll not only do a thorough job at cleaning the pool but will also take care of any issues that the pool might have, thus ensuring that your pool stays in prime condition for longer.