Who doesn’t love a pool? They’re the ultimate in home luxury, make the best hangout spot, and offer much-needed respite from high temperatures — which pretty much last all year here in Austin. Of course, they also require near-constant cleaning and maintenance and cost a pretty penny to boot. Anything you can do to make the experience of owning a pool more play than work is worth it. Thankfully, with a few changes to your maintenance routine, you can spend less time cleaning and prepping your pool, and more time remembering why you built it in the first place: to have fun with your friends and family. Here’s how you can make pool ownership a cinch.
Throw a Few Tennis Balls in the Water
When it comes to choosing pool equipment, a tennis ball may not be your first thought. But it turns out these handy little balls offer a cheap and simple way to keep your pool oil-free. Just throw a few in the water before you swim — the fibers absorb oils from your skin and keep the water fresher and cleaner. Who knew a humble tennis ball could be so handy?
Make Your Pool an “Animal-Free” Zone
As cute as your pup may look doing laps around the pool, it’s probably not the best place for him or her to hang out. For one thing, pool water can irritate your dog’s skin if the pH levels are too high. Additionally, the extra dirt and hair will clog filters much faster — meaning more maintenance on your part. If you absolutely cannot bear to keep your pup on the sidelines, make sure to have their coat brushed and trimmed regularly to reduce shedding. Additionally, test pH levels more frequently, since dogs in the pool can reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.
Clean and Skim More Frequently
You wouldn’t take a bath in a dirty tub, so why swim in a dirty pool? For optimal sanitation, make skimming a daily task; leaves and debris floating on the surface rapidly breed bacteria and alter pH levels. Along the same lines, cleaning the sides and bottom of the pool should be on your monthly to-do list: try to get it done at least every other week to avoid algae buildup and stains. Increasing the frequency of these basic maintenance tasks will keep your pool cleaner and healthier and make cleanup go much faster.
Use a Plastic Push Broom to Reduce Vacuuming Time
Using a pool vacuum on your pool is a key step in basic pool maintenance. However, your vacuum will work more effectively if you push leaves and other debris floating at the bottom into a single pile. Take a push broom — one with plastic bristles that will work underwater — and sweep the concrete or tile, pushing debris into a pile in the middle. Then just run your pool vacuum as usual, and revel in the time you’ve just saved on pool cleaning.
Increase Alkalinity with All-Natural Baking Soda
Just like all of us, today’s pool owners are increasingly concerned about the volume of hazardous chemicals in the products they use. While most pools require specially formulated chemicals to stay clean and safe, there are some ways to make the process a little more natural. Specifically, pool alkalinity can be raised using pool baking soda, a gentler alternative to harsh chemicals. Adding 1.5 pounds of baking soda to 10,000 gallons of water will increase your pool’s total alkalinity by 10 ppm — not too shabby.
Save Energy with a Solar-Powered Pool Heater
Heating a pool can be a real drain on your energy bills. To save money and resources, many homeowners opt to go solar instead. Solar pool heaters warm filtered water over a solar collector and redistribute it back into your pool. You can even get them with backup electricity for chillier weather. Additionally, some states offer tax incentives or rebate programs to help you cover the cost of purchasing one. The Department of Energy explains how it all works here.
Don’t Neglect Cement Walkways Outside the Pool
It’s just common sense that if the outside of your pool is dirty, the inside will become that way soon. Regularly hosing off cement walkways around your pool keeps dirt from being tracked into the water, thereby reducing pool cleaning time. And it’s definitely easier to hose off a sidewalk than it is to scrub your pool’s walls by hand.
With the help of these tips, you can keep your pool clean with time to spare — so you can spend your weekend perfecting your cannonball. What are you waiting for? Come on in; the water’s fine! For more helpful tips for homeowners, check out the rest of our blog — or get in touch today to find out how Paradisa Homes can build you the home (and the pool) of your dreams.