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Top Tips for Pool Maintenance

I love summer, and one of my favourite summertime activities includes lots of time spent in my pool with my kids and grandkids.

When most people think about having a pool, that’s what they think about: lots of family fun time spent splashing around. And I love it too, I really do. But what many homeowners neglect to think about is how much work it takes to maintain their pools.

If you love your pool, but aren’t quite sure how to take care of it here are some of my tips to keep your pool working swimmingly.

Maintaining your pool on a day-to-day basis

With a pool, you can’t just set it and forget it. Unless you want to hire someone to exclusively take care of your pool, all that maintenance it needs falls to you. So what do you need to do to keep your pool in good shape?

The pool surface will need to be skimmed every few days. This is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to keep your pool clean. If left too long, debris will become saturated with water and sink to the bottom, making the pool much harder to clean. Empty out the skimmer baskets weekly.

I test my pool water about twice a week. You want to know the water level, pH balance, chlorine levels and more. Never let your water level dip below the skimmer. You’ll lose some water naturally through evaporation and splashing around, but if you’re refilling the pool weekly, that could be a sign you’ve got a tear in the pool liner somewhere.

Maintaining your pool liner

If your pool liner starts to rip, you want to fix or replace it immediately. With any leaks, the pool wall can begin to rust, meaning you’ll have to replace the entire liner - or if the rust is bad enough, the whole wall will need to be grinded and resurfaced with a rust inhibiting paint. That’s not a cheap fix!

Replacing a pool liner typically takes two to four weeks, but that could be longer during the peak summer season. However, it’s best to have it done before winter to prevent extra damage caused by cold weather. The freeze and thaw cycle could put enough pressure against the pool wall to cause it to crack.

Tip: If you’re replacing your pool liner, make sure all your landscaping around the pool is already complete to keep debris from falling in and potentially damaging that new liner!

Maintaining a schedule

The best time to think about your pool’s annual maintenance is near the end of the summer season (for those of us who can’t use ours year-round). This is when you should have your pool inspected by a pro.

If there are any items in need of maintenance, it gives you time to budget for those repairs ahead of time, preventing you from being blindsided by pool maintenance when next summer hits. As a bonus, since the busy season is finished, you’ll have a lot more leeway when it comes to scheduling your maintenance.

Here in Toronto, we’ve only got a few weeks left of summer, so I’m going to get as much enjoyment as possible out of my pool while I still can. But once the September long weekend arrives, I’m going to give my pool guy a call to help me inspect it, and close it up for the season.

About the Author

Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host, is working with Associa to refine the standards and protocols that today’s Homeowner’s Associations use to Make It Right™ for their homeowners. He brings more than 35 years of experience in renovations, construction, and inspection services, and is best known as the contractor and host of “Holmes on Homes” and “Holmes Makes It Right” where he rescues homeowners from repair and renovation disasters.