The costs of owning a pool can add up quickly, if you’re not prepared. Cleaning is one of those areas that, when you’re really excited about being able to jump in the water over the summer, you may not consider.
First, it’s important to understand the ‘whys’ of pool cleaning, since such knowledge can be motivation to regularly keep your pool clean and safe for all of your guests. One of the big issues is algae and other bacteria. Algae can build up in your pool if the pH of the water reaches a certain danger zone. And no one wants to swim in a green pool, except maybe frogs!
This is one reason that chemicals such as chlorine are critical to ensuring a proper pH of the water. Regularly balancing the chlorine in your water will help prevent algae buildup. If left alone, your pool can become a breeding ground for mold, algae, and other fungi. This is also where regular cleaning of the filter is important. The pool filter traps things like sand and dirt but is also designed to strain out any surface algae and other debris.
So, how do you do it? Well, you can hire a company to do all of your pool cleaning for you, or you can do it yourself.
DIY Pool Cleaning
You’ll need a few things, including a telescopic pole with net to skim off debris, pool brush for the walls, pool vacuum, pH tester, some type of chlorine appropriate for your pool, and other equipment depending on your specific cleaning concerns.
Start by skimming the debris off the surface of the pool. No one likes leaves or trash floating around in their summer playground! You’ll want to do this regularly, several times a week. Then, it’s time for a little more physical labor–break out the brush. Scrub the walls and other areas, such as ladders and stairs. This should be done weekly, at least. At this point, you can bring out the vacuum and get that going. There is a variety of options for pool vacuums, so get one that makes sense for your budget and desired convenience. Once you’ve finished cleaning the general pool area, you can test the water pH. We recommend that you test the pH levels at least three times a week to make sure the pool is safe to use. Adjust the chlorine levels as needed to reach an appropriate pH. Then it’s time to check the almighty pool filter. Make sure it’s clean and unclogged. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean and replace the filter.
DIY pool cleaning might cost you $20-$100 per month for chemicals during the summer after initial purchase of pool tools including a vacuum head and hose from $50, and a maintenance kit with a wall brush, leaf skimmer, test kits and telescopic pole for around $60.
Hiring a Pro to Clean Your Pool
Hiring a professional company to clean your pool definitely has its advantages. The number one advantage is convenience. If it’s a hot afternoon, you don’t have to look out at your pool and remember that you really need to clean it before using it. A refreshing dip is truly at your fingertips. However, the biggest disadvantage is cost. It costs approximately $75-$165 per month for a pool cleaner. However, you should budget about $75 to $100 per visit for weekly cleaning, or $300 to $400 per month. Once-a-month service generally costs about $100 to $150.
It can be difficult to identify an exact budget as costs vary by region and services. Different companies will offer different services, so when you start asking for estimates, ensure you’re getting a very explicit rundown of what they will and won’t do. Another thing you may want to ask is if they will charge you extra for the chemicals that they use. No one likes hidden expenses so asking these questions upfront will keep you from any surprises.
Whatever avenue you choose, cleaning is critical to extending the life of your pool. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at 540.660.4996. Happy cleaning!