Summer Tips: Keeping Your Backyard Pool Healthy & Clean

a young child swims in a clear pool while giving a thumbs up sign

Reading time: 3 minutes

Pools are made for enjoying, but along with the cannonballs and mandatory flamingo floaties also comes pool maintenance and safety. If you have a backyard oasis, you need to keep the water clean and the area safe to make sure you, your family, and your guests can enjoy the pool to the fullest.

That’s why we reached out to Jason Ori of Rosebrook Custom Inground Pools. Jason has been installing and maintaining pools for more than 35 years, and Rosebrook has been servicing communities in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan for more than 60 years.

Read on for tips from Jason on how to keep your swimming pool water clean and healthy this summer!

Tools of the trade

a homeowner in shorts and T-shirt skimming an inground pool
A skimmer – a pool owner’s best friend

Before you can take care of your pool, you’ll need the proper equipment. This includes skimmer nets, brushes, chemicals, a water testing kit, and a portable vacuum hose.

“The portable vacuum hose hooks up to the vacuum head, and that way you can pull out little debris on the bottom,” says Jason.

You’ll also need pool chemicals to balance out the chemistry levels and of course, “the fun stuff.”

“You need to have your floats, your beach balls, and all that kind of stuff to make sure it’s just not a large bath and everybody’s enjoying it,” says Jason.

Daily pool maintenance

a water testing kit in front of a pool with green and purple water
Test the water chemistry daily.

To keep your pool water clean, you’ll need to complete daily tasks, such as:

  • Skimming the leaves off the top.
  • Making sure the circulation is healthy.
  • Checking the pool’s chemistry daily.

But how often you need to test the water’s chemistry and check the chemical levels depends on the “bather load” or how often you use the swimming pool.

“It’s like the furnace in your home,” says Jason. “If you had smokers living in the home, you’re going to want to pull that filter out every week or every two weeks to make sure that the air is being filtered properly. It’s the same with a swimming pool. You want to make sure that the filtration is always at a high level. That way the water is a lot safer, clearer, and more appealing to be in, especially when the temperatures get hot.”

a pool pump with the cover off
Monitor the filtration along with the chemistry daily.

If you use the pool daily, then there are two different processes that need to be performed that keep the pool clean and healthy.

“You have your filtration side of it, and then you have your chemistry side of it,” says Jason. “You need to keep both of those up to par, especially if you’re using the pool on a daily basis or when it’s hot out.”

Two surefire ways to know your chemistry is off is if your skin develops a rash or your hair becomes “really, really sticky.”

“That comes from adding too much chlorine and too much chemistry into the water,” says Jason.

Weekly pool maintenance

a vacuum in a backyard pool removing algae
Get out the vacuum once a week.

Weekly pool maintenance tasks include:

  • Vacuuming the pool for leaves and debris.
  • Brushing the sides to free algae growth.
  • Cleaning the cartridge filter and skimmer basket.
  • Balancing the pool’s chemistry.

Balancing the chemistry means checking chlorine, the pH, the alkalinity, and calcium stabilizer levels.

Adds Jason, “Depending on where you live, you’ll have to adjust your sequestering agents for all the metals that are in the water.”

red petals sticking the bottom of a pool
Let your pool professional know your landscaping schedule.

Your pool’s health depends upon many factors, including your lawn care, so stay alert to contaminates that could end up in your pool.

“If landscapers come in once a week to cut the grass and go through the gardens, then you’ll have to balance out the chemistry and make sure that the pool gets cleaned right away,” says Jason.

Check the water level, too, and top off the pool if some of the water has evaporated.

Heatwave home pool maintenance tips

a person with a snorkel face mask diving into a pool
Keep your pool healthy by completing additional treatments.

Hot temperatures (and lots of swimmers) can also create issues with your pool water. When the weather gets extremely hot, you’ll need to do a PRS treatment.

“This is a Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, and Giardia treatment,” says Jason. “You do it once a season, and you do it in two different stages. It’s called a PRS Stage 1 and Stage 2, and it’ll kill E. Coli and bacteria in the water.”

Swimmers will inevitably get water in their mouths, and that can cause gut irritation without the right chemistry and treatment. A PRS treatment will help to address these issues and help keep the pool water clean.

As mentioned earlier, pool water can evaporate, especially in extreme heat, so check your pool water level and top off when needed.

When to bring in the pool pros

A pool professional cleaning the pool with a vacuum
Let the pros handle your pool maintenance.

With all these tasks, you might be wondering, “How difficult is it to maintain a pool?” Pool owners can definitely maintain their pools, but you might want to consider bringing in the pros to handle weekly maintenance.

“It depends how much time homeowners have,” says Jason. “If you’re chasing around four or five kids, you probably aren’t going to be able to put enough focus into the maintenance, cleaning, and chemistry of the pool.”

This allows pool owners, especially those who can only enjoy their pool a few months a year, to spend their time in the pool and not cleaning it.

You also might not want to keep chemistry around the house, including chlorine, so hiring a pool maintenance team can help to keep those products away from the family.

Keep open lines of communication

a homeowner dangling her feet in the pool while holding up a wine glass
Call your pool professional for spills in the pool.

If you decide to hire pool professionals, communication is paramount. You should alert them to your landscapers’ schedule and their treatments, including fertilizing and spraying for bugs and mosquitoes.

“All of that will end up in the water, eat up your chlorine level, and lock up your filtration,” says Jason.

You should also let your maintenance crew know when you’ll be holding parties or if you drop something into the pool, like wine or other substances.

people sitting in an outdoor living area near a pool
Let your pool professional know when you’ll be hosting.

“We send a service technician out there, and we rebalance the chemistry, fix whatever problems that they have or repair their pool for whatever parties are going to happen,” says Jason. “For parties, you’ll want to make sure that the chemistry’s in balance, that the filtration’s up to par, that the Polaris Vacuum Robot isn’t swimming around the pool at that time.”

That’s all a part of keeping a pool well-maintained and safe for everyone to enjoy.

“Just having that open line of communication and being comfortable with communicating with people on the off hours is extremely important,” says Jason.

Stay on top of home maintenance

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