Pool Maintenance 101

When you first imagined pool ownership, what did you see? Festive pool parties with family and friends? Relief from the summer sun? Brushing and vacuuming the pool interior? Okay, maybe not that last one so much. But the simple truth is that without thorough and regular pool maintenance, all those pleasant images that first inspired you to get a pool will quickly dissolve into something more troublesome and costly.

Not to worry! While pool maintenance may not rank as high as pool parties on your list of favorite things, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have access to the expertise and resources to make it as easy as possible with Speck USA. With the basics of pool maintenance, all you have to do is make a few well-informed choices that keep your water sparkling, your guests healthy, and your personal Iowa sanctuary intact for many years to come.

Why Pool Maintenance is Important

As pool owner, you have a responsibility to protect both the pool and its users. The hallmarks of a safe, enjoyable pool environment are a secure structure, functional equipment, and clean, clear water. In order to achieve these things, a variety of maintenance tasks need to be performed on a regular basis. 

These tasks include balancing the water, brushing the walls, vacuuming, and cleaning out the filtration system. Failure to do so sets you up for a number of big problems down the road. If you’re too casual about your pool chemical use, your guests may experience irritated skin and eyes. If you forget to empty your skimmer baskets, contaminants will build up in the pool system, eventually leading to algae and bacteria growth that can degrade the pool structure.

None of this needs to happen to you! Check out how Speck USA’s professional pool maintenance extends the life of your pool for a more in-depth explanation of how to protect your investment and your loved ones. In the meantime, refer to the following procedures when establishing your maintenance routine.

Pre-Swim Season Preparations

Your pool maintenance begins in the spring before swim season starts. Set yourself up for success by timing your pool opening well and following the opening procedure meticulously.

When to Open Your Pool

When can you open your pool in Iowa? The best time to open your pool is when the outdoor temperatures consistently fall between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In Iowa, this generally occurs in the month of May. You don’t want to open the pool before then because the lower temperatures increase the chance of water freezing in the plumbing. Similarly, you don’t want to delay your pool opening beyond that time because the winterization chemicals won’t last that long. Letting the water go too long without the proper chemical profile increases the risk of algae blooms. 

Preparing Your Filter

As you are preparing for your pool opening, take the time to clean your filter thoroughly with a professional-grade cleaner. If you have a sand filter, you should also backwash it anywhere from monthly to weekly depending on your usage once the pool is open. For a cartridge filter, you should hose down its fabric pleats every two to six weeks.

Cleaning your filter regularly starting in the spring will help you conserve electricity and pool chemicals, and it will help you avoid expensive maintenance for your filtration system. Visit our blog Pre-Season Maintenance for Your Pool Filter for more tips on how to prepare your filter for swim season.

Maintenance for Your Pool Opening

Follow these steps when preparing your pool for its opening.

  1. Brush or blow away any leaves or debris that may have fallen onto your winter cover and pool deck. Use a pool cover pump to remove any standing water that may have accumulated.
  2. Remove your winter cover. Then, clean it, dry it, and store it until your pool closing in the fall.
  3. Remove any plugs you may have placed during the winterization process. Then, reattach plumbing, pad equipment, and ladders.
  4. Empty debris from the skimmer baskets and make sure the filter is clean. 
  5. Clean the inside of the pool by brushing the walls (this is especially important for gunite pools), skimming leaves, and vacuuming.
  6. Shock and balance the water. Then, monitor the chemicals over the next week to maintain the proper levels.

Swim Season Maintenance

Once your pool is open for the season, you want to implement weekly maintenance tasks to keep it operating at peak performance. If you find yourself falling behind in these weekly duties, you may want to enlist a professional pool maintenance service to handle it for you (more on that later).

Weekly Pool Maintenance Tasks

If you are considering DIY vs professional pool maintenance, most of your regular maintenance tasks fall into four categories:

  1. Filtration
  2. Water Testing
  3. Water Chemistry
  4. Pool Care and Cleaning

With Speck USA, DIY maintenance for new pool owners doesn’t have to be hard. There is a specific order in which you want to approach these. 

Start with water care. Use a water testing kit to assess the pH levels, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and amount of available chlorine. Then, apply the necessary chemicals in the appropriate amounts to balance the water chemistry. Once your water is taken care of, brush the sides of the pool. This will dislodge organic material like dirt and pollen before it builds up into algae. Then, vacuum the pool with either a robotic or manual vacuum. Finally, empty the skimmer baskets of any residual debris. 

DIY vs Professional Pool Maintenance

Now that you have a better understanding of what goes into pool maintenance, the next decision you need to make concerns who will do the work. Specifically, will you do it yourself or will you hire professional technicians? 

Ultimately, your decision comes down to how much you are willing and able to consistently maintain your pool. If you suspect that maintenance will either be too complicated or too time consuming, then you’ll want to invest in professional service.

Speck USA offers both weekly and biweekly pool route service in Des Moines and the surrounding areas. Our technicians typically come to your home during the day, so by the time work and/or school is over, your pool is ready for fun without you having to lift a finger! Visit our blog Is Pool Route Service Worth It? to learn more about how a pool maintenance service can make your pool ownership easier.

Pool Maintenance in Iowa

Whether you want to maintain your pool yourself or enlist professionals, Speck USA is here to support all your pool and water care needs. From spring through your pool closing, our service and maintenance experts will work with you so your pool environment is safe, healthy, and full of great memories for as long as you want. Contact us today, and we’ll help you stay ahead of the game from start to finish.

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