If you purchased a home recently with a swimming pool or had one constructed you are often faced with the question – should I try to maintain my own pool or should I hire a pool service company? This is probably something you don't think about until after the fact and the answer is not as cut and dry as it may seem. Doing the pool yourself and becoming a DIY Homeowner or hiring a pool service company is something to thoughtfully consider.
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If you plan on taking care of your pool on your own there are a few things to make sure you have. The first element is time. It may sound basic to mention this but in reality taking care of your own pool requires that you to set aside a block of time each week to check the chemicals and balance the water as well as clean the pool and maintain the equipment. If you work 5 days a week and leave your house at 7 am and return at 6 pm that leaves you with Saturday and Sunday to squeeze in your pool care. So I suggest scheduling at least 45 minutes every Saturday morning to work on your pool. This takes a level of dedication during the Summer season and if you miss one week the pool can turn ugly pretty fast. Also if your pool is left open all season you will need to deal with debris from the winds and rain which can consume a large block of time.
You will also need a very basic knowledge of pool chemistry to balance the pool water. Keeping the water balanced is important for several reasons. If the water is out of balance it may be unsafe to swim in and you can actually become very ill from viruses and bacteria in the water. Out of balance water can also irritate your skin and eyes, causing burning eyes and itchy skin. It can also damage the pool surface and even the pool deck depending on how out of balance the water can get. But relax, it is pretty easy to do once you start and if you run into trouble your local pool store has counter staff that can check your water and offer you suggestions. Investing in a good test kit is something I suggest and you can find some helpful videos on my YouTube Channel and in my eBook on water balancing.
Cleaning your pool can be easy if you have the basic equipment on hand. A pool pole, a leaf rake, a brush, a vacuum hose and a manual vacuum head are all you really need to get the job done week to week. I have several videos covering the basic equipment you will need and how to clean your pool. To save time I suggest investing in a good automatic cleaner. This will clean your pool for you all week long and all you will need to do is spot cleaning each week. So expect to spend some time each week cleaning your pool to prevent staining and to reduce chemical use each season.
One factor that is often overlooked in servicing your own pool is the pool equipment. You will need to check your equipment each week and keep everything running well or you will struggle with maintaining your pool. If your equipment is old and out of date it might be a wise investment to upgrade your equipment to a new energy efficient pump and filter. This will not only save you money each month on your energy costs but also make servicing your pool much easier. Cleaning the filter when it is dirty is half the battle in pool care so allow for some time to work on the pool equipment each week and when needed.
Here are some of the basic reasons where hiring a pool service company would be a wise choice. If you just purchased a home with a pool I suggest hiring a pool service company for at least the first year. You will have a lot of other things occupying your time and the pool and yard should be the last on your worry list. If you work more than 40 hours a week or have so many activities outside of the house, hiring a pool service company would be wise. The time spent doing your own pool can actually cost you more in the long run and if you can apply that time to your current profession verses towards pool care you might even be better off.
If you are physically unable to service your own pool you should hire someone to do it for you. And last if it looks just too overwhelming for you and you feel you can't set the time aside each week then hiring a pool service company is logical. It can be a lot of work week to week keeping the pool balanced and clean so passing this on to a local service company is not a bad thing.
Here are some things to look for in a pool service company. They should be licensed and also have a general liability insurance policy. They should show up for the appointment on time and look professional. A list of some current clients for references should be provided upon request. Check out their Yelp! Reviews or other online sites like their company website. If it is a Commercial service account they should be CPO Certified – this is an independent certification letting you know they have passed an exam and are qualified to maintain a swimming pool to Health Code standards. You don't want to just hire a guy with a truck and a pool pole so do your do diligence when you hire a company.
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