Swimming Pool No-No's

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Swimming Pools,Tips

Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you to avoid swimming after you’ve just eaten. Nor will I mention “Don’t run around the pool!” Nope—not going to overdo the obvious. And everyone already knows not to splash people relaxing on the pool deck, especially if they are reading a novel. Okay…maybe you didn’t know that one. If so, now you do. Trust me—water and paper don’t go together. Anyway, I’m talking no-no’s that are consequential to ease of ownership or the longevity of the pool and its components. So here we go!

Your lawn looks great, but how does the pool water look?

Many pool owners take great pride in their back yard landscaping. And rightfully so! After all, your home is your palace, and the yard is what you and your neighbors see first. Ergo, many of you contract landscape or lawn service companies. More frugal homeowners do the work themselves. That’s cool. Nothing like saving money.

Unless it costs you money.

Yard sprays and solid fertilizers are primarily comprised of nitrogen and potassium. Fertilizers. While paid lawn technicians may not care about wind direction, you should. Liquid treatments applied without concern to wind conditions can end up in the pool water. This fertilizer now feeds The Water Scourge Beast—algae. For them, fertilizer is a gourmet smorgasbord. And if you are applying solid or pellet treatments, the same holds true. If your spreader flings any of those pellets through a fence and into the water, you’re headed for algae issues. If you are spreading on a high slope next to the pool, that fertilizer can still find its way to your water. All it takes is one big downpour, some runoff, and a short wash across the decking to the water.

Primarily, this is a concern for in-ground pool owners, but airborne sprays can still make their way into above-ground pools. But above-ground owners have their own special concern to deal with.

I give you the Weed-Whacker.

If I had a dollar for everybody I warned about weed-whacking around their above-ground, I could buy…a new weed-whacker! And a good one, to boot. Again, it’s that yard-care problem. So, you had an above-ground pool installed but never considered that grass grows wherever it can. And so, as spring has sprung, so have the blades of annoying grass right next to the pool wall. No problem, right? A quick trip around with the weed-whacker and presto, they’re gone! The problem is every trimming session does damage to the pool wall’s protective coatings.

First, you need to understand the pool wall’s construction. It is not just a steel or aluminum core with a painted surface that gives it its design. It is a series of protective coatings fabricated to keep water or air away from the steel core. The more layers, the greater likelihood that you will not have rust or oxidation that shortens the pool’s life expectancy. If you keep those layers intact, you’ll likely have years of enjoyment in your pool. The weed-whacker attacks not only the grass, but also the protective layers. In a few short years, water can seep through to the core and start eating away at its structural integrity.

A better option is to put a stone or gravel edging around the pool where grass can’t grow. It looks good and is much lower maintenance. One thing though: when mowing, discharge away from the pool. One rock shot against the wall can do massive damage,

Back to our in-ground pool owners.

I know that pool decks and concrete need a little cleaning, too. Some go as far as to pressure wash, while others hand scrub away any mildew, mold, or grime. Just realize that some of the cleaning solution is going to end up in the water. Soap or acidic cleaners can have a big effect on your water clarity and chemistry. Soap foams and can leave a nasty waterline ring. pH can also be affected, so if you do this, I recommend a professional water analysis soon thereafter. If you live within our Greater Cincinnati service area, Eastgate Pools is happy to do the test. We can professionally test and evaluate your pool water and make recommendations. Please note that all treatments are based on using our professional line of treatment and balancing chemicals. The chemicals sold in big-box stores, lumber yards, and groceries may not do the job. Ask an associate at these places to analyze your pool water and make recommendations for treatment using their chemicals. (Add appropriate laughing emoji here.)

One last question: When pressure washing, do you really want all that grit in the pool, settling to the bottom? Of course not. If you insist on pressure washing, do it while the winter cover is still in place. If the cover is off, wait until next year.

Here’s one for both in-ground and above-ground owners.

Okay, you have your pool and have personalized the nice decking area around it. You’ve got chairs, tables for beverages, chaises…. even a couple umbrellas to provide some much-needed shade for those ultra-hot days. In short, your backyard is now your Eden! Don’t let everything end up in the pool during the next big spring/summer storm. Listen to the weatherperson and if they say a storm is coming, get the accoutrements to a secure location. Even the smallest chair blown into the pool can do damage to a liner or tile border. And do you really want to play a dive game for glass shards from a broken glass-top table? Get furniture to a secure location out of the storm. Hey, it’s just part of the ownership Circle of Life.

In summary…

Sometimes, people just need a gentle poke to remind them of commons sense logic. This summer marks my 50th year in the swimming pool business. The pool professionals at Eastgate Pools & Spas and I have seen a lot over the years. There are things we take for granted that new pool owners may not think of. Our hope is that this information might help you avoid issues that could crop up during the learning curve.

If you have questions, want help with a problem, or just need a little advice, stop in or give us a call.