If you own an inground swimming pool, you likely spend each spring and early summer in constant anticipation of the fun family adventures and parties you'll have around your pool. However, the thrill of constant summer use can take its toll over time, and as your pool ages, you may find yourself needing to replace or repair various components more and more frequently. Read on to learn about how you can maintain and patch your pool to help minimize the time (and cost) of future repairs.
Trim back potential debris
Because much damage to the drain and interior of the pool is caused by flying and floating debris, one of the most important steps you can take is to minimize the flow of debris into your pool. This not only limits damage to your pool's components, it will eliminate much of the time you'll need to spend skimming your pool's surface or emptying filters.
If your pool is currently surrounded by trees or bushes, you may want to trim them as far back as possible to limit the number of opportunities for leaves or flowers to float (or blow) into your pool. In some cases, your best bet may be to take down a tree or two (particularly if these trees are in poor health and tend to drop twigs and occasional branches). If you're instead finding yourself skimming out basketfuls of grass each weekend as your neighbors mow their lawns, you may instead consider investing in a fence or deck (with lattice skirting) to surround your pool and protect it from far-flung grass blades.
Be proactive in testing water levels
One of the quickest ways to damage the most expensive part of your pool to repair -- the interior -- is to allow chemical levels to run unchecked. Keeping your pool at a balance that will help kill illness- and odor-causing bacteria can be tough, especially when the same chemicals used to provide this clean water can damage walls and drains if they become too concentrated in the water. By investing in a heavy-duty testing kit and testing your water frequently (making adjustments as necessary), you can help maximize the lifespan of your pool's tile, liner, or other interior surface.
Keep an eye on your filter (backwashing when needed)
Backwash can be an unpleasant experience when you sip a soda after someone else -- but when it comes to pool filter maintenance, it's always necessary. Although your filter will do a great job of catching debris and allowing it to collect in an easily emptied canister, every now and then a twig or small leaf will get through this filter, collecting inside the pump. Over time, this can cause damage -- sometimes significant damage to the entire filtration system. By turning your filter on but flowing it backward, you can remove this debris and help extend your filter's life.
Patch holes or cosmetic issues quickly
Regardless of the type of interior liner your pool uses, this surface will eventually develop pits or cracks. If you have only a vinyl seal, this top layer may begin to peel, allowing water to collect between the internal structures of the pool. Although a temporary patch may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a full professional repair, by ensuring that these issues are repaired as soon as you notice them, you can help prevent expensive damage to your pool. It's always better to place a temporary patch while you wait to save the funds to redo your entire pool rather than simply put it off until you can afford to have your pool redone.
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