You’ve finally done it – installed an outdoor pool in your yard, or you’ve purchased your dream home with one already there. You can already see the pool parties and summer days with an ice-cold beer in your hand, cooling off in the water.
But if you’ve done your research, you know that while owning a pool can be fun and enjoyable, it needs regular maintenance if you want to keep enjoying it, so you’re going to need to invest time and money for regular upkeep.
Are you going to do all the maintenance yourself? Or are you going to hire a pool cleaning company to help? If you do, how should you choose a good pool cleaning service?
First, you’re going to want to determine what regular maintenance your pool needs.
What is Included in Regular Pool Maintenance
At the beginning and end of each pool season (generally the spring and fall), there are some things you want to do to properly open and close your pool.
For pool opening, you need to:
- Check for cracks, leaks, and other damages
- Clean out any large debris and dirt
- Fill the pool with water and appropriate chemicals
- Set up filtration system and get it running
For pool closing, you need to:
- Clean the filter
- Remove and clean filters and skimmer basket
- Disconnect pump and drain pool
- Install winter cover
In addition to the opening of the pool in the spring and closing in the fall (which in and of themselves can be a big undertaking), during the summer there are some things you will want done regularly to maintain your pool.
Checking the pH levels
Every pool has chemicals in it (most commonly chlorine) to kill bacteria, keeping your pool clean and safe. Depending on the type of chlorine used, levels should generally be between 1.0 ppm and 2.5 ppm for a pH level of ~7.5.
If the chemical levels aren’t properly maintained, bacteria starts growing, leading to an increased chance of infections and illnesses – you don’t want you or your kids swimming in a bacteria-infested pool! It is recommended that the chemical levels of your pool be checked every week.
Cleaning the Pool
Of course, there is always going to be debris, dirt, or bugs that make their way into your pool. So during the summer, it’s important to regularly clear the debris, leaves, and other materials that float on the water, as well as the heavier materials that sink to the bottom.
Regular maintenance is required to ensure all your equipment is working properly. This includes cleaning and clearing your filter and pumps. This maintenance generally needs to be done weekly or monthly, depending on your system and environment.
Electric or gas heaters also need regular monitoring and maintenance, cleaning out calcium buildup that might be restricting water flow.
Let’s face it – you have a pool to enjoy it, not to add to your regular chores list. Thinking about all the time and money that goes into pool ownership might be daunting and discouraging. So if just reading that list of maintenance tasks exhausted you, you might want to look into hiring a pool cleaning service.
Why Hire a Pool Cleaning Service
Everybody wants 2 things: more time, and more money. Obviously, by hiring a pool cleaning service, you are saving yourself time. Whether it is someone to help with the opening and closing of your pool, or a company that will come in and do all of the regular, weekly maintenance, you are saving yourself valuable hours that can be spent in your pool, instead of working on it.
You’re probably thinking, but hiring a pool cleaning service will cost me money, not save it! That’s true, initially. But if you’re paying $150/month for weekly maintenance, you’re making sure that all your equipment stays in optimal condition, meaning replacing equipment less frequently, and less likely to damage your pool!
How to Choose a Pool Cleaning Service
Once you’ve decided to get some help maintaining your pool, you’re going to want to choose the best company to do it. Here are 4 factors you want to consider when choosing a pool cleaning service.
As with selecting any company that provides a service, you are going to be interested in their reliability. What are their reviews like? How is their customer service? If you have a question or concern, are they going to be available to help you? Does the company have insurance to cover any accidental damages to your property?
Looking into these areas, either from word-of-mouth, or online reviews will help you determine if this company is one you can trust to get the job done right.
Of course, cost is going to be a big factor in your choice for a pool cleaning service. To start, it’s good to know industry averages in your area. You can get quotes from a number of companies around, and look up national averages to get a better idea of an “approximate” price. This will help you be better informed, and able to pick out companies that are charging either too much or too little.
Once you know how much a company is charging, it’s important to know what exactly is included in that price. If it’s weekly maintenance, what precisely are they checking and cleaning each visit? Are they able to provide a list of services they will complete each time? Are repairs included in their services, or are they offered at an additional cost?
Also, if they are maintaining your chemical levels, are they charging a flat rate for chemical use, or is it a pay-per-use? It’s good to know the average cost of 1L of chlorine and other chemicals used in your pool to know if you’re being charged a reasonable amount or not.
One of the benefits of hiring a professional pool cleaning service is that you’re leaving the cleaning and maintenance of your pool in the hands of experts who have years of experience maintaining pools.
That’s only true, though, if you hire a company with experience! Along with experience comes having the right equipment to get the job done, and knowing how to handle potential problems efficiently and effectively.
So, before selecting a pool cleaning service, get to know a bit more about the company. Are they well-established, or just starting out? How many years have they been in the industry? If they are just starting out as a company, how much experience and training do the maintenance workers have with pool maintenance and cleaning?
Asking yourself these questions before choosing a pool cleaning service will save you time, money, and stress in the long run, and ensure that you’re getting the best value possible for your maintenance and cleaning services for your pool!
Make sure that your contract has everything down in writing – what services are included, how often they will be done, what repairs are covered (if applicable), what remediation is in place for any potential damages, and all other details you think are important to document. In reality, having all of these details written down is good for both the company and the client, and ensures that everything is agreed upon and everyone is satisfied.
Once you know your cleaning and maintenance schedule is set, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief, grab an ice-cold beer, and start enjoying your pool stress-free, knowing it is being regularly maintained and cleaned by the professionals.