After looking longingly at the pool all winter, the time has come to get it ready for the warmer months ahead. A little bit of time and effort will go a long way to ensure your pool is in peak condition throughout spring and summer. Now is also a good time to reacquaint or re-enrol the kids in swimming lessons and check the perimeter of your pool deck is free from potential harm.
Pollen-proof your pool
Spring not only affects those who suffer from allergies but also your swimming pool. Known as pollen, this microscopic powder released from plants can clog up filtration equipment and affect chemical balance. To prevent pollen from affecting your pool this season, clean baskets regularly throughout the heavy parts of spring, replacing any that are faulty, broken or not operating properly.
If your pool is surrounded by a lot of flowering plants, you could always attach a fine material such as cheesecloth or pantyhose to your skimmer before cleaning the pollen from the surface of the water. If you plan to go on holiday, roll out your pool cover to prevent pollen from being blown into the pool while you’re away. Or call an expert to do a regular service so your pool is ready when you return.
Clean the filter
If it has been particularly dry in your area this winter and you need to top up water levels, it’s a good idea to first clean the filter cartridge. For many models this simply involves removing the cartridge and giving it a good wash with a hose. If your pool has a diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filter, you might need to take it apart, clean it, and then reassemble it. If you have a sand filter, set the filter to backwash to clean out the sand before returning it to its normal setting.
Preventing and removing algae
Algae are microscopic, living organisms that grow in water bodies such as streams, lakes, rivers, oceans and swimming pools. Out of the thousands that exist in nature, the four main types that afflict swimming pools are green (Chlorophyta), yellow (Phaeophyta), pink (Paecilomyces Lilacinus) and black (Cynaophyta). Typically dispersed by wind and rain, algae blooms can leave the pool looking unsightly, damage pool equipment, and even make people sick by harbouring bacteria like E. coli.
Prevent algae from taking over your pool this spring by:
- Maintaining proper pool chemical balance
- Maintaining chlorine levels
- Regularly cleaning your pool filter
- Regularly brushing and vacuuming the pool’s surface
- Circulating the water by operating the pool filter pump constantly for 48-72 hours
Timber decking around the pool requires regular maintenance to prevent it from cracking or splintering. Before you invite the neighbours around for a pool party, here are three simple DIY tips:
- Inspect for damage and, if necessary, remove protruding nails, and repair loose boards or rotting posts
- Give the entire surface a thorough clean, starting by sweeping with a stiff bristled broom and timber deck cleaner to remove dirt, algae or moss; rinse with water
- Apply 1-2 coats of a high performance deck oil – make sure it’s slip resistant and able to weather Australia’s harsh climactic conditions and UV exposure
Spring into pool safety
It’s easy to let pool safety slip when you haven’t been in the pool since last summer, so now is a good time to check that it is season-ready. Is the fence or gate in need of repair? Does the self-latching gate still work properly? Do you still need to replace the resuscitation chart that was blown away during that last storm?
Chris Fitzmaurice is National Franchise Manager (ANZ) for Swimart. In 2009 Chris was one of the founding directors of The Swimming Pool Retail Association of Australia (SPRAA) and he has worked with the Federal Government to introduce the first formal, nationally accredited training programs for pool technicians.www.swimart.com.au
Don’t have a pool? Have you thought about investing in a spa?
Soaking in a spa brings many health benefits. After a few minutes in the tub, blood vessels dilate, which lowers blood pressure. Soaking also provides buoyancy, reducing the workload for your body and heart by ten to 20 per cent. As the body goes through this process, muscles relax, temporarily relieving pain. The body begins sweating, ridding it of toxins. The heat and pressure from the jets raise the level of antibodies and white blood cells, promoting the healing process.
For more info visit www.splashes.com.au
TOP 5 TIPS TO PAINTING YOUR POOL
- Ensure you have good weather (you will need at least five fine days in a row to paint your pool)
- Check if the coating is compatible with your current pool surface (consult the experts)
- Select the right pool paint colour for your pool (note: pool paint colours look different when immersed in water or if the pool is empty; and can vary according to the weather, the time of day, pool lighting and surrounds). Best practice is to check colour panels under water before emptying the pool.
- Preparation of the pool surface is vital to a good result (ie: patching any cracks, abrading the surface and applying the appropriate Primer if required)
- Once you have painted, leave the pool surface to cure for at least five to seven days (in warm weather) before refilling your pool.
For further information on painting your pool contact LUXAPOOL on 02 9939 7977, who can provide you with Painting Guides for different pool surfaces.