Owning a pool when the weather is warm is wonderful. Caring for a pool, on the other hand, is like having a second job that nobody pays you to do. We thought we would take out some of the guesswork. This handy guide will walk you through a few of the tricky parts of pool prep.
First Use Pool Prep
Your first step before you can use the pool is taking off the cover. Yes, that is obvious. But it’s also a chore, and you don’t want to miss steps. We could go into the whole process of blowing off leaves and checking your chlorine. But actual pool experts have done it so many times, we will just refer to them.
Leslie’s is a very reputable pool-supply chain. I have a pool, and I use them all the time. They’re my go-to for advice or supplies. Their article on pool prep hits all the high points. Check it out here. And then come back, because there’s more to pool prep than cleaning the pool.
Owning a pool is great, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. You can’t let strangers wander into your yard to use your pool (not that you would want to). And if you have small children, it is especially important that you safeguard the area.
We had a piece on pool safety last summer. You can read that post right here. That’s a good first step to keeping your family safe and your homeowners insurance happy. Read that article – and then, yes, come back.
If you have small children, it’s important to go beyond the Red Cross suggestions. You will need a fence to protect your yard, but you will also want a barrier between your home and your pool. If your kids are small enough to lack any common sense but big enough to walk out the back door, lock your doors. And since you may want to open the back doors when everyone is home, it’s not a bad idea to have a barrier around the pool itself. Keep those kids where they can’t fall into the water.
Good pool prep means checking your fence for gaps or weak spots. Make sure the latch is working on that kid-proof gate. Oil the hinges and latch if you need to. Five minutes of checking might save a lifetime of regret. And if you really want to study up, check out Pool Safely, a government-sponsored site aimed at keeping your pool safe.
Your pool is clean and your kids are safe. But don’t forget that enjoying the pool isn’t just about the pool. You may walk across grass to get to the pool, or lounge on the deck while the kids splash. Swarming mosquitoes can take all the fun out of a pleasant swim, so treat your yard to get rid of those nasty bugs. Coincidentally, we wrote about that exact topic just a few weeks ago.
When you’re done de-bugging your yard, sweep the deck and clean up any loose debris. You’re going to be barefoot out there, after all. Even if you’ve got calluses like saddle leather, it’s still no fun to track dirt and leaves into the pool.
Prep the Fun Stuff
If you’ve done all the stuff in this article (and the articles we linked), you’re ready to swim. But it couldn’t hurt to drag out the inflatable seahorse and the diving toys and make sure they’re in good shape. You’ll probably end up doing this anyway, if you intend to use them. But the moment when your guests are arriving for your pool party is a bad time to find out the beach ball has a hole. Obviously, double-checking the toys is the least important part of pool prep. Once you finish, though, you will be well and truly ready to enjoy your summer pool time.
At least, until it rains.