Having a swimming pool in your own backyard is a dream come true. That is until the weekly pool cleaning chores start to become a nightmare! That’s when you leave it to the professionals, and we can help you learn more with our guide to quality pool services.
The Basics of Installing a Pool
If you’re still planning to install a pool, it’s the perfect time to learn the basics. From comparing the pros and cons of in-ground and above-ground pools to learning about the pool construction process, this guide introduces different types of pools.
In-ground vs. Above-ground Pools: Pros and Cons
Pros and cons of above-ground pools
- At an average cost of $2,800, above-ground pools are much less expensive than in-ground pools
- Easier to maintain than in-ground pools and annual maintenance costs are lower
- Above-ground pools can be installed in a few days and can be taken down and moved
- Replacement costs are higher with above-ground pools
- Above-ground pools don’t add value to your home
Pros and cons of in-ground pools
- In-ground pools can last a long time
- You can choose from pools made of different materials to fit any budget
- In-ground pools are more attractive than above-ground pools
- The average cost of an in-ground pool is between $28,000 and $55,000, which is considerably more expensive than above-ground pools
- Fiberglass and vinyl pools aren’t customizable
- In-ground pools cost an average of $1,430 per year to maintain, which is more expensive than above-ground pools
All pools require regular pool cleaning services and chemical treatments to prevent algae growth, and they all benefit from additional safety features like pool fences, covers, and ladders.
Pool Construction Process: What to Expect
Pool construction differs with various pool types, but the process is similar overall. Here’s what you can expect:
Pool planning and design
Selecting the type of pool, deciding on the location, and choosing a reliable pool builder are all part of the planning and design stage. This part of the process doesn’t take as long for above-ground pools and pre-formed in-ground pools because you don’t have as much flexibility with customizing the design.
During this stage, it’s important to decide on the scope of your project.
Are you including pool decks and fences? What about landscaping features, including hardscaping projects like grill areas and outdoor kitchens?
Before you can start building, you need a set of approved design plans and permits. If you’re hiring a pool builder, they will often provide assistance with permitting and regulations.
Grading and excavating the pool area, including trenching and laying water and utility lines, is part of the site preparation before the pool is constructed or laid in the ground. This is a simpler process for above-ground pools, which is why the installation costs are much lower and take a lot less time.
Building the walls, installing the intake and outflow pipes, and adding pumps and heaters are all part of quality pool services, and more specifically, the construction process. This stage can take up to 16 weeks for concrete pools, but with above-ground pools, it can be as short as 4 to 6 hours.
Once your pool is completed, you can start working on finishing touches like landscaping and decking.
In many areas, pool fences are required and should be included in your plan for safety reasons. When your pool is complete, your pool builder will open the pool and explain how to use and maintain it.
Factors Affecting Pool Installation Cost
Several factors affect the cost of pool installation. Whether you choose an above-ground or in-ground pool, these factors can affect the cost of your pool project.
- Size and depth of the pool
- Pool shape and design complexity
- Materials used for construction
- Additional features, like pool decking, fencing, and lighting
It’s also important to understand the costs of owning a pool. While all pools have maintenance costs, some types cost more to own.
Choosing the Right Pool Materials and Design
Choosing the right pool for your home can be a difficult decision to make. Personal factors like budget, how long you plan on staying in your home, and how your family will use the pool all play a part in deciding what type of pool is best for you.
Essential Pool Maintenance Tasks
To get the most out of your pool, it’s important to keep it clean. A variety of daily and weekly chores must be performed to keep it in top-notch condition so you can get the most enjoyment out of it.
If you’re inexperienced or don’t have the right tools, pool maintenance tasks can easily take a couple of hours each week. When you want the best care for your pool, hiring professional pool services is often easier.
If you plan on doing it yourself, investing in the proper equipment and learning more about pool care routines is important.
Daily and Weekly Pool Care Routine
To keep your pool sparkling clean, use this list of daily and weekly pool care tasks to keep you on track.
Daily pool chores
- Skimmer baskets–clean the skimmer baskets at least once a day, sometimes more if there are a lot of leaves
- Surface skimming–use a skimmer tool to clean the leaves and debris off the surface of the pool
Weekly pool chores
- Scrub–use a pool brush scrubber at least once a week to scrub built-up sediment off the walls
- Vacuum–after scrubbing, use a pool vacuum to clean up dirt and debris that has settled on the bottom
- Water level–check the water level, which can fluctuate due to heavy rains or evaporation during hot weather
- Water testing–check the pH, alkalinity, and hardness of the water
- Treat with chlorine–test the water with a home pool test kit and, if necessary, add chlorine tablets to your pool chlorinator
- Deck–visually inspect the pool deck, and keep it clean by regularly sweeping and power washing as needed
Every other week pool chores
- Shock the pool by giving your pool a heavy dose of chemicals is useful after heavy rain or large pool parties, but should be done at least every other week
- Algaecide may need to be applied weekly if your pool gets a lot of sun, but you should wait until your chlorine levels have returned to normal after shocking
- Check pool filter and pressure wash it, then clean it with a chemical filter cleaner
- Add other chemicals recommended by the manufacturer
Annual pool chores
For above-ground pools, annual cleaning of the pool exterior helps it stay looking its best. Also, check and tighten the bolts for the support structure.
Seasonal Pool Maintenance Tips
Pool maintenance is a year-round responsibility, involving more than simply throwing a cover over the top. Use these tips as a guide to learn more about seasonal pool maintenance:
- Clean the pool–start winterization of your pool with a deep cleaning
- Lower the water level-leaving a pool completely empty makes it vulnerable to damage caused by debris, extreme cold, and ice
- Add chemicals–use winterizing chemicals to balance the pH and chlorine levels
- Drain water from pipes, pumps, and filters–water left in the pool will help protect it, but it will freeze, and damage pipes and pumps
- Store your accessories–store pool accessories like pumps, filters, and heaters in a warm, dry building, like your garage or pool house
- Cover your pool–put the pool cover over the top to prevent debris from getting in the water, and don’t allow snow to build up on top
Winterization techniques will vary, depending on where you live. For complete winterization of your pool, consult your pool builder or manufacturer.
A List of Pool Services Typically Offered by a Pool Company
Quality pool service companies provide regular pool service, typically scheduled four times monthly. They care for all your pool needs, from cleaning to equipment repairs, and they will serve both above-ground and in-ground pools.
- Pool cleaning and chemical balancing
- Equipment repair and replacement
- Leak detection and repair
- Pool resurfacing and renovations
- Winterization and opening services
Pool Service Costs and Factors Affecting Pricing
Quality pool services involving cleaning and water testing typically cost between $75 and $100 per hour, but several factors affect the cost. Learn more about typical pool service costs and the factors that affect pool service rates.
Factors Influencing Pool Service Rates
Here is a list of the factors that influence pool service rates:
- Pool size
- Frequency of service
- Type of service
- Type of pool
- Chemicals used
- Pool contractor’s experience
- Additional services
Typical Costs for Regular Maintenance
Pool service contracts vary, but most homeowners pay $20 to $50 weekly for regular pool maintenance. The average monthly cost of pool service is $180. Annual pool services can range between $960 and $1,800.
Additional Charges to Expect
You may experience pool service charges in addition to your regular service throughout the year. Here are some of the most common charges to expect:
- Seasonal pool services
- Filter cleaning
- Chemical balancing
- Pump and equipment repairs
- Leak detection services
- Tile and grout cleaning
- Deck cleaning and sealing
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Pool Service
Here are the top benefits of hiring a quality pool service:
- Ensures regular maintenance
- Experienced professionals can catch problems early
- Can save you money over time
- Ensures proper chemical balance to keep people safe
- Saves you time and stress
- Protects your investment
Weighing the Pros and Cons: Hiring a Pool Service vs. DIY
When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a professional pool service versus doing it yourself, here is what you want to consider.
Situations Where DIY Pool Care Makes Sense
DIY pool care makes sense if you are comfortable and familiar with pool chemicals and maintenance. It is also a good idea when you’re on a budget, have plenty of time, and own the necessary equipment.
Tips for Choosing the Right Pool Service Provider
To choose the right pool service provider, it’s important to research prospective companies and ask for recommendations. Look for companies with good reputations, ask for estimates, and read the contract thoroughly before signing.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Pool Services
How often should I get my pool serviced?
Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, your pool should be serviced weekly, and most quality pool service companies offer monthly service contracts with four visits per month.
Can I maintain my pool myself, or should I hire a professional?
You can DIY pool maintenance, but professionals are quick and efficient because they have the best tools and experience. Since pool maintenance is a lot of work, hiring a professional pool cleaning service is usually worth hiring.
What chemicals are necessary for proper pool maintenance?
Pool maintenance requires several chemicals, including chlorine, pH balancer, algaecide, and filter cleaners. Depending on the hardness of your water or the type of disinfection system you use, you may need other chemicals.
How do I know if my pool has a leak?
Dropping water levels are one of the biggest indicators of pool leaks. Causes include liners or pool equipment.
Visually check your pumps and filters, and if you can’t find the leak, you can perform several DIY leak tests to determine where your leak is. Pool service companies also offer leak detection services.
How often should I replace my pool equipment?
Pool pumps usually last about 8 to 12 years. If you have a pool cleaning service, they can help you determine when your equipment isn’t working properly and needs to be replaced.
When is it time to resurface my pool?
Pools usually need resurfacing every 8 to 10 years. If you notice signs like surface stains or flaking, it’s an indication that it’s time for your pool to be resurfaced.