Getting your swimming pool ready for summer isn't hard, but it does require a bit of work. Following a few easy steps and taking the proper precautions can go a long way towards increasing summer fun while helping to keep your family safe.
7 Steps to Get Your Swimming Pool Ready for Summer
From start to finish, opening your pool and getting it ready for warmer weather takes all of about an hour. That said, it's best to wait at least 24 hours after shock treatment to actually swim.
Make sure you have all the tools and other items you'll need before you get started. Then, you can get your swimming pool ready for summer with these seven easy steps:
- Drain the cover, remove it, clean it, and store it.
- If the water level has lowered, add water until it's reached the appropriate level.
- Turn on all pool equipment, such as filters, to make sure they're operating correctly.
- Test the pool's chemistry.
- Brush and then vacuum the pool.
- Apply shock treatment and algaecide, especially if you have a chlorinated pool.
- Evaluate the safety of all pool equipment to discover any parts that need repairs or replacing, and replenish pool supplies.
If in doubt about any of the above steps, have a knowledgeable pool inspector come out to inspect your pool.
Chlorine vs. Salt Pool Systems
Many people have chosen to switch from the standard chlorinated pool system to a saline generator system. Chlorine tends to evaporate, especially in warmer climes, but salt remains in your pool. It doesn't have to be re-upped after a warm day, only added if the water level drops due to things like rain or splashing. Not to mention, a saltwater pool has a much more reliable pH, doesn't need to be monitored as often, and requires far fewer chemicals than a chlorinated pool. A drawback of a saltwater pool, however, is that it can cause corrosion within the working parts of your pool system.
Converting to a saltwater pool from chlorine isn't as hefty an investment as you might think, especially when you consider the cost of salt – around $30. In a pool that's used quite often, chlorine costs can run as high as $180 for the summer.
Keeping Your Swimming Pool Safe in the Summer
There's nothing quite like going for a dip in the pool after a long day of work in the sun, but that haven can quickly spell disaster if you have small children in your home.
About 3,500 people die of drowning every year in the United States, which averages to around 10 people per day. Of those 10, two are children under the age of 14. It is absolutely mandatory that an adult be present whenever children are using your swimming pool.
These are just a few precautionary steps you can take to help prevent accidental drowning and promote pool safety:
Build a fence around your swimming pool
This is one of the best precautionary measures you can take, especially for ground pools. This barrier can help prevent accidental drownings in the event your child escapes your sight. Your fence should open out, away from your pool, and be both self-latching and self-closing.
Install a swimming pool alarm
Just like your pool fence, this is an added layer of protection. Pool alarms will alert you in the event a pool gate or fence is opened. Some pool alarms also have motion sensing capabilities that alert according to wave activity. In fact, some states even require the addition of pool alarms during construction.
Forego a diving board
A vast number of pool injuries are directly related to the use of a diving board. Even experienced divers can slip, fall, and hit their head. So, if you don't have one, don't get one. If you do have a diving board, consider its removal.
Keep rescue equipment, first aid kit close to the swimming pool
Common rescue equipment that should remain near the pool in an unchanging location include a life ring and a rescue hook or tube. You should also check this equipment from time to time to ensure it's sturdy. Your first aid kit should be located in the same area and have all the essential items.
Inspect the area every day for slip and fall hazards
Kids can trip and fall easily – so can adults. Make sure there are no items around the pool that pose a tripping hazard. Also, a good deck paint with non-slip additives is a good idea to prevent slip hazards.
Keep swimming pool chemicals stored safely
Any pool chemicals, while they protect against germs, can be fatal if ingested or improperly handled. These chemicals should be stored away from the pool area, out of reach, and locked.
No amount of preparation can prepare you for the unexpected. But learning how to perform CPR can help you avoid catastrophe in the event an accident occurs. Online classes in CPR are available, but it's best to take an in-person class at a hospital or fire department.
Applying the above safety tips can help make this summer with your pool that much more enjoyable.
Activities to Keep Your Children Occupied During These Unprecedented Times
Are your kids starting to get bored with the same old routine every day? After you've gotten your swimming pool ready for summer, consider these fun activities to do with your children the next time boredom strikes:
- Make a fort out of cardboard boxes - and then paint them. Set the fort up like a "resort" by the pool.
- Create a treasure hunt around your home and out in your yard. The winner gets to be "king" or "queen" of the pool for the day.
- Login to the Georgia Aquarium's website and watch beluga whales or jellyfish live – then have your child guess how many pools you'd need to have a whale at home.
- Check out the Paris museum, the Louvre, for a virtual tour. Then gather items from outside, such as leaves, rocks, or sticks, and have your child recreate their favorite painting or sculpture.
- Watch the livestream from the Cincinnati Zoo, then go outside and act our your favorite animals.
- Choose a new recipe and make supper – or dessert – together and then have an outdoor picnic to make the eating more fun!
With this knowledge and these cool ideas, your summer will be filled with a lot of fun.