While the short answer is that you might emerge from your pool looking like the creature from the Black Lagoon, the really scary answer is that you could be shortening the life of your pool by up to 50 percent if you don’t maintain it properly. This is especially true for the water, which ironically is the most damaging thing to your pool. That puts a whole different spin on getting out there with the bucket, doesn’t it? Read on to find out exactly why proper maintenance is so important to the longevity, health, and well-being of your pool.
Green Scum is Just the Beginning
If you skipped a week of cleaning during pool season, perhaps you noticed the water was less than inviting – maybe you had to pick a slimy leaf or two off your swimsuit, or wipe a dead bug off on the side. Leave the pool untreated two weeks and you probably noticed that telltale green colour: algae. While algae looks gross enough in the lake or ocean, consider that your pool is a closed system. There’s nowhere for that algae to go, so left untreated, it breeds some more, and can become a breeding ground for some seriously nasty bacteria like deadly e-Coli. Then you’ve got your white and pink slimy molds, which can clog the filter, reducing its performance and leading to — you guessed it — more bacteria. Water can turn green in just a couple of days if you don’t maintain the proper chemical balance in the pool.
Damage to the Pool can be Extremely Costly to Repair
Poor pool maintenance can not only pose health dangers as a result of improper water balance and bacterial buildup to you and those who use your pool; not taking care of your pool water can result in costly damage to the pool liner, which can eventually crack when the proper water balance isn’t maintained. Several scenarios can occur, especially if the pH is too low. High acidity (the result of low pH) can cause etching, pitting and delaminating in fibreglass pools. Metal parts like ladders, screws, pool cover components and light fixtures are at risk of corrosion, and amazingly, the wrong chemical balance can even crack expensive pool tiles. All very good reasons to regularly check your pool’s pH, alkalinity, chlorine, TDS, and of course, to regularly clean out the skimmer basket in the pump to ensure proper circulation.
Don’t Forget to Check the…
As you’re performing regular pool maintenance, it’s important to notice telltale signs that something has gone wrong. Too-cold water could be a sign that the heating equipment is malfunctioning and struggling to keep up. Is a drain broken, missing, or obscured? How about the pool door/gate or fence, is the latching mechanism in great shape or easily breached by small children and pets? In the case of special equipment, like an Ozonator or chlorine-generating (salt) pool cells, is the equipment clean and in perfect working order? Do small cracks around the pool’s perimeter need caulking?
Just as you wouldn’t drive your car 100,000 km without an oil change, you shouldn’t wing it when it comes to your pool – a major investment you want to enjoy for a lifetime. While it might seem frustrating to build in the time for pool maintenance, in the long run, making emergency runs for chemicals and booking expensive service calls can be a lot more frustrating! If the pool just isn’t your top priority, no worries. Don’t let inattention or mistakes cost you more than it should, just contact us for a regular pool maintenance plan that will take the hassle out of pool ownership.