If you’re in the market to buy a home, you may have considered buying one with a swimming pool. Owning a pool requires maintenance, but is also a great place for friends and family to gather. I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of lounging poolside on a hot summer day?
Here’s exactly what you need to know in order to make a well-informed decision, as well as types of maintenance you’ll be responsible for if you buy a home with a pool.
Pools lose water through natural evaporation and use… or even through a crack in a pipe.
If you experience leaks from natural causes, use a garden hose to refill the pool. However, if there is a leak from a cracked pipe, contact a professional to fix the leak. Once it is a fixed, a garden hose can be utilized the re-fill the pool.
Water level in a pool is crucial because if the level goes below the skimmer basket intake tubes, the pump can lose pressure and be damaged. You also want to prevent air from getting in the filter.
Contaminants build up in the pool over time, such as nitrogen and ammonia. They interact with pool chlorine to form chloramine. To fix this, add more chlorine—also known as “shocking” the pool. Check instructions on the products you buy to add the appropriate amount based on the size of your pool.
After addressing water contaminants, clean the surface of the pool with a skimmer. The skimmer’s mesh net allows you to have more reach without circling the perimeter of the pool several times. They’re useful in removing leaves, and they help to prevent debris from clogging filters or staining the bottom of the pool. There is also a strainer basket in the filter that should be dumped out once a week.
Vacuuming the floor of the pool will get rid of dirt and debris settled on the bottom. Manual vacuums can be attached to the same pole the skimmer is on simply by switching out the parts. Automatic vacuums are another option and they generate random suction patterns. Just be sure the automatic vacuum removes everything you need them to.
Pool owners should brush up on chemistry to ensure the best health of the pool water. The potential of hydrogen level, or pH, needs to be maintained. The level determines its acidity and alkalinity; a pH level of 7 is considered ideal. Acidity levels rise as pH lowers and it can damage the pool liner, equipment, and even swimmer’s skin. However, water that is too alkaline is also detrimental because it can clog the filter, cloud the water, and cause skin to become very dry.
You can purchase a home testing kid to check pH, or even take a water sample to your local pool shop and they will test it, as well as tell you what to do to get it back to normal.
If the home swimming pool you want to buy has a heater attached to it, note how long it has been installed for. They can usually go for a few years before needing maintenance.
Calcium and other minerals build up in the heater’s tubes, which can restrict operation. At this point, pool experts recommend hiring a professional to take the heater apart to clean and repair it.
If the home you purchase is in an area that experiences all four seasons, you’ll have to winterize the pool. You don’t want anything freezing. Trust me. Water must be removed from the pool’s plumbing with an air compressor, and water must be removed from the heater and filter. Also, disconnect the heater, pump, and any chemical feeders.
Clean the pool and lower the water level approximately 18 inches below the edge. Then, shock the pool and cover put a winter cover on it with sealed edges to protect it from winter.
While pools do require maintenance, there are several benefits to owning one.
Swimming is a great exercise because it improves flexibility, builds endurance, and improves cardiovascular health. It’s a more intense cardio workout than a treadmill or elliptical because you use more muscles. Plus, being in and around water reduces stress levels.
It is also a central place for family and friends to gather. Technology tends to take over on a day-to-day basis, and a pool could help relieve that. If you have children, they will flock to the area in hot weather, leaving behind their television and video games for some good old vitamin D.
Owning a home with a swimming pool can also improve your home’s value. Real estate experts claim a home’s value can go up 7.7% in warm regions of the country.
Kendra is a content writer with a BA in literature from Wilkes University. When she’s not reading up on the latest home decorating trends, Kendra is busy designing her future home, library included.