By Brian Cadwallader, The Pool Connection Inc.
Like many investments, your swimming pool is one that requires regular maintenance. All too often, details that may seem small to the untrained eye can have serious consequences if left unaddressed. Regular maintenance of pool and equipment, along with properly balanced water chemistry, can go long way to keep your pool looking beautiful and operating smoothly.
We often see items that are neglected on pools, such as a properly maintained caulking joint between the coping and deck. This sealant has a very important job in protecting the structural integrity of the pool shell and corresponding components. Water penetration into this joint saturates the soils around the shell and can cause heaving of the pool, as well as the neighboring deck slabs.
The water that enters the caulking joint can also damage the components of the pool itself. As moisture makes its way under the coping and behind the tile line, it quickly begins to undermine the adhesion and stability of the materials. This leads to tiles falling off, leaving your pool looking unsightly. In addition, loosening coping stones can be a hazard and major liability! If left unaddressed for a significant period, the bond beam, or top of the pool wall, will begin to deteriorate, leading to structural cracking in the shell itself. The concerns of water penetration to a pool shell are compounded in freeze/thaw climates. As water freezes, it expands greatly, which can cause severe damage over the winter months.
Even if the caulking is very well maintained, it is still important to conduct regular inspections of the rest of the pool shell to look for any signs of deterioration. Remember, your pool is meant to be a water tight vessel. Cracks lead to water penetration, which leads to the undermining of your pool structure as a whole. Keep your pool sealed so you can keep swimming!
Maintaining Water Chemistry
The manner in which a pool is maintained is a major determining factor on how much potential cost will be incurred to keep the amenity operational. A facility with consistently balanced water chemistry and properly maintained equipment will save significant annual costs by not needing to replace or repair items prematurely. On the other hand, pools with erratic water chemistry issues and neglected equipment will incur substantial costs and find themselves constantly chasing one repair after another!
A crystal-clear pool on a hot sunny day sure can be inviting! However, sometimes this comes at a price. With the sincere intention of keeping a pool looking good, pools are very commonly over chlorinated. This can start a chain reaction that can cause damage to every component of your pool!
High chlorine levels will drive PH and alkalinity levels down. What does this mean for you? It means aggressive water that will wreak havoc on your pool and equipment. Water in this aggressive state will attack anything made of metal. This includes parts in your pumps and heaters among other things. The heat exchanger, a very expensive heater part, is particularly sensitive to this corrosive water and in severe cases, can be ruined in a matter of weeks.
When corrosive water breaks down metal components in the system, the dissolved particulates permeate the water and stain the pool surfaces making for an unappealing look. Metal components are not the only material to take a toll from unbalanced water. Cementous materials, vinyl liners, and fiberglass finishes are all affected by aggressive water. Cement breaks down and dissolves, vinyl liners wrinkle and fade, and epoxy paints applied to fiberglass wear away.
Pools are a big investment, but with diligent care you can protect your investment and keep more of your dollars in your pocket! The hard work that it takes to have a well-maintained pool will pay off, ultimately saving money in the long run. The same cannot be said for the pool that did not receive the same diligent care. As with most things in life, you get back what you put in!
Brian Cadwallader, President of The Pool Connection Inc., has been proudly serving the Denver Metro area for over 28 years! From minor repairs to new construction, and everything in between, we have all the tools to get the job done! Don’t let your investment go by the wayside!