WRITER | MATT DAVIDSON
Having a swimming pool in your backyard is one of life’s great pleasures, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing dip without having to leave the comfort of home. But owning a pool is not entirely effortless, to be sure. Some regular maintenance is required, such as ensuring that the water’s pH is balanced in order to discourage bacteria. Maintaining proper chemical combinations in your pool is probably the most challenging aspect of pool ownership. Fortunately, new products and dispersal methods are introduced all of the time.
There are some fantastic products now available to take some of the tedious, time-consuming work out of keeping your pool in tip-top shape.
Want to embrace the future? Get yourself a pool-cleaning robot. Similar to a Roomba®, these handy little devices are able to move continually around your pool while scrubbing and vacuuming away dirt and debris. There are quite a few devices to choose from, based on your needs.
If you’re building a new pool, you may want to consider an in-floor pool cleaning system. With an in-floor system, retractable jets pop out from the pool’s bottom and other surfaces to “herd” detritus to a suction device that eliminates the debris. These systems are getting better all the time, thanks to advances in computing and sensor technology. They give you the added benefit of circulating the water to all parts of your pool, which keeps temperature and chemical levels more consistent throughout, saving you money on heating and chemicals. These must be installed when the pool is constructed, however, and can’t be retrofitted, making them a front-end investment that you will benefit from for the life of your pool.
Swimming pool covers serve many different purposes. They keep errant leaves from sinking into the depths of your pool and they save you money on both heating and chemical costs by maintaining water levels, preventing evaporation, and keeping heat contained. Most importantly, well-designed covers serve as an added safety net for keeping children from gaining access to the water without supervision.
There are some great automated covers available that fit any shape and size of swimming pool and can even be installed on pools that have already been built. New materials are much better at maintaining temperatures than the traditional plastic bubble wrap type many of us grew up with. They are also much more durable and can even be programmed to be opened only by authorized family members.
If you’re considering a pool, it’s worth talking to your local pool professional to find out about the latest products and the best fit for your pool and your life.