If destination weddings, family reunions or vacations take you away from your backyard oasis, follow these pool care tips before you go.
Coming home after a nice vacation to a clean house is a relief. Don’t leave out the deck, patio and pool from your pre-trip cleaning and care regimen. You’ll want to set down your bags and grab a nice drink poolside when you return, and the last thing you’ll want to see is a laundry list of to-dos. Here are some tips for maintaining the pool and pool area while you are away.
Batten down everything that moves
Stow the seat cushions and stack the chairs. Move the stack flush against a wall or a fence. This will help prevent them from being blown around by inclement weather. Store garden flags and draperies. If you can’t take the fabric down, secure it well. Any lawn toys should be cleared out and put in the shed or garage.
Let’s get chemical
Most pool companies suggest that you shock the pool with double the amount that you regularly use right before you go on vacation. Run the filter for 2-4 hours after the extra shock treatment. Many experts encourage pool owners to run the filters for 12 hours a day when owners are away. A pool timer can run your filter on a schedule, but you may still want to hire someone to check in on the filter to avoid filter burnout.
Make sure the chlorine levels are safe before you jump in when you return home.
Vacuum and sweep
Just like inside, the outside needs tidying before you put those suitcases in the car. No one likes to come home to a messy house or backyard. Sweep the deck and vacuum the pool. Hose down the pavers.
Cover it up
If you have covers for your outdoor items, use them. Secure them so they won’t blow off easily. Cover the chairs, the grill and most importantly, the pool. A hard cover for the pool is safest but they can be expensive. A soft cover and a solid, locked fence should be enough to keep people and animals out of the pool while you are gone. Consider installing a pool alarm. Give a neighbor friend the ability to shut off the alarm should it go off in your absence.
Onto your no-worries vacation!
For trips lasting more than a week, hiring some pool maintenance help is the best option. Chlorine will have to be added after a week and the filter will have to be checked. If algae starts to grow, a maintenance person can add algaecide. If there was bad weather, a helper can clean the pool and the patio for you before you come home to a trashed yard. Ask your landscaping contractor if they provide pool maintenance service or who they would recommend for the job.
Some pool owners hire house sitters to look after the pool and any pets they may have. You can find recommended house sitting apps or companies online or ask around town for names of sitters. This is a good extra job for college kids who are home for the summer.
Vacations are a lot of work, but nothing is better than returning to a clean and ready backyard after a long and relaxing time away. Leave the bags in the laundry room, pull up a deck chair and make those few more hours of vacation last until the morning.