A swimming pool can greatly boost your rental’s appeal. Tenants can visualize doing a myriad of exciting things with access to a pool, from hosting neighborhood barbecues near the pool to spending a hot afternoon relaxing on a raft in the pool to helping their little ones learn how to swim. And, since a pool adds value to a property, it can actually help you charge more rent, says Derek Dawson of Dawson Property Management.
However, having a pool has its downsides. One of which is its maintenance. Pool maintenance can be a lot of work. A pool requires winterizing, leak repairs, chlorination, pH level maintenance, vacuuming, debris removal, and regular cleaning. Don’t lose heart, though, because today, you’ll learn everything you need to know about pool maintenance.
Dangers of Not Maintaining Your Pool
Not maintaining your pool can be a source of many liabilities for you. Remember that as a landlord it’s your responsibility to provide your tenants with safe and habitable living conditions. In addition, there are other dangers of failing to maintain your pool.
1. Potential tenants will not find your property appealing. A swimming pool full of brackish water isn’t something a tenant would want to wake up to each morning. It’s a terrible eyesore. This will without a doubt interfere with the tenant’s enjoyment of the yard.
2. A disgusting pool is a health hazard. Maintaining the proper chlorine water levels helps prevent algae and other organisms from growing in a pool. However, without adequate maintenance, chlorine levels will fall. This will also cause the water to turn to a sickly green color. Dirty water not only effects the pool usability, but it also becomes a liability for you. This is because children and pets can access the water and fall sick.
3. Children can drown in an open pit full of water. Did you know that almost 400 kids drown in swimming pools or spas every year according to the 2013 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission? As a matter of fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, for kids aged between 1 and 4 years of age, drowning is the number one cause of death.
With this mind, let’s take a look at what exactly pool maintenance involves.
How to Properly Maintain Your Pool
Tip #1: Skim your pool regularly.
As long as you have the time, skimming is an easy thing to do to keep your pool looking clean. This involves using a filter to rid your pool of things like leaves, dirt and small twigs. Skimming your pool every few days will benefit your pool in two primary ways. One, it will help reduce the amount of chlorine you’ll need to add. And two, it will significantly increase your pool’s circulation system efficiency.
Tip #2: Vacuum your pool on a weekly basis.
This will help keep the pool water clear and minimize the amount of chemicals required. And, as you vacuum your pool, also make sure to brush the walls and tile on a weekly basis. This will help keep calcium and algae buildup at bay.
Tip #3: Locate and fix leaks.
Maintaining the right water levels in your pool is crucial. If you suspect your pool is leaking, then conduct a simple bucket test. And, if your pool is indeed leaking, then contact an expert to seal the leak.
Tip #4: Maintain good pH levels.
You also need to maintain the proper pH levels in your pool. The ideal reading should be between 7.2 and 7.8. Anything below or above this reading should be a cause of concern for you. Because, if acidic (a pH reading below 7.0), the pool water can corrode your pool equipment, and if basic (a pH reading above 8.0), it can cause scaling on the pool surface and plumbing equipment.
Tip #5: Maintain good water levels.
As already mentioned, monitoring your pool water level is important. As such, regularly check the pool water level each time you’re doing your weekly maintenance tasks. But, how do you know the water level is reducing? You’ll know that if it falls below the skimmer’s level, there is a problem.
Tip #6: Clean the pool filter regularly.
There are three types of pool filters: cartridge, sand and diatomaceous. While each filter has its own maintenance procedure, all require regular cleaning.
Tenant Responsibility in Maintaining the Pool
You could also make your tenant responsible for maintaining certain aspects of the pool. You could do this in one of two ways: by drawing up a pool addendum or by including a clause about pool maintenance in the lease. Whichever route you decide to use, though, just make sure to conform to both your state and local laws. And, if you are not sure about how to go about either of these two options, then consider hiring an expert to do it for you.
Maintaining a swimming pool does not need to be cumbersome. It can only become so if neglected. Hopefully, this guide will help you keep it clean and appealing.