A backyard pool can provide a private retreat to unwind or serve as the entertainment center of the neighborhood - or both. Although most people associate owning their own pool with fun and frivolity, the truth is that there is an awful lot of maintenance required to keep your pool sparkling and ready for action.
While many people prefer to take care of their own pool maintenance, others prefer to hire a professional pool service. To determine which option is best for you, it will help to understand what is involved in pool maintenance.
Once you know what is involved in taking care of your pool, be realistic about how much time you have to spare. Your precious time may be worth far more than the cost of hiring a pool service.
What Does a Pool Service Do?
A professional pool maintenance company will perform these duties on a weekly or bi-weekly basis:
- Skim debris off water's surface
- Vacuum the pool's floor
- Scrub the pool walls and steps
- Empty the skimmer baskets
- Make sure all equipment is in working order
- Balance the chemicals in the pool
- Monitor water level
- Change pool filter (when needed)
- Shock the pool (every 2 weeks)
For an additional fee, the pool service company will open the pool in the spring and close it in the winter.
How Much Does a Pool Service Charge?
Professional pool services charge an average of $100 per month, but there are several factors that will determine your actual costs:
Size of Pool
A very large pool will likely drive up the cost of pool maintenance. A larger pool will require more chemicals to maintain pH and chlorine levels and it will take longer to vacuum the floor and scrub the walls and steps than a smaller pool.
If you use your pool for an after-work swim and the occasional weekend dip your pool will require less maintenance than a pool that plays host to the neighborhood kids every day.
If you live close to a densely wooded area your pool will collect a lot more debris than a home situated near an open field. Similarly, if you live in a area of the country that receives a great deal of rain and/or wind, you'll need more frequent service calls.
The type of filter, skimmer, and vacuum that you have will also play a role in how often you need to have your pool serviced. If your pool is heated or has lighting, it may require more service/repair calls.
Professional pool services can also perform the seasonal tasks involved in opening and closing your pool. These services will be an extra charge, usually in the $100-$200 range.
Things to Ask A Pool Service Company
- Are you insured?
- Do you have a business license?
- What does the maintenance agreement include? The contract should list all the services to be included, as well as the frequency.
- How much experience do you have?
- Can I call some of your clients for references?