Get your swimming pool ready for summer

Private Property South Africa
Cath Jenkin

Lazy afternoons and midnight dips are on the agenda for the summer. Get your swimming pool ready for the sunny season.

Pool safety

Before anyone takes the first plunge of the season, it’s time to check and update your swimming pool safety measures. Swimming pool safety is paramount, no matter who you are - old, young, animal, or human. We recommend the following five swimming pool safety measures:

  • Fence: Every swimming pool needs a fence around it, whether it be directly around the pool itself, or to fence off the surrounding area. A sturdy fence, that can’t be easily jumped or pushed over, is a must.
  • Gate: Every swimming pool needs some level of access control, to prevent children and pets from falling in unsupervised. A lockable gate that can only be accessed under the supervision of an adult is a necessity.
  • Surrounding area: Slippery tiles, overgrown vegetation, or broken flooring near a swimming pool can be hazardous. Make sure the area surrounding your swimming pool is safe.
  • Floatation devices: Everybody loves a lilo, but they’re not lifesaving devices. Check every item of your swimming pool paraphernalia, to make sure they can be inflated correctly, and that they’re in good working order.
  • Swimming pool cover and net: A swimming pool cover, or net, is important, especially if you have children or pets. Make sure your swimming pool net or cover has been professionally installed, and call in the professionals if you’d like to check on its integrity and the level of safety it provides for your family. And yes, every time you finish your sunny day swim, the swimming pool net should be put back on to the pool. Don’t be lazy!

Lesson time

If you’re not sure of your swimming ability, or your children are just starting out with swimming, sign up for swimming lessons. These are an important part of ensuring swimming pool safety for your whole family, and they can be fun too. If you prefer, find a swimming teacher who will come to your house, so you can easily supervise your children’s swimming lessons. Make sure the whole family is summer ready with swimming lessons.

Equipment check

The type of equipment you need to maintain your swimming pool will depend, largely, on the type of pool you have. A chlorinated swimming pool will require different equipment, accessories, and maintenance routines, when compared with a saltwater swimming pool. Keeping your swimming pool equipment and accessories in good working order is just the start of being summer ready. You’ll need to check how your swimming pool pump, weir, cleaning equipment, and accessories are working. Big tip: swimming pool cleaning hoses are prone to becoming brittle and breaking: make sure they’re still in good shape!

Outdoor living

You’re going to spending summer by the poolside, so don’t neglect your outdoor living area. Clear away or cut back overgrown plants and vegetation, and call in the professionals if your decking needs a clean, sanding, or new layer of varnish. Give all your outdoor furniture a good scrubbing, and don’t hold back on sprucing up for the sunny season. You’re preparing to make beautiful summer memories! Oh, and if you have had a visit from the neighbourhood suburban wildlife, make sure they’re well taken care of, and baby goslings have taken flight.

Eliminating water woes

Keeping your swimming pool sparkling clean gets a little difficult in winter, and it’s common for many homeowners to simply pop the pool cover on, and neglect their pool until the sun shines again. If you were a little neglectful towards your swimming pool during winter, don’t fret too much. We recommend you:

  • Test your swimming pool water chemical levels: Get yourself a swimming pool chemical testing set, that’ll help you figure out what to do, to ensure the water is safe for swimming. Your standard swimming pool chemical testing kit will tell you what the pH and chlorine levels of your water currently are. Use that as a guide to formulate a plan for getting your swimming pool water ready and safe for swimming.
  • Clean your swimming pool: Give your swimming pool a good scrub, to eliminate any algae that may have adhered itself to the walls and structure.
  • Aim to restore the right chemical balance: You may need specialised chemical solutions to ‘shock’ your swimming pool water towards being summer ready. Ask at your local hardware store for advice.
  • Call in the swimming pool professionals: If you’re not sure how to get your swimming pool water safe for swimming, call in the professionals. Accredited and experienced swimming pool specialists will work with you to find the best solution for your water woes. You may need to take a small sample of your swimming pool water into a pool specialist’s store, and that can be a good start for getting the right advice for your pool.
  • Top up the water level: If you haven’t had to do any structural work to your swimming pool during the winter months, and there’s no need to empty your pool, then don’t. Rather work with the water you have in your swimming pool, and top up the level if you need to, once you’ve got it sparkling clean again.
  • Wait it out: Now that your pool seems back to its sparkling and summer ready self, don’t be too eager to take that first splash. Test the pH and chlorine levels of your swimming pool water one more time, to ensure its safe for swimming. And, if you’ve had to use chemicals to bring water back to blue, wait for those to clear before you get everyone ready to take the first dip of the season.

One last lesson

Now that the water’s ready, the sun is shining, and you’re ready to fire up the braai, there’s one more thing to do, before you and your family leap into a summer of swimming pool fun: go through the rules again. Ensuring everyone stays safe while having swimming pool fun is important. Preventing accidents, and ensuring everyone stays safe while swimming is your priority, and you can craft your family’s swimming pool rules around your lifestyle. We do, however, suggest a few golden rules for your swimming pool:

  • Children and pets should never be allowed near or into the swimming pool without adult supervision.
  • Avoid running around the swimming pool, as you can easily slip and fall.
  • Swimming on your own is no fun, and can be dangerous if you experience difficulties in the water - always swim with someone else.
  • Children must wear floatation devices, and swimming aids, as required by their parents.
  • Everybody should learn CPR, just in case!

Now that your swimming pool is summer ready, it’s time to make that first big splash!

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