Swimming pool maintenance doesn’t end with keeping your swimming pool clean and balanced. In fact, it’s just the beginning! What other maintenance tasks are we talking about? Here’s a quick list (you can click on them to jump directly to the section).
- Keeping your Pool Deck Vibrant
- Damaged Pool Deck Repairs
- Pool Ladder, steps, and rail maintenance
- Safer pool slides and diving boards
- Keeping pool covers in top condition
- Freshening up pool Furniture
Keeping your Pool Deck Vibrant
While we don’t really give much thought about our pool deck maintenance aside from casual sweeping in cleaning, years of sun exposure, water exposure, chemical exposure, and algae/mold growth can give your pool deck a drab appearance that affects the rest of our pool. Here are some things that you can to do keep your pool deck looking as good as the day it was installed.
Pre-Requisite: Sweep the deck and get rid of any visible debris before starting any of the tips stated below to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
- Create a DIY Cleaning Solution - Want to know a secret? All of those pre-packaged deck cleaning solutions are basically a mixture of water, bleach, and some type of detergent, stuff we already have at home! So why not mix our own cleaning solution and save money at the same time right? Take 8 parts water, 1 part bleach, and 1 part detergent and mix them together in a clean bucket.
- Divide your deck into manageable sections - You won’t be able to clean the entire deck in one pass, divide it into manageable sections so that you can thoroughly clean each one before moving on to th next. And as an added bonus, you can easily compare the cleaned sections with the uncleaned sections as you go along!
- Splash cleaning solution by section- spread your cleaning solution all over your deck and let stand for a couple of minutes to let the solution work its magic.
- Get down and dirty - You can either get down and start scrubbing, or you can use your adjustable telepole with a brush attachment to start brushing your pool deck. (Be kind to your back, use a telepole). It’s often a good idea to get a separate brush head for deck cleaning purposes because it will require a LOT of brushing.
- Be thorough - Focus on one area, and once you’re done brushing that area, brush it again before moving on to the next area. We don’t want to keep going back to areas we’ve already done simply because we didn’t spend a few extra minutes scrubbing everything thoroughly.
- Rinse section - Once the scrubbing is done, thoroughly rinse the section (be careful to spray AWAY from the pool) being careful to avoid letting the runoff into your pool. Once that’s done, move on to the next section.
- Once you’ve scrubbed down and rinsed down all the deck sections, use a pressure washer (if you have one) to give your deck a final rinse and to wash away all of the stubborn dirt and debris that have been loosened by our cleaning solution and scrubbing.
- Dry it out and apply some deck sealing solution - Years of neglect will probably have stripped your deck’s surface of the sealing solution that has been applied when it was first built. Allow the deck to dry in the sunlight for about half an hour (or until totally dry) and apply the deck sealing solution per the manufacturer’s directions.
Bonus: Cleaning a wooden pool deck
Cleaning a wooden pool deck is exactly the same as cleaning a concrete deck BUT you may want to reduce the amount of chlorine you add to your cleaning solution by half to prevent discoloration.
Damaged Pool Deck Repair
Over the years, sun exposure, chemical exposure, ground shifting, and other factors will cause cracking on your pool deck. While they’re mainly eyesores, repairing there early is always a good idea to prevent them from spreading and becoming potential trip hazards.
Patching up a concrete pool deck
Patching up a concrete pool deck crack is a pretty straightforward task. It’s best to do crack repairs after you’ve given your pool deck a thorough cleaning. Here’s a list of things you’ll need to fix cracks in your pool deck.
- Liquid Bonding Solution
- Dry deck repair powder (or kit)
- Masony Trowel for smoothing out the surface
Steps in Patching up a concrete pool deck
- Clean the area around the crack, pry out any micro-cracks and remove any concrete that might have become loose, you’ll want to ensure that we’re doing our repairs on a solid surface that won’t come off.
- Mix the bonding solution with the repair powder until smooth (follow the directions).
- Apply the mixture to the crack until fully filled. Smooth out the surface with a masonry trowel and use a rag or a sponge to wipe away the excess.
- Repeat for all of the cracks and allow to dry.
- Once dry, apply some deck sealing solution for added protection.
Steps in Patching up a tile pool deck
- Remove the cracked tile and the grout surrounding the cracked tile.
- Clean and remove any debris from the blank space.
- Apply some quick bonding cement and carefully tap in the replacement tile with a rubber mallet until level.
- Wipe the excess cement from the edges of the tile and allow to dry.
- Once dry, apply some grout to the edges of the tile and wipe the excess off with a sponge or a rag.
Steps in Patching up a wooden pool deck
Patching up a wooden pool deck is a lot more complicated than patching up cement or tile pool decks since there’s no way to patch up large cracks without ripping out an entire plank. The best thing we can do with a damaged wooden pool deck is to consult with a pool professional on how to go about repairing it.
For smaller cracks, we can use wood sealants and re-staining but this will also include a lot of work as you can't re-stain a small section only without messing up the overall "pattern" of the wood stain.
Pool Ladder, steps, and rail maintenance
Even if your pool ladders, steps, and rails are made out of stainless steel, they will still need some loving every now and then. The best way to go about maintainitng them is to first remove them completely from their mountings. This will allow you to check for cracks on their mounting points and seal them up.
Once the ladders, steps, and rails are removed, scrub them thoroughly with a water and soap solution. If there are any stubborn hard water stains or scale, make a paste from baking soda and water and apply it on the stain and leave it for a couple of minutes for it to dissolve the stain. Wipe off and you should be good to go.
If you really want your stainless steel pool attachments to shine, give them a good buffing before reinstalling them!
Safer pool slides and diving boards
The way to ensure your pool slides and diving boards is to treat them like your pool ladders and other attachments. Disassemble them thoroughly at least once every season, check all of the bolts and fittings to ensure that none of them are cracked and rusted out. It’s also an excellent idea to give it a good scrub down with our DIY cleaning solution to keep them looking new and to remove any trace of algae growth to prevent any accidents due to slippery surfaces caused by algae.
Keeping pool covers in top condition
Yes, pool covers need some TLC as well. The best way to do this is to look for a flat space without anything sharp (the garden or the driveway will work, just be extra careful). Lay out the pool cover flat and working in sections, scrub it down with a soap and water solution section by section. Once a section is done, hose it down, roll or fold it over then proceed to the next section. Once the entire pool cover has been cleaned, turn it over and do the same for the next side.
If you have a pool cover roller then the process is even simpler, simply scrub and rinse the cover slowly as you’re rolling it then do the same process for the bottom part. Just make sure to prevent any runoff from entering the pool so that you don’t mess up your pool’s chemical balance.
Freshening up pool Furniture
Pool furniture is pretty easy to clean since they’re built to withstand the rigors of being exposed to the elements. All you need is some soap and water, a brush and some elbow grease. What’s worth nothing though is that try and move your pool furniture out of the way (maybe move it to your driveway) and do the cleaning there. This accomplishes a number of things.
- You can spray your pool furniture with a hose without worrying about the runoff entering your pool.
- You can clean the areas under where your pool furniture has been sitting on. If you have metal pool furniture then don’t be surprised to find rust spots on the areas where your pool furniture has been sitting on.
Refreshing Faded Pool Furniture
If your pool furniture is faded then don't sell them or replace them yet! Maybe all they need is a little bit of a refresh.
- Faded Metal Furniture - To refresh faded or chipped metal furniture, all you need is some sandpaper to sand off the old layer of paint and some paint to give it a new coat!
- Faded Wooden Furniture - A fresh coat of varnish can easily turn your old wooden pool furniture from drab to fab in one day!
- Faded or cracked cushions - The best way to refresh faded or cracked pool cushions is to contact your local upholsterer to have a new cover made for them. This is a quick and easy way to get them looking fresh again, and you're guaranteed that they'll fit your current pool furniture! Nothing worse than getting new pool furniture cusions and finding out that they don't fit!
We have to approach maintaining our backyard oasis in a holistic manner. Not only should we maintain our pool chemical balances, but it’s a really good idea to keep our pool deck and everything surrounding our pool fresh and clean to add to the overall “clean” feel of our pool.
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Happy swimming :)