Ah, summer. It’s hot, the kids are out of school and murmurings of “I’m bored” are around the corner. If you haven’t already gotten up your swimming pool in tip-top shape to carry you through the next three months, it’s time to get going.
These easy fixes can make swimming pools and the surrounding area look new again:
Get a New Pool Liner
The first step in replacing the liner for your pool is to determine its dimensions, including the wall height, length and width. You’ll also need to know the shape of the pool where the bottom meets the wall. This typically occurs about four inches up the wall and three inches in from the wall, according to AboveGroundPoolBuilder.com. Inspect the pool to ensure it doesn’t have any major problems at this point.
Determine the type of liner your pool requires, which will generally be a beaded liner or an overlap liner. Most pools today use beaded liners, which are available in a variety of types such as EZ-Bead, J-Hook, Uni-Bead and V-Bead liners. A beaded liner extends over the top of the pool wall by a quarter- to a half-inch, whereas an overlap liner lies on the outside of the pool wall.
Renew the Concrete
You can renew the concrete surrounding above-ground swimming pools over the weekend by staining it on Saturday and sealing it on Sunday. A gallon of stain will cover at least 200 square feet, as will a gallon of sealant, according to FamilyHandyman.com. Separate areas that will have different colors by cutting the concrete to a depth of one-quarter inch with a circular saw and a masonry blade.
Wait for a calm, cloudy day to apply the stain. Wind can cause the stain to drift and direct sunlight can cause the stain to evaporate instead of soaking into the concrete. Tape a plastic sheet around the siding of your house to protect it from the concrete stain. Fill one sprayer with each color of stain and apply the stain according to the directions.
Allow the stain to dry for at least 24 hours. Apply a second coat if you wish to make the stain more vibrant. You will typically need to reapply stain to bare spots that you missed the first time, especially along the edges. Perform these touch-ups by spraying a cloth and dabbing the cloth onto the bare spot.
Improving Pool Color
Green pool water typically indicates that your pool water doesn’t contain enough chlorine. This generally requires you to add a large amount of chlorine to your pool at one time, which is commonly known as “shocking” your pool. Your pool will turn cloudy if you add chlorine when your pool water has a pH of 7.2 or higher, experts caution, so you’ll need to lower your pool pH by adding a gallon of hydrochloric acid (commonly marketed as muriatic acid). Circulate the pool water for four hours and retest the pool pH. Repeat this procedure as needed to reduce your pool pH below 7.2.
Turn the pool’s filter pump on and apply the chlorine evenly over the pool’s surface. Add five pounds of granular chlorine in the form of calcium hypochloride or 10 gallons of liquid chlorine to your pool. Add algaecide as directed after the water has been circulating for a few hours.
Finally, remember that pool chemicals are highly toxic. Always make sure your kids have zero access to them and any other dangerous household items.
Laura is a home improvement and organization consultant who lives in the New England area.