Picture this. It’s a hot, sunny summer’s day. There’s nothing on the to-do list but to enjoy yourself. You’re on a float in the middle of the pool, soaking in vitamin D and mojitos at an equal pace. The kids are having a diving contest and judging each other’s handstands on a scale of 1 to 10 like they’re in the Olympics. Your spouse is firing up the grill soon.

It’s the American dream. A beautiful family, a home of your own that you’re proud of, the white picket fence, and a pool? A refreshing oasis amplifies the American Dream in your own backyard.

For many families, a house with a pool is the ultimate goal.

1.   Pools Make Amazing Memories

If you love to host, your house will automatically be a go-to place for summer fun. Friends, family, and neighbors will flock to your home on hot summer days. During the summer holidays, you can catch your neighborhood’s 4th of July Parade. Then have all your friends back to your house to swim. Sounds like a pretty perfect day.

2.   The Value of Your House Increases

It used to be that a pool could be a deterrent to your property sale.  Some people love them, while some recognize the upkeep involved. While owning a pool can still be a deterrent in certain price points and locations, in general, a pool can increase the value of your home by as much as 15%. A pool could be the difference between a quick sale or a long-drawn-out experience in a competitive market.  Our local real estate market has never been so hot for buyers searching for a home with a pool.  And pool companies are booked out well in advance for those looking to install them.

3.   Incredible Pool Workouts

Instead of driving to the gym, you can spend time working out in the pool. Swimming exercises the entire body safely and gently. It promotes faster weight loss and decreases the risk for health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

4.   Keep an Eye On The Kids

A pool encourages a family to spend time together. You’ll make memories barbecuing or teaching them how to swim. Your kid’s friends will want to come over and use your pool. You’ll know where they are. You can let them have fun independently while still being able to keep an eye on them.

All of these things are valuable. But too often, people buy a home with a pool only to have the good memories dredged down by the responsibility of the item. Pools are great. But they’re a lot of work too. They need regular upkeep, not just to look pretty but also to enjoy it safely.

If you’re considering buying a house with a pool, here’s what you need to know:

The 3 Most Important Facets of Pool Maintenence

1.   Water Circulation

Any good boy scout will tell you that stagnant water should be avoided. Water that doesn’t move becomes murky, stagnant, and saturated with algae. This is as true in your backyard as it is in the wilderness. Backyard pools aren’t still ponds filled with so many chemicals that they magically become crystal clear. Jets and filters are always at work to keep your pool swimmable.

  • A pump sucks water from the pool with a skimmer.
  • The water then passes through a filter, removing debris and other pollutants.
  • The clean, filtered water is pushed back into the pool through jets. Point your jets in multiple directions so that the water circulates around the pool.

There will be dead zones in your pool, like behind a ladder or under the steps. You can try pointing your jets at these areas, but depending on the design, this may not work. In this case, brush these dead areas. Brushing breaks up debris and microorganisms like algae and bacteria. After a good brushing, these particles will sweep into circulation. They’ll run through the filter with the rest of your water.

2.   Cleaning

If you’ve got your circulation in check, half the battle is done. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to tie a bandana around your forehead and get to work now and then. At a minimum, you’ll need to skim, brush, and vacuum your pool weekly.

Here are a few hometown hacks for these weekly chores.

  • Baking soda paste is a great, inexpensive tool for brushing your pool walls. It works wonders, and it won’t damage delicate tile or vinyl.
  • Toss a few tennis balls into your skimmer basket (or even directly into the pool water). This will help absorb residue left behind by cosmetics, sunscreen, etc.
  • Wrap the skimmer in pantyhose. This creates an extra filter layer that will catch more than if your skimmer is working alone.
  • Buy an automatic pool cleaner. Robotic pool cleaners are our friends! They don’t totally eliminate the need for weekly pool chores. But they will cut the time you have to spend cleaning way down. So you can spend more time enjoying your space.

3. Chemistry

Stop where you are.  There’s no need to memorize the periodic table. Pool chemistry is intimidating to a lot of people, but it’s actually pretty easy. The most important tool in your repertoire is a water testing kit. Before you grab your chemical bag, run some tests. Here’s what you’re looking for:

  • Sanitizer Levels

This is your classic chlorine additives.

  • pH Levels

This measures how acidic or basic your water is. Low levels are more acidic. High levels are more basic. You’ll want to live in the 7.4-7.6 range to remain balanced.

  • Alkalinity

This works as a budder to help you avoid spikes or drops in your pH levels. You’ll want your alkalinity to live in the 100 to 100 ppm range. Baking soda is the go-to for increasing your pool’s alkalinity.

Looking for a home with a pool?

Read all of this and still up for the task? I’m with ya! There’s nothing like lounging by the pool. Search for homes with pools in or around Madison here.