Owning a pool is a multifaceted responsibility; from adhering to safety laws to keeping it in top condition, maintaining your pool area, pool deck, barriers, and everything else is the best way to optimise safety for your family and longevity for your pool space.
Maintenance extends beyond simply keeping your pool water clean and balanced with minimal hazards in the area. A complete picture of care includes:
- maintaining a safe pool barrier and gate – without obstructions or damage – that is in good working condition
- keeping your pool decking clean and safe
- pool ladders, stairs and accessories – such as slides and diving boards – in a safe condition
- Looking after pool toys and furniture, so they do not become brittle and hazardous
Staying on top of maintenance will help you avoid excessive damage and potential hazards around your pool.
Let’s dive into the best ways you can keep your pool and its surroundings in tip-top condition year-round.
The pool barrier and gate
When it comes to safety, your pool barrier and gate is the most critical area requiring routine maintenance. As of December 2019, it is mandatory for all pool barriers and gates to pass an inspection by a building inspector for pool safety every four years.
Staying on top of your maintenance will assist in this process and make it easier for your pool barrier and gate to pass safety inspections (hopefully) without any significant work required. If you’re unsure what to expect from a safety certificate, you can read more about it in our updated article on safety certificates. The best approach to staying on top of maintaining a safe pool barrier and gate is to do routine inspections yourself. Follow these easy steps, and you’ll be able to detect any issues early on:
- Take a thorough look around your entire pool barrier and ensure that all panels and sections are sturdy and not coming loose. Do this from the inside and the outside of your barrier.
- Inspect all plants, shrubs, and trees around the area to make sure they have not overgrown, hindering the safety of the pool barrier. Some branches can be used by children to climb a pool barrier, rendering it unsafe and non-compliant with Australian safety standards.
- Your pool gate needs to be self-closing and self-latching. Test your pool barrier gate by opening it up and allowing it to close and latch by itself. If the gate does not close without assistance or the latch does not hold, then it requires immediate repair and maintenance – possibly from a professional.
- Keeping your pool barrier clean is a good way to avoid the build-up of damage and rust. A pool barrier is exposed to pool water chemicals, various weather conditions and damage from sunlight – making it susceptible to chipped paint, rust, and other damage
Pool ladders, steps, and accessories
It may come as a surprise, but pool ladders, steps, and other accessories still need maintenance, no matter how well-built and sturdy they are. We advise inspecting these every year to ensure their safe functionality.
Pool ladders and dive boards
Check the ladder and its mounting for damage. It’s a good idea to give it a decent clean every now and then as well. You can remove the ladder and take it to a space where you can scrub it down and check for any rust or damage. Removing the ladder will also allow you to inspect the mount for any damage that requires repair. Repeat this process with your dive board.
Slides and accessories
When it comes to pool slides and other accessories, it is a good idea to completely disassemble them at the beginning of every pool season and inspect them thoroughly.
You want to ensure there are no brittle, damaged or excessively worn areas that may require repair or replacement – this includes bolts & mounts that keep the slides and accessories sturdy.
It is important to keep pool covers clean and free from scummy build-up like algae. You can do this by scrubbing the pool cover with a brush or cloth alongside a soap solution. However, be mindful not to get the soap solution into your pool, or it could throw off the balance of the chemicals in your pool water. You can remove the cover and clean it away from the pool or wipe the surface down as you wind it in.
Cleaning and maintaining the deck can feel like a daunting task. However, you can stay on top of things with regular cleaning and repairs.
- You can clean your deck area with a homemade water and detergent solution, or you can buy detergents and cleaners from hardware shops and pool stores.
- It’s easy to clean your deck area with a brush or use a high-pressure cleaner if you have one. The trick is to apply the cleaning solution first and allow it to sit for a few minutes while it works through the dirt and scum. Then you can come in with your high-pressure cleaner or brush and give it a good scrub.
- Rinse thoroughly without allowing the solution to run off into your pool water.
- Once your decking area is dry, you can sand it to smooth out any damage and remove any stubborn dirt or algae.
- When your decking area is completely dry and clean, it is a good idea to re-seal the area with some decking seal.
Pool toys and furniture
It’s worth noting that pool furniture and toys require proper care to ensure their longevity and hygiene.
Cover poolside furniture and pack away pool toys when they are not being used to help protect them from sun damage. Ideally, rinse them down with clean water to remove excess chemicals from the pool water.
Keeping a safe, tidy pool area can feel like a big job, but it is also a rewarding experience when you can create a fun space for your family and friends to enjoy.