Before hiring pool service, understand what you're getting

Pool maintenance
Pool owners obviously would rather spend time splashing around their backyard oasis than scraping calcium from the pool tiles and unclogging leaves from your skimmer.

That is why many owners consider companies to help them maintain their pools and maximize their enjoyment in water.
"People hire a pool service for a similar reasons as they caused by hire a lawn service; they do not have time to do it themselves, or they don't want to mess with it as a result of chemicals and equipment," says Steve Bludsworth, person who owns All-Pool Service & Supply in Orlando.

What should an owner expect of the reputable pool-maintenance company?

Generally, companies provide a month-to-month agreement intended to keep pools fit visually and chemically, and stop larger problems from developing.

Services change from company to company and from pool to pool, but typically part of a standard agreement are testing and balancing the lake chemistry, vacuuming, brushing the perimeters of the pool, emptying skimmer baskets, washing the filter as needed and checking to ensure that all the equipment - like the timer and pump - work efficiently.

Usually covered by the agreements are the chemicals necessary to maintain the water balance, which is affected by six factors: pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, dissolved solids, cyanuric acid and temperature.

Fees for any regular service at larger companies range from about $100 to $120 monthly for average-sized, screen-enclosed pools, with another $20 to $30 for unscreened pools. Smaller companies might charge less for their services.

Agreements generally give weekly cleaning calls, but some pools might require extra visits.

"Some pools avoid getting much use, but other people are used daily, possess a lot of kids included, they're heated or there is a lot of leaves," Bludsworth says. "Those require it more often."

Not covered in most service agreements are additional tasks, such as adding or removing water in the pool, cleaning the deck, repairing equipment and treating stains within the pool.

"One thing we leave for the owner to do is keep your water at the right height. We leave a door hanger weekly telling them what they need to accomplish," says Brandy Striano, owner with husband Paul of Paul's Pool Service in Lake Mary.

In the event the water level is not correct, surface leaves defintely won't be collected in the skimmer, and if the water is low, there could be insufficient water returning to the pump from the skimmer, which can cause the pump to overheat and wear out.

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