Taking care of your pool has rewards

Joshua Carrick is a second generation contractor now specializing in custom luxury construction as well as property management and maintenance throughout the south fork.  He can be reached at 631-283-2240 or joshua@patriotcontractingcorp.com

Joshua Carrick is a second generation contractor now specializing in custom luxury construction as well as property management and maintenance throughout the south fork.  He can be reached at 631-283-2240 or joshua@patriotcontractingcorp.com

One of the most frequently used features of a home in the Hamptons is the swimming pool. At first glance, a pool is simple enough – just a hole in the ground with water that you can swim in. In actuality, it is a pretty complex system. Without proper preventative maintenance, the various components of your pool and spa can break down, which, according to Murphy's Law, will be at the worst possible time – Saturday evening on a holiday weekend when you have a yard full of party guests.

Even if you don't plan on swimming until later in the season, it is still suggested to open your pool in late spring or early summer (no later than June 1). If you wait until later in the season to summarize your pool, you will more than likely have algae growth which can quickly stain the pool finish. So if you open your pool and it looks like a dark green swamp, simply filtering the water will not be enough. The pool should be completely drained and the gunite finish should be washed with a special acid to completely remove the algae growth and kill any remaining spores.

If you have your pool serviced weekly by a pool care professional, the basic equipment is already being maintained for you like the pump, filter and the heater. But what about the upgraded options your pool has that requires special attention?

If you have an automatic electric cover, each spring once the pool is opened, the tracks need to be cleaned and lubricated and the tension on the motor needs to be tightened to ensure smooth and proper operations all summer long. Without this maintenance, the cover can bind up in the track or fall out completely, rendering your pool useless until it is repaired.

Pools without covers experience a lot of evaporation, especially those that are heated to a higher temperature. And many of those pools do not have an automatic fill feature, which replaces the water automatically as it evaporates. If the water level drops too low, the filters can run dry and burn out very quickly. Some people manually fill their pool with a garden hose, but it is unsightly to see a bright green hose run across your patio and it can easily be forgotten about and left to run for days, overflowing your pool and causing flooding. An automatic filler can detect when the pool’s water level drops and turns on a hidden underground water supply to add water until it detects it has risen to the proper level. This kind of system can easily be retrofitted to any pool.

Pools also use a ton of electricity to circulate and filter the water and gas for heating. The old mechanical timers help a little, but they can only turn the pool on and off automatically on a set daily schedule. With today’s technology, a pool computer not only allows you to make a more customized schedule that varies day by day, but also gives you remote access so you can log in and control your pool from your cell phone anywhere with an internet connection to turn items such as the heater or light on or off. Instead of letting your heater come on automatically every Friday afternoon, you can log in and turn it on at the right time before your arrival, saving run time for the pump and gas consumption by the heater.

With the right preventative maintenance, your pool can be one of the most enjoyable parts of your home. And with the right features, it does not have to break the bank either.