Pool, Pool World: To DIY Clean or Hire a Cleaning Pro, That is the Question
Whether you are planning a summer staycation or just keeping your pool up to par for that backyard barbecue, keeping your pool pristine is all part of maintaining a special place where you can escape with those that you love most… but what’s the best way to keep your pool clean?
DIY pool maintenance can save you a pretty penny and help you put away more for a rainy day. Meanwhile, hiring a pro will mean shelling out some of your ice-cream fund on an experienced crew who actually knows what the heck they are doing. While it isn’t always an easy decision, there is a right one for every pool and every family.
From do-it-yourself benefits to professional perks, here are some of the pros and cons of each pool perfecting option and how to decide which is best for you.
The DIY Dude
Cost: $20-100 dollars per month
Initial startup: $50 dollars for year-round vacuum and hose/$60 for fall maintenance kits
Who should do it alone: People who REALLY like doing things alone! (Duh.)
Do-it-yourself pool maintenance can be challenging at first. Not because the task is difficult, but because you will need to learn the basics of what chemicals to use, how to operate a pool vacuum and what your pool will need from you at different seasons of the year. According to Cost Helper, going it alone can save you up to $55 to $145 per month. For those on a budget, those numbers can really add up, leading to thousands of savings per year for the simple exchange of a little elbow grease.
- You will save money which is always a perk!
- You won’t have to deal with appointments, middlemen or with having to switch out pool companies until you find the one you like best. (Hopefully, you already like you. That is sort of a done deal.)
- You can use pool cleaning days as a means to help your teenaged children earn a little spending money for summer trips or back-to-school shopping.
- You may find that you love it. Some people discover that cleaning their pool is therapeutic.
- Not to state the obvious, but you have to do it yourself. Bummer.
- Spending time cleaning the pool out may become burdensome if you lead a hectic lifestyle. It will take up a small chunk of your day and it is recommended that pools be cleaned once per week. If you cannot devote the time needed for cleaning, you could end up with an even bigger mess to clean (or malfunctioning components like pumps and filters) by the time you get around to it.
The “Let That Guy Do It” Family
Cost: $75-$165 per month for weekly cleaning
Initial startup: Typically none
Who should hire a pro: Anyone who has the money to do so, with neither enough time, nor the desire to DIY
There is nothing wrong with enlisting a little help to clean your pool so that you actually enjoy your summer vacation. You get a clean pool… and the pool boy gets a fatter wallet. Win/win. Hiring a once-per-week pool maintenance company will likely cost you an estimated $75 to $165 per month, depending upon your area and pool size. However, you may be able to find small, mom-and-pop side operations who work for a discounted rate.
- You can have an umbrella-drink and relax while the pool company does the heavy lifting. (It isn’t exactly a good idea to indulge in too many umbrella-drinks while cleaning a pool. That is a cautionary tale waiting to happen.)
- You can skimp out on learning the ropes of chemicals, hoses and pump functions… oh, my.
- You will have plenty of time to get things done without having to worry about getting to pool duty yet again.
- You can be sure that nothing is overlooked.
- A pro will cost you more dough.
- Appointments in busy summer months may feel inconvenient.
Decision Time for Your Pool Maintenance
Keeping your pool clean is all part of being a good pool owner, but how you clean your pool is a personal preference that may change as summer passes. When it comes to picking the perfect option, there is really no wrong answer. Whatever keeps you happy, and afloat, will serve you well… while you serve the next round of poolside popsicles.
Home Pool Maintenence: DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
Your pool is one of the best parts of your home. Unfortunately, it also requires maintenance that can either sap your time and energy or your finances. When it comes time to clean your pool, is it best to DIY or hire a pro? Each side has advantages based on your budget, your available time, and your skill level.
Let’s face it: keeping that pool up and running is expensive. Choosing to bring in the professionals can run you $100 per cleaning or more—and depending on your area, pool maintenance can be more expensive and required more often. Some people can get by with monthly pool maintenance, while others may need to clean their pools as much as once a week.
Doing it on your own, however, isn’t necessarily less expensive. If you’re going to keep your pool clean on your own, you’ll need to purchase the supplies to get started: chemicals, cleaning supplies, and more. The chemicals alone can run around $30 per month, and the up-front cost of pool cleaning supplies can make it prohibitive when you first start doing it on your own.
The first time you’re faced with the need to clean your pool, you may immediately feel overwhelmed. From cloudy water that you just know isn’t clean to a pool filled with leaves and bugs that need to be removed before you can go swimming, you hardly know where to begin! The first time you try to clean your pool yourself, you might quickly decide to give up and pass the responsibility on to a pool cleaning company.
As you gain experience with the process, however, you’ll start to employ hacks that will keep your pool clean on a tighter budget, from using a baking soda paste to scrub tiles that have gotten grimy to using window screens to take care of skimming debris from the pool. The more you do it, the easier it will be to keep your pool clean!
When a professional comes out to clean your pool, it will take them somewhere around thirty minutes to an hour to get everything clean. They have professional-grade tools that are designed to make pool maintenance easier and enough experience to keep it moving smoothly.
Going the DIY route, on the other hand, may require you to spend a little more time making sure that everything is done correctly—and that you do it all yourself, rather than sticking your head out to supervise periodically.
A professional-quality clean often looks better than what you can manage on your own, particularly if you’re conscripting the kids to take care of some of your basic pool maintenance tasks. Ultimately, however, the quality difference will depend on the reliability of the company you’ve hired and how willing you are to put in the time to learn how to do it right. There is, however, one area in which hiring a professional to take care of your home pool cleaning and maintenance stands out: their knowledge of how to correctly balance the chemicals in your pool. If you don’t understand the process, it’s important to make sure that you either take the time to learn or call in a professional to take care of this part for you.
It’s Your Decision
Ultimately, the decision of whether you want to take care of your own home pool maintenance or hire a professional is up to you. There are advantages to both sides of the coin. Deciding to take care of the cleaning yourself is a better long-term investment: you don’t want to buy the supplies, only to decide that you’d rather pay someone to come to take care of it for you. Doing it yourself, however, can add up to substantial savings over time, not to mention the satisfaction of a job well done.