Swimming Pool Maintenance in 60 Minutes a Week


Proper maintenance of any asset is a capital investment in itself, especially with apartment swimming pools. If pool maintenance practices are compromised to save during lean times or for other reasons, a valuable amenity suddenly isn’t an attractive asset and requires significant money to restore.

For about 60 minutes a week, big problems can be headed off with inexpensive maintenance practices that will protect an apartment property’s investment. The annual estimated cost of $100 in test kits and diligent use of them and other practices can prevent a needed $20,000 investment for major repairs because of improper pool maintenance.

Proper Pool Maintenance is a Year-Long Habit

Just because summer is almost over and usage is starting to slow doesn’t mean a swimming pool should be out of sight, out of mind.

If not monitored, chemical imbalances could form in the water, resulting in corrosion and high alkalinity that will reduce life spans of plaster, tiles, and equipment. A normal 20-year life expectancy on the swimming pool’s plaster can be cut in half, while pumps, filters, and lines could get scaled and clogged.

The damage could leave a property manager swimming in a pool of repairs that could dent any apartment property’s budget.

Such is the case for one Georgia apartment manager who let the chemical balance at a secondary swimming pool get so out of hand that the water not only turned slimy but became a cozy home for tadpoles, frogs, fish, and crawfish. Another is the over-chemical-conscious maintenance team that went through five 100-pound buckets of chlorine in one year.

The pool in the latter example had to be re-plastered to the tune of $14,000; the former incurred hefty labor costs for scrubbing the walls and refilling with water.

Other aspects of the swimming pool’s appearance can be compromised, too. Getting a perfect tile match on a repair is virtually impossible because tiles are like carpet and paint and come in color lots. When styles change, it’s difficult to find a match.

60 Minutes a Week Can Save You Thousands

Proper pool maintenance requires minimal monthly cost and time, considering the damage that could be done and how long the amenity could be out of service to residents. Here are some pool maintenance tips that take only about an hour a week to administer:

  • Chemicals, like chlorine, and PH levels should be checked three times daily during peak usage and at least once per day during non-peak usage. Time to do takes about 15 minutes.
  • Alkalinity should be checked once per week. This takes about 5-10 minutes
  • Calcium hardness and uric acid levels need to be checked once per month. Figure 10 minutes to check.
  • A 5-minute check of the flow meter to make sure the swimming pool is circulating water at a proper rate is recommended.
  • Brush the walls and floor weekly to remove algae. This may take 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the swimming pool
  • Keep a preventative amount of algaecide in the pool. Add weekly.
  • Keep water circulation at the proper turnover rate. Do not add harmful chemicals through the skimmers, and keep the skimmers and line basket free of debris.

By investing about an hour a week at a minimal cost in pool maintenance, a property manager can avoid a big capital repair project that can climb into the thousands of dollars and extend the life of a valuable amenity for the apartment property.

What does your swimming pool maintenance routine look like? How long does it take?



Owner, Service Team Training

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Mark Cukro owns and operates Service Team Training in Harrisburg, N.C. (www.serviceteamtraining.com), which specializes in service team development in the multifamily housing industry. He is an award winning Certified Pool Operator Instructor for the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Cukro also was the Director of Service Team Development for Colonial Properties Trust, Inc, a New York Stock Exchange traded company with 148 properties and over 48,000 apartment homes. Mark’s certifications include CAPS, CAMT1, CAMTII, EPA Proctor for HVAC/CFC 608 and 609.

One response to “Swimming Pool Maintenance in 60 Minutes a Week”

  1. […] Management Insider recommends a one-hour-a-week pool regimen that will keep your costs to a rock bottom low. Year-long maintenance is essential. Avoiding high […]

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