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How To Maintain A Pool In 5 Easy Steps

How To Maintain A Pool In 5 Easy Steps

While Marathon Pool and Lawn is ready to be your pool maintenance provider here in Southwest Florida, we also know that some people want to do some of their pool maintenance themselves, and we’re happy to help with advice on that as well.

We have broken this tutorial down into five easy steps, to assure that all the necessities are taken care of and all details attended to properly, in order to keep your pool working at its best and looking great.

Step One – Skim the Pool and Clean the Baskets

The first thing to do is to remove any obvious debris. So skim the pool with your skimming tool, and remove all bugs, leaves, and other unwanted stuff. Then clean out the strainer baskets at least once a week. Wash the baskets with a hose, and shake them off. Both of the these steps increase the efficiency of the pool’s circulation system, and also reduce the amount of chlorine needed.

Step Two – Vacuum the Pool and Brush the Tiles

Next, you’ll need two more tools: a pool vacuum and a pool brush. A stiff brush works best for plaster-lined pools, and a soft brush for vinyl fiberglass pool liner walls, and also tile. Set up the vacuum according to the directions, filling the hose with water so the skimmer will submerge. Work the vacuum back and forth across the surface as if you are vacuuming a carpet. Then, clean algae off of the pool walls and the tiles near the pool with the brush.

Step Three – Clean the Filter

There are three main types of pool filter: cartridge, sand and diatomaceous earth. While each has its own cleaning requirements, they all trap dirt and oils, and work best with a little bit of dirt in them. Wait until the flow between the pressure gauge and the flow meter reaches between 10 to 15 pounds per square inch. Then, set the filter valve to “backwash,” and clean the filter. If you have a cartridge, simply take it out and hose it down, and it’s clean. Then, clean out the hair/lint catcher in the pump filter, and then unscrew the trap cover, and discard the contents of the basket within.

Step Four – Chlorinate the Pool and Check the Water Level

Add slow-dissolving chlorine sticks to the chlorinator tank near the filter. Add more in hot weather, or when the heater is running a lot. Periodically, if a pool develops a strong odor, it needs to be superchlorinated, or “shocked.” This will eliminate the excess chemicals and remove the odor. To assure the filter and heater work correctly, add water so that the water level is halfway up the skimmer opening’s mouth.

Step Five – Check the Ph Level

To be sure the water is healthy, check the Ph level with a testing kit. Ph is a measurement of acidity and alkalinity. It is best for swimmers at a level of between 7.2 and 7.8. If it is not between these levels, it is best to call a specialist, like us, to adjust the level, as it can be dangerous to add acid.

So that is your pool maintenance checklist. Your pool will look and work great, but this will also take up a lot of your valuable time.

To save the stress and keep the pool running and looking perfect, just call Marathon at 239-834-7529 or visit us at www.poolandlawn.guru, and let us take care of everything.

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Winterizing Your Southwest Florida Lawn

Winterizing Your Southwest Florida Lawn

All across the United States, homeowners winterize their lawns in the fall. But lawns in the Deep South are different. In our local climate, lawns experience different seasons and different changes at different times, and so have different needs. Southwest Florida lawns do require “winterization,” but it is very different than what is recommended on most bags of fertilizer.

The first thing your lawn will need is fertilization. For most areas of the country, most blended bagged fertilizers denoted “winterizer” might as well be called “northern-blend.’ For these colder regions, a high-nitrogen, low-potash (or potassium) blend is commonplace, as it helps keeps the lawn fed and moist during the winter. In Florida, too much nitrogen in the soil will create a lush, moist growth that can lead to insect infestations and patchy discoloration.

So in our area, we recommend using a low-nitrogen, high-potash fertilizer blend at the end of the year that adds stress resistance and will maintain steady growth and healthy-looking grasses.

Winter in Southwest Florida is usually beautiful and quite dry, far drier than our spring and summer months. The dryness combined with cooler nights causes growth to slow, which is normal and fine (and which is why the lawn needs winterizing). It is important to water the lawn occasionally in the winter, so that the lawn will stay healthy and green, and to avoid burnout. It is also important to wait until the lawn needs the water, and to not over-water the lawn.

You can tell the lane needs watering in several ways. First, lawn leaf blades will fold over if dried out. Second, the grass will change color, from green to a blue-gray or even brown. Third, if your footprints remain visible for a while, the grass is dry.

When these signs are visible, apply between 1/2 and one inch of water. Repeat when the lawn again presents signs of dryness, or every couple of weeks, whichever comes first.

Pest and weed control are important, too, but again, there are changes. For weeds, herbicide is not recommended in winter, as it may damage the lawn as much as the weeds. If you do use it, rely only on pre-emergent herbicides, not those that work on existing weeds. If you detect ground pests, it is best to call an expert, like Marathon Pool and Lawn, though there are pest control formulas available at home and garden centers, too.

Following these easy tips will keep your Southwest Florida lawn beautiful and thriving all winter, and give it the strength and nutritionto look great all year long. Or better yet, let us do it all for you.

Call us at 239-834-7529 and we’ll visit and create a plan to make your lawn the best it can be.

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