We all know that keeping pools in good condition can be hard work. Ultimately however it is very worth the effort for the pleasure that they bring to us and our families.
The maintenance of pool side surfaces is often overlooked however. These surfaces are important because if left to their own devices they will become slippery and dangerous.
So how best to clean them and keep them in good condition? There is a whole range of chemicals available in the markets which claim to do just that but do we really want to add more chemicals into this environment? What if there is run off into the pool itself? Can you be sure it is safe?
The biggest risk factors are mold and algae which create a very slippery, slimy surface underfoot. This problem will be particularly bad in shaded areas where the surface will take on an unattractive green appearance.
Bleach removes mold and algae very well but it is a particularly harsh chemical with an unpleasant smell. It can be used on areas that are particularly affected but it should be used sparingly and applied lightly with a spray bottle. At all times run off into the pool should be avoided.
Specific poolside chemicals can be purchased to control lime scale, body fats and bacteria. They will leave the surface more hygienic and slip resistant but take care to buy those with ultra low foaming agents and surface safe acids.
One of the best ways to safely clean poolside surfaces however is by pressure washing. Many pressure washers today connect to a garden hose or water butt and generate high enough pressures to clean without chemicals. Pressures between 2000 and 3500 psi is best with lower pressures selected to protect wooden surfaces.
Key to successful pressure washing is selection of the nozzle tip; this should be suited to the surface material. A 15% spray tip is best for heavy duty cleaning on concrete or similar hard paved areas. This spray tip is also ideal to remove paint or rust marks. Try it on metal garden furniture you will be impressed.
A 25% spray tip is suitable for general washing including wooden decking and cars. A 40% spray tip will give you the most gentle of washes and is recommended for gutters, plastic garden furniture and toys.
The effect of pressure washing on very dirty hard surfaces is often miraculous. It really does return the poolside to something like new. You will be amazed at the result. More to the point however your poolside will be left squeaky clean and slip free.
Do you need a pool fence?