Hurricane season has all but wound down, and it's time to assess the damage. No, not the damage to your home (hopefully there is none!); we mean the damage to your pool or hot tub, in the form of fallen leaves and random plant life debris. Even if you live in an area where hurricanes do not occur, even moderate winds can wreak havoc in the fall. Those flying leaves have to land somewhere, and that somewhere may just be in your pool or hot tub.
This obviously emphasizes the need for a cover on your pool and/or hot tub, but things happen. You may have forgotten to put it on, or perhaps the wind was so strong that a side or corner blew up enough for leaves to enter. Do not underestimate the damage that is possible due to these green (or brown, or red, or yellow, etc) demons.
- Clogging Concerns
The most obvious risk is that of a clog. Organic waste (whether twigs, leaves, or other plant life) can get into the equipment and plumbing and cause nasty clogs that are expensive to clear. If you see something in the pool or hot tub that does not belong there, remove it, immediately. Don't say, "It's just one leaf."
- Plant Life as a Nutrient
As a nutrient for what? Algae! Plant life of any sort can create a breeding ground for all kinds of algae. Debris will eventually break down if not removed, and water problems are sure to ensue. Skim the pool and hot tub frequently, even if you don't see anything. Keeping the water clear doesn't ensure clean water, but it's a good place to start.
It is sort of all connected, as you can see. The leaves will eventually sink and become a heavy mass that your filter cannot deal with, leading to a lack of filtration. Your pool or hot tub will then start to turn green as algae takes over, which of course leads to staining and even more money you have to invest to get your oasis back.
- Chemical Imbalance
No, we don't mean your uncle who comes over, has a few beers, and then turns into everyone's worst nightmare. If a large enough amount of leaves and debris enters the pool quickly, the water's chemical balance is at risk. It is just like any other negative factor: if there is enough of it, then your normal preventative measures have trouble keeping up.
What Can You Do?
There are steps you can take to ensure less work and worry in the future. Unfortunately, you probably have no one but yourself to blame (not wind, hurricanes, or a rude neighbor blowing his leaves and debris into your yard) if it is a daily problem. If you placed your pool or hot tub underneath a grove of trees or near the wood line at the back of the yard, well, look in the mirror. Not all is lost, though. Consider bringing in a landscaping team to remove smaller trees that could be causing a problem. There is obviously cost involved, but that cost is going to be far less than what constant pool/hot tub repair and maintenance will cost if you choose to give the elements a lifetime of free reign.
For a less invasive solution, assuming trees are not directly overhead, consider planting some lower shrubs around your pool or hot tub location (not too close).These act as great wind barriers, keeping leaves and other debris from getting close.
For an even LESS invasive solution, consider a leaf cover. Not to be confused with a regular pool or hot tub cover, a leaf cover is mesh, lightweight, and inexpensive. It is not going to keep out dogs and children, but it is a great way to keep plant debris at bay.
With some diligence and a small investment, you can ensure your pool or hot tub remains beautiful and functional for years to come.
If you're looking for an easy way to ensure the water in your pool or hot tub stays balanced no matter what time of year it is, consider a pHin smart monitor. This little device constantly monitors your water and automatically sends you exactly what you need to keep the water in your pool or hot tub healthy. If you're looking for someone to service your equipment, Pool Service on Demand instantly connects you to local, qualified pool techs.