Hire a Pro vs. DIY — An Honest Look at South Florida Pool Maintenance

The DIY trend continues to grow across the country. Heck, there’s even a network for just that on TV now.

From television shows to YouTube videos, you can pretty much watch and learn about any task you want to. But actually doing it correctly often takes more than just watching a how-to demonstration.

Being in the pool industry, we constantly hear horror stories about how someone thought they could handle a project on their own — only to end up with a bigger mess on their hands once they “finish.” What started out as a cheaper solution ends up costing more because now they need to bring in the pros.

So, what’s the best option when it comes to your South Florida pool maintenance: Should you DIY or hire a professional? Before you can answer that question, you need to figure out what your pool requires to keep it sparkling and if you have the time.

What Your South Florida Pool Needs

There’s a lot that goes into keeping your pool jump-in ready, beyond just removing debris and keeping the water at the right level.

Here are just a few of the maintenance tasks you need to perform regularly to ensure a crystal-clear pool:

  • Vacuum the pool, skim, brush, and clean trap baskets
  • Test and correct the water chemistry for chlorine, pH, alkalinity, stabilizer, and calcium levels
  • Polish handrails and ladders
  • Inspect all of the pool equipment for potential problems (understanding the equipment)
  • Backwash the filter when needed
  • Test the water balance

And those are just some of the tasks your pool will need, assuming it’s in good condition and doesn’t need work to get it to a maintainable level. Keeping the pool clean and the water chemistry in check are things you’ll need to do each week. The other tasks can be done every other week or as needed. Weather and use can affect cleanliness and chemistry.

Compare Your Pool Options

Most of the time, someone thinking about handling the pool maintenance on his own is looking for a way to save money. Who doesn’t want a fatter wallet?

While high-quality professional pool maintenance costs $125 to $185 a week (depending on the size of the pool, of course), doing it on your own doesn’t mean you will save that amount. If you pay any less than that, well, you get what you pay for.

The DIY option will require you to purchase all of the needed tools, chemicals, and supplies — and purchasing everything upfront can be pretty costly. For a typical 16-by-30-foot pool, you will spend about $25 to $30 on chemicals a month.

But maybe the most difficult part of doing pool maintenance is knowing what and how to do the work. That experience is a big part of what you pay a professional for, and it’s not something you can get online.

The Role of Experience

Diagnosing problems with the equipment, making sure the filter is clean and the valves are all in proper positions and catching chemical imbalances before they become problematic all take experience and time. There is no exact science: It is learning by doing and trial and error. Each pool operates differently and is exposed to different environments.

Maybe your pool has rust, water discoloration, or a broken filter: Do you know the best solution for each issue? If you’ve managed your pool for years, the answer might be yes. But if it’s not, you could end up damaging the pool more by taking the wrong actions.

The finish and the equipment are always in jeopardy for those who do not pick up on clues. Not to mention, the people swimming in the water may not be sanitary.

Plus, maintenance isn’t a one-time thing: It’s something you need to do weekly or more for at least 30 to 45 minutes for a typical pool if you’re going to keep your pool looking stunning. You’ll need to be ready to put in the time after you get home from work or on the weekends. Do you have a few hours a week you can dedicate to your pool maintenance?

Avoid DIY Pool Maintenance Disasters

You’ve probably seen some projects that have gone terribly wrong. Just search #fail online, and there will be plenty of examples.

But with pool maintenance, you can actually do a lot more harm to your swimming pool than just making it look bad.

For example, combining the wrong amount or types of chemicals can create hazardous fumes or irritate your skin if you get in the water. Or, you try to scrub the tiles clean and end up chipping, damaging, or scratching them. It’s important for you to know your pool finish: They are all maintained differently.

Not keeping your pool chemically balanced could stain or completely destroy your pool finish. Also, high use of the pool can cause high pressure to build up in the filter and need more energy from the pump — causing you a higher electric bill.

And if you have a pool leak, it will dilute the chemicals and cost you more on your water bill.

Then, you’ll end up calling a professional anyway, making your attempt a waste of time and money.

Weigh Your Pool Maintenance Options

Whether or not you manage your pool maintenance on your own really comes down to this one question: Do you have what it takes (time, experience, and supplies) to get the results you want?

If the answer is “no,” we’d love to work with you and create a maintenance plan unique to your pool and needs. Even if you decide to manage the maintenance, we have equipment that can help you automate and chemically balance your pool, making your job easier.

Contact us at (305) 901-1505 to forget about pool maintenance and take back your summer. Click here to learn more about our trusted pool maintenance services.