How to remove leaves from your swimming pool

pool with leaves 2

As we roll into the middle and later stages of autumn, leaves start to change color. Then the leaves fall off trees completely. When you are living in Southeast Texas (especially in a community such as The Woodlands that is centered around trees), this process is a rite of fall. But while the cascade of red, orange and yellow leaves can be quite beautiful, they can also be quite a pain to clean up. And we’re not simply talking about raking the yard.

Leaves can also be a nuisance to your swimming pool if you allow them to accumulate and float around on the water. Not only can they leave dirt and debris in the water, but they can also get stuck in your filters and manifold, sabotaging their effectiveness in filtering other debris that gets caught in your pool. Leaving leaves in the pool also diminishes the effectiveness of your pool cleaner. Breaking up leaves is difficult for pool cleaners, as parts of them can get stuck in the cleaner — similar to a vacuum’s effectiveness being diminished after it sucks a large object. This will result in a mobile pool cleaner that is compromised or completely ineffective.

And all of this doesn’t take into account what happens when the leaves absorb moisture and sink the surface of the pool. Not only can unattended leaves cause ugly stains at the sides or the bottom of your pool, but the deposits from the leaves can also make it easier for algae to bloom. And, as we’ve written before, that can be quite the problem in itself. And having a once-a-week maintenance visit isn’t enough to keep the leaves at bay.

Steps to take care of leaves

So how can you minimize the impact of fallen leaves on your swimming pool. Here are three things you can do.

  • Drag the leaves out of your pool with a rake: If you don’t have a pool rake with a net attached to pick up leaves, purchase one immediately. Dragging the surface and bottom of the pool right after leaves fall off the trees only takes a few minutes and can save you loads of work and stress down the road. If you rake the pool and pick up the big stuff early, it makes it easier for your cleaner and your filters to take care of the rest.
  • Scrub the sides and the bottom of your pool: Even if you have been able to clean all of the big leaves out of your pool, scrubbing your pool is a necessary pre-emptive step toward preventing against stains and future algae growth. Taking a pool brush and doing a solid, hard scrub of the sides and the bottom of your pool will go a long way in preventing stains. Stains are a lot easier to manage before they show up, so scrub your pool.
  • Clean your filters: Even if there aren’t leaves stuck in the filter, it’s good to get whatever gunk is in there out of the system periodically. Doing this at least once a season is necessary to keep your pool filtration on point. The best way to do this is with a mixture of 80 percent water and 20 percent muratic acid. A little muratic acid goes a long way in not only breaking up solid particles, but can also cut away at the film that results from debris. Weakening those elements allow them to be filtered out better or sucked up by your mobile cleaner.

Fall leaves are pretty, but that beauty doesn’t have to cause frustration down the road. A little maintenance with leaves now allows you to enjoy more football and apple cider later.


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Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

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