Whether you’re envisioning an intimate evening gathering of a select few friends or a crazy afternoon party that includes everyone you can think of inviting, we’re pretty sure there’s something you won’t want present at your next pool party: algae. Ah, yes, the bane of swimming pool owners everywhere. Thankfully, algae is a pretty predictable nemesis, and there is science and tried-and-true practices which you can employ to rid yourself and your swimming pool of it. Like so many aspects of your home and property, regular maintenance is key. Not only could being proactive about algae save your next backyard barbecue from disaster, but it can also save you money on costly repairs in the future.
It’s ugly, it’s colorful, and it’s a living thing! Algae is especially prolific in an environment where certain factors are in play: heat, heavy rainfall, dirty water, and low chlorine levels. Not only does it make your pool visually unattractive, but it can also clog your pool filter, reducing circulation. We’ll look at the 3 basic types of algae, named according to their appearance: black, green, and mustard algae each require somewhat different approaches. At the same time, though, you can reduce the manifestation of all these types of algae by keeping up with weekly maintenance.
Weekly maintenance can help reduce sightings of all algae. There are several pool-maintenance tasks you should be sure to do (or hire someone to do), in order to reduce your chances of having to deal with algae removal or remediation. First, test your pool water and make sure to balance chemicals, achieving a pH range between 7.2 and 7.6. Next, occasionally shock your pool in order to remove contaminants. In addition, regularly brush the pool surface, and add an algaecide as an extra preventive measure. While those steps will go a long way to reduce any algae growth, you’ll also want to be sure to keep enough sanitizer available to allow you to stop bacteria growth when it does occur. If you feel uncertain about how to do these maintenance tasks or whether you’re doing them correctly, you can always consult with your local experts at the pool supply company or pool contractor.
Black Algae Basics
Black algae can be somewhat of a misnomer; yes, it can be black, but it can also appear as blue-green clumps or spots. Unlike other types of algae, which can float freely in the water, black algae has raised heads which attach themselves to the water’s surface. Black algae is especially common in pools with water coming from external natural sources. It’s also more common in pools with porous surfaces in which the organism can easily attach and infiltrate the material. So if you have a concrete, gunite, or plaster swimming pool, you should be especially cognizant of this particular scourge. (By contrast, if you have a pool with a non-porous surface, such as a vinyl liner or fiberglass, you probably won’t have to worry about this one!)
In our next post, we’ll look at how to treat black algae as well as the other 2 types of common algae that affect swimming pools.
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