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2021 Cost to Maintain a Pool | Monthly & Yearly Rates
Depending on where you live, a swimming pool can make summer months much more enjoyable and an excellent way to cool off. In fact, during the pandemic, pool manufacturers and installers saw a major increase in demand with everyone stuck at home. Heaters, pumps, and building materials were out of stock for months, but the demand still remains consistent.
While you may already be aware of the high upfront cost of installing a pool (between $28,000 and $55,000 for an inground pool), new pool owners often forget to consider long-term costs related to pool maintenance. If not appropriately maintained, your swimming pool can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Pools see a variety of contaminants on a daily basis, such as dirt, cosmetics, lotions, urine, and more. If not attended to, these contaminants will result in a toxic, hazardous place to swim.
The average yearly pool maintenance cost is $1,850 for annual service. Homeowners spend an average of $50 on weekly pool cleaning during summer or $180 for monthly pool service plans. It costs an average of $450 per year to maintain an above-ground fiberglass pool.
Continue reading for our comprehensive guide on the cost to maintain a pool, so you can obtain a better understanding of how to properly budget for the swimming pool of your dreams.
Table of Contents
- Average Rates for Pool Maintenance
- Cost to Maintain Pool by Frequency
- Cost to Maintain Pool by Swimming Pool Type
- Cost to Maintain Pool by Material
- Cost of Pool Maintenance Service
- Cost of Pool Cleaning
- Pool Closing or Winterization Costs
- Pool Opening Costs
Average Rates for Pool Maintenance
In simplest terms, the cost to maintain a pool can be broken down based on the type of pool, the material of the pool, and the frequency of the maintenance – whether it’s on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Of course, additional enhancements, improvements, or repairs that are made to your pool are going to impact the final cost of maintenance.
While some homeowners choose to handle pool maintenance themselves to save money, most choose to hire a service. Hiring a pool maintenance service costs between $90 and $270 for three summer months, or approximately $60 to $90 an hour. In terms of national average maintenance costs, most homeowners pay around $180 for monthly cleaning. The table below outlines a brief overview of the average costs to maintain a pool:
|Average Range||$90 to $270|
|Low End Cost||$50|
|High End Cost||$1,850|
Cost to Maintain Pool by Frequency
Depending on how frequently you have your pool maintained, you could pay an average of $20 to $1,850. In general, you can expect to pay less for standard weekly maintenance, like cleaning and balancing chemicals, compared to annual work like replacing components or opening and closing the pool. The table below displays the average costs associated with weekly, monthly, and annual pool cleanings.
|Frequency of Maintenance||Average Cost Range|
|Weekly||$20 to $50|
|Monthly||$30 to $90|
|Annually||$950 to $1,850|
Weekly Pool Maintenance Costs
As a pool owner, you’ll pay an average of $20 to $50 for weekly maintenance costs – depending on the specific work that needs to be performed. Weekly maintenance usually involves cleaning filters, evaluating pH levels, putting in chemicals, and monitoring any malfunctioning components. It may also involve removing leaves and debris, brushing the walls, and emptying the skimmer basket if the pool is especially dirty.
Monthly Pool Maintenance Costs
Monthly costs for basic pool maintenance costs between $30 and $90, including the cleaning of various pool components, cleaning the filters with chemicals, looking for leaks, testing the chemical balance of the water, lubricating the fillings, and more. These tasks are important to keep up with so as to avoid any major problems from developing down the line.
Annual Pool Maintenance Costs
The cost of annual pool maintenance ranges from $950 to $1,850, with most pool owners paying around $1,450 for the service. Annual costs typically include opening and closing, general maintenance, chemicals, materials for components that need replacing, and home insurance. Depending on the type of pool, it’s likely that the annual cost of maintenance will fluctuate a bit from year to year. The cost of opening, closing, and chemicals will generally remain constant, but replacing parts has a major impact on overall annual maintenance costs.
Cost to Maintain Pool by Swimming Pool Type
|Type of Pool||Cost of Pool Maintenance per Hour|
|Saltwater||$25 to $40|
|Indoor||$25 to $50|
|In-Ground||$60 to $95|
|Above-Ground||$60 to $95|
|Chlorine||$60 to $125|
Cost to Maintain Saltwater Pool
The cost to maintain a saltwater pool is typically less than a chorine pool since fewer chemicals are required. The maintenance of a saltwater pool is more focused on ensuring that it has the proper levels of salt, while preventing corrosion. With that said, maintenance costs for saltwater pools range from $25 to $40 an hour.
Cost to Maintain Indoor Pool
The cost to maintain an indoor swimming pool is significantly lower than an outdoor pool, typically costing between $25 and $50 an hour. The lower cost has to do with the fact that indoor pools are not exposed to all the dust, debris, and sunlight of the outdoors. They also don’t experience water evaporation. Maintenance of these types of pools involves adding chemicals, vacuuming, and is generally less of a hassle than their outdoor counterpart.
Cost to Maintain In-Ground Pool
Depending on the size of the pool, the average cost to maintain an in-ground pool is between $60 and $95 an hour. Maintenance of inground pools involves balancing chemicals, brushing the sides, vacuuming, skimming debris, and cleaning the filters and traps. These tasks must be completed on a weekly basis. Whereas, long term maintenance of inground pools includes replacing parts as needed and opening/closing procedures.
Maintaining an in-ground pool is essentially the same process as maintaining an above-ground pool, though in-ground pools can increase your home’s value by up to 7%.
Cost to Maintain Above-Ground Pool
The cost to maintain an above-ground pool is roughly the same as an in-ground pool – at approximately $60 to $95 an hour. Again, the maintenance process is essentially the same for both types of swimming pools. This includes balancing chemicals, cleaning out the filters and traps, brushing debris off the surface, vacuuming, and cleaning the sides. Oftentimes, homeowners elect to handle above-ground pool maintenance themselves since these pools are typically smaller.
Cost to Maintain Chlorine Pool
The upfront cost to install a chlorine pool is relatively low, however, the cost to maintain one is high. As a chlorine pool owner, you can expect to pay between $60 and $125 an hour. The most important part about maintaining a chlorine pool is ensuring that it maintains the proper balance of chlorine.
The chlorine in the pool should be tested about every other day and it should stay between 1 and 3 ppm. In addition to making sure the levels are balanced, chlorine pools also need to be vacuumed, skimming, and the filters should be cleaned out. When compared to saltwater pools, chlorine pools typically need to be shocked much more frequently.
Cost to Maintain Pool by Material
In addition to frequency and pool type, the type of pool material can influence the cost of pool maintenance. Generally speaking, you will usually pay less to maintain a fiberglass pool than one made out of concrete.
|Pool Material||Average Annual Maintenance Cost|
|Fiberglass||$300 to $550|
|Vinyl||$350 to $800|
|Concrete||$450 to $1,200|
Cost to Maintain a Fiberglass Pool
Of all the types of pool materials, fiberglass pools involve the lowest maintenance costs – ranging from $350 to $550 a year. They are relatively easy to maintain and don’t necessitate acid washing, liner replacement, replastering, or annual cleaning. The surface is smooth and nonporous, which makes the water chemistry manageable and impedes algae growth. As a result, fiberglass pools require 70% fewer chemicals to maintain them than concrete pools.
Fiberglass pools have the ability to maintain water throughout the year and only need an annual check for the pipes and pumps in cold temperatures. Of course, these pools still require regular maintenance like vacuuming, brushing, chemical balancing, and cleaning the skimmer. You’ll also have to resurface the gel coat interior of these pools on occasion, depending on the specific quality and type of fiberglass.
Cost to Maintain Vinyl Pool
The cost to maintain a vinyl pool is pretty average when compared to alternative materials. Aside from regular maintenance like balancing chemicals, cleaning, and changing filters, you also need to check the liner of a vinyl pool. Vinyl liners are notorious for weakening over time because the chemicals can tear away at them.
In most cases, these liners will need to be replaced every five to nine years. The thinner the liner, the more susceptible it will be to rips and tears. Regular vinyl pool maintenance ranges from $475 to $800 a year, while the cost to repair a small tear or hole in a vinyl liner will run you between $350 and $550.
Cost to Maintain Concrete Pool
The higher cost to maintain a concrete pool has to do with the nature of concrete, costing between $450 and $1,200 a year. While these pools are still a good option, they necessitate the most maintenance of all the material types. Concrete pools need frequent chemical balancing, vacuuming, acid washing, and must be drained each winter.
Their rough, porous surface frequently collects and grows algae. A pool brush will have to regularly scrape away at this alga. In fact, the majority of the cost to maintain a concrete pool comes from the chemicals required to control the growth of algae.
Cost of Pool Maintenance Service
While pool maintenance may be a job that you can handle on your own, hiring a professional comes with a host of benefits. Oftentimes, hiring a company will help save you money related to long-term remodeling and repairs. Not to mention, they will have the tasks done in less time and you’ll enjoy the reduced danger associated with working with equipment malfunction and harmful chemicals.
The average cost to hire professional pool maintenance is between $90 and $270 for three months, or about $60 to $90 an hour. Depending on the specific company, they may charge a flat weekly, monthly, or annual rate, or by the hour. The final cost you pay will ultimately come down to the type, size, and material of your pool. Most pool service costs also come from materials, including filters, cleaning equipment, chemicals, and replacement pool parts. Whereas, labor accounts for the remaining percentage.
Cost of Pool Cleaning
The average cost to have a pool cleaned ranges from $60 to $700, depending on the specific type of cleaning. As you’re likely already aware, cleaning is a major component of regular pool maintenance. However, pool cleaning isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. The specific cleaning method that your pool needs will depend on the materials it is made out of. With that said, the table below outlines some of the most common types of pool cleaning and their associated costs.
|Type of Pool Cleaning||Average Cost (Labor and Materials)|
|Filters||$60 to $65|
|Drain Cleaning||$60 to $125|
|Brushing||$80 to $360|
|Vacuuming||$80 to $360|
|Chlorine Wash||$300 to $500|
|Acid Wash||$350 to $550|
|Winter Cleaning||$350 to $650|
|Spring Cleaning||$375 to $500|
|Drain and Clean||$500 to $700|
Pool Closing or Winterization Costs
In addition to weekly, monthly, and annual pool maintenance costs, you also want to consider the cost to close and open your pool. The cost to close or winterize a pool usually ranges from $175 to $300. When temperatures in your area dip below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, closing your swimming pool will protect it from contaminants and debris while it’s not in use.
The cost to close and winterize your pool includes the following services:
- Shocking the water
- Lowering the water level
- Cleaning the pool
- Backwashing the filter
- Closing and storing away filter components
- Cleaning out the water lines
- Attached the cover
A professional will usually take care of all these tasks in two or more visits. While your pool is closed, you won’t have to pay any monthly maintenance costs.
Pool Opening Costs
Of course, if you close your pool, you’re going to have to open it up again once the weather is warm enough to use. When you should open your pool back up will depend on where you live. Making your pool summer-ready will involve the following steps:
- Taking off the cover
- Putting the filter system back together
- Returning the water levels to normal
- Turning the pump and other necessary equipment on
Professionals will usually charge between $100 and $350 to open a pool, but green or especially dirty pools could cost you as much as $300 to $400 because of the extra cleaning expenses.
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