How to Safely Open a Pool That Has Been Neglected for Months/Years

How to Safely Open a Pool That Has Been Neglected for Months/Years

Perhaps you have been away from home for months or have bought a property with a fiberglass pool that now looks like a swamp and is unusable.

So, what next? The upkeep of a swimming pool is vital but in several situations, pool maintenance might get neglected. As a fiberglass pool owner, you want to feel proud of a sparkling clean pool where you can relax and unwind.

Regardless of the reason why the pool water is green and looks disgusting, it’s important to prevent further damage and clean it quickly.

A pool that’s been neglected for months becomes a hotbed of algae and pathogens. Contaminated water can make swimmers seriously sick.

Here’s how you can salvage a neglected fibreglass swimming pool that needs thorough cleaning to bring it back to life. It may entail some effort but in the end, it’s worth it!. Also use the proper tools such as concrete scrubbers.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Remove debris
  • Decide whether to drain or not-to-drain the pool
  • Clean the pool shell
  • Clean the filter system
  • Check equipment
  • Get it checked by professionals
  • Fill the pool
  • Check water chemistry

Steps To Restoring a Neglected Swimming Pool

Remove Debris

The first step is to remove all possible debris from the pool. More debris accumulates when the pool is left open. This can include anything from dead bugs, leaves, branches and twigs, and other wind-blown elements.

In some cases the water can be too murky, making it impossible to see what’s at the bottom. Try and remove as much debris as you can so that it chokes your filtration system the least.

To Drain Or Not To Drain The Pool

Draining the pool and giving it a thorough cleaning seems to be the best way to clean a fibreglass pool. But wait! Not all pool settings support complete draining of the water.

Older pools may not be structurally sound to hold back the weight of the ground against it when drained entirely. In such situations, there may be a wall collapse that can go out of control and cause severe damage.

If the water is salvageable, drain to a certain level to clean the shell and filter the water before correcting the water chemistry. If you are not sure, call professionals to take a look and advise what’s best for your fibreglass pool.

Draining the water gives several advantages like inspecting the bottom for leakages or damage and better scrubbing. However, if that’s not a possibility you have to go for the next best option.

Clean the Pool Shell

It is always easier to scrub and clean the pool shell while it’s empty. Regardless of whether you drain the water or not, clean the fibreglass pool shell thoroughly.

Aim for visible stains, and algae patches and clean thoroughly with a sponge. Harsh scrubbers may damage the smooth fibreglass surface. Look for cleaners that are specially formulated for fibreglass pools.

If the conditions are bad, use an algae brush to knock off as much algae as you can. Your goal is to eliminate the algae so only vacuuming will not help. Chemicals have to be used later to sanitise your pool.

Clear The Filtration System And Check The Equipment

Dirt and debris are not only a menace to your pool but also to the filtration system. When the pool filters have to handle too much debris, they can get clogged and become inefficient.

Not only will your messy pool remain the same way but the filtration system may get damaged if not cleared in time.

Run the filter and clear it out as it collects more debris. Check the filter frequently, most of the debris will collect in the beginning so keep a close watch.

Do a backwash if required or clean the filter as required, during this process. It may be a little messy and you have to get your hands dirty – be ready for it! The effort may seem like a lot but it will pay in the end.

Clean the pool filters and check the condition of the equipment. Replace any parts that are damaged or have undergone severe deterioration due to months of neglect.

Get Your Pool Inspected By Professionals

After you are satisfied with the cleaning and think it’s a good time to refill, get it professionally inspected to be sure about the pool’s condition.

Any repair work required is best done while it’s still partially empty. Get the fibreglass pool checked for any leaks, cracks, or any kind of damage.

Fill Up The Test The Water

Once the experts give a green signal, go ahead and fill your pool. But testing pool kits to check the water chemistry. Use chemicals as required to sanitise your pool.

You want to be absolutely sure about the safety of swimmers before anyone enters the pool.
Ideal levels of balanced fibreglass pool water should be –

pH – 7 – 7.4

Total Alkalinity – 80 – 120ppm

Calcium Hardness – 100-330

Free Chlorine – 1 – 3ppm

Free Bromine – 3 – 5ppm

Once the water is safe, dive in and enjoy your beautiful pool.


A backyard swimming pool brisbane can give you and your family avenues for water activities, fun moments, and entertaining guests. If you bought a property with a pool that’s sitting for a long time without any maintenance, you may have a Herculean task in hand.

However, looking the other way won’t help because a dirty pool with murky water and debris is unsafe to use. You need to take quick action and get it back on track.

The task is not difficult. If you do not have time, you can always take the help of professionals. In case you are a DIY kind of person, plan your pool cleaning and follow the appropriate steps. Before you start, make sure you have the required supplies.

First, skim and remove debris from the surface with a net. Make them into a pile, bag them and dump them. Empty your pool partially (or fully with expert advice) and clean the pool shell by scrubbing it gently.

Vigorous scrubbing with hard materials and harsh chemicals may cause irreversible damage to your fibreglass pool. Clean, run and check your filtration system. Get parts replaced or repaired as required.

Get the pool examined by professionals to be sure about its physical condition. Experts can detect cracks or damages easily. Fill the pool. Use kits to check the water chemistry.

Once everything looks to be in top shape, make a splash!

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