When summer’s heat rises, who doesn’t enjoy a refreshing dip in a cool, clean swimming pool? The sensation of the water on one’s skin, the joy of floating and feeling weightless, the health and fitness benefits of moving through water – it’s an experience unlike any other.

As we head into the prime-time season for swimming pool contractors, now’s time to ramp up your operations and ensure your team is prepared to help your customers keep their pools clean. After all, no one wants to dive into a pool that looks filthy or emits an unpleasant odour. 

Here are seven tips for professional swimming pool maintenance contractors to consider for their businesses:

1. Get your team certified

Whether yours is a one-person operation or a team of technicians, get certified. The industry standard is the Certified Pool Operator (CPO) certificate, which is available through several organizations and is recognized by provincial health authorities. For example, the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association provides this course online and in-class.

A swimming pool contractor

Among other things, a CPO course teaches contractors how to reduce risks in and around water, prevent accidents and chemical hazards, manage water problems, and how to maintain disinfection and pH water balance correctly. In Ontario, the Health Protection and Promotion Act states, “Every operator shall be trained in public pool and public spa operation and maintenance, filtration systems, water chemistry and all relevant safety and emergency procedures.”

2. Obtain the necessary business licenses

You need to have a business licence for your company to operate legally. Also check with the municipalities where your business operates to see if you require a licence or permit to provide swimming pool maintenance services.

3. Learn to swim and get First-Aid training

You and your employees work around water, and an accident can happen to anyone without warning. That’s reason enough to ensure everyone on your team knows how to swim if they fall into a pool. It’s also worthwhile to consider having all your pool maintenance employees take a First Aid and CPR training course.

4. Know how to manage toxic chemicals

Knowing how to manage and balance the chemicals you need to use to clean domestic swimming pools is essential. You’ll need to use several chemicals, including chlorine, bromine, oxidizers, and cyanuric acid. Pool cleaning chemicals should always be handled carefully and away from heat and electrical sources. Only use pool chemicals in well-ventilated areas. Be cautious when adding different chemicals to a pool since some chemicals can form deadly chlorine gas if mixed, such as muriatic acid and chlorine.

5. Have the right equipment

At a minimum, you’ll need basic pool cleaning equipment in good condition, like poles, hoses, pool skimmers, pH water balance testing kits, and various cleaning products and water treatment chemicals.

6. Market your services

There’s a lot of competition out there for swimming pool maintenance services. According to Statistics Canada, there are more than 4,700 publicly owned swimming pools and splash pads across the country. And since the pandemic struck, there’s been a private backyard swimming pool surge. CBC News reports that 18,820 applications for pool permits were logged in 2020. The tally for 2021 eclipsed the 2020 figure in the first eight months of the year. By August 2021, 19,306 pool permits had been recorded.

So, the heat is on to market your services effectively to your target audience. Use everything you can at your disposal both online and offline, including social media, your company’s website, email marketing, and distributing business cards and flyers at pool supply stores or taking advantage of mailing flyers to the neighbourhoods you service. Also, have a pitch prepared for both homeowners and businesses with pools like hotels and spas.

7. Get adequate insurance protection

Both swimming pool contractors and pool cleaning and repair service providers need to protect their businesses from third-party liability claims and damage or loss from unexpected events, like severe weather or a natural disaster.

Reviewing your policy annually to ensure you’re adequately covered is wise. Ask yourself: what about your business has changed in the past 12 months? Have you hired more staff, increased revenue, or purchased new equipment? Are you now servicing inground pools as well as above-ground pools? Furthermore, does your company have commercial auto insurance to safeguard your vehicle or fleet of vehicles? 

Learn what your options are by filling out an online application to get a free quote. Our licensed brokers will help you find the policy you need at the best price available.

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