By Marcelle Dibrell
The traditional swimming season runs roughly from Memorial Day to Labor Day but in many parts of the country, the pool is opened year round.
In the truly seasonal regions such as the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest and some parts of the Southwest, pools are totally shut down for the winter and re-opened in spring.
In the Sun-Belt regions, like Florida, much of the Southwest and California, maintenance schedules may change as colder weather approaches, but pools continue to be cared for on a year-round basis.
This is an important fact, because the terms “winterize” is meaningless in some areas, while “spring openings” has an entirely different meaning and pricing structure in various regions of the country.
Inside the Sun-Belt, while certain seasonal tasks are performed to get pools ready for heavier summer use, pools are never really “re-opened” for spring, because they were never really shut down at the end of the previous season.
Outside the Sun-Belt, winterizing and spring openings represent important profit centers for service companies, and can mark the end and the beginning of the employment season.
Similarly, service technicians who work in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest are far more likely to include pool painting in their menu of service offerings than those in the Sun Belt.
With this in mind, we continue to ask our survey participants whether they perform any of five chores — acid washing, pool painting, winterizing, spring openings and pool startups — and if so, how much they charge for these services.
Obviously, winterizing and spring openings are purely seasonal in nature. Painting and acid washing, while not precisely seasonal, are tasks that are more likely performed in the spring, after a long winter’s neglect.
In some areas, new pool startups can be performed at any time of year. However, because pool construction rarely occurs during cold and rainy weather, this job, too, tends to be done in the spring and summer months.
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