AS a kid, nothing could beat the excitement of getting the paddling pool out after school on a hot summer's day.
And now the perfect weather is (hopefully) on the horizon, it's only a matter of time before we'll all be desperately trying to find ways to beat the heat.
But while the pool brings endless fun, it can also be a pain to maintain and can cause irritating issues, if not looked after properly.
From looking after your lawn, to avoiding pesky bugs, here cleaning expert Matthew Harrison from PriceYourJob and gardening pro Marc share their top tips to get the most of your pool…
While the paddling pool provides hours of fun, it can have a real – and very long-lasting – impact on our lawn.
Matthew says: "Grass turns yellow and dies due to lack of sunlight.
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"So, if the paddling pool is small enough to handle, move it around the lawn throughout the summer."
Marc is co-founder of So & Mo, the UK's first subscription lawncare brand, and has also maintained greens at prestigious golf clubs and sporting venues.
He says: "If the paddling pool has been out for a day or two, use a rake to stand the grass back up.
"Grass is a hardy plant, and it should return to a natural, healthy green colour quickly."
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If you've left it too long in one spot and have that irritating circle of dead grass in the middle of your lawn, it will require a little more work to rectify.
Marc says: "If the paddling pool has been there for a few weeks, the turf underneath will have died.
"You can revive the grass by scarifying, which means working back and forth with a rake to clear dead grass, weeds and moss, the discoloured patch and doing a light topdressing and overseeding.
"In a week, the grass will start to show signs of recovery, and in two to three weeks, it will be growing again."
It's also really important to change the water daily, to avoid any nasty surprises, and they can attract all kids of creepy crawlies, including horseflies and mosquitoes.
Matthew recommends: "Change the water regularly to stop bacteria, bugs and algae building up, and give it a clean before replenishing it.
"Mild washing-up liquid works well for most small pools."
For larger paddling pools, you can also use a water treatment – but make sure it’s suitable for domestic paddling pools.
If you're trying to save water and don't want to change the water every day, there are ways to protect the quality of the water.
Matthew says: "Using a cover when it’s not in use will prevent dirt and debris from getting in.
"Sieving out any flotsam from the water after each use can also help – a kid’s fishing net is handy for this."
Finally, if you're planning to reuse the same pool the next year, you'll need to make sure you store it correctly.
Otherwise, you could discover it's gone mouldy, and be left disappointed.
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Matthew says: "When you’re ready to put your paddling pool away for the season, make sure you’ve dried it out fully before deflating it or folding it up.
"Choosing a warm, dry day will help."
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