Maintaining Your Pool this Winter: What You Need to Know
Unfortunately, not all of us live in an area that allows for pool days all year round (if you do, feel free to invite us over any time!). However, that doesn’t mean that those of us who must close our pool for a period of time should just forget about our pools until next spring.
There is no offseason for pool maintenance, although winter maintenance looks a little different than maintenance while your pool is in use. Here’s everything you need to know about taking proper care of your pool during the winter:
Your pool still needs maintenance during the offseason.
Just because your pool is closed for the season doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require maintenance. If your pool is only partially closed, you should still be following your regular maintenance tasks like running the filter, vacuuming, and frequently checking chemical levels, among other things.
Offseason maintenance is essential for protecting your pool from damage caused by winter conditions. It also ensures your pool remains clean and healthy for the winter, which will be a lifesaver when it’s time to open next season.
The freezing temperatures could be detrimental to your pool.
Believe it or not, it’s not the water you have to worry about when the weather drops below freezing. Your equipment and plumbing are at risk when the temperatures are consistently low.
If the equipment has water in it, and that water freezes and expands, it could cause your equipment to crack. Cracked equipment will have to be removed and replaced before you are able to use your pool again, which not only can reduce your swimming days, but also can cost a lot of money depending on the part.
So be sure to protect your investment by following proper winterizing steps for your equipment, and periodically checking to make sure it stays dry. Be aware of the weather pattern and be sure to protect your pool equipment when the temperature drops below freezing.
Water chemistry is important.
Just as water chemistry impacts the health of your pool when it is in use, it plays a big role in maintaining the health of your pool throughout the offseason.
It’s important to keep pH, alkalinity, cyanuric acid and calcium hardness levels in check to best care for your pool equipment and liner. Testing these levels with a home test kit takes only minutes, and adjusting the levels is as simple as adding the right dose of chemicals as per your care instructions or your swimming pool professional’s recommendation.
While chemical levels should be assessed and corrected during the closing process, periodically checking and adjusting them throughout the winter is an important part of offseason maintenance. There are many factors that can contribute to chemical levels falling out of recommended ranges, such as increased water level (which is more likely to happen if you have a mesh pool cover) and long periods of being covered.
Keeping your pool clean is key.
We’ve said it time and time again: a clean pool is a happy pool. Keeping your pool clean is one of the most important maintenance tasks, both during the season and during the winter.
Before you close your pool, you should thoroughly clean your pool’s surface, liner, floor, and equipment. The cleaner your pool is when it’s covered, the less likely it is to develop algae while covered.
But just because the pool is closed doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean it, it just needs to be done differently. If your pool cover fits properly, there should be a significantly less need to vacuum and skim, but you should check periodically to make sure no dirt or debris has gotten into the water.
Throughout the winter, keep your pool cover surface and all exposed equipment clean and clear. This helps prevent dirt and debris from getting into your pool or possibly causing damage.
Pool safety is still important in the winter.
Just because your pool is closed for the winter does not mean it does not contribute to the safety of your yard. If people are in your yard during the offseason, especially in conditions like snow or ice, pool safety can become even more important. Make sure your pool is secured with a safety pool cover made from high-quality materials.
For an added layer of protection, consider installing a removable pool fence during the offseason to keep wandering children and pets away from the pool area altogether. This is extremely useful if you have an inground pool in an area that is prone to a lot of snow, making the perimeter of the pool difficult to see.
Don’t think of the winter as a pool “off” season, think of it as a preparation for the next swimming season! Therefore, it’s important to keep these points in mind in order for a quick, easy opening.