They claim that whether to winterize your pool depends on you. But why is there no voice for your pool in this situation? If you genuinely value your pool, you’ll take the necessary precautions to preserve it over time. With the pool cover on, your backyard may look less appealing. Still, since an above-ground pool can be the focal point of your backyard oasis, it’s essential to maintain the beauty and condition of your pool and keep your equipment ready for spring.
Snow can bring out the season’s beauty, but freezing temperatures and moisture can ruin your pool. It is obvious why winterizing your pool is essential if you live in a cold climate. Discover more about winterizing an above-ground pool and what happens if you leave your pool open when the winter comes.
Pipes can burst through a cold
Homeowners are aware of the need to protect the pipes inside their homes during the winter, but pool pipes also require attention before the onset of extreme cold. Before you close your pool for the winter, take extra precautions throughout the season. If you run water through the filter and pump to maintain a consistent flow, the water will not accumulate and freeze. Otherwise, you will incur high prices in maintenance and power bills.
Cracks form and grow
A pool liner covers swimming pools and keeps the water out of the concrete pool base. Without this liner, water can leak out and seriously damage the area. The inspection is one of the most crucial steps in closing any pool. You need to complete and inspect your pool to avoid missing minor damage and cracks that could later develop into a significant (and costly) issue.
Even worse, as soon as it gets below freezing, ice forms and quickly widens any cracks in your foundation and liner that already exist. Even if your pool liner is in perfect condition, it will only last some winter because of the ice’s constant expansion, contraction, and grinding motion across the surface.
Expect plumbing damage
Expect severe damage to your pipes, pump, heater, and filter, in addition to your pool’s lining. Almost all of your essential plumbing will experience cracks and other potentially irreparable damage due to the expansion of frozen water. If water leaks out of the pool’s foundation, you’ll also sustain additional damage to the pool deck and, worst cases, to neighboring structures.
Algae infestation wreaking havoc
Pools left to themselves without winterization are indeed toxic. If algae grow in the pool without chlorine, the pool water quickly turns green and smells bad. In addition, algae cling to stonework in the pool and stains it. Algae can also spread diseases to pets and children using your pool. The appearance is one of many things to be concerned about.
While swimming pool owners are lucky to live in an area with year-round temperate weather, it can be challenging to find the time to winterize your pool correctly. Having your pool winterized by a pool service and repair professional is a surefire way to avoid costly repairs or, even worse, to restart your pool in the spring due to a severe algae infestation.
Additional running costs
Some individuals consciously choose to keep their pool open throughout the winter. Nothing beats a plunge in a warm pool on a chilly winter day, but that one-of-a-kind pleasure comes at a high cost. You must constantly operate your heater and pump to keep the water from freezing. Even if you decide to leave your pool open until the temperature falls below freezing, you will still need to run your heater at total capacity to keep it comfortable. The end of the month will likely bring a sizable bill from your utility provider.
Quick Ways to Winterize your Pool
Now that you understand why you should winterize your pool, here’s how you can take the necessary precautions.
When you’re ready to reopen it for the season, winterizing may help make the transition easier. Let’s look at how to winterize a pool for the season properly.
Test the water
Test the water in your pool before closing it up for the winter. You may use a home test kit or testing strips to determine the results. Based on those findings, you can assess whether or not the water needs adjustments.
Your swimming pool may be protected against wintertime damage by maintaining the water’s proper chemical balance. In many cases, the alkalinity of the water is adjusted first, followed by the pH and then the hardness of the water. Here are some optimal pool levels you can follow:
- Alkalinity levels: 80ppm to 150ppm
- pH levels: 7.2 to 7.6
- Total Hardness: 175 to 275ppm
Clean the Pool and Filter
If you don’t maintain your pool, your water and filtration system may not function properly come spring. You should clean the filter about every two weeks. In addition, you should rebuild your sand filter about once a year and backwash it to ensure all the dirt within the filter is washed away. Also, during the summer, your pool should be tested every 6 days to ensure that chlorine is not destroying the liner or sealer. Once winter rolls around, make sure you winterize your pool, including:
- Shut down the pool heater
- Take dirty filters and pumps out of the pool
- Clean and store them
- Leave the hoses off and drain pipes out for the winter
- Drain the pool entirely of any remaining water
- Coat all pool equipment and lines with antifreeze
Shock the pool
Though it sounds complicated, this technique is easy. Pool shocking adds chemicals quickly and heavily. Those chemicals eliminate leftover algae, bacteria, or debris in the water. Shock treatments are often used after heavy rain but also prepare pools for winter.
Before shocking, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to enhance chlorine and eliminate contaminants. Choose one high-quality pool shock without pH or hardness increases.
Turn on the pump to avoid algae development
Soil is home to algae. These algal spores enter the pool’s water as the wind picks up dirt. Without preliminary treatment, Algae spores multiply, leading to algae blooms.
To stop algal growth during the winter, add a dosage of algaecide to winterize your pool.
Read the directions before adding the formula to the water since some might discolor the pool’s surface. Run the pool pump for 24 hours after adding algaecide to enable it to circulate throughout the system.
Winterize all pool equipment
Winterize and store your pool equipment for the season. If you leave these components in the pool, there is a considerable risk of damaging them.
During winterization, you should strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. The pool should be half drained to just under the return lines. Then, remove all drain plugs before removing the chlorinator and pool pump.
Then drain and rinse cartridge filters with a hose. Lastly, wash your hands, then put the filter back together. Store all these pool components in a safe and dry place.
Cover the pool
If a large deck or patio surrounds your pool, you should cover it with a winter blanket or cover to keep leaves and debris out of it.
Otherwise, your electric bill may skyrocket due to the heater. In addition, snow may enter the pool through the deck or patio, causing massive damage.
After winterizing your pool, try to use it sparingly for the season.
In conclusion, maintaining your pool is costly and time-consuming. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you have no choice but to cover your pool to prevent more expenses. Hiring a professional can avoid all these complications because pool maintenance professionals are experts at winterizing pools and are available anytime for help. These professionals will carefully follow these steps to ensure your pool is properly cleaned before winter arrives. When spring comes around, your pool will be ready and sparkling again!
Listed below are some more pool articles you will surely find useful. Be sure to check them out! Learn more about pools here.