As the colder weather hits and the pool gets either closed or prepared for its new life as a heated pool for the winter, it’s easy to either forget about it or end up treating it the same way you would during any other time of the year. We get it; once the pool is covered, it’s hard to remember that it’s still a pool of water that needs care and cleaning.
However, closing your pool doesn’t just mean it’s fine for the rest of the off-season, and there are still plenty of ways you should maintain your pool and accessories. While we recommend getting on a routine maintenance and service plan, providing expert service and peace of mind, for those who aren’t ready to sign up, here are some of the ways you should service your pool in the winter.
Watch the Weather
The first step to winter pool care is remembering to pay attention to the weather and, when it’s about to get particularly cold or freezing, to take certain steps. Just like you do when you leave the faucets dripping during a freeze, there are ways to protect your pool. If you don’t winterize your pool equipment and plumbing you will want to remember these simple steps.
It doesn’t require a tremendous amount of effort, but simply making sure your pool pump is running so that the pipes don’t freeze goes a long way. Also, you’ll want to make sure there’s nothing in the pool that could get damaged if you live in an area where the weather dips below freezing and stays there.
If you close your pool in the winter (which you don’t have to do), there’s a risk of algae sneaking in and growing underneath the cover during the cold months, when the water is sitting mostly still. Algae loves still water, and if you don’t prepare, you might end up taking your cover off in the spring to find a bright green pool of algae water.
To combat this, you should pick up some algaecide. This doesn’t have to be done at the start of the winter, so if you haven’t done it yet, don’t worry. But you should do it before the thickest parts of the winter.
Protect Your Pool Water & Surfaces
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can just let your pool fill up with debris, and the fall and winter is the worst time for it. We recommend a pool cover, but if you don’t have one or choose not to use one, you should still check the waters once a week for debris. Things like leaves, branches, and stones can get blown or dropped into the water and can even damage the surfaces of your pool if you let them sit there for too long.
Most people do not drain their pools in the winter(nor should they). Because of this, you’ll need to continue balancing your water, which will help protect against the above mentioned algae as well as other bacteria, as well as making it much easier to open your pool once springtime rolls around.
You should check your pool chemistry every two weeks, making sure you know the proper numbers and how to balance them. Also, you should discard chemicals you bought the previous year, as they’re likely going bad at this point. Even if you don’t cover your pool, it’s still vital to keep your water clean and balanced all winter long.
Keep the Cover Clear
Your pool cover is an important investment and piece of owning a pool, so you need to protect it just like you would the water below if you didn’t have a cover. It might seem like a few rogue leaves and sticks couldn’t possibly have any effect on your cover, and you’re right that they’re probably not destroying it, but over time, this can lead to greater wear and tear and force you to buy a new cover long before you planned to do so.
The solution to this issue is pretty simple; all you need to do is head outside once every few weeks or even once a month to make sure nothing too large or heavy is sitting on the cover. Then, simply remove with any long pole or broom (do not stand or walk on the cover).
Protect Your Equipment
Finally, protecting your pool means protecting the various equipment that helps your pool stay sparkly clean all summer long. From your skimmer to your pump, there are plenty of things to prepare for the colder months. Remove all items from the pool itself, and cover anything – like your pump – that could be vulnerable.
As we said, it’s completely okay to maintain your pool on your own, but it’s a better option to sign up for routine service and maintenance, providing you with peace of mind during the winter and the summer. Contact us today to sign up, or download our free guide to learn more about how service can help you.