If you own a home with an in-ground pool, you probably understand the benefits of this addition. From a place to exercise and relax to an amazing space to entertain friends and family, the enormous value of a pool is easy to see. While you may clean the pool periodically to rid the water of leaves and trash, preparing your pool for the harsh winter season should also be a priority. Of course, you may not know where to get started. Since winter is coming, using this guide to get your pool ready to close for the season is smart.
You should never close and cover a dirty pool, so make sure to remove any and all debris from the water and surrounding surface. Use a cleaning net to capture leaves, pine straw, acorns, pine cones, grass, and trash that may be in the water.
Without removing the debris, the water can become stagnant over the winter season. In addition, debris increases the risk of mold and algae growth, which is not only dangerous, but also very difficult to remove.
After removing the debris, make sure to clean the pool filters. Remove the cover and filter. Use your hands to pull out any large pieces of debris before rinsing the filters using your garden hose. Replace the filter and reattach the cover once you are finished cleaning.
Making sure the water has a sufficient amount of chlorine and algaecide over the winter is also important before closing the pool. Use a test kit to check the water's pH level. The pH level determines how acidic or alkaline the water is. If the pH levels are high, you may experience breathing issues and possible irritation to your skin and eyes while in the water. To ensure the water is safe and clean, you want to see a pH level between 7 and 7.6.
A week or so before closing the pool, you should add a chlorine stabilizer to the water. Adding the chemical early will ensure the chlorine has sufficient time to balance the pH levels before closing and covering.
Known as shocking the pool, testing and balancing the pH levels is an important element of winterizing your pool.
During this time, consider adding an algaecide to the water, as well. This will reduce the risk of mold or algae growth occurring while your pool is closed during the winter season.
Water that remains in your plumbing lines and pool equipment may freeze during the colder months. If water freezes, your water lines and equipment may crack and break. This not only can affect the entire plumbing of your home, but it can also affect the concrete, tile, or stone surrounding your pool. Repairing these issues is physically and financially overwhelming, so you must remove any water that may be present in the water lines and equipment.
Connect a shop vacuum to your pool's water lines and use to force moisture out in an effective and efficient manner. Blowing the lines before closing the pool will reduce your risk of expensive damage.
Once your pool is clean and conditioned and your plumbing is ready for the upcoming wintry season, you will need to install your cover. The cover should not only cover the actual water, but it should also cover a few feet of the pool's surround.
Never use a DIY-type cover, since most materials are unable to withstand freezing temperatures or wintry precipitation. Also, make sure the cover is secured to the pool's surround.
Winter is coming, so you should begin planning to close your pool or the season. Winterizing with these simple steps will keep your pool functional, safe, and ready for the warmer season.