Many homeowners spend the entire summer building a beautiful backyard for family and friends to spend time enjoying the outdoors. You can plant eye-catching flowers and trees, install a stunning pool or spa, or sit on a perfectly landscaped patio. During the Covid-19 pandemic, some people even turned their backyard into a dedicated office space for at-home work. However, at the end of the warm summer season, homeowners have to winterize their pools and other outdoor landscape design features to prepare for the harsh winter elements.
Homeowners that take time to maintain and prepare their pool for winter often avoid expensive repairs and annoying issues when warm weather rolls back around. If you’re used to seeing disgusting, brown sludge when you open your pool in the springtime, you probably failed to winterize your pool correctly. Take care to follow all the correct steps, so your pool is clean and quickly returns to its original, crystal-clear appearance as you reopen it in a few months.
When To Close Your Pool for the Season
It comes as no surprise that most homeowners want to leave their pools and spas open as long as possible. Unfortunately, unless you’re in sunny states like Florida, California, or Arizona, there comes a time as the weather gets colder that you must cover up your pool to keep it clean over the winter.
In climates where the temperature fluctuates frequently, an experienced pool company will recommend closing your pool at the first sign of continually cold weather. You probably won’t get much more use of your pool once the outside temperature frequently falls below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures in your area fall below this threshold, it’s time to call a professional company to cover your pool.
Winterizing Your Pool
As the summer comes to a close and homeowners batten down the hatches to brace for the brutal winter, backyard landscape maintenance must remain a priority. It’s not enough to simply cover your pool when the cold air comes; failing to winterize your pool properly can result in some major annoyances come springtime.
Whether your pool is above or in-ground, it requires adequate maintenance and winterization before the winter comes to prevent any potential damages. Avoid issues like torn lining and dirty, contaminated water when reopening your pool by taking the proper winterization steps.
1. Skim and Clean Your Pool
Once you notice the cold air creeping in, it’s time to start preparing your pool for the winter months. First, skim the surface of the pool’s water to remove leaves and other debris. Use a brush to scrub dirt from stairs, ladders, and the pool’s lining. Sufficiently cleaning your pool helps kick up any algae spores or other damaging agents attached to the pool’s lining. After removing all the debris from each surface, utilize a vacuum to ensure the highest cleanliness levels.
Sap, leaves, and dirt disturbed by the wind in your backyard landscape all contribute to dirtying the pool’s water. Although the cleaning step might require you to get a little dirty (and maybe wet, too), it’s especially important if you want to avoid muddy, unclear water when your pool reopens in the spring. Murky water makes it much more difficult and time-consuming to get back to utilizing your pool in warm weather since there’s a chance you’ll have to drain and refill your pool entirely.
2. Add Chemicals
After you’ve cleaned your entire pool, utilize a pool chemical test kit to determine the pH, alkalinity, and other mineral levels present in the water. This enables you to discern the perfect amount of pool chemicals to add to the water before closing your pool for the season. There is a wide variety of pool chemicals that prevent winter damage, including:
- Algaecide: Prevents algal blooms from forming by destroying spores at the source. Utilize the treatment once right before closing your pool if you have an impermeable pool cover. Treat your pool twice to three times if your cover is of lower quality.
- Pool enzymes: Another type of chemical that targets algae and its spores. Its application is entirely optional.
- Winterizing Tablets: Specifically crafted to clarify and clean water throughout the winter months.
- Pool antifreeze: An essential chemical to reduce the risk of freezing pipes and other plumbing in in-ground pools.
- Metal sequestrant: Stops trace amounts of metal in well water from helping rust form on pool edges and accessories.
- Shock: Chlorine chemicals that eliminate any bacteria in the pool’s water.
It’s essential to add the right amount of chemicals when winterizing your pool to avoid any further problems when it’s time to take off the cover.
3. Lower Water Levels
If you’ve prepped your pool with the perfect amount of chemicals to maintain itself over the winter, you can move on to the next step: lowering the water levels. Draining your pool before temperatures fall below freezing prevents overflowing and tearing of vinyl lining when ice forms.
4. Remove Pool Accessories
This step is especially essential for homeowners who fill their pool with well water. Many well water sources have significant levels of metals like copper and iron, which can lead to rusting on ladders, slides, and other pool accessories when left in the water throughout the winter.
While removing pool accessories, you can also take time to cover up any outdoor landscaping elements such as fire features, waterfalls, grills, and outdoor kitchens or bars.
5. Clear Filters and Water Lines
The risks of burst pipes and plumbing increase as temperatures continue to drop. It’s crucial to clear out water filters and lines before it gets too cold outside. Replacing your pool’s pipes can require extra excavation and grading, which can be a costly and unexpected repair. Avoid any issues with your pool’s plumbing by calling an expert to help clear the water lines before closing up the water for the winter.
6. Cover Your Pool
Now that your pool is cleaned, drained, and pumped full of chemicals, it’s time to put the cover on for winter. An experienced pool company can help you find the right pool cover for your property. There are impressive automatic covers or simpler, standard options to choose from to protect your pool in the winter. Regardless of the style you settle on, take time to remove snow throughout the season, so the cover doesn’t cave in and cause further damage.
Stop Springtime Struggles: Winterize Your Pool
Depending on where you live in the United States, the winter season can be long, cold, and harsh. Many families look forward to opening their pool in the springtime just to find that it’s dirty, torn, and virtually unusable. You can easily put a stop to springtime pool troubles by winterizing your beautiful backyard feature with the proper tools and chemicals. Contact a professional and find a pool contractor to help protect and cover your pool for the winter. With proper winter protection, your pool will be ready for all the splashing and diving imaginable once the winter frost thaws.