If you have a pool at home, you are not alone. Swimming is a favorite summertime pastime. About 17.12% of people have a pool, hot tub, and/or spa at home. Closing your pool down the right way will protect your investment and lighten the workload to reopen it in the summer. Here are the steps to take to prepare your pool for the winter.
1. Remove Debris
If you have been keeping up with a weekly cleaning schedule for your pool, your first step will be easy. You should clean your pool thoroughly once a week. A pool is a lot like your home in that respect. It is okay to tidy up during the week when you are busy, but you want to get the deep cleaning done at least once weekly. Shutting down your pool for the season requires a deep clean. Skim and vacuum the pool to remove debris and any build-up. This is important because it will help keep bacteria and algae growth down during the winter.
2. Check For Problems
Before you put your pool to bed, check for leaks and other issues. Small leaks in and around your home (including your pool) can add up to 10,000 gallons of wasted water a year. Additionally, any small issues with your pool now can turn into big problems for your home over the winter. Make any needed repairs before you close your pool. It will make it easier for you to open your pool in the summer and reduce the risk of serious damage to your home over the winter.
3. Clean the Filter and The Pump
You should backwash the filter and the pump before shutting them down for the season. Your filter and pump should have a “drain waste” or “backwash” switch. Run the water through the system until the water runs clear. You should also drain the pump lines. Freezing temperatures can freeze any water left in the lines and cause damage.
If you live in a region that experiences harsh winters, it is recommended that you lower the water in your pool and use a pool pillow for above-ground pools under the cover. This will help to keep the pool water from freezing and damaging the walls and liner of the pool.
4. Add Chemicals
Check the balance of chemicals in your pool. If you need to put additives in to balance the water, you should before you close down the pool. Balance and add chemicals as necessary about a week before you plan on closing down the pool. The day you close the pool, shock the water. Even if your water appears clear, you should still add pool shock. The shock will clear the water and prevent bacteria and scale build-up during the winter.
5. Cover The Pool
Once you have checked the pool for problems, made repairs, cleaned it, and balanced the chemicals, you can cover your pool. There are two different types of covers. You can choose a mesh cover or a solid vinyl cover. Mesh covers are usually less expensive, but they do not keep out debris the way a solid pool cover can. However, if you opt for the latter, you will need a pump to remove snow, rain, and ice build-up. Choosing the right cover for your pool comes down to personal preference. Either option can be a good option.
Many homeowners choose professional help to manage their pool. It reduces the amount of time they must dedicate to home maintenance. However, prepping your pool for winter is something you can do on your own.