No matter what region you live in, pool care is an ongoing responsibility. The frequency of care and attention you need to give will change depending on where you live, but it is no doubt a year-round requirement. In colder regions, pools are winterized and covered up as early as August, but in warmer territories, pools never have to close. However, with the fickle North Texas weather, it’s anybody’s guess if you will decide to leave your pool open or close it down for the season. Whether your preference is open or closed, we have some great winter pool maintenance tips on how to keep your pool, pumps, and mechanics in great shape during the cooler months.
Monitor Your Systems for Buildup
When your pool isn’t in use, it’s easy for large amounts of dirt, grime, and debris to collect. This can lead to larger problems down the road, such as the growth of unwanted microbes. Moreover, it’s not just the debris that you want to monitor for buildup. A large part of off-season care centers around regularly monitoring the water levels in your pipes and filter. Water expands when it freezes, creating pressure against the inner walls and linings of your pumps and hoses. If your systems have excess water, all it takes is a brief frost to cause stress on your pumps, pipes, and other motorized components, leading to cracks and lowering the integrity of your system. In addition to draining any excess water, prevent the water from freezing by leaving the filter on for circulation purposes, which will help to prevent a costly repair in the summer.
A Winter Shock
Open or closed, your pool will thank you next spring if you add a final dose of chemicals to keep the water balanced at the end of the summer season. A balanced pH in your water is critical for protecting your pool’s inner walls, pumps, filter, and more. A final shock treatment should consist of adding a quality algaecide and making sure you have balanced levels of chlorine, acid, alkaline, and calcium. Too much or too little of these chemicals will cause damage to your pool, especially if it’s left untended all winter long.
It’s recommended to leave your pumps on, at least periodically, for optimal balance and circulation. However, if this isn’t a feasible option for your household, be advised that your systems should operate for an additional 24 hours after the final shock treatment.
Many pool owners choose to cover their pools, whether above or inground, during the offseason. Depending on the type of pool and the style of cover your desire, there are several different tools and tricks to properly secure the covering. The main objective of any pool cover is to be airtight to avoid debris buildup. For those who use a pool cover, protect your investment by regularly using a spray nozzle on your hose to remove any snow, fallen leaves, branches, and buildup of any sort from the cover. Otherwise, you might be left with a bog of rotting organic matter to tend to. Not to mention, a dropping center of excess weight can threaten to cave in the cover. Lastly, regularly monitor the ropes, ties, and latches used to secure the cover to assess the integrity of the materials. This is especially important after inclement weather. See to it that you mend any equipment that needs attention immediately.
As a general rule, if autumn is hotter than usual, winter will likely be mild. Consistently warm air and water temperatures can affect the chemical levels in your water. Although your last scheduled shock of the season might have already passed, it is important to continue to track the water pH as the warmer air temperatures can manipulate the balance of chemicals. If the forecast calls for a long and hard freeze, you will need to conduct another search for any brittle pumps and excess water accumulations.
Winter maintenance can be challenging, but a well-kept pool in the offseason makes for a simple re-opening process in the summer. Not only that, but attentive pool maintenance is also crucial to the overall appearance and aesthetic of your home. You will thank yourself for keeping up with routine checks and maintenance when you dive into your backyard oasis to escape the hot Texas heat this summer.