Winter Swimming Pool Care
Tips for Preparing Your Pool for Closing Vacuum your pool prior to our arrival if closing cleaning has not been arranged. Cleaning before closing will be beneficial come Spring. Test the pool to make sure that the pH, alkalinity, hardness, and other chemicals are balanced Check the condition of your winter cover Closing specialists must have access to the pool cover and supplies for closing. Although we have many years of pool closing, it is not possible to guarantee the condition of aging underground pipes. Clearly identified freeze breaks will be covered as long as the terms and conditions of the closing agreement were met upon completion of the work.
Tips for Pristine Pool Water in the Spring A few simple techniques during the off season can keep your pool in great physical condition with crystal clear water come spring time.
The water level of a winterized swimming pool should be kept 14″ below the top of the pool. Rochester typically gets 86 inches of snow over the winter. If untreated, many pools can overflow, typically at the back of the skimmer. Overflowing water can damage the pool wall structure by corroding and weakening the walls of the pool. The water can cause also cause decks to rot and patios to sink around the pool.
Another concern from overflowing water is ice damage, which can cause:
- Cracked skimmers
- Damaged walls and corners of vinyl liners from ice expansion
- Vinyl liners popping out of the walls from ice expansion
- Surrounding pool concrete and tiles weakened, or damaged.
PLEASE NOTE: A safety cover is no longer considered “Safe” according to Loop Loc and the APSP (Association of Pool and Spa Professionals) when the water within the pool is not maintained 14″ below the pool surface. When the water is too high, a child or animal can walk onto the cover, causing it to sink into the water and create a drowning hazard. This type of danger can be worse than if pool has not been covered at all simply because it would be difficult to climb out from the slippery cover.
When a cover sags from water weight, it will shorten the life of your safety cover by putting stress on the cover and springs. Also, when leaves and water accumulate on top of the cover, combined with sunlight, algae and bacteria can start growing, causing nitrogen buildup within the pool. Nitrogen buildup ruins your water quality since nitrogen is not removed with normal pool chemicals and filters. The effect will require higher chlorine levels to keep algae away, therefore shortening the life of all pool surfaces including plumbing, pumps, filters, liners, marbledust finishes, tile grout, pool heaters, and saltwater sanitizers.
During the fall and winter, do your best to keep the cover clean by blowing leaves off the cover with a broom or by blowing leaves and debris off with a blower. Even during the winter it is a good idea to test the water every 6-8 weeks to ensure the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels are in their correct range.
NOTE: It is critically important to periodically check under the cover over the winter. Not only to make sure that there are no issues due water changes, but also because a small unknown leak in the liner over the winter can cause the pool to drain leading to a major headache in the spring.
The Handy Family, Inc. can provide mid-winter service by performing the necessary maintenance to simplify opening and ensure a clean pool in the spring. Otherwise, you can take the steps below.
- Lower the water level so that it is 14" below the surface.
- Check to make sure the cover is tightened and free of all leaves and debris
- Clean the leaves from the pool area so they do not blow onto the cover Add a small amount of chemicals to the pool water so that the water is crystal clear when we open it.
Small steps to prevent algae and bacteria from growing during the winter can go a long way in ensuring a crystal clear pool.