Winter is not the best time for your pool, so before the snowy season comes in with full force, you should prepare your pool for the tough weather. Winterizing your pool guarantees you that it will survive the season and be spared from possible winter damages. Since pools differ from one another, it is best to consult your pool manufacturer about properly winterizing your pool. There are general guidelines that can be followed for winterizing pools which will give you a good head start. Here are a few of them:
1. Remove any deck equipment. This includes ladders, diving boards, rails and slides. Store them in places where they will be secure and away from the harsh weather.
2. Check the water's chemical balance. If the water chemistry is unbalanced, you run the risk of damaging the pool surface. Chemical winterizing kits, which contain the necessary chemical treatments, are available from pool supply stores. Use them as instructed on the product label for the best results.
3. Blow out the water from pumping, heating, and filtering systems. You can use a shop vac or air compressor to do this job. Make sure all of the water comes out. By draining these systems, you avoid the possibility of water freezing and cracking the lines.
4. Lower the water level. This is necessary if your pool has tile liner, because when the water expands, it can push outward and may crack the tiles. Keep the water 4 to 6 inches below the skimmer. However, if you have drained your underground pipes and are using something to block the skimmer, there is no need to lower the water lever. Remember, the higher the water, the better for the pool to hold the cover.
5. Clean the pool. Remove leaves and other debris using a filter or net. Some owners prefer not to clean the pool before closing it for the winter, especially if there is only a small amount of debris. That can be a optional choice since there is always the possibility of debris getting under the pool cover and into the pool. However, it is still advisable to clean the pool before closing it for winter to ensure you of clean water come spring. Leaving debris can often stain the pool surface.
6. Cover the pool. This will keep debris out of the pool and prevent algae build-up. Pool covers come in different varieties and, likewise, offer various advantages and disadvantages. Regardless, choose the cover that provides the most protection and fits your pool the best. When installing the cover, make sure the wire is tight enough, so wind cannot rip the cover off exposing your pool. To provide support, you can use an air pillow or any other floating devices. These devices absorb ice expansion in the pool and prevent the pool sides from cracking.
Be extra careful when winterizing your pool. If you have any questions, contact your pool manufacturer or any pool expert. Don't take chances, as repairs can be extremely costly.