As you close up your pool and head inside as the nights get darker, you might think your backyard pool is safe because it is not in use. However, there are a number of damages your pool can sustain during the winter season. Here are six common winter pool problems that new and longtime pool owners alike should remember before they head inside for the winter.
Pool Cover Problems
One of the winter pool problems that pool owners will likely encounter is cover issues. Covers are essential for keeping leaves, twigs, and other debris out of your pool, and while they’re important to utilize throughout the entire year, maintaining them is a bit more difficult during the winter season. If you don’t take the time to secure pool covers properly, then the harsh winter winds will blow them off and cause debris to fall in and mess up the pool.
Another notable pool problem during the winter pertaining to covers is the addition of snow and freezing water. If they are allowed to build up on top of the pool cover for too long, then it can tear the cover and damage it, in addition to letting debris fall into the pool. To prevent this problem, regularly employ a pool cover pump to extract water from the surface of the cover and use a rake to remove any troubling snow throughout the season.
Not Following Proper Pool Winterizing Protocol
Those who don’t take the time to properly winterize their pool and prepare it for the chillier months of the year will encounter a variety of common winter pool problems. To ensure you don’t experience misfortune with your pool, take the following winterizing steps into account as you get ready for the winter months.
Close up the Cover Correctly
As mentioned previously, there are many problems that can arise if you do not cover your pool properly. Beyond just fallen debris from trees, harmful algae and bacteria growth can occur if you leave the pool partially open. Make certain that you follow the guidelines associated with the brand of pool cover you own to set it up correctly, and be sure to clean up the interior beforehand, so you aren’t greeted with debris when you open it up again in the spring.
Maintain Proper Chemical Levels
An important step in winterizing your pool is to check the water chemical levels. If the alkaline, calcium, and PH levels are either too high or too low, it can cause considerable and costly damage to the pool, as well as invite unsightly algae growth. To avoid these pool problems during the winter, check the chemical levels of your pool to make certain they are safe.
Additionally, those with saltwater pools should take into consideration that salt is unable to generate the chlorine needed to curb algae growth. As a result, those who own saltwater pools must add chlorine themselves to ensure algae does not grow and that the chemical needs of the pool are satisfied.
Prevent Freezing Water
Another variety of winter pool problems you must prevent is freezing water. If you do not remove water from the pipes, pool filter, and pumps, as well as properly maintain them, they can sustain damage. As water freezes in pipes, their expansion and contraction can cause the pipes to crack. Removing the water from the pipes will prevent these damages, but if you intend to keep your pool open during the winter, allow the water to run so that it does not freeze.
Ensure the Water Levels Aren’t Too Low
While keeping your pipes free from water is essential to avoid pool problems during the winter, having water levels that are too low will also lead to winter pool problems. If the water level in the pool drops too low, then the pool liner will be damaged. Lowering the level of water just enough will ensure that the liner does not become damaged.
Further, if the water levels are lowered unexpectedly, it could be a sign that there is a leak in the structure of the swimming pool, which you will want to handle right away.
Not Cleaning Pool Equipment
Lastly, while it is not as serious as other pool problems during winter, be sure to clean the equipment of your pool before you put it away. This includes things that make the pool easier to use, such as ladders, or more enjoyable, like pool toys. By performing adequate pool maintenance, you will ensure that they are in optimal condition for the next pool season.