How to Winterize a Pool and Protect it From Freezing
Winter is coming! Learn how to winterize a pool and protect it from freezing and damage.
Swimming pools and winter are just like oil and water: they just don’t mix. In fact, winter time is when lots of swimming pools get damaged the most. The most heartbreaking part of this is that the amount of you will have to pay to have your pool repaired after being damaged by freezing temperatures will be enough to get you and your family a brand new pool.
Autumn is the best time for winterizing a pool since the weather is still not too cold and you minimize the risk of your pool freezing up before you finish your pool winterizing maintenance. At the same time, the cooler temperatures will help you easily spot any parts in your pool that are at risk from getting damaged further.
This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to winterize a pool to protect it from freezing during the winter months, and ready to welcome back swimmer when the weather becomes warmer.
Clean Your Swimming Pool
Thoroughly cleaning your pool is the first step to effectively winterizing your pool. That’s because the dirt, debris and scum that accumulated all throughout the summer months may be hidding some wear and tear on your pool equipment and tiles.
Inspect Your Pool’s Tiles
Changing pool temperatures and water levels can cause your pool’s tiles to crack and the caulking to wear over time so make sure that you get these replaced.
Also, it’s important to check if your pool’s tiles are winter-proof, especially if you’re living in relatively warmer regions in the country. With the climate dramatically changing in recent years, even regions where snow is not a common sight during winter are now experiencing close to freezing, and even freezing temperatures, during the winter months. Have an experienced pool maintenance personnel inspect your tiles and have them replaced with winter-proof tiles if needed.
Invest in Pool Winterizing Kits
Pool winterizing kits can do wonders in helping prevent freezing damage during the winter months. These chemical kits treat your pool’s water with higher-than-usual levels of chlorine and algaecide that will protect your pool from corrosion, algae growth and scale buildup which commonly happen during winter.
When using these pool winterizing kits, it’s important to follow the directions specified in the label. Never directly add the chemicals in these kits directly to the pool since the concentration levels of these chemicals can cause corrosion to your pool’s equipment. Instead, prepare these chemicals in a bucket made of a non-corrosive material before adding them to the pool.
It is also important to make sure that your pool’s filte is on while adding these chemicals. Doing this will help make sure that your pool doesn’t get damaged by undissolved granules of these chemicals. This is especially important if you have a vinyl liner pool as these chemicals can easily stain the vinyl liner, which is the last thing you’d want to happen.
Clean and Empty Out Your Pool’s Equipment
When winterizing your pool, make sure that you get rid of any water inside your pool’s pipes, pumps and filter. Most, if not all, of these pool equipment are made from PVC plastic which becomes extremely brittle and prone to damage when they become frozen.
Disconnect your water pump and filter and completely drain them out by turning them upside down to make sure that no water is left inside. Do the same with your pool’s drain plugs. Store them in a dry area away from any moisture until it’s warm enough to use the pool again.
One important tip when cleaning out your pool’s filter during the winter months is not to acid wash this as you would during the summer months. There is a very good chance that you may not wash out all the acid from the filter, which can eat through your filter while it’s in storage during the winter. Simply use a filter cleaner to get rid of any elements and grinds that may have gotten stuck in the filter before drying this completely out and storing this.
Don’t Empty Out Your Pool
One of the biggest mistakes pool owners make when winterizing their pools is to also empty the pool out of water the same way with pumps, pipes and filters. This is quite understandable since water expands in cold temperature and this can cause damage to the pool itself.
The thing is, water is not the only thing that expands with cold temperatures. In fact, cold temperatures can also cause the soil surrounding your pool to expand since it also contains water and moisture. The expansion of the soil will eventually cause not only damage to your pool but also to the plumbing surrounding it. In some cases, the soil expansion can be so great that it can even uproot inground pools.
Keeping an eye on your pool’s water level will help prevent this. The water inside the pool will keep it firmly in place and prevent the soil expanding to damage it.
Floatation Device: Your Pool Winterizing Secret Weapon
Before putting a winter pool cover on your pool, allow a small floating device to float at the center of the pool. You can use one of the floatable toys your children have outgrown for this.
Placing a floating device before putting your pool’s winter cover provides two benefits. First, it balances out rain water, snow, and ice onto the middle of the pool’s cover so that it doesn’t weigh down the cover, exposing the water in the pool.
Second, the floating device helps diverts the pressure of the expanding water away from the walls and onto the floatation device.
Cover with a Sturdy Winter Pool Cover
Winter pool covers are made from a heavier material than a summer pool cover so that they can withstand and bear the weight of snow, rainwater and ice. They are also much more sturdy than summer pool covers to make sure that they prevent people and pets from accidentally falling into the icy cold water of the pool during winter.
Before installing your winter pool cover, carefully inspect this and repair any minor rips. If there are a lot of rips or the rips ar far too big, it would be much safer to get a new one. Stretch this tightly across your pool and run a very strong and thick wire through its holes so that the cover is snug tightly.