How to Keep Your Pool Maintained and Algae Free in Winter
Winter is here and in full-force. As much as you may not want to venture out in the cold to protect your pool, pool maintenance doesn’t end in winter.
Here are some tips to keep your pool maintained before the cold winter hits, as well as throughout the winter:
- Have a Secure Winter Pool Cover
Wild winter weather such as high winds, snow and heavy rain can do a number on your pool cover, especially if it isn’t securely fastened. Fastening the pool cover to water bags or water blocks will better protect your pool from debris and add strength to the pool cover. Check the pool cover regularly and especially after a storm to ensure it is still intact and secure.
- Check the Status of the Pool Surface and Pool Equipment
Since you are most likely not using your pool for an extended period of time, take this time to identify and fix any issues now so you can have your pool in tip-top shape at the beginning of the swim season.
- Use Winter Algaecide
Algaecide is the best way to prevent algae from growing in your unused pool. Generally, the colder the winter, the longer-lasting algaecide you’ll want. Some winter algaecides last up to three months.
You should pour in the algaecide on the last day you use the pool for the season and let the pump run for 24 hours. After that, you can shut down your pool’s circulation system for the winter.
- Check Your System To Avoid Freeze Damage
After you use the pool for the last time and before the first freeze, drain all water from the pool pump, pool heater and pool heater. Any water left in the pipes and motorized pool parts can cause expensive damage when it freezes. Frozen water expands which can cause these pipes to crack and leak in the long-run, which can mean an expensive repair.
It is also a good idea to remove any water that has accumulated on top of your pool cover. Excess water and debris can add extra weight onto the cover, making it more prone to tears. You can use a vacuum to get rid of this water.
In the winter, lower the water level inside the pool so that it is 4-6 inches below the skimmer. You do not want to completely drain the pool as the weight of the pool water is needed to keep the bottom of the pool from cracking.
- Keep Your Pool Cover Clean
Regardless of whether you live in an area that has mild or frigid winters, you’ll need to cover your pool for those long periods of non-use. To maintain your pool cover for as long as possible, remove debris, snow, and water from the pool cover immediately. Clean the cover at least bi-annually to remove any chemical residue. You can use a mild detergent, pool brush, and water to do this.
- Have a Quality Winter Pool Cover
Winter pool covers are thicker than traditional summer ones. The added thickness enables the cover to withstand the added weight of ice and snow and it creates a protective barrier so people and animals don’t fall into the pool.
Despite their thickness and greater durability, winter pool covers can still get stretched out and tear.
Before putting the cover on, make sure there aren’t any tears. A torn cover compromises its effectiveness and strength.
To protect both the pool and the pool cover, invest in some sort of “pool pillow.” These “pillows” are sold at your pool supply store. These help keep the cover from falling into the pool water and it redistributes the pressure due to freezes so as it doesn’t push on the pool walls.
- Stock Up on Chemicals
After using your pool for the season, up the amount of pool chemicals and algaecide. To ensure the least amount of algae when you open the pool in the late spring, add the extra chemicals right before the first major freeze.
Be careful, however, about how much chlorine you add in. Adding in too much chlorine can damage your pool’s lining.
The cold winter months are no excuse to let up on pool maintenance. For more information about winterizing your pool, check out How to Winterize Your Pool in 10 Steps (or Less).