Top Winter Swimming Pool Care Tips
Winter is coming and while we won’t feel the polar vortex nearly as much as the northern states, we still have to prepare our pools for the season to come. Contrary to popular belief, pool care doesn’t end once you cover it up for the winter – even in Louisiana. Here are our top tips for keeping your pool cared for throughout the colder months so that it will be easier to open and maintain when it’s swimming weather again.
- Use a Mid-Winter Algaecide
The fight against algae doesn’t stop just because you’re not able to swim. On the last day of pool operation, add algaecide that is designed to stay in the water for a long period of time. Run the pump for 24 hours to circulate fully and then shut your system down for the winter. A product that lasts for 90 days will ensure your pool is protected for a large portion of the winter season.
- Prevent Freezing
While the temperatures tend to hover above freezing in Southern Louisiana, we still need to be prepared when our part of the polar vortex hits. Be sure to drain your pump, heater and filter. You should also drain your pool so that the water level is 4-6 inches below the skimmer, and, while you’re at it, this is a great time to toss any old pool chemicals. We don’t recommend saving chemicals for the following year, as they may not be as effective.
- Trim Your Trees
You may be wondering what your trees have to do with anything, but if you have large trees or gardens around your pool, it’s not uncommon for pool covers to be punctured by falling branches in the winter. Throughout the season, be sure to shop vac off any debris and leaves that may have accumulated on your pool cover.
- Use the Proper Cover
Loop-lock type covers are ideal, as you can easily hose and vacuum off debris regularly. Plus, it keeps your pool safe from wildlife and children.
- Add Chlorine
Before you close your pool in the fall, prep with a little chlorine to help the water stay clean through the winter. You can also add liquid chlorine in the spring just before opening your pool. This will help you fight off any algae that may have grown over the winter months. If you do have green algae come spring, you can begin fighting it by shocking it and running the filter. Continue to test your water throughout the winter as well and keep your alkalinity and pH levels correct.
- Enzymes in the Off Season
One method for fighting contaminants like bird droppings, pollen and other organic matter that may make it into your pool over the winter, is an enzyme product that will break these down. It will also reduce the amount of scrubbing you’ll have to do come spring.
- Air Pillows
If you have problems with your cover accumulating water and junk in the off season, an air pillow can be used to keep the cover up and disperse the debris off the sides of the pool. This is particularly useful on above ground pool covers.
- Don’t Drain the Pool!
Whatever you do, don’t drain your pool. This can cause more damage than it will prevent.
Taking care of your water throughout the winter will make for an easier opening and maintenance throughout the summer. If you need help maintaining your pool, consult with a pool professional so that your pool stays in top shape for swimming season and doesn’t end up costing you a fortune in repairs or damage.