Whether in-ground or above-ground, outdoor pool winterization and repairs are painstaking, to say the least! There is so much to do that you begin to wonder if all the upkeep and cleaning and chemicals and level-checks justify the owning of a pool. Then comes the exciting season where there’s a nip in the air and colorful leaves begin to fall… directly into your pool.
Now’s the time when it’s flat-out cold outside, some of us have already experienced snow this week. If you’ve put off closing your pool, there’s a sudden rush to get it done before too much damage occurs, because frozen water expands.
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that any algae, oils, or bacteria that have built up on the side walls, bottom, or steps have been cleaned, and this is where a cofferdam system may come in handy. This may require you to pump some of the water out until the water level is reasonable to work in. Then you can use a cofferdam to hold the water back while you treat and clean the vinyl lining. This is also a good time to check for any sediment or pebbles that may have already or in the future might cause tears or stretching in the material.
Once this step is finished, it’s time to check your chemical levels. Making sure that pH, calcium, and alkalinity levels are all balanced out for the next swim season are very important steps to making your pool winter-ready.
Next, ensuring that any lines containing water are cleared out is key. Draining the chemical filter, the backwash system, any plumbing lines, the pump, etc. will allow the materials and any gauges housed inside of this equipment to remain safe during the freezing temperatures you face in the winter months. Though it seems taxing, it’s better to do these steps to the best of your ability for the longevity, safety, and health of your pool.
Finally, it’s time to cover your pool and store any equipment like skimmers and detachable ladders. Taking them in from the water and storing them in a shed or garage prevents water from filling the materials and expanding, allowing for breaks or weakening bends in your needed equipment. Covering the pool is a matter of personal preference as far as material, but it is recommended that you cover the entire expanse of the pool to prevent debris from getting into the remaining water or the bottom of your empty pool. Note: It is not recommended to fully drain your in-ground pool for the winter.
Failure to perform these checks could lead to an even more costly repair job when it comes time to open the pool back up for the next season of fun in the sun. Make sure these steps are performed fully and with the best equipment available, including a Dam-It Dams Cofferdam!