Caring for Swimming Pools During the Winter

by Pool Builders on 10-21-2013 in Articles

If you are among the many people who don't use their swimming pools unless the weather is warm, it would be very easy to ignore maintenance during colder months. However, it is very important that you don't forget to follow some simple steps to make sure your backyard oasis will be in good shape once you're ready to dive back in.

For those with above ground swimming pools, make sure you check the cover cable periodically so that it remains secure. If it becomes loose, the cover could slip into the water. Also, look at the air pillow to see that it remains inflated. Replace it with another one if it starts to go flat. This is very important, because the purpose of the air pillow is to keep the walls of swimming pools from splitting should the water freeze and expand.

Make sure also that you either siphon or pump rain water off of the cover regularly during the winter, and remove any leaves that may accumulate. Water and excess weight can result in the cover either tearing or collapsing. Also, if the liner leaks you could lose a great deal of water.

Owners of in-ground swimming pools that use water tube-type covers need to replace any tubes that may break in cold weather. These tubes are vital because they keep the cover secure. To avoid having to go to the store whenever on breaks, buy a few extra and keep them nearby.

Don't ever use any sort of heavy object, such as a brick or a cinder block, to keep the cover in place. If the cover should fail for whatever reason and slip into the water, this heavier object could cause a great deal of damage. If you have a mesh- or spring-type of cover, make sure you adjust the straps and springs every once in a while. This is especially true during the first few years that you use the cover. When it is first installed, the straps will begin to stretch, which is normal. Just make sure that the straps remain tight throughout the winter.

Owners of swimming pools also need to make sure they keep the water level at or slightly below the level of the skimmer. That level should not be lower than 18 inches from the top of the pool. If it is, that could cause the cover to excessively stretch and either tear or pull the anchors out of your deck. On the other hand, if the level gets too high, it may not allow water from the cover to drain properly. If this happens, it could collapse due to excessive weight. Add or remove water as necessary with a garden hose or pump.

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