Whether you live in a place where you get a couple of inches of snow or a place where it barely sticks to the ground, keeping your pool clean in the winter is essential to its functionality in the summer. Although it may seem easy to abandon your pool and prepare for Christmas, the repercussions that follow can complicate your future poolside affairs. Algae can cause the walls and stairs of the pool to become slippery, and even though algae itself isn’t particularly dangerous, it does promote other unhealthy bacteria to grow. This can lead to swimmers being exposed to bacterial infections and skin disorders. Algae can’t grow at temperatures below 40F, but we all know that South Georgia and Florida doesn’t get that cold. These next four steps will help you winterize your pool.
1. Use Winter Algaecide.
On the last day after cleaning the debris and leaves, pour algaecide and chlorine to prevent algae from growing and to keep the pH levels balanced. Be cautious not to pour too much chlorine because it can bleach your liner. Run it through the system for 24 hours and then shut off the circulation system.
2. Have a Secure Pool Cover.
This is the best protection you can provide for you pool. Make sure your cover is fitted and pay attention to the leaves, debris, and rain that can accumulate on top to ensure that it doesn’t rip your cover or get in the pool, which can add unwanted bacteria.
3. Check the Pool’s Chemical Levels.
Always check your pool’s pH level before closing; your ideal range is 7.2-7.8. Balanced water will prevent algae, bacteria, waterlines, and contamination making the opening process much easier for pool owners. DO NOT mix chemicals before pouring it in the pool.
4. Check the Pool’s System (to prevent freezing damages).
Check your pool pump, filter, and heater periodically to ensure everything is working properly.
These things should help with the algae and bacteria levels in your pool. Another common consideration people have when winterizing their pools is whether to drain the pool or not.
According to an article on “In the Swim Blog” by Davy Merino: “All swimming pools must be kept mostly full during the winter to prevent damage to the walls or popping of the pool from hydrostatic pressure. It also protects plaster from cracking and vinyl from shrinking.”
Drain the water from concrete walls if you plan on replacing the liner; if not, drain the water 4-6 inches below the skimmer. For help with keeping your pool in tip top shape this winter, visit The Pool Store in Valdosta at 3363 North Valodtsa Rd. or in Thomasville at 1616 Smith Ave. Can’t stop in? Give them a call at (229)247-6440 (Valdosta) or (229)227-1194 (Thomasville).