Close up image of cracking snow

Pool Closing- Preparing for winter, preventing freezing or ice damage

Winterizing Your Pool

In cold weather climates, winterizing your pool requires extra attention to detail due to the risk of freezing temperatures. Properly closing your pool as outlined above will help ensure it stays in excellent condition throughout the winter, preventing costly damage and making the reopening process smoother in the spring.

  1. 1. Balance Water Chemistry: Test and adjust the pool’s pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels. Maintaining proper water chemistry is vital to prevent corrosion and scaling during the winter months.
  2. 2. Shock and Add Algaecide: A week or so before closing the pool, shock it with a chlorine shock treatment. Follow this with the addition of a winter algaecide to prevent algae growth during the off-season.
  3. 3. Clean Thoroughly: Before closing the pool, thoroughly clean it. Vacuum the pool, skim the surface, and brush the walls to remove all debris, including leaves and algae. A clean pool is less likely to develop problems during winter.
  4. 4. Lower Water Level: Lower the water level below the skimmer and return jets. This prevents freezing water from damaging these components. Use a submersible pump to achieve the desired water level if necessary.
  5. 5. Drain and Winterize Plumbing: Completely drain the pool’s plumbing system, including the pipes, filter, pump, and heater. Use compressed air to blow out any remaining water to prevent freezing and cracking. Alternatively, add pool-safe antifreeze to the plumbing lines to protect them from freezing damage.
  6. 6. Remove and Store Accessories: Take out all removable accessories such as ladders, diving boards, and skimmer baskets. Store them in a dry and sheltered area to prevent damage from the cold and snow.
  7. 7. Use a Winter Cover: Invest in a high-quality winter cover designed for cold weather climates. Ensure the cover fits securely and is tightly fastened to prevent wind from getting underneath it.
  8. 8. Monitor Snow Buildup: Regularly remove snow and ice buildup from the pool cover. Excessive weight can damage the cover and potentially harm your pool’s structure.
  9. 9. Maintain Water Level: Throughout the winter, periodically check the water level in the pool. Add water if needed to maintain the proper level, which helps prevent damage to the liner or pool walls.
  10. 10. Inspect the Pool: Periodically inspect your pool during the winter months for any signs of damage or issues. Look for leaks, ice damage, or other problems that may need attention.

Preventing Freezing and Ice Damage

Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your pool if not properly managed. Follow these steps to prevent freezing and ice damage:

    1. 1. Use a Winter Cover: Invest in a durable winter cover to keep debris out of the pool and reduce evaporation. Make sure it’s properly shovel in the snow
    2. 2. Winterize Equipment: Drain water from pool pumps, filters, and heaters. Store equipment indoors to protect it from freezing temperatures.
    3. 3. Antifreeze for Pipes: Use pool-safe antifreeze to protect your pool’s plumbing system. Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions.
    4. 4. Monitor Water Level: Periodically check the water level throughout the winter. Add water if needed to maintain the proper level.
    5. 1. Install a Freeze Guard: Consider installing a freeze guard or pool freeze protection system. These devices monitor the temperature and will activate your pool equipment when temperatures approach freezing, preventing ice formation in the plumbing.
    6. 2. Use a Pool Heater: If you have a pool heater, keep it running at a low temperature during the winter months. This will help maintain the water temperature above freezing, reducing the risk of ice formation.
    7. 3. Keep Water Circulating: Running your pool pump periodically during the winter can help prevent freezing. Moving water is less likely to freeze, so set your pump to circulate water for short intervals even when the pool is not in use.
    8. 4. Add Additional Winterizing Chemicals: Consult with a pool professional to add winterizing chemicals that are specifically designed to prevent freezing. These chemicals can lower the freezing point of the pool water.
    9. 5. Use a Pool Pillow: Place an inflatable pool pillow or air bladder in the center of your pool before covering it. This will help displace the pressure of ice expansion, reducing the risk of damage to the pool walls.
    10. 6. Monitor Weather Conditions: Stay informed about upcoming weather conditions, especially severe cold snaps or storms. Take extra precautions, such as running the pool pump continuously during extreme cold spells.
    11. 7. Snow Removal: Remove snow and ice buildup from the pool cover as soon as possible. Excessive weight can damage the cover and potentially harm your pool’s structure.
    12. 8. Check for Leaks: Regularly inspect your pool for leaks during the winter months. If you notice water loss, investigate and repair any leaks promptly to prevent further damage.
    13. 9. Professional Inspection: Consider scheduling a mid-winter inspection by a pool professional. They can assess your pool’s condition and make any necessary adjustments to prevent ice damage.

Regular Inspections

Before your annual pool closing you should be checking for arising problems to catch before the repairs become costly and inconvenient. Even during winter, it’s essential to inspect your pool for any issues:

    • 1. Snow Removal: Remove snow and ice buildup on the pool cover to prevent damage.
    • 2. Check for Leaks: Keep an eye out for any signs of leaks or damage to the pool structure or plumbing.
    • 3. Maintain Water Chemistry: Periodically test the water and adjust the chemical balance to ensure it stays within the recommended range.Blue Fin Team are truck on job site
    • 4. Check the Pool Cover: Begin by examining the pool cover. Look for any tears, holes, or areas where it may have come loose. A secure and intact cover is essential for keeping debris out of the pool.
    • 5. Examine the Water Level: Ensure that the water level is within the recommended range. If it’s too low, it can cause stress on the pool walls and liner. If it’s too high, it may damage the pool cover or cause it to sag.
    • 6. Inspect the Pool Structure: Carefully inspect the pool’s walls and floor for cracks, chips, or any signs of structural damage. Pay close attention to areas where water may have collected and frozen, as this can cause damage over time.
    • 7. Check the Skimmer and Return Jets: Examine the skimmer and return jets for any signs of freeze damage or cracking. These are vulnerable areas that can be affected by freezing water.
    • 8. Evaluate the Pool Liner: If your pool has a vinyl liner, inspect it for any tears, wrinkles, or separation from the pool walls. Ensure it is properly seated and secure. Damaged liners can lead to leaks and costly repairs.
    • 9. Look for Ice Damage: Check for any ice damage around the pool area. This includes damage to the coping, decking, and surrounding structures. Ice expansion can cause cracks and shifting.
    • 10. Assess Pool Equipment: Inspect pool equipment you’ve stored for the winter, such as pumps, filters, and heaters. Check for any signs of corrosion or damage. Ensure they are protected from moisture and freezing temperatures.
    • 11. Maintain the Pool Cover: Regularly remove snow and ice buildup from the pool cover to prevent excess weight and damage. Use a soft broom or a pool cover pump to remove water accumulation.
    • 12. Address Issues Promptly: If you discover any damage or issues during your inspections, address them promptly. Contact a professional pool technician if necessary to assess and repair any damage.
Proper pool closing during the winter months is essential for preventing freezing or ice damage. By following these steps, you can ensure your pool is ready to shine when the warm weather returns.