Check Your Safety Cover to Make Sure It’s Always Properly Fitted
Having clean, clear water in the Spring makes the life of a pool owner much, much easier. One key element in doing so is having a properly fitted safety cover. Quite honestly, in my opinion winter covers just don’t get the job done.
Follow your typical winter chemical program and about a month before you plan to open use a couple of gallons of liquid shock and then a gallon of algaecide one week prior to your opening. If you follow these instructions you shouldn’t any work besides giving the pool a quick vacuum.
Pay Attention To The Weather
My tip for ensuring a clean clear pool in the spring is to pay attention to the weather, if the fall has been more mild and warmer then it is a good idea to check the pool and add more chlorine and algaecide just ahead of the colder season.
In some areas where they experience heavy rains in the fall and mesh covers are in place much of the winterizing chemicals added around labor day may have been diluted out. Checking in the deep freeze areas just before the first big freeze hits and charging up the chemicals then can help ensure the water makes it through to spring start up without an excessive algae bloom.
Use a Enzyme Chemicals to Break Down Non-Living Organic Contamination
While there is not a widely known technique to help a winterized pool while its pump and filter system are shut down for the off season, there is one industry trick you should consider.
Using an enzyme product during the off season (even poured through a mesh cover when the water is not frozen) will help to break down non-living organic contamination that will inevitably make its way into your pool this winter. Some of this contamination includes bird droppings, pollen, or even bather contaminants leftover from your swimming pool season.
An off season enzyme will help prevent the waterline ring that can occur through the winter, which would normally require a lot of scrubbing in the spring. The use of an off season enzyme also allows for a faster turnaround time when you go to open your pool as the weather heats up. The product we recommend for this trick is Pool Magic by Natural Chemistry. It works hard, so you don’t have to!
Keep Your Above Ground Winter Cover Free of Debris
Unfortunately, the responsibilities of pool ownership does not end when swimming season ends! But to make your life easier when you re-open your pool in the spring, one of the things you have to do when the pool is closed and covered is keep the cover reasonably free of debris.
If leaves, sticks and other junk accumulate throughout the winter, you can end up with a nasty stew of stagnant water, which is mess to remove and often some of it ends up in the pool.
Using an air pillow connected to the cover in the center of the pool not only protects your pool from snow and ice damage, it also disperses water and debris to the sides of the pool making cleaning it off easy! You want to keep some water on the cover to help stabilize the cover in the wind, but you don’t want any debris.
Keep An Eye On Your Above Ground Winter Cover All Winter
Periodically check your cover cable to make sure that it is tight. If the cable becomes loose, the cover might start to slip into the pool.
Check your air pillow to make sure that it still has air in it. If you see it starting to go flat, get another one and slip it under the cover and blow it up.
Check the water level in the pool every month. A slow leak in the liner could cause you to lose a lot of water from the pool. If you notice the water level dropping, simply refill with a hose and keep it as high as possible to prevent damage to the cover, liner and walls. If you notice part of the cover falling into the pool, pull it up and properly reset it right away to prevent damage.
Protect The Water and Open Early
We refrigerate food to minimize degradation from microorganisms that will grow on food and make us sick. In many ways, the winter is like nature’s refrigerator for our swimming pools and spas. As temperatures drop, so does reproduction rates for microorganisms. Just like most food tastes better when warmed, people tend to enjoy swimming pools when the water is warmed (“Polar Bear Club” members please disregard this generality).
If the goal is to have a clean and clear pool in the spring, we should consider a few things when taking care of the pool in the off-season.
First, it helps to use a “winterizing product” in the water that has some biocidal properties to slow or prevent microorganism growth. The principles we follow in the summer also apply to the winter. If you can maintain the proper pH and a disinfectant at all times, pool care becomes easier.