The Complete Winter Pool Care Guide for Above Ground Pools
Just because the summer is winding down doesn’t mean your job as a pool owner is done! Maintaining your pool is a year-round job and it’s especially important to give it some TLC in the winter months. We’ve put together our best winter pool maintenance tips to keep your pool in tip-top shape during the winter.
Your pool cover is one of your most important winter pool maintenance tools. It protects your pool from the weather, dirt, debris, animals, and more. Overall, a properly fitted and secured cover will make for a much easier pool opening come springtime. Therefore, it deserves your attention throughout the winter season.
Let’s take a look at how you can properly care for your winter pool cover starting from when you close your pool all the way to reopening.
- Make sure that your winter pool cover is securely attached. That means tight cables and secure cover clips. This will make sure it stays in place when the winter winds start to pick up. You’ll also want to check in regularly throughout the winter months to make sure everything stays secure.
- Use an air pillow. Winter air pillows help protect your pool from expanding ice and help promote even weight distribution. We recommend using one and checking to make sure it stays close to the center of your pool throughout the season for the best results.
Do You Need a Winter Pool Pillow?
- Keep debris and water off your pool cover. Leaves, dirt, water, and other debris can pile up and weigh down your cover. Excess water can also freeze and cause issues. Use a hose and wet vac to remove excess water and debris frequently.
- Keep your cover clear of snow. If you live in an area that sees significant snowfall during the winter season, you’ll want to use a roof rake or broom to carefully remove snow from your cover. Much like shoveling and scraping your vehicle, it’s generally easiest to do this sooner rather than later while the snow is still fresh.
- Check for tears and damage. Winter can be rough on your pool cover. Check frequently throughout the season for any tears or other damage due to weather, pests, or debris.
Swimming Pool Pumps, Filters, and Heaters
Another key part of winter pool maintenance is taking care of your pool pump and filter system and other important pool accessories. You’ll want to keep them clean and in tip-top shape so you’re ready to open your pool once the weather warms up.
- Review all manufacturer guidelines for winter storage and maintenance. Every pool part and accessory is a little different. As you’re closing your pool for the season, take some time to review your product manuals to make sure you’re following recommendations for your specific filter, pump, etc.
- Drain the water from the pump, filter, and pool heater. Any excess water in these parts can freeze, cause cracked pipes, and cost you a lot of money in the long run.
- Check your pool equipment periodically throughout the season. This helps
make sure everything is working properly and that there’s no big, immediate problems to address before the pool season starts again. Look for cracks, leaks, rust, corrosion, and other warning signs.
- Perform maintenance tasks as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Dirt, debris, and contaminants can still make their way into your pool when it’s closed. With that in mind, follow guidelines regarding backwashing your pool checking the filter gauge, emptying skimmer baskets, and more. Keeping things clean and tidy will make your pool opening a lot smoother in the spring.
- Contact your local pool professional for winter maintenance assistance. It’s generally good practice to have a pool professional look things over at least once a year. They can help you properly close your pool for the season, provide insights into repairs and replacement parts if needed, and give you peace of mind as you head into the winter season.
To avoid nasty surprises in the spring, it’s important to keep up with your water chemistry, even during the off-season. It starts with properly winterizing your pool, but then requires ongoing testing and monitoring throughout the winter season.
Water chemistry isn’t hard and it’s an important part of protecting your above ground swimming pool, even during the winter! Keeping your calcium hardness, pH, alkalinity, and other chemicals balanced will make for an easier pool opening process in the spring and prevent damage to your equipment and pool liner.
- Check your pool chemistry at least every two months when not in use. This will help cut down on algae and bacteria growth that can lead to staining on your vinyl pool liner and other damage to your above ground pool.
- Use an enzyme product. This will help break down contaminants, prevent buildup and water rings, and you’ll have less scrubbing to do when you open your pool in the spring.
- Follow all safety precautions when using chemicals. Your pool chemicals can be dangerous if not handled properly. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and goggles, store them properly, keep away from children, and follow all manufacturer instructions.
- Check expiration dates. Pool chemicals lose their potency over time so you’ll want to pitch any old ones. Generally, you don’t want to use chemicals that are more than a year old.
Your water level is an important thing to keep an eye on during the winter months. The proper level depends on where you live.
- If you live in a warmer climate, like the South, that doesn’t experience freezing temperatures, your swimming pool can stay almost full through the winter months.
- If you live in a colder climate, the pool water level should be just below the skimmer about 4-6 inches for the winter.
- Don’t completely drain your above ground pool during the winter months. You could risk damaging your liner and causing structural damage to your pool.
Pool Toys & Accessories
- Clean all pool toys thoroughly. While you should follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning your pool toys, generally a bleach and water mixture or good old soap and water are good ways to clean them. This is also a great opportunity to inspect them for damage.
- Let them dry fully before storing them away. You don’t want to put floats and toys away wet or it could promote mold and mildew growth. Give them enough time to dry before storing them for the winter.
- Store them properly. We recommend storing your pool toys and accessories in a plastic storage bin in your garage, basement, or shed. This will keep them safe from pests and other debris but leave them easily accessible when you’re ready to use them again the following summer.
Other Winter Pool Maintenance Tips
Winter pool maintenance goes beyond just taking care of your pool. It also includes taking care of your yard, keeping everything organized, and being an involved pool owner even when you’re not using your pool regularly. Here are a few other handy tips to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining your pool this winter.
- Keep your yard and patio area clear. A clean yard and deck area helps minimize accidental damage to your pool, especially when the winter winds pick up . Rake the leaves, trim branches, move your patio furniture into storage. You want to minimize anything that could fall or get blown into your pool and cause damage during the winter.
- Get organized. The winter off-season is the perfect time to take stock of all your pool equipment, parts, toys, floats, and accessories and get organized. After you’ve reviewed them, organize your product manuals and guides into handy binders, label all your storage bins, and start a list of any products you still might need or need to replace before next year. Organizing everything now will make the summer season a breeze!
- Order your pool parts and accessories. Summer is a very busy time for pool companies like Linerworld. The last thing you want is to delay opening your pool because the part or accessory you need is sold out. That’s why the off-season is a great opportunity to stock up on everything you’ll need for the upcoming pool season. That way, you’re ready to go as soon as the weather is warm with no delays!
Head to our shop to see the latest and greatest pool liners, pool covers, toys, floats, and more to get you set for next summer!
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