To preserve your backyard pool from our harsh Canadian winters, you need to protect it. You probably already have a pool cover, but that’s not enough. Taking care of your pool during the colder months is easy if you follow these seven tips:
- Guard the water
- Algaecide is key
- Chlorine is a must but not too much
- Prepare for frost
- Clean the cover
- Take care of non-living contamination
- Start early
In the winter time water doesn’t circulate properly and any free chlorine in it degrades, leading to unbalanced pH levels. In order to keep the pH levels in your pool balanced, use a biocidal winterizing product.
Add an algaecide to your pool to stop the growth of bacteria before it starts. There are some algaecides on the market that can last up to 90 days, which may be long enough to endure the entire winter.
Ensure that your pool’s chlorine levels are normal throughout the winter and adjust as necessary. Be careful not to over-chlorinate, otherwise you risk bleaching the pool’s liner.
Drain the water from your pool’s pipes so they don’t freeze during the winter. The same goes for the filter, pump and heater. You should also drain the pool water to anywhere from 4 to 6 inches below the skimmer so it doesn’t freeze and expand, causing damage.
Debris, dirt and ice can weigh down your pool cover. To keep your pool cover clean during the colder months, hose it off when necessary. It’s also important to get a pool cover that fits exactly over your pool. Any gaps or holes in the cover will let in dirt. You can add an air pillow if you have an above ground pool to form an extra layer of protection from ice and snow. Air pillows also push the dirt to the sides of the cover, allowing for an easier clean.
Although your pool will be covered, there’s still a chance that non-living (non-organic) contamination could seep through. Non-living contamination is everything from pollen to bird droppings and the best way to take care of it is with an enzyme product. Usually, these products can be poured directly into the pool water and work hard to break down the contamination. Plus, enzyme products can also rid your pool of any dirty waterline marks.
Right before the cold season ends, open your pool. If you wait until the weather is sweltering, you risk added buildup of algae and fungi. Warm water facilitates the growth of these aquatic pests, so the sooner you treat your pool’s water, the cleaner it’ll be when you’re finally able to take a dip.
The more you protect your pool during the colder seasons, the better prepared you’ll be when you it’s warm out and can spend your days swimming.