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How To Maintain An Inground Pool In The Winter

How To Maintain An Inground Pool In The Winter

If you’ve read our article (How to Close an Inground Swimming Pool for the Winter), odds are you know the process of closing an inground swimming pool for the winter. That process involves quite a few steps that require care and precision to ensure that your pool can withstand the winter months and be ready for reopening the next summer.

However, you shouldn’t think that you just follow the steps for closing your pool and it’s set for the winter. In fact, there are some measures you should take throughout the winter months to protect your pool from damage and ensure that it can make it through to the summer to be reopened.

And that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing in this article!

Even though it’s the offseason, you shouldn’t neglect your pool and think that you don’t have to do any maintenance because it’s covered/closed for the season. There are still a lot of things you can do in response to weather, cover conditions, and water conditions—all of which may seem miniscule but are actually essential to the protection of your pool.

For those of us who live in the Midwest, we all know winters can be pretty harsh, which is why taking care of your pool all year is so important—arguably even more so in the winter than in the summer. So, we want you to be as educated as possible about how to take care of your pool in the winter when it’s the most difficult to do so!

How to Prepare for Rain or Snow

Rain and snow are pretty common throughout the offseason here in the Midwest, so knowing how to prepare your pool to combat such weather conditions is probably the most beneficial information.

Open Pool Cover

So, if you’re expecting a good amount of rain or snow, you can open your pool cover. This helps prevent the build-up of water on the pool cover because if enough water does build up on the cover, the following could result:

  • The cover could collapse from too much weight
  • If dirty water remains on the cover all winter, it could fall to the pool itself along with any debris, wasting all the work you put in to protect your pool throughout the winter

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Now, this only applies to removable covers, NOT automatic covers. Removable covers require manual labor and can be manipulated to only open partially. On the other hand, automatic covers are placed on tracks and are operated by a mechanical system, so attempting to open/close an automatic cover in freezing temperatures could do a great deal of damage to the cover system.

Remove Water or Snow From Pool Cover

Now, it’s not really possible to prevent the build up of rainwater or snow on a cover unless you have a mesh cover—and even then, only some of the precipitation will sink into the pool. So, you’ll need to remove it yourself.

This can be done through the use of an automatic pool pump, which siphons water away from the pool cover towards other areas of your property.

As far as snow is concerned, you’ll need to take a different approach. This must be done carefully because you can’t just shovel snow off the cover like you would if you were shoveling a driveway—that would just put the cover at risk of being torn.

You see, it’s much safer to use a long broom that will allow you to stand on the surrounding patio and brush the snow off the cover. Doing this doesn’t put the cover at risk of being torn and in turn, with extend its lifespan.

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Maintain Water Level

If the situation arises where you feel like you should open your pool cover, be aware that the precipitation will cause the water level of your pool to rise.

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Although an increase of an inch or two won’t really change anything, you should contact a professional pool service if you are concerned about the safety of your pool.

How to Prepare for Warmer Days

It’s fairly common that in addition to the cold weather throughout the winter months, we’ll see a few days where temperatures rise drastically here in the Midwest.

Temperatures may go from the mid-30s to the 60s for a day or two but drop back down soon thereafter.

For inground pools, this can spell out trouble. So, you need to prepare yourself for these days so you can take care of your pool properly. By doing so, you’ll be able to get your inground pool ready for the transition from freezing temperatures to warmer temperatures and back to freezing temperatures.

For humans, it’s as simple as trading your winter coat for a light jacket and then returning to that winter coat. And for inground pools, it’s pretty similar in simplicity.

All you’ll have to do if temperatures rise during the winter is open your pool cover. You’ll want to prevent the pool from absorbing heat generated from the sun and creating a greenhouse, so-to-speak, that will raise the temperature of the pool water. And an environment like this is a perfect home for algae to grow. So, by opening the cover, you eliminate the possibility of creating that environment and thus eliminating the possibility of algae growth that could create poor pool conditions.

How to Maintain Water Chemistry

Although maintaining water chemistry is obviously easier and require more during the summer when you’re able to use your pool, it’s also something that you should keep an eye on in the winter even when it’s a little more difficult to do so.

Ideally, the pH level of the pool water should be between 7.4-7.6 all year long—so checking the water chemistry weekly is not a bad idea.

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If there’s no circulation in the water, you probably won’t need to do much but add chlorine from time to time. But you never know when something could go awry so it’s always better to be safe than sorry and keep close tabs on the water chemistry of your pool year ‘round.

How to Further Care for Your Pool in the Winter

As always, we hope that this information goes a long way in helping you care for your pool as we get into the winter months. There’s no doubt that the cold weather is coming very soon if it’s not here already, so you’ll want to have all the preparation done as soon as possible!

If you have any further questions, you can reach us at (219)-322-2797 or take a look at some of our other articles down below!