Winter Maintenance for Swimming Pools

Canadians know the rigours of winter all too well. The coldest months are December, January and February, when temperatures plunge up to minus fifty degrees celsius, depending on the region. Knowing just how cold and foreboding the outdoors can be during this time, Canadians sure do treasure their summer months. And since swimming pools are synonymous with summer, Canadians love having their pools in their backyard to cool off and refresh.

Unfortunately, the great disparity in Canadian seasons means that maintaining an outdoor pool can be tricky. Of course, pools need cleaning and upkeep throughout the summer months, while they’re in use. It’s important, however, not to neglect winter pool maintenance. This article will outline the steps you need to take to keep your swimming pool in good condition over the course of the entire year.

Not only will your pool be pleasant to swim in, you’ll save hundreds of dollars by properly maintaining it. It’s worth it to put in the work! There are several reasons to keep up with your pool maintenance, even over the winter:

  • You’ll minimize health hazards and risks, thereby making your pool safe to swim in come springtime
  • You’ll minimize wear and tear on your pool; the winter months are the harshest of the year, with lots of objects and debris attacking your pool
  • Your pool will be easier to reopen in the spring, since you’ve been diligent about keeping up it’s cleanliness over the winter

How to Maintain Your Swimming Pool in the Winter

  • Put on a pool cover 

Pool covers protect your pool from objects, debris and animals after the warm weather cools off.

  • Ensure the pool cover, bags and blocks are securely fastened.
  • Make sure debris doesn’t accumulate on top of the pool cover. Use a hose to rinse it off from time to time.
  • Don’t let snow pile up on your pool cover; it’s weight can do damage. You can use a roof rake to remove piled up snow.
  • Add Winterizing Chemicals 
  • Refer to a pool maintenance professional for the right mix of chemicals. Adding winterizing chemicals to your pool as you’re shutting it down for the season will prevent algae from growing underneath the pool cover. The chemicals change the pH of the water, making it inhospitable to plant growth.
  • Check the pH of your pool every two months
  • Keep track of the weather and climatic conditions 
  • Some people opt for mesh safety covers for their pool. This can be problematic if there is high rainfall in your area. The rainwater will get into your pool and dilute the winterizing chemicals
  • Leaves, sticks, and ice that can fall from nearby trees can rip, pole holes in, and otherwise damage covers.
  • Open the pool earlier 
  • Most people figure they’ll open their pool when the temperatures warm up enough to warrant swimming. The problem is, algae starts growing long before that point. The recommended time to open your pool after winter is when temperatures in your area are consistently above 21 degrees.

Find the Right Pool Technicians 

Owning and operating a swimming pool, even if it’s just in your backyard, is a huge task. It takes a detailed knowledge of chemistry in order to keep the water safe and pleasant to swim in. It’s impossible to know on your own if conditions are really ideal, unless you enlist the right helpers.

If you’re still thinking of building a pool, or if you already have one and need support, start by making a list of all contractors and swimming pool builders in your area. If you have neighbours who have pools, and who are happy with their yearly pool maintenance, ask them for recommendations. Look at online reviews, the professionalism of their websites and their years in the business. All of these factors can help you make the choice that is the best bang for your buck.

Ask about their pricing, whether or not they offer payment plans, their track record, the process they use to determine the right mix or winterizing chemicals, and any other questions you might have. There’s no such thing as a bad question!

There’s a lot that goes into getting your swimming pool winter-ready. An important step is adding the right chemicals to the water to prevent the growth of algae. You also need to cover over your pool properly to prevent items, debris and animals from wreaking havoc. Finally, you need to keep tabs on the weather throughout the winter. Try to avoid mesh pool covers if you live in an area that sees substantial rainfall in the autumn, winter or early spring months.

Following our guidelines will ensure that your pool is safe to swim in come springtime, which is the primary concern if your family will be using the pool. Proper maintenance in the winter, even though you’re not using the pool, makes it easier to reopen when the warm weather gets you craving a dip. Finally, you can save hundreds of dollars by avoiding wear and tear from not maintaining your pool properly, and that’s a great thing! There are all the reasons in the world to give your pool some TLC over the winter, and really no reasons why not to.

News Reporter