A swimming pool can be immensely fun for the children and adults of a family, but maintaining one takes some effort. Winterizing a pool or preparing it for the months you will not be using it is a back-breaking chore for the most. Pool closing is imperative if you want to prevent the growth of algae, and other unwanted small plants that can feed off the nutrients and chemicals in the pool water. According to the experts, you should close the pools when the night-time temperatures start hitting the low 40s, and the daytime temperatures hit the mid-60s. Below these temperatures, trees begin to shed their leaves, and that can create a big mess before closing up.
What is one thing you must always do before winterizing the pool?
Before closing up the pool ensure that you have a pool test kit handy. The test kit will give you a complete report on the alkalinity, pH and chemical constituents of the pool water. Complete the testing before you begin your major winterizing work on your pool. This task gives you a complete understanding of the status of your pool plumbing, sanitation, and other equipment. It will tell you if everything is in working condition before you close the pool for the coming four or five months. The rule of the thumb is that if you need to complete plumbing work or any repair on the pool, you should do so before the winter begins.
Check the kind of retractable pool cover you have at hand –
- Vinyl lined – choose a sturdy vinyl lined cover for your pool. Almost all types of vinyl covers are pocket-friendly, but pick one that is sturdy and comes with high ratings from other customers. Lower about a one-and-a-half-inch below the mouth of the skimmer. Lower the cover more in regions that experience heavy snow or rain.
- Solid material cover – solid material covers can be of various types including plaster finish ones and painted ones. Installing them for the winter is simple. Place it about six inches below the skimmer mouth or the tile line. Ensure that you depress it well below whichever is lower among the two.
- Mesh covers – these work well for areas that experience heavy snowfall or rain, but little debris. If you have trees in the surrounding areas, mesh covers can skim off the larger leaves and twigs, but the smaller debris will easily pass through.
- Retractable pool cover – a retractable pool cover is the best for those, who do not want to engage in labor-intensive work before and after the winters. They can cover your pool or open it up at the press of a button. However, while using a retractable pool cover, ensure that your pool water level is not lower than the bottom of the mouth of the skimmer.
- Hydrostatic pressure cover – these are on the expensive side of pool covers, and you do not want to risk using one if you have an in-ground concrete pool. These covers can harm drained in-ground pools unless you leave the bottom drain valves open. Only use the hydrostatic pressure covers, if you are sure of the installation and use.
How to choose the correct pool cover for the winter?
Since not all pool covers are equal, you should consider their pros and cons before investing your hard-earned money. Currently, there are three most popular cover types. Here’s a brief guide on the different pool cover variants –
Mesh safety covers – these are the lightweights of the pool cover world. While most of them do not provide any protection from UV-rays, the modern hybrid mesh covers do. Picking a mesh cover for the warmer months, when you might be using the pool sparingly, can be a great idea. However, allowing sunlight through the mesh material during the winter months can be detrimental for the water quality as well as the plumbing. These covers also allow a significant amount of organic refuse to enter the pool waters during the stagnant period. It can promote algal growth. So, if your pool cover is mesh, try adding algaestat or algaecide to the waters.
Solid safety covers – these are great for heavy-duty protection. They can protect all kinds of pool shapes. They block dirt, debris, and sunlight completely. The retractable pool covers can be completely solid if you want to prevent algal growth and organic deposits in the pool altogether. While picking solid safety covers to ensure that you avoid the formation of giant puddles in the middle of the cover, if you do not take enough precaution to remove the collected water, removing the solid safety cover can be almost impossible at the end of the winter months.
Hybrid covers – the hybrid safety covers can also be retractable, depending on the kind of mechanism and frame you are installing. These hybrid covers possess the best of solid and mesh covers. You do not have to pump the collecting water since it allows only the clean water to pass through and it restricts the entry of fallen leaves and other debris completely. They can also block sunlight and the UV-rays completely. However, the cleaning, removal, and storage steps are identical to mesh covers. So, if you have used a retractable mesh pool cover till now, upgrading to a hybrid one should not be a problem at all.
When Winter is over Go with a Retractable Pool Cover
You can turn any solar pool cover into an automatically retractable cover by installing and attach it to an Auto Pool Reel unit. This gives you a one-touch access to your pool during the summer. After a long winter and work opening your pool you can start enjoying it with ease. You will not have to worry about the availability of a helping hand when the time comes to uncover the pool.