Maintaining your pool during winter is crucial for ensuring its cleanliness and functionality. Living in Southeast Texas has its perks, and one of them is our weather. We can enjoy swimming for a more extended season.
Texans love the warmer winter weather, but the severe winter storm in February 2021 proved that preparation is crucial. Homeowners faced prolonged and severe freezing weather, rolling outages, burst pipes, and water outages. Due to the harsh weather, many homeowners suffered significant damage to their pool pumps and equipment. However, there are steps you can take to keep your pool clean and protect costly equipment during the unpredictable winter months.
During the summer, you’re likely spending a lot of time cleaning debris and monitoring chemical levels to keep your pool pristine. However, it is equally important to maintain your pool during the winter to avoid potential issues. Leaves, bugs, and twigs can accumulate and clog up drains and skimmers, damaging the pool and its filtration system.
Additionally, decaying debris can throw the pool’s pH levels out of balance, making it more difficult to restore it to the proper levels come springtime. So, pay attention to your pool during the winter months!
Winter Pool Maintenance in Texas
It’s essential to time your pool maintenance right. Lower temperatures can help control algae growth. Keep your pool clean, tested, and balanced until the season’s temperature exceeds 65 degrees. Although Texas does not experience freezing temperatures for an extended period, Houston does face a few nights below 32F throughout the year. To prevent any damage to your pool, don’t take any risks. Even one night of ice buildup can cause significant damage.
Steps For Preparing your In-Ground Pool for Winter
In-ground pools can last for decades with proper maintenance. However, during winter, ice expansion can cause damage to the pool’s plaster, filtration system, pump, and skimmer. To keep your pool in good condition, follow these helpful tips:
- Keep the water clean.
During the winter season, it’s crucial to maintain your pool regularly. You should test and balance the water chemistry and remove debris from the surface by skimming; it will stop the growth of algae and bacteria, keeping the water safe to swim in once the weather warms up.
- Maintain the water level.
Maintaining the proper water level in your pool during winter is crucial to avoiding any harm to the pool and its equipment. If the water level is too low, the pump and filter may not function correctly, and the water could freeze, leading to the pool cracking. Conversely, if the water level is too high, it could exert pressure on the pool’s structure, causing it to leak or even collapse. Therefore, keeping the water level balanced is essential to prevent potential harm to your pool.
- Install a pool cover.
Investing in a pool cover is an excellent way to confidently protect your pool from the adverse effects of winter weather, such as rain and snow. Moreover, it efficiently keeps debris out of the pool, creating a hygienic environment and maintaining the pool’s chemistry. Pool covers are also a surefire way of reducing water loss due to evaporation.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
Winter weather can be quite unpredictable, and it’s crucial to watch the forecast for any signs of freezing weather. Ensure your pool and related equipment stay in good condition, especially when you’re out of town. It is important to plan and prepare for any weather conditions. By taking necessary precautions and following a few guidelines, you can safeguard your pool investment when freezing or below-freezing temperatures happen.
- If it freezes, keep the pump running.
Keeping the pump running if the temperature drops to 32 degrees or below is important. If your pump has an automatic freeze guard sensor, it will turn on and stay running while the temperatures are 32 degrees or below. However, if your pump doesn’t have an automatic freeze guard, it is suggested to run continuously, 24/7, until temperatures rise above 32 degrees. The water circulating through the pipes and valves should help prevent freezing, as moving water does not usually freeze unless temperatures remain below zero for extended periods. To be safe, keep the filter running when expecting temperatures to drop to avoid freezing in your pool’s plumbing system.
- Clean and store pool equipment.
As you prepare to close your pool for the winter season, it’s essential to clean and store all your pool accessories and toys properly. It will help extend the pool’s lifespan and ensure it remains in good condition for the spring reopening.
- Hire a professional.
If you need help caring for your pool during the winter season, it may be a good idea to hire a professional pool cleaner. They can ensure cleaning and maintaining your pool thoroughly to be ready for use when the weather gets warm again. Proper winter care is crucial for keeping your pool in top condition, and with a little bit of effort, you can enjoy a sparkling blue pool all year round.