Choosing the best time to close your pool feels like a game played against Mother Nature. In New England, we follow the mantra “If you don’t like the weather just wait a minute.” It can be particularly tricky in the northeast to get your pool closing timing just right.
Early Close Woes
Did you know it can actually be a detriment to close too early? If the weather is still warm, your winter pool chemicals will not be sufficient to keep algae at bay. You’ll be even more disappointed when you open your pool next season to find it green, algae stained and in need of an abundance of TLC. Avoid having to drain and refill your pool or the expensive, labor intensive process of cleaning by increasing your chemical cocktail.
Keys to a Successful Close
As a general rule, avoid closing your pool until temperatures are consistently below 65℉. To play it really safe, wait until temps are averaging 50℉ or below. Pay attention to the forecast and your pool thermometer to be sure summer weather is over before starting the closing process. There is a perfect window of time when the summer fades away and autumn begins, right before the first hard frost of winter sets in. This is the ideal time to close your pool.
Have your water tested by a professional so you know exactly the amount and kinds of chemicals you will need to get through fall, winter and much of the spring. Keep in mind, if you’re hiring a professional to close your pool, schedule your closing well in advance as they are really busy this time of year (especially the good ones!). A well-timed close in the fall will set you up for a successful opening in the spring. Winterizing your pool properly prevents damage, costly repairs, and additional expenses.
If you need assistance winterizing your pool or have further questions on the topic, please contact us at (781) 383-3300. We’re happy to help!
As much as we love time in the pool, we also love time spent around it. Your pool deck is a place for your family and friends to gather, a place to host meals and entertain. We spend so much time making sure your pool is winterized, we often neglect the deck that surrounds it. Before winter hits, take these steps to properly protect and maintain your pool deck.
Sweep your deck to remove all leaves, loose dirt and other debris. A basic broom should do the trick to remove all of the bigger debris and make step 2 easier.
Once your decking is clear of debris, use a power washer to get a more thorough clean. Whether wood, cement, stone, brick or composite, your deck should be power washed to remove ground-in dirt and stains from everyday use.
Remove and store your deck furniture, potted plants, grill, fire features, and anything else that may invite mold and mildew to grow. Moving these items will help avoid staining that will be hard to remove come spring.
For a wood deck, stain and/or seal your decking to add a layer of protection from the ice and snow. Sealing your deck will also protect against moisture and sun when it is pool season again.
For concrete decking, seal the concrete in the fall and be prepared to fix potential cracks that can occur from freezing and thawing throughout the winter.
When winter weather hits, shovel your wooden deck to remove snow from your pool decking. Avoid corrosive products like ice melt and salt that will cause damage to your decking material. By shoveling after every storm, you will help to avoid moisture and snow weight from causing issues with your deck’s integrity. Select a shovel without a metal edge to avoid scratching your deck’s surface.
Consider a deck cover that will further protect your decking from winter woes.
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to maintaining a beautiful entertainment space for your family and guests to enjoy year after year.
Need your patio or deck power washed? We offer power washing services. Contact us today at (781) 383-3300 to schedule this service.
Massachusetts winters bring an abundance of snow and frigid temperatures. If you live in New England, or in another place where the temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to winterize your swimming pool before the cold months.
The good news? We have put together an easy-to-follow checklist to help you close like a pro and set you up for an easy opening in the spring.
1. Perform Inspection & Repairs
☐ Is your equipment all functioning properly?
☐ Is your swimming pool structurally sound?
☐ Does your pool cover over have any rips or tears that need patching? Stop by our RetailStorefor a safety cover patch if yours needs repair.
☐ Fix any issues prior to winterizing.
2. Clean it Like You Mean it
☐ Thoroughly vacuum and skim your pool to remove all debris, or run your robotic pool cleaner a few times prior to closing.
☐ Backwash or clean the pool filter to remove all dirt from the system.
3. Work on Your Water
☐ Check your water chemistry 5-7 days before closing.
☐ Test and balance your alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness.
☐ Shock your pool with chlorine a 2-3 days after balancing the water. We recommend a cold weather enzyme treatment like Natural Chemistry Pool Magic Spring and Fall.
☐ Add a winterizing algaecide right before covering your pool. Be sure you’ve waited the requisite 2-3 days after adding shock, when chlorine levels return to somewhere between 1-3 ppm.
☐ Water must be lowered for the closing. We recommend lowering the water 18-24” below the top of the pool. This allows for rain to replenish the level to at least 18” below the cover before the snow and ice accumulate.
Pools with tarp covers must have the water level 2-3″
below the skimmer.
Be careful not to lower the water too much in vinyl pools, the liner can float and cause serious problems.
If your water level goes down further than 18″, your pool cover can stretch, rip or cause damage to cover springs and anchors.
Rain and snow will fill the pool over the winter. Continue to monitor your pool water level, ensuring it is below the tile line but not more than 18” below the cover.
“Maintaining the proper water level in your pool is a key
factor in supporting the weight of any debris (including snow and ice) that may collect on the pool cover. Water levels that fall below the recommended level may put excess stress on the cover, which might result in damage and voiding of the cover’s warranty. You can check the water levels by clearing any debris that has collected in the skimmer box. If the levels are low, be sure to add enough water to reach the recommended levels.” – LOOP-LOC
Guidelines for mesh and solid safety covers:
Mesh & Solid Pool Covers: 18″ below the top of the pool.
4. Protect Your Plumbing
☐ Drain all water from your plumbing lines including your pump, filter, heater, chlorinators and chemical feeders. Draining your lines completely (or blowing them out with a Shop-Vac) will ensure that your pipes won’t crack in freezing temperatures and cause major issues in the spring.
☐ “If you have an in-ground pool, you should blow out the lines from the skimmer, through the equipment and back to the pool, then plug the lines at the pool using expansion plugs. If you don’t blow the lines, add swimming pool antifreeze into the lines following manufacturer’s package directions. If you have an above-ground pool, you usually just need to disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and filter and plug the wall outlets.” – Hayward Pool Products
5. Remove the Extras
☐ Put away your ladders, toys, ropes, baskets, hoses, fittings, pumps, heaters, filters and any other equipment from your pool area. Rinse everything off, allow it to dry and consider storing it all in a waterproof container that animals cannot get into.
☐ Fully drain your robotic cleaner and remove the reusable filter bag. Neatly coil up the power cable and store your robotic pool cleaner and accessories in a warm,
☐ Store the eyeball fittings, drain caps, plugs, and gauges in the skimmer basket so you know exactly where to find them in the spring.
☐ Store any equipment plugs in the pump basket so they don’t get lost.
☐ Keep everything clean, dry and organized to help you
prolong the life of your pool and equipment.
6. Cover Time
☐ Make sure you have an intact, properly fitting pool cover.
Covers that do not fit properly (you can see gaps) will leave your pool exposed to the elements.
Use a mesh or solid pool cover and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure proper installation.
The closing process varies for in-ground and above ground pools. For additional pool closing information, be sure to check out the links below for pool-specific tips from our friends at Swim University.
When you purchase a home with a swimming pool or decide to add one to enhance your backyard and entertainment space, your first priority should be safety. Pools are SO much fun, but can also be dangerous for non-swimmers including adults, children and animals. Consider a safety cover to ease your worries in the off-season and greatly reduce the risk of an accident.
When it comes to pool covers, there are two options: solid or mesh. Let’s review both options in more detail to help you decide which makes the most sense for you and your family.
Solid Safety Covers
Solid pool covers do not let sunlight, water or debris through. This prevents algae from growing in your pool. Without algae and dirty water getting into your pool, spring opening will require less maintenance and be less of a headache.
These are usually made from a vinyl, tarpaulin-like material, making them easy to cut to the custom shape of your
specific swimming pool.
This type of cover is attached to your pool deck via anchors and springs, allowing it to support the weight of water, snow or debris that may collect on the cover.
When you are not using this cover, it can easily be folded up and stored.
Since solid pool covers do not drain, you will need a pump or drain to remove water and debris from the cover if too much accumulates. You will want to prevent a large puddle from accumulating on your solid cover as to not create another drowning hazard.
Though the cover can be folded when not in use, it is heavier than a mesh cover which can make it a little more difficult to maneuver.
Mesh pool covers are very strong and if installed and
maintained properly, can hold a lot of weight. This keeps people and animals out and away from danger.
Mesh covers are generally reasonably priced, making them the most affordable to pool owners.
Mesh covers can last around 15 years if properly maintained, so they are not only an investment in safety, but the best
option for your wallet.
Mesh covers can be custom made to fit your specific pool shape.
These covers can be folded and easily stored in the off-season, much like the solid safety covers. However, they tend to be lighter weight, making them easier to deal with.
Rain will filter through the mesh, so you will not have to pump excess water off of the top of it.
This type of cover is attached to your pool deck via anchors and springs as well, allowing it to support the weight of snow or debris that may collect on the cover. It will keep out large debris such as fallen tree limbs.
While the sunlight penetrating this cover can be an
advantage if you’re still using the pool and want it warmed, it can be a disadvantage when it comes to algae growth.
Sunlight will get through the tight mesh weave allowing for algae growth on your pool’s walls. This will leave you with more work to clean your water when you uncover in the spring.
Dirty water mixed with smaller debris will be able to seep into your pool requiring more effort to clean it when pool season rolls back around.
Since rain water and melted snow will make its way into your pool, you may need to drain some water should the water level get too high.
When deciding which cover is right for your pool, be sure to weigh the pros and cons for your specific pool and budget to determine which option is best. Regardless of which type of cover you choose, installing a safety cover is a smart decision for all pool owners.
*Note: Safety covers now come in a variety of colors to suit your personal style!