It’s hard to tell ahead of time if you’ll get much of a chance to use your Houston pool during the winter. While most days of a Houston winter are mild or even comfortably warm, the temperatures can dip into uncomfortably cold or even freezing ranges without much warning.
But whether it’s a comfortable temperature to use your pool or not, you can’t slack off on basic maintenance tasks. Even covering your pool and not using it at all during the winter doesn’t guarantee it’ll stay clean. As the cool weather continues, keep these tips in mind to keep your pool clean and ready for spring.
Pay Attention to the Pool Cover
If you aren’t planning to use your swimming pool at all during the winter, it’s best to keep it covered to prevent debris and animals from getting in. But covering your pool won’t do any good if the cover is in poor shape. Does it fit properly without leaving any gaps granting access to the water? Is your pool cover even sturdy enough to withstand potentially freezing temperatures? Inspect your pool cover before shutting down your pool for the winter.
Pro Tip: If you leave your pool uncovered and unused for most of the winter, it’s likely that debris will start to build up. Either clean this up quickly or keep your pool covered as a preventive measure.
Check & Balance Chemistry
If you opt to keep your pool covered during the winter, you’re probably not going to bother removing the cover to check on the pool’s chemistry too often. That’s fine as long as you take preventive measures before covering your pool. Add a little extra chlorine and some algaecide to the water to keep your pool fresh and algae-free during the offseason. (Don’t go overboard with the chlorine though–you don’t want to make your pool shell fade.) Run the pump for a few hours to circulate everything through the water before covering your pool.
If your pool cover is made of mesh and allows the elements to come in contact with the water, you may find yourself dealing with organic debris such as pollen or bird droppings. Keep these contaminants at bay with an enzyme solution sprinkled through the mesh. This requires more work than simply covering your pool with a solid cover, but it does allow you a little more direct control over the chemical balance.
Watch the Weather
In Houston, the weather can go from balmy to tolerably cold to nearly freezing in less than 24 hours. Aside from being annoying, these weather patterns can also mess with your pool preparations if you aren’t careful. Pay attention to the current temperature and weather forecasts. If there’s a chance of freezing weather, drain your pipes and pumps to prevent water from freezing inside and damaging your equipment. If water or ice collects on top of your pool cover, remove it as quickly as possible.
Pool Maintenance in the Winter
A swimming pool represents a significant investment in your family and your home. While it may not seem too important to maintain your pool during the off-season, winter maintenance is still an important part of protecting your pool all year round. Don’t neglect this important job this winter!