Closing your pool for the winter is a important part in the longevity of the pools life. Inground pools are protected from freezing water and clean before stored away for the winter making opening the pool next season that much easier. One of the most important aspects of closing a pool is making sure that the main structure of the pool is prepared for the impending cold season. This means ensuring the plaster is free of cracks and damage. Pool plaster repairs can be done in the winter before storing the pool for the season so that when opening it in the spring it is all set and ready to go. Pool plastering is a job specific for professionals to ensure the material is applied correctly and is thoroughly set before closing the pool for the season.
The first step after making sure the inground gunite pool plaster is set for the season is to begin winterizing the pools water chemistry. It is important to balance the pH, overall Alkalinity and calcium hardness. This will keep the surface of the pool, the plaster or shell, from staining.
Pool suppliers also sell a chemical that is intended to keep the water blue and clear throughout the winter season to ensure that opening the pool in the spring is simpler. As with all pool chemicals either call in pool professionals to assist you or read and re-read the instructions to make sure you are properly handling the chemicals and applying them as direct.
I recommend not using the chlorine or bromine tablets. In my experience they tend to sink to the bottom of the pool and damage the surface as they sit all winter dissolving in one spot. I feel the same way about pool floaters containing chemicals. Without the activity in the pool the floater will stick to the site of the pool causing a stain.
Take precautions against freezing water as it will destroy your pool plumbing. It is recommended to completely blow the water out and make sure the water is not left in the system to freeze. You can do this using a shop vacuum or once again calling in a pool expert. You will plug the ends of the lines after the water is blown to prevent the water from filling the line up again.
As for the water within the pool it is recommended that you lower the pool level below the mouth of the skimmer. If water is left above this level and water gets in the throat of the pool it can easily cause a great deal of damage to the pool system.
The next step is to cover the pool. This should be done to prevent the pool from collecting winter debris. The type of cover you use will depend on the climate where you live, the type of pool you have and personal preference. Certain pool covers are pricier than others but do tend to prevent accidents from pets and children stepping out onto the covered pool and falling through.
The filter equipment should also be stored and winterized. Drain and plug the equipment and be sure that you open any air relief valves if there are any. Remove pressure gauges and put multiport valves in the winterize position. Drain the pool pump; look carefully as some pools have two. After draining the pump open it to release built up water or air in the vein. All chemicals should be drained from the feeder as well as draining the cleaner pump, heater and other pool equipment with water potentially sitting in it.
Proper care and winterization of your pool increases the pools lifetime as well as that of the pool surface. If a gunite pool is cared for it can easily last fifteen to twenty years. This is longer than most people reside within a home. Proper care of the pool will also help increase the price of your home on the note of how long homeowners reside in a home!