While a backyard swimming pool can certainly provide years of immeasurable pleasure and entertainment value for family and friends, it is also a widely-accepted fact that pool ownership represents a significant financial investment. In addition to the immediate or initial cost of installation, this investment continues over the long-term through the costs of swimming pool maintenance (winter and summer), upgrades, and potential damage repairs.
Therefore, with the colder temperatures now arrived and winter just around the corner, it will be most important to protect this investment by winterizing your pool properly and effectively. Failing to protect your pool from winter and ice damage can lead to significant problems throughout the colder months and when the time comes to open the pool again in the spring.
Some of the issues that could likely result if winterizing is not done appropriately, or not done at all, include:
- Vinyl liner may tear and/or collapse
- Pool tiles may crack or become dislodged
- Rupturing of the pump and plumbing
- Heater, skimmer, filter may crack or break
- Lifting or cracking of the pool deck
Should any ice formation be observed in your pool over the winter, there are steps that can be taken to manage the damage or to prevent any issues from progressing further. Such actions would consist of the following, and should be performed in the order that they are listed:
- Run the filter and pump nonstop – to prevent freezing
- For a minimum of two weeks
- Continue as needed until other measures can be taken (see next)
- Carefully remove the layer of ice – for access to the water
- Gently tap with a long pole to break the ice apart
- If ice will not break, it is likely too thick – wait for a slight winter thaw
- Remember to keep filter and pump running during this period
- Lower the water level in the pool – to reduce risk of greater damage
- To be done only after the ice has been removed
- Consider using a submersible pump attached to a garden hose
- Clear/blow all lines – to prevent expansion and possible ruptures/cracks
- Begin by adding calcium chloride to the lines
- Use a shop vac or perhaps a compressor to blow out the lines
- Once cleared, add anti-freeze to stop future freezing
Note – if the lines are already frozen, it would be highly advisable to call a professional swimming pool service, such as Aveco Pools, for guidance and/or an on-site visit to address and rectify the damage as required.
Although ice formation in your pool can generate some anxiety and a sense of urgency to get the situation rectified, it is important to remember that safety precautions should always be a primary concern. This includes personal safety as well as protection against unintended yet more extensive damage to the pool itself.
Keeping in mind that this will be snow-and-ice season, here are some safety tips and/or suggestions when working around your pool during the winter:
- Clear snow and ice from the pool decks
- To reduce the risk of injury from slipping or falling
- Refrain from shoveling snow off a pool cover
- Too risky – and may damage to cover too
- Do not attempt to walk out onto a frozen pool
- There is a danger of falling through into very cold water
- Do not attempt to enter the pool to remove any ice
- Negative impact on body temperatures/muscle response
- Work using a buddy system – have a partner nearby
- Especially when working around the edge of the pool/deck
The consequences of ignoring or circumventing the effective winterizing of your pool can be extreme and far-reaching. The impact of ice formation in the pool and/or in the plumbing and heating lines can be catastrophic in terms of the extent of the damage and the cost of any repairs either during the winter or in the spring.
Professional Winterizing Of Your Pool Will Provide Protection And Peace-Of-Mind
Despite some of the recent colder temperatures and the diminishing daylight hours in Toronto and the GTA, there is still time to winterize your pool before the truly bitter winter weather arrives.
Aveco Pools has the knowledge, experience, and equipment required to thoroughly and professionally close your pool and prevent potential winter damage from curbing your fun and enjoyment when the pool is re-opened next spring.
If you would like the peace-of-mind that your pool will be protected from damage this winter, call the swimming pool maintenance experts at Aveco Pools today at 905-640-2666 or contact usto arrange a service call for winterizing your pool.