Although autumn can still offer some mild days, especially in the areas of southern America, between the end of September and October we get ready to close the pool for the winter. This operation can be laborious for beginners. Don’t worry, I’ll explain today how to cover the above ground pool in winter, without getting discouraged or making mistakes. If you have an underground tub in your garden, you will also find useful tips for its maintenance in the cold season. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to close it, in fact there are many who love it leave the swimming pool open even in winter.
In any case, whether you want to close it, cover it or keep it open and running, you still need to prepare it for wintering. Above all, remember that you don’t need to empty it. Often it turns out to be just a mistake, with negative effects outweighing any benefit. When the pool is empty, the leaves carried by the wind settle to the bottom and, with the winter humidity, rot and leave indelible stains.
Do you think you can solve everything by emptying the water and then covering the pool with the towel? Not so, as I’ll explain later there empty swimming pool in winter is at risk.
On the other hand, if done correctly, closing the pool in winter gives you more than one advantage. Starting with the fact that you can immediately put it into operation from the first hot day, without having to get lost in a thousand preparations.
Close the pool for the winter? Not always
Do not know how to cover the above ground pool in winter? Keep in mind that, unlike the inground pool, when the summer ends the above ground pool offers you a choice: you can clean it and prepare it for the cover or you can take it apart.
In places where it is very cold, for example, instead of close the pool for the winter you prefer to disassemble it. It may seem like a tiring practice, but with a little work between September and October you don’t run the risk of ruining the tank when the temperature in winter plummets to 0 ° C.
Obviously, so how to cover the above ground pool in winter it requires attention and compliance with certain steps, the same is true when it has to be disassembled.
- First, you need to completely empty it of water. Otherwise you can run the risk that, while you disassemble the pieces, the residues of water accumulate and with the excessive weight cause tears or failures.
- Only when you are sure that the tub is empty, carefully clean the inside: pay attention to the dirt on the bottom and walls. Rinse and let it air dry so you can only store it when it’s really dry.
- Tip: walls and bottom of the pool go closed in separate bags or boxes from the metal parts of the pool, and then stored in a dry place until the next season.
If, on the other hand, you don’t want to go through these “disassemble and reassemble” operations twice a year, you can learn how to cover the above ground pool in winter. It involves carrying out almost the entire preparation phase – from cleaning to chlorination treatment, from the use of the wintering agent to the antifreeze – which is adopted in the maintenance of the inground pool, and then applying the appropriate towel to cover the pool in winter.
Cleaning in 10 steps and preparing the pool for winter
Let’s start by saying that before we can close the pool for the winter, and have no problem when you put it back into operation next spring, you have to wait until it gets cold enough.
Did you know that? The reason is simple.
The water temperature must in fact have dropped below 12-10 degrees, so that it is not suitable for the formation of algae. While waiting for that moment, remember to keep the pump running. When the water finally becomes cold, you can begin to implement all the steps necessary for closing the swimming pool in winter.
- Remove the cover sheet and clean it.
- Remove leaves and other debris that have accumulated at the bottom of the pool.
- Clean the waterline and the skimmer well.
- Remove the ladder and steps from the pool and clean up.
- Run shock chlorination treatment for eliminate all bacteria (let it act 24 hours).
- Clean the sand or cartridge filter.
- Generally, in any swimming pool it is advisable to lower the water just below the skimmers for protect the filtration system from night frosts. If the pool is to remain full of water at ⅔ (recommended for polyester and Liner ones), partially empty it by lowering the water level to about 20 cm below the outlets.
- Bring thewater at a winter pHi.e. 7.0 if the pool is in polyester and liner or 7.4 if the pool is concrete with tiles.
- Only when you are certain that there is no more chlorine in the water, you can add the winter algaecide. When you do this, it is always advisable to keep the skimmer and suction valves closed and avoid the circulation of water through the filter. Use the winter algaecide only if you change the water in the spring, otherwise use the non-foamy one, in the concentrated quantity indicated for algae attacks.
- Put on protective floats: Ice compensators that look like air cushions prevent damage from frost. They are indispensable when the pool is made of concrete, but they are equally useful in the other models. Submerge the protective floats in the water before cover the pool in winter and forms a chain that extends throughout the tub. If the pool is large (over 4 meters) you can spread out two rows: these air pillows are able to prevent the formation of ice sheets even on indoor pools in winter.
How to cover the pool in winter? Make the right choice
Putting the cover is important already in the summer to protect the tub from the dirt carried by the wind and rain, let alone in the fall or winter, when the trees are stripping and bad weather is the order of the day.
At night the temperature often plummets if not below, close to zero, and protecting the pool in winter with a cover is necessary to avoid problems.
Per cover the pool in winter you can use cover sheets, roller shutter covers or low telescopic covers, to name the most common solutions.
- Usually, when deciding how to cover an above ground pool for the winter, you choose the cover sheet with eyelets and cords, a standard solution, practical to use even in summer. There are models with perimeter eyelets and the elastic that seal the perimeter well, preventing the passage of dirt and even light.
- Another possibility to consider, especially when they turn around in the garden children and petsit’s winter safety covers. In addition to protecting the pool from dirt and sun, they resist the weight of children, dogs and even sturdy adults: because everyone can accidentally fall into the pool. They are very valid covers to close the pool for the winter, without worries.
- If you are looking for modern design solutions, there are the roller shutter covers. Mainly used to cover the in-ground swimming pool in winter for the infinity one, and there are models that can also be adapted to above ground pools. This roller shutter alternative has a very pleasant aesthetic impact. The system of motorized opening and closing allows you to manage the tank as you see fit. In my opinion it is a guessed type especially for those who want to leave swimming pool open also in winterto be able to quickly close it when there is wind or a storm arrives.
- Then there are the models of low telescopic cover for swimming pools, which appear as the structure of a greenhouse that surrounds the swimming pool. They are ideal for those who have a heated pool and want to extend the possibility of swimming even out of season, well protected by a comfortable transparent cover that covers the tub without obscuring the view on the outside. These are generally polycarbonate panels framed in aluminum frames that ensure excellent weather resistance, with sliding door openings mounted on rails that run along the sides of the pool.
- The telescopic cover is a modern and design trend that lends itself to many variations. For example, in his ultra low telescopic variant it allows you to cover the pool in winter without obstructing the view of the surrounding landscape. In practice, the canopy has a very low bend radius, so its panels look like almost flush with the surface of water.
- They work according to the same principle as the roller shutter covers walkable pool covers, which stretch out like mobile terraces above the surface of the water. The aluminum structure, consisting of one or two platforms, slides on tracks to give access to the pool below or to close it as a modern deck to be furnished with deck chairs and tables. A ingenious system to close the pool in a moment for the winter, but also suggestive for the evenings in the summer, when you dream of a patio to enjoy a dinner under the starry sky.
The maintenance required to leave the pool open in winter
If you decide to leave the swimming pool open in winter, however, you should prepare it for climate change. You have to dedicate yourself to the preparation when the algae formation slows down, i.e. when the temperature drops to 12 ° C, i.e. when the algae formation slows down.
Before wintering the pool you need to perform these simple steps:
- Carry out the shock chlorination treatment, ie the intense chlorination which kills the bacteria present. Bring the water level to the recommended minimum which varies according to the pool material, such as polyester, liner, concrete,
- Set the pH of the water to the minimum winter values, which vary according to the material of the pool, as explained above.
- Run the pool for a few hours a day.
- If you want leave the swimming pool open in winter, even if reduced, cleaning must be regular, without using robotic cleaners. Reprogram it with a new cadence.
- Add algaecide to protect the water from algae build-up and also from limestone that eats the walls.
That’s why you need to clean and cover the pool in winter
If you prepare your pool properly for winter, the water will stay clear and clean until spring, so you don’t have to change it completely. Not a small detail, especially in areas where water is a precious resource not to be wasted.
As a rule, it is better than the swimming pool in winter remain full of water. This is especially important for concrete tubs with tiles or mosaic: Filled with water, they reduce the risk of groundwater lifting the pool or membrane. Not only that: we must also consider that the water is used to maintain perfect lining membrane tension, which otherwise could create creases.
There are also cases where you can keep the pool empty, such as concrete pools that do not have groundwater. In this case, it is crucial to put coverage on the pool in winter to prevent rain from entering.
Cover the pool in winter in any case, it is a good habit to keep the structure in excellent condition: you keep the tank clean, protect it from aggressive UV rays on the PVC and polyester coatings, and prevent the water from freezing.
In this regard, I recommend that you still use the ice compensating winter floats, even if you intend to put the pool cover for the winter. Of course, there is no pool cover that will hold if you do not first perform the thorough cleaning with removal of bacteria and algae.