Closing a pool down for winter is more involved than you may think. The climate in which you live will dictate specific needs. Best practices for closing a pool in the North Carolina mountains differs greatly from that of the Triangle and Coastal plains. Throughout much of North Carolina, we have little to no threat of extended-major ice formation due to our moderate winter temperatures. As such, most pools remain operational and we typically do not need to drain the filtration system of all water nor use any winterizing agents for the pool plumbing.
Most communities maintain their pools in a clear, clean, balanced state. To prevent staining and corrosion of the equipment and pool surface it is important to keep pool water balanced. A pool that is circulating does not require full winterization, though the threat of ice and expanding or burst pipes is still a possibility. When closing your pool for the season, it is important to consider the entire facility.
Follow these simple steps, for closing your pool this fall:
- Insulate any exposed pipes, to prevent freezing.
- Remove any ropes or floats from the pool and store indoors.
- Likewise, remove diving board and railings or ladders. Keeping these items stored will prolong years of use for each as ultraviolet light ages the surfaces.
- Stack and store all furniture in a dry area to maintain the longevity of the strapping or fabric.
- Install a pool cover, to prevent damage to your pool shell from vandalism and debris.
- Lock all gates and access points. Walk the perimeter and inspect ALL fencing to verify that it is in good condition. Taking measures to make sure non-swimmers do not have access to the pool saves lives.
- Lubricate all metal valves and parts with a protectant to prevent corrosion all allow for easy day to day operation.
- Post signage indicating the “Pool is Closed.” Signage can keep issues of liability at-bay, should an incident occur within the pool-area.
- Avoid draining a pool during freezing temperatures and long periods of time. Owners should be weary of hydrostatic pressure beneath the pool.
- Community pools are typically a focal point of an HOA. Be sure landscapers continue to maintain interior areas and remove leaves and or winter debris from the deck and surrounding area.
To ensure a smooth, on-time opening, Pool Professionals prepares a detailed Capital Budget Report at the end of each season that itemizes needed repairs in order of priority and cost. Repairs and renovations should start in the fall when you can typically get the best price, best workmanship and best weather for renovations. Spring is the most risky and expensive time to plan repairs due the bustling nature of the season and unpredictable weather.
And lastly, re-strap and order your pool furniture in the fall when most manufacturers are running specials to clear their inventory. Again, waiting until spring will be more expensive and unpredictable with delivery dates. Closing your pool with the same level of detail as opening your pool in the spring and adhering to a methodical process will prepare you for a smooth, on-time opening. Cheers to fall breezes, snowflakes and hot chocolate, alas, we can rest!