Pool season may be coming to an end, but any property manager with a pool on their property knows that pool maintenance doesn’t stop just because it’s closed. Here are some manageable tips to maintain your pool this off season.
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Imagine the much anticipated moment — your property’s pool finally opening for business after a long, hard winter. While it may seem a little bit of an out of sight out of mind concept right now, that beautiful dream can only come true if you avoid the nightmares that come from faulty winterizing.
Here’s how to cover your pool (and all your bases):
Skim, brush and vacuum the pool. Give it a vigorous last cleaning before saying goodbye until next season.
Maintain your pH levels. pH levels (the level of acidic and alkaline products in liquid) will increase in colder weather, causing a chemical imbalance. Get proactive about equilibrium so that your pool won’t be prone to unsightly stains — simply test your pH levels at least once a week. The levels should read between 7.2 and 7.6. Use test strips made specifically for this purpose. If the level is too low, add pH increaser. If the level is too high, add pH decreaser.
Cut the chlorine. After your pH levels are balanced, reduce the frequency of adding chlorine. Because there is not as much sunlight (or people) in your winter water, the chlorine won’t be broken down as quickly, thus lasting longer.
Add pool antifreeze to your pipes. This keeps your pipes from freezing. If you are absolutely certain that all of the water has been blown out, then you may not need it, but it couldn’t hurt. Better safe than sorry! Remember, pool antifreeze is very different from automobile antifreeze — pool antifreeze is nontoxic. Check the label carefully, and don’t pour it directly into the pool water. It’s for your pipes only.
Turn off the pump and motor. You may be tempted to run them during the winter, even sporadically, but save your energy. Algae grows slower in the winter. Also, disconnect and clean the hoses that attach to the pump and filter, and remember to reattach them in the spring. Don’t give your apparatus a reason to short out during the winter months. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Drain all pumping, heating and filtering equipment. Make sure there is no water remaining that can freeze during the winter months.
Remove the pool “amenities.” Take out the diving board, skimmer baskets, removable ladders, inflatable rafts, and anything else associated with summer fun. Wash and then store everything in a dry place.
Don’t drain all the water. Simply lower the pool’s water level to accommodate the pool cover (between 1-6 inches below the skimmer opening).
Check for leaks. A pool without water can lead to structural damage. Seek out and fix all leaks, and keep a careful eye on the water level during the winter months.
Use algaecide and chemical floaters. These additives will help keep your pool water clean during the winter. These are often sold in kits. Check the labels for proper use.
Cover your pool tightly. A pool cover should do just that: cover! It should protect your pool from weather damage and debris. Read your cover’s directions for proper installation — the idea is to keep away the sunlight, which will cause algae to grow during the winter months.
Test your emergency pool phone regularly. Do this, not only so that you’ll be code compliant when the time comes, but also to keep your apartment as safe as possible and to provide access to help for your residents in the event of any emergency on property. You’d be surprised how much the pool emergency phone is used during winter months for other reasons.
By taking these necessary winterizing steps, providing a safe and clean pool for your residents will be a much more painless process when the time comes. For more pool management tips year round, check out our top 5 pool safety and maintenance resources. To learn more about how Kings III can increase pool and overall property safety, visit www.kingsiii.com.