Winter in Oklahoma is pretty unpredictable. One day it’s 60 degrees outside, and the next we’re predicted to have the “ice storm of the season.” One of the most frustrating things that occurs as a pool owner is staining that occurs while your pool is at rest during the winter. You can’t exactly jump in and scrub, so what can you do? To keep your precious investment looking its best, here are some tips to follow before and during winter.
Can you do us a solid and cover up?
One of the best tools in your winterization arsenal will be a high-quality pool cover. Those of you who attempt to cut corners and settle for those flimsy mesh ones will learn soon enough that you get what you pay for. Lucky for you, we’re pool people around here. Just about any that you’ll find in our store will do the trick. But the idea way to go is a solid safety cover without drain panels. Unlike mesh covers, it will trap out the majority of dirt, oils, contaminants and other pollutants that tend to creep into your pool.
It’s all a balancing act.
If you don’t take care of this at the start of the season, you may be approaching trouble when it’s time to reopen. The second most important aspect of winterization is making sure the water is balanced. As the temperature drops, there’s no circulation (which makes it easier for salts to form crystals). Yuck, right? If your pH is on the low side, bump it to a 7.6 at closing and check during the winter season.
We’re not your mom, clean your pool.
This may be a given, but you’d be surprised at the problems you can avoid with this simple tip. The crucial part is to thoroughly clean the pool. No, we’re not talking just skimming the leaves from the surface. Make sure it’s spotlessly clean before you cover. And if it’s windy during closing time, cover the pool early in the process to keep the pool clean while you’re busy lowering the water and winterizing.
Get on our level.
Make sure the water level isn’t touching the safety cover. If it does, let’s just say it’ll trap leaves and debris like a giant tea bag. Another thing that will happen? The cold weather will cause the water to freeze to the cover, potentially tearing or puncturing it. For solid pool covers, be sure to pump off the rain and snow to maintain its durability.
Leave out the debris. See what we did there?
We all knew those pool noodles were good for something but did you know they can be used around the edge to prevent leaves from blowing under? It’s a pretty nifty hack, just cut them in half lengthwise and attach. If for some reason you’re stuck with a bit of a cover draft, use water bags on top of the cover to hold it down flat.
Scale a building, but don’t stain it. That’s not cool.
Another awesome way to protect against stains is with a scale preventative for metal and mineral control. Pssst, both of those last two are the culprits for stains. Metals leave those icky, odd-colored blemishes and minerals (mixed with dirt) leave brown scale deposits. Not the least bit appetizing, eh? Whenever you apply this preventative solution, the enzymes lock in these minerals and metals so they can’t break free! Spiderman may have just met his stain-fighting match.
Enzymes, is that a type of vitamin?
For pools who have any sort of cover, really, add an enzyme. Enzymes protect your pool from stains by ingesting that oil gunk that hides in the crevices of your pool. These oils like to mix and mingle with dirt and pollen, creating those nasty stains you despise so much. This is also a great solution if your pool cover doesn’t fit quite that well. Just be sure to follow the directions! Worst case, just stop by our store and ask one of our professionals. They’re a great resource for all your winter pool run-ins.