Pool owners know that having a swimming pool means committing to year-round care. Proper maintenance doesn’t mean only taking care of your pool during the season that you use it. There are certain steps to take to maintain your pool even when it’s closed for the winter. Since we’re nearing winter’s half-way point, the experts at LinerWorld wanted to provide you with a mid-winter pool care checklist:

Check Your Pool’s Equipment
You can never inspect your pool’s filter and pump equipment too often. Clear away any branches, mulch or leaves that are surrounding your pump. Dirt and mulch that is trapped around your pool’s pump can cause problems because it creates an acidic moisture barrier that isn’t good for your equipment. Also do a check for cracked filter tanks, pumps and any other external equipment and repair any damaged parts if necessary.

Scan Your Pool’s Winter Cover
Before opening your swimming pool, be sure to check your winter pool cover. First, clean it off by removing leaves, twigs, branches, water and anything else that may be on it. Two tricks that might help clear away these items is using a leaf blower or a soft broom. Once your pool cover is cleared, look over it to see if there are any holes. If there are holes in your pool cover, you can attempt to patch them or reposition it so the holes in the cover are closer to the edge of your pool. If you have a solid pool cover, remove any standing water from the top of it. This should be done on a regular basis because a clean, dry pool cover lasts longer than a dirty, wet one. If there is ice on the pool cover, let it melt naturally before trying to remove it. Attempting to clear away ice can do more harm than good, so it is best to wait until it melts. If you have a mesh pool cover, check your pool’s water level to be sure is hasn’t risen to the skimmer box or is so high that it is touching the cover.

Inspect Your Pool’s Water
Once you’ve cleared off and examined your winter pool cover, it’s time to take a look at what’s underneath. Evaluate your pool’s water level to be sure it is staying consistent or if it has dropped. A leaky pool liner during the winter can lead to costly repairs in the spring. If your pool is leaking, one thing you can do is keep filling your pool as you notice the water level dropping. This will help keep the walls of your above ground swimming pool from caving in and will keep your vinyl liner from getting ruined. Next, check the water’s chemistry, including pH, alkalinity and calcium levels and adjust the chemical levels as needed. Scan your pool’s water to see if there is any algae growth. Adding algaecide when winterizing your swimming pool usually keeps algae away but it isn’t uncommon for algae to grow in the winter. Lastly, since you already spent the time to clean off and open your swimming pool, it’s worth spending a few more minutes to skim and brush the areas of the pool that you can reach.

This might seem like a long pool maintenance list, but it’s important to remember that the better you care for your pool during the off-season, the easier it will be to open your pool in the summer. This means less surprises and headaches and more time to enjoy your swimming pool, so be sure to give your pool a winter checkup!

If you’re still wondering what you’ll all need to complete the winterization process, don’t worry! Check out our infographic on the chemicals and accessories needed to close a pool for winter for more information!