Your swimming pool provides recreation, outdoor space, and a nice visual to complement your home. Like anything else on the property, a swimming pool needs maintenance. You maintain the pool through the summer to keep it clean and clear but may forget to put in the same effort to winterize your pool. Home inspectors review the cleanliness, condition, and safety of the pool on their reports, so, especially if you’re planning to sell your home, it pays to keep the pool in good shape. Here are six steps to help you winterize your pool.

1. Check Your Filter as You Winterize Your Pool

Before you close it down for the winter, backwash your filter and then check the discharge jet in the pool. If the pressure seems lower than usual, your filter material may be ready for replacement. Fall is a great time to do this because you can let the filter drain thoroughly before adding new sand or diatomaceous earth.

2. Remove Debris

The more material you leave behind in your pool, the greater the wear on your filtration system. Get your pool completely clean before winterizing. This means removing leaves, dirt, and algae. Allow yourself plenty of time to clean everything out so you have a fresh start in the spring.

3. Add One Last Round of Chemicals

You won’t be able to add any other chemicals once you cover your pool, so it’s important to balance the pool first. Check your pH, chlorine, chlorine stabilizer, and other levels when you winterize a pool. Add the needed chemicals and then store them safely away for winter.

4. Drop the Water Level When You Winterize Your Pool

Next, you’ll want to partially drain the pool. Drain the water so it’s below the skimmer. This way any winter precipitation won’t cause an icy overflow. Your pump can drain it, but you can get it even lower by siphoning with a short piece of garden hose or rubber conduit. Be careful where you run the water out, as chlorine is toxic to grass and other plants. Find a way to divert the flow away from vegetation.

5. Cover the Pool

You don’t want your cleanup job to go to waste, so the last step to winterize a pool is to place a cover over it. As you roll it out, make sure the cover is in good condition. The grommets should be intact and the cover itself should be free of rips and holes. Make sure you secure it firmly to keep the winter winds from tearing the cover.

6. Store Everything Properly

Winter weather is tough on anything that’s left outside and your pool equipment is no exception. Most parts are plastic, which is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of cold weather. As you winterize your pool, find a safe place to store these items. After your filter has had several days to drain, move it and as many other parts as possible into warmer quarters for the off-season.

With proper care, your pool will give you many years of reliable service. Winterize your pool as part of your fall home maintenance checklist and be ready for a trouble-free opening when the weather warms in the spring.

Attic to Foundation offers home inspection services and are certified pool and spa inspectors. If you’re buying or selling a home, or in need of a pool inspection, contact us to request an appointment.