During the sweltering months of summer, a swimming pool on your property allows you to cool off and enjoy the sun. When the end of the season comes around and winter approaches, however, you’re left with a property fixture which must be adequately maintained in order to ensure functionality and safety for the year to come. Insufficient maintenance and preparation for winter can facilitate the colonization of your pool by microorganisms and bacteria which may cause algae growth or even serious illness to swimmers. Learning how to care for your pool during the winter months is just as important as on-season maintenance, and can help you to avoid expensive repairs and replacements while limiting the risk of danger to your family.
Important Safety Measures for Your Pool Over Winter
When a pool is open and being frequently used throughout the summer, most homeowners are diligent about the appropriate safety and security measures. What many don’t realize, though, is that an unattended pool is just as dangerous in the winter as it is in summer for small children.
States and territories within Australia do require residential property owners to enclose their pools and spas with safety barriers, but fences and gates require maintenance just like any other structure on your property. Even the strongest fence and most well-built gate will require some form of repair or replacement over the course of several years, and the length of any safety barriers life will depend upon the elements to which it’s regularly exposed, as well as the level of care it receives.
Discovering that your pool’s safety barrier is compromised only after a child has gained access to the water over winter when the area is not being closely watched is devastating. Before winter weather sinks in and you start to ignore your pool until the next warm season, make sure all safety barriers are intact and structurally sound. If you have any concerns at all about the structural integrity and security of your pool barrier, it’s important to work with a registered building inspection company to determine whether any repairs will be necessary before winter arrives in full force.
Running or Closing Your Pool Over Winter: Making the Choice
In some areas of Australia where winters are relatively mild, homeowner may opt to maintain their pools year round. Even if you’re not planning to use the pool during these cooler periods, you may want to keep it open for aesthetic or convenience purposes. Should you choose this option, it’s important to make sure chemical levels are adjusted for falling temperatures and regularly maintained. Keep in mind, also, that corrosion is more likely in lower temperatures, and that pH levels must be monitored closely during winter. The pool should be cleaned regularly to keep it free of falling leaves and other debris, and the filter should be run for at least part of each day.
Winterizing a pool is important in areas where winter weather can be harsh, as an improperly closed pool can be subjected to algae growth, frost and filter damage due to falling debris. Covering your pool will help you to limit the amount of water lost over the closed season, and can prevent leaves and other falling debris from making their way into your water.
Whichever choice you make should be dependent upon not only personal convenience levels, but also upon the specific needs of your region in terms of winter weather severity. With the right tools and preparedness level, you can keep your pool healthy, safe and maintained throughout the calendar year.
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