What Happens When You Don’t Close Your Pool For Winter?
As summer is nearing its unfortunate end, you might find yourself looking at your pool and thinking something along the lines of, “not again.”
But yes, just as we do every year, we’re here to remind you that taking the proper steps to close your pool at the end of the season is something you should definitely do. The cliff notes reasons you need to do this are simple: it saves you money and keeps the structure of your pool intact.
But in case you’re still a little bit on the fence – maybe thinking about not closing your pool this season – we’ve compiled a list of nightmare scenarios you won’t want to face.
It Falls Apart
An in-ground pool is covered by a liner that holds the water in and prevents it from wearing down the foundation of your pool. Any cracks in the surface of this liner can be extremely detrimental to your pool.
Closing your pool for the season and performing an inspection allows you to assess any damage that may have occurred during the summer months, and then address these problems in a timely manner. By closing the pool, you essentially minimize the risk created by harsh winter conditions that often result in cracking.
But let’s continue with the assumption that you aren’t closing your pool. In this scenario, the unprotected water in your pool will freeze when the temperatures drop. The resulting ice and freezing temperatures will either rip open new tears or expand previously existing ones.
Imagine it’s the tail end of spring, finally the time when you can swim again, only to find huge tears in your pool lining. Other than costing a ton to fix, it’ll also take an extended period of time to truly open your pool back up, robbing you of the enjoyment you can usually obtain from summer hours in your pool.
Not worth it.
Let’s go over a basic cost next. When you close your pool, you flush the lines and pumps, ensuring no water is left in these to freeze and potentially cause damage. If you instead want to keep your pool open during winter, you’re going to have to run your pumps to keep the pool from freezing and causing these structural damages.
Will that add up?
Yeah, it will.
The electricity used will cost you during winter months when your heating costs are already heightened, while if at any time you lose electricity – as in the case of a bad winter storm – the damage to your now freezing pool could be immense. Your plumbing and filter system could freeze, allowing your water temperature to drop significantly while also shutting off your chlorine systems.
Which leads directly to our next point…
If your chlorine system stops working, say goodbye to your pretty blue pool. Failing to winterize your pool – combined with the steps above – will lead to an unsightly and expensive to clean pool. Did you happen to catch the green pools of last month’s Olympics?
Now water polo pool is going green next to diving pool #Rio2016
— Beth Harris (@bethharrisap) August 10, 2016
Yeah, so you know what we’re talking about.
Other than being a tremendous eye sore, getting rid of the algae can be a real drain on your wallet. Once you actually want to use your pool again, you’ll likely have to drain the water out of the pool completely and then replace it. That adds up.
And though not a health risk in itself, the bacteria that feed on the algae waste can add up quickly, which can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, rashes, swimmer’s ear and respiratory infections if you don’t properly clean.
Though your pool would have to be really bad to breed this bacteria, why risk it?
Save Yourself The Trouble; Close Your Pool
After looking all this over, doesn’t it just make so much more sense to do the extra work now, rather than be forced to shell out hundreds of dollars or spend needless hours fixing repairs later?
For tips on when the best time to close is, click here, and the next time you ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”, remember these hazards and take the proper steps to closing your pool.