Owning a house with a pool is great for entertaining and makes daily exercise fun and accessible. Swimming burns more calories than biking or walking because swimming makes use of the entire body–after an hour of vigorous swimming, you can burn up to 650 calories. To experience the benefits of your pool to the fullest, it is important to maintain your swimming pool each year, especially as winter rolls around. Here are some steps you should never skip while closing your pool.

Winterizing and Light Maintenance

About a week before the pool closing, remember to add a phosphate remover to the water. This is a simple action but is very impactful in preventing algae from thriving in your pool when it is not in use. Next, be sure to vacuum the pool to remove any debris. Vacuuming also aids in algae prevention and you’ll help your future self out, making the reopening in the springtime that much easier.

Also take a moment to make sure the water level is 4-6 inches below the skimmer. This lower water level is intended to account for any freezing that may happen over the winter. Regular maintenance like this can help prevent the need to get an inground vinyl liner replacement down the line.

Pool Closing Chemistry

Measure the water’s pH and alkalinity with a test kit to ensure the levels are safe. Next, shock and chlorinate your pool at least the night before the official pool closing. It is best to shock the swimming pool a few days ahead of time, but the night before will suffice. This is important to kill any lingering bacteria so you do not seal the bacteria in while closing.

The Final Steps

Backwash and chemically clean your pool and if you’re in an area where temperatures get below freezing, consider adding pool antifreeze to the water to further protect the lining from any tears that could happen during freezing. Install your winter cover or leaf net, and, lastly, remember to monitor the pool’s chemical balance each month with a testing kit.

Whether this is your first year with a pool or you’re a pool veteran, it is imperative that you take the time to maintain your swimming pool. Regular maintenance keeps the water people and pet safe and keeps your pool looking great!