Welcome to the second annual spooky edition of Poolside Quarterly!
Winter…your pool is closed and you have NO IDEA what is going on beneath the surface! That can be scary! Keep reading for the best tips on how to close your pool properly and (hopefully) keep your mind at ease.
The last thing you want come spring is to open up your pool to green water with calcium crystals and scale build-up on the surface. On top of that, you might be cutting it close to get on a schedule for maintenance or renovation work. Let’s discuss the best ways to prevent these nightmares so that you can sleep soundly until next spring!
Spring is without a doubt the busiest time of year for pool renovation work. Getting on a schedule can be very difficult if you do not plan ahead. Sometimes work needs to get pushed to summer, forcing pool owners to cut into precious swimming time. Many wait until they open up their pool to call a company and get on the schedule. This is usually because they think the warm months are the only time a pool can be worked on. We are here to debunk that myth!
At Mid-America Pool Renovation, we renovate pools all year round. We do this by utilizing temperature-regulated tents and working in phases. Our proprietary product, INTER-GLASS®, does not need to be filled with water to cure and thus can easily be installed at any time of year. Pool owners that resurface with INTER-GLASS® during the winter can simply shut down their pool once the work is done and open it as usual come spring. Using tents, we can also complete tile and coping replacements during the winter.
Plaster products need to cure for 30 days after installation. During those 30 days the pool needs to be fully up and running. This makes it harder to plaster during the winter because most pool owners do not want to do this when they can’t swim.
However, every pool needs to be prepped before it can be resurfaced, which can take multiple days. This phase of the work can easily be done under tents during the winter and ultimately take less days to complete the pool come spring. So, if we split up the phases, focusing on prep in the winter and completion in the spring, more pools can be fully renovated by swim season and more pool owners are happy!
Many pool owners and operators think that pool algae does not grow in cold temperatures. This, unfortunately, is not true. Hot temperatures cause algae to grow at a more rapid rate, but cold weather does not stop algae growth entirely. The last thing you want is to take off the cover and find that your surface looks like it is covered in mutated cordyceps! If this happens, we promise the algae isn’t infected and won’t come to life and attack you. That being said, it is still best to take precautions when closing the pool to prevent this nightmare!
There are a handful of ways to prevent algae from getting out of hand in the off season:
- Always cover your pool during the winter months to keep out debris
- Make sure your water is balanced before closing
- Clean the pool thoroughly with a brush or vacuum before closing
- Add chlorine throughout the winter as needed
- Make sure that all equipment is properly drained and winterized according to manufacturer’s instructions
These tips not only keep algae growth at a minimum, but are great ways to keep other issues from arising such as crystals and scale…keep reading to learn more!
Did you know that if your pool water has too little calcium, it will literally suck the calcium out of the pool surface to feed itself? It turns into a calcium vampire! This causes calcium crystals to form on the surface. These crystals have become more common over the past few years so it is important to maintain balanced water to keep them out of your pool.
Calcium crystals are calcium carbonate deposits that form on pool surfaces. They are caused by pool water that gets out of balance when calcium hardness levels become too low. If there is too little calcium carbonate in the water, it will begin taking it from other places such as the pool shell, tile and equipment. This is how calcium crystals are formed. These crystals are rough to the touch and not only make your pool look icky, but also can cause damage to the surface. Too much calcium in the water causes scale, which can also appear on the surface, tile and equipment. Much like crystals, scale is gross to look at and can cause damage to pool equipment.
One method of measuring balanced water is by using the Langlier Saturation Index, or LSI. This method directly relates to the amount of calcium carbonate in pool water. Low LSI means that pool water is corrosive or aggressive, causing crystals. High LSI means that the water is scale forming. Owners should always aim for balanced LSI.
Proper water chemistry and maintenance when winterizing and closing the pool is essential to preventing these crystals from forming. By taking these steps before you close your pool, you are reducing the risk of calcium build ups during the cold months.
Want to learn more about LSI? Click below!