The Importance of Closing your Pool Correctly for the Winter 

Each autumn, pool owners have the sad task of shutting down the pool for winter. Closing the pool signifies the end of the summer, and a weekend full of a lot of work. After seasonal care, maintenance and small repairs, it can seem daunting to have to clean and close everything correctly.

You may be tempted to cut corners as you move through the process of closing down your swimming pool. But, closing each component of your swimming pool correctly at the end of the season is absolutely essential to keeping it in great shape. Neglecting important parts of the closing process can lead to damage, repair bills, and a delay in opening the pool next summer. Worse than that, every time you damage a component of your swimming pool, you shorten the life of your investment. 

Risks of winter damage to your swimming pool

In Canada, even in the Toronto area, winters can be harsh and damaging to anything that is left outside. Swimming pools have been designed to withstand this winter destruction, but only with the correct attention and care. 

When a swimming pool is not closed correctly, there are a lot of risks to your pool and equipment

The risks of winter damage to your above ground swimming pool

Vinyl liner damage to your aboveground swimming pool

If a swimming pool is not closed properly, there is a risk of ice damaging or even destroying a vinyl liner. In an above ground pool, properly adding an air pillow can help to prevent ice gouging. If you skip levelling your pool and protecting your liner, you may face expensive repairs or replacements in the spring 

Structural damage to your aboveground swimming pool

Aboveground pools are even more prone to winter damage than inground pools. A pool that is left full of water and unclosed for the winter is bound to have massive structural damage in the spring. As water expands, pressure will cause pool walls to separate. This can cause your pool to lean, damage your liner, and need massive repairs. In serious cases, it may damage an aboveground pool beyond repair. 

Cracks, abrasions, and hardware damage to aboveground pools

Water and expanding ice can cause massive damage to your swimming pool. An aboveground pool that is left to weather the winter unprotected can form cracks, small abrasions, and have hardware damage in the spring. All of these small issues can add up to a shorter life for your pool, and a headache as your pool ages and continues to spring small leaks. 

Plumbing Damage to aboveground pools

Properly draining and storing your aboveground pool plumbing is essential to avoid damage. Plumbing that is left wet and filled with water is likely to be damaged as water freezes and expands. Fittings can also be damaged as snow and ice build up, making it fragile and prone to cracking. 

The risks of winter damage to your inground swimming pool 

Vinyl liner damage in inground swimming pools

If your inground pool has a vinyl liner, you know how expensive they can be. A liner is very prone to damage during the winter months, when low temperature makes the vinyl brittle. If you do not leave the correct amount of water in your pool, your risk gouging or tearing your liner. This could mean a frustrating and costly repair or replacement. 

Concrete damage to inground swimming pools 

Have you ever noticed that the roads in Canada need a lot of repair? That is because very low temperatures can make small cracks in concrete much bigger, much faster. We recommend that you make any small necessary repairs to your concrete pool before closing down for the winter, and make sure you protect your pool properly 

Coping and cover damage in inground swimming pools

You will need to level your water and correctly place your cover to avoid damage to your coping and cover. This can lead to freezing overflow, which can crack and damage your coping and pool cover. Damaged covers, coping and concrete can cost thousands to repair, depending on the extend of the damage

Winter plumbing damage in inground swimming pools

Before you shut down your pool for the year, you need to thoroughly drain and dry your plumbing components. In freezing weather, water left behind can burst pipes, leading to extensive damage. Freezing damage to your plumbing can be even more extensive for inground pools than for inground pools. This is especially true with underground plumbing. Skipping a step to save some time can end up costing thousands. 

The risks of winter damage to your swimming pool equipment

There are many different parts to your swimming pool. When you close your pool for the winter, you’ll want to make sure you take care of all of your swimming pool equipment. This list is something to consider for both inground and aboveground pool owners. 

  • Your swimming pool pump: In Canada, it is cold enough that your swimming pool pump will freeze, crack and suffer severe damage during the winter months. A swimming pool pump will work best if you bring it indoors during the winter months after properly draining, cleaning and drying it. 
  • Your swimming pool filter: Much like your swimming pool pump, your filter will be prone to cracking and breaking (especially the internal pipe) if it is not winterized correctly. Be sure to drain, service and cover your swimming pool filter carefully as you close down your pool. 
  • Your chlorinator: Chlorinators are also prone to winter damage, since water flows through them and plastics can often become brittle in low temperatures. It is essential that you winterize it according to your model’s instructions. This is true whether you have a floating, in-line, offline or saltwater chlorinator for your pool. 
  • Swimming pool toys and accessories: Every toy, accessory, or item related to your pool should be rinsed, wrapped and put away for the winter. Chlorine is a destructive chemical. A final rinse of your toys, games and accessories like your ladder will slow down aging, and prevent wear and tear (and annual expensive trips to replace items). 

Professional pool closing services

Many pool owners tend to opt for a do-it-yourself approach when they close the pool. But, if you have any doubts about how to effectively close down your swimming pool for the winter, you have options. We recommend that you book a professional closing for your pool. Pay a professional to close your pool this autumn, and you may save a lot of money in the spring. 

Close your pool properly to enjoy a great summer opening

Closing down your swimming pool correctly is essential for ensuring your pool is safe and usable the next summer season. Any corners that you cut when you shut down for the winter, you’ll pay for in the spring season. When the thought of closing down the pool is giving you dread, think of how great it will feel when you’re able to have your pool sparkling, shining and open in just a few days next year.