Pool Safety During the Off Season
During your pool’s off-season, you’re probably not thinking about it much, and that’s the way it should be! However, if you’ve neglected to take certain safety measures over the winter, you could be risking damage and accident, even if no one is swimming in the pool.
The first measure that you need to take over the winter is to winterize your pool. Whether you do it yourself, or you hire a professional, winterizing your pool will greatly decrease the maintenance work that you need to do in the coming months, and ensure that opening up your pool again in the spring goes off without a hitch. However, even if you winterized your pool, there may be some additional measures that you need to take.
- Cover your pool properly, in order to prevent animals from getting into the pool, to keep leaves and other debris out, and to maintain the temperature better. For the sake of safety, choose a sturdy cover that’s well-anchored. Loose covers can be terribly dangerous if a person or animal falls in (remember that scene from Unbreakable?) Maintain your cover by sweeping off leaves and debris regularly. Wet leaves can be really heavy, and they have chemicals that can stain your cover.
- Check the water’s chemical levels. Even with winterizing, the chemical balance can change drastically over winter. If it’s been unseasonably warm, you could have an algae bloom on your hands. You might need a mid-winter algaecide. Check regularly to make sure that the chemicals are well balanced.
- Keep your pool secure so that neighborhood kids and animals aren’t getting in. Even though it doesn’t look quite as tempting as it does during the summer, there’s still risk of little kids or little critters getting in and drowning. Think about a safety cover, an alarm, and a locked gate.
- Worried about flooding? When you winterize your pool, one of the steps is to lower the water level a bit, so that should guard against most storms. However, you never know when a crazy downpour will completely change the landscape of your yard. It’s possible to purchase a submersible pump for your pool so you can siphon out water. It’s also easy to lower the level of your water with your pump, but if you’ve closed it for the winter that could be more trouble than it’s worth. Of course, there’s the good old hose-siphon method. Put one end of a garden hose in your pool and route the other end down the driveway or in another lower-elevation area. If you can’t find a good elevation situation, you can create suction using a vacuum or something similar.
- Check equipment for signs of damage regularly. The sooner you catch problems, the better chance you’ll have of repairing it before the damage gets bad.