In the heat of summer, algae can take over a pool extremely quickly. Just because it’s now winter, it is important that you don’t make the mistake of thinking algae isn’t just waiting its’ turn for the warmer months to reappear.
Algae will usually flourish in warmer water, but it is also content to appear in winter when the water temperature will make it bloom in a slower manner.
So, how do you keep your pool free of algae during the colder seasons? We’ve compiled the following tips to keep your pool clean and algae free throughout the winter.
1.Covering Your Pool
Even if it’s warmer where you live in winter so you are less likely to close off your pool, keeping it covered when it’s not being used will help prevent algae growth. Not only is a pool cover a barrier to algae flourishing, but it will also act as a barrier to debris such as leaves, bugs, bacteria, and dirt, which will also provide the nourishment to help algae thrive.
Pool covers made of materials such as woven solid vinyl tends to be the most effective type of cover to keep algae at bay. These materials help keep organic matter and rainwater from entering the pool; additionally, they help block out the sunlight that algae require to bloom.
Winter pool covers made of mesh are porous versions that do the same thing. Even though they look neater and more appealing, and they are certainly good at keeping out larger debris, but smaller silt can still get through along with rainwater. Also, they certainly won’t keep out microscopic spores that creep up after windy and/or rainy weather.
You could also use a thermal pool blanket or even a solar pool cover to help shield your pool in winter. They are less ideal because these covers are specially designed to float on the pool’s surface instead of overlapping and covering the pool sides and its surrounding area.
2.Making Sure Your Pool Cover Is Clean
If you remember to keep your pool cover clean during the time that you’ve closed the pool off entirely or are simply not using it as often, you will be making opening it up again next season less bother.
Also, if you allow whatever type of pool cover you’re using, to build up leaves and debris, it can make it easier for the build-up of debris to disintegrate. This means it will turn into sludge and mush and will be washed away by rainwater into the pool and become semi-liquid.
If you allow leaves and dirt to build upon the surface of your winter pool cover, it can get mixed up with rainwater to become sludge. This will be cumbersome when you try and take the cover off, as it will most likely slide right into your pristinely clean pool.
Remember, throughout the winter, to regularly clean the leaves and debris off your pool cover. If the water starts to build upon your cover, you can use a cover pump, and a scoop net to drain the surface of the cover.
3. Maintaining the Pool’s Chemical Balance
Even in winter, all it takes is a small drop in chlorine for an enclosed pool to become infested with algae. Regardless of whether you’re using your pool right now, so many things can still get into your pool and disturb the water balance, such as rainwater, ground run-off water, vegetation, and insects.
Make sure you check the chemical balance of your pool every 2-3 weeks and adjust it if you need to. The pH should be in a range of 7.2 to 7.6.
4. Shocking Your Pool Regularly
Algae should become a thing of the past if you successfully administer periodic doses of chlorine shock treatments. If the water temperature is somewhere between 10ᵒ and 20ᵒC, you should only need to conduct one shock every 3 weeks; if the water temperature is more than 21ᵒC, then you should shock the pool once every 1-2 weeks.
When you shock the pool, make sure that you run the filter for 2-4 hours afterward to ensure that the chemicals are distributed evenly throughout the pool.
5. Regularly Running Your Filter
Algae love stagnant water almost as much as it loves an under-chlorinated pool. Unless you’ve closed off your pool, make sure to run your filter for 2 separate cycles of a minimum of one hour each per day.
If you’re looking at ways to become more cost-effective, set your timer to run overnight so that you can take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.
6.Checking Your Pool on a Regular Basis
It can be easy to ignore your pool in winter, but if you want to make sure that algae will be less likely to flourish, then being vigilant can save you a lot of money and time.
When you’re cleaning your pool cover, regardless of whether you’re checking the chemical balance, or just casting an eye over the pool to make sure that everything is running smoothly, have a peek inside the pool to see if you can detect any early signs of possible algae growth. As we’ve previously mentioned, algae will grow more slowly in winter, so it’s easy to spot early warning signs and take necessary precautions.
If you start to see algae beginning to form, make sure you apply a shock treatment, and follow up in a couple of days with an algaecide.
If you’re closing your pool or leaving it open but not using it during the winter months, some prevention will save a lot of trouble (and money) later down the track. If you do finally decide to abandon your pool during the winter months, you must make sure you consider doing the following preventative measures:
- Balance the water
- Clean your swimming pool and filter it thoroughly
- Shock you pool
- Apply a preventative algaecide.
Using A Pool Cleaner
Another popular method would be to use a pool cleaner, to ensure your pool is sparkling clean, and healthy all-year-round. If you want clear, healthy water without the hassle, Pool Assist can help!