As summer draws to an end, it’s time to perform some preventative maintenance and close up the pool for winter.

As summer winds down and autumn approaches, it’s important to remember that just because you won’t be swimming every day, it doesn’t mean you can neglect your pool during winter. But what does winter maintenance entail?

Winterise your pool
During summer, we often leave our pools uncovered to let the sun warm up the water. However, this also creates a perfect breeding ground for algae, which thrives in warm, stagnant water. To combat this we tend to throw in some chlorine or add a floater to the pool, but often forget to take any further action once the floater is empty. This can create an environment where algae can thrive, especially if we reduce the amount of time the pump runs, which further reduces the circulation of the water. The approach of winter is a good time to get on top of any algae problem and this is most easily done with an algaecide for green and black algae.
Winterise your pool

To prepare your pool for winter, it’s a good idea to start with an open backwash. This should be done every six months or so to ensure that the sand in your filter is clean. Normal backwashing removes most of the debris from your filter, but not all of it. To do an open backwash, switch off the pump and remove the top cover, being careful to replace the screws back into the embedded nuts. Set your pump to backwash and switch it on, then agitate and move the sand around to remove any remaining dirt. This will help your filter work much more efficiently and reduce the amount of time your pump needs to run.

In-store pool water analysis

You also need to make sure that the alkalinity and pH levels of your pool are correct. You can test these levels for free at your local Builders store or with a home test kit, also available from Builders. If your chlorine levels are low, don’t worry too much – you’ll still need to add chlorine throughout the winter, but in smaller quantities than during the summer months.

Winterise your pool

Covering your pool with a GeoBubble blanket is another important step in winter maintenance. These blankets are sold per metre and come in 3m-wide rolls, so they’re wide enough to cover most pools. They’re made from 400 micron and contain UV inhibitors, with an average lifespan of 3 – 4 years if looked after properly. The blanket is designed to float on the water, and while it won’t stop leaves from collecting, it will reduce the rate of evaporation by up to 98% and limit the amount of direct sunlight entering the pool, which slows down algae growth. GeoBubble covers can also raise the water temperature slightly and extend the swimming season in unheated pools. In heated pools, they help to maintain the water temperature and so reduce heating costs.

Winterise your pool
Finally, it’s important to check all your pool nets, weir baskets, covers, brushes, test kits and other accessories during winter. Replace any damaged or worn-out items and stock up on any chemicals that are running low. Also take the time to remove any pool accessories, wash them off and pack them away until summer.

Properly maintaining your pool during winter will ensure that it’s ready to use come summer. Don’t abandon your pool during the winter – spend a bit of time taking care of it and you’ll be rewarded with a relatively quick turnaround time in getting your pool back to swimming standards.

Finally, remember that pool safety is of utmost importance. It’s crucial to ensure that your pool area is closed off and inaccessible to any children or people who are unable to swim. Builders stocks everything you need to maintain your pool, both in-store and online at

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