Autumn has arrived with of all its beautiful colors and smells. A collage of freshly fallen leaves can be a lovely sight on your front lawn…but not in your pool!
While the season may still offer a few more warm weekends of sunny pool use, it is indeed time to adjust your pool maintenance routine to accommodate the changing weather.
The fall season offers several things to consider when it comes to properly caring for your pool.
Factors that contribute to fall pool care:
1. More debris
2. More rain
3. Less pool use
4. Less heat and sunlight
5. Winter is coming
Let’s review the basics for fall pool maintenance, so you aren’t left with a soggy green mess when it gets too cold to take action.
As your yard begins to dry up and prepare to go dormant for the winter, the result is a LOT more leaves, twigs, dead grass, and dirt either falling from above or rustling across your lawn in the autumn wind. Excessive organic material can tax both your pool chemicals and your filtration system.
It is imperative to use your hand-held leaf skimmer, and clean out the basket skimmer and/or pool drains as often as possible. If you’ve got a heavily canopied yard, this task can become a race against the daily shedding of arboreal foliage. In that case, it may be time to simply don the pool cover and close up shop until next spring.
But until then, make sure you aren’t allowing too much build-up. Skimming the water’s surface is a great fall chore for older children who can be trusted to practice safety around the poolside.
Use your pool vacuum to ward off algae and bacterial growth, and clean or replace your pool’s filter as necessary. This is especially true if you live in a region that promises a few more weeks of swim-friendly weather. Also, you want to complete those tasks in that order, as vacuuming will loosen up particulates along the walls, that will then get flushed through the filtration system.
As pool use winds down, go ahead and gather up extra toys, floats and pool furniture. Of course you will want to either store or cover all of these items at the end of the season, to prevent weather-related damage. But getting a few of them out of the way now will put you ahead of the game. Besides, decluttering also makes pool and deck cleaning much easier.
If your pool has a heater, you want to go ahead and adjust the heating cycle. As the outdoor temperature drops, keeping your pool water comfortable is something you want to do sooner than later, so the heater doesn’t have to go into overtime trying to warm up frigid water.
Most regions experience increased rainfall in the fall season. This can not only overfill your pool, it can dilute your pool’s chemicals. Be sure you’re checking your chemicals regularly to ensure they remain balanced.
While rain and debris can tax the chemicals in your pool, there are several factors that can justify using fewer chemicals in the fall. The sweat, oil, hair, and sunscreen left behind by swimmers will obviously decrease in amount as the pool is used less often.
Less Heat and Sunlight
Additionally, as the days grow shorter, cooler, and shadier, pool chemicals don’t have to work quite so hard. As discussed in Maintaining Your Pool’s Chlorine Levels in the Summer, heat and light cause chlorine to break down more quickly. They also encourage microbial growth, which puts the available chlorine in your pool’s water on double duty.
As this process slows down, you may find that your pool needs fewer chemicals to maintain a healthy balance. Check your levels regularly, as an over-treated pool can be just as hazardous as an under-treated one.
Winter is Coming
As mentioned previously, covering your pool is hands-down the easiest and most effective way to keep it clean during the winter season. Whether you choose to cover it early to avoid excessive leaves, or wait until it is simply too cold to swim- do not just leave your pool exposed year-round.
Pool covers are available for every shape and size, including both in-ground and above-ground pools. They not only provide physical protection from the elements, they allow your pool’s heater and filtration system to take a long winter’s nap. This, in turn, saves your a significant amount of money on your utility bills.
If you have pets or small children, be sure you take precautionary measures around a covered pool. For adults, it is self-evident that the cover is not a solid, sturdy surface. This is less obvious to a toddler or a dog. Practicing pool safety is a priority even in the winter months!
While rain and debris can tax your pool’s chemicals and filtration system, decreased use can also create circumstances in which fewer chemicals are needed to maintain healthy pool water. As autumn sets in, keep all of these things in mind with your pool maintenace routine. Click here for a free service quote from Sun Valley Pool Service, for projects like this and any other pool care needs you may have!