Preventing Winter Pool Stains

winter-pool-stainsClosing time for the pools has arrived and the last thing that you want to have happen when you go to open it up in the spring is to have the pool surface stained.

Preventing those stains can be done with my simple 3-step treatment to stain prevention – Cleaning, Covering and Chemicals.

Clean the Pool

Clean the pool very thoroughly before closing – this is the most important step in preventing stains from occurring because this will make sure that there will be no leaf or debris stains. Cleaning should include vacuuming, skimming and brushing the pool – no cheating!

Over-filter your water for a few days before closing if you can. For a time clock, just remove the Off Dog, and let the pump run 24/7 for a few days before you close the pool.

tile-and-vinyl-cleanerClean your skimmers and water line with something like our Super Tile and Vinyl Cleaner. Removes gunky waterline deposits, without phosphates or harsh cleansers.

It’s tempting to leave a few leaves in the pool, and just hurry up and finish the pool closing. For best stain prevention however, the pool should be literally spotless when you put on the winter pool cover, which is our next step!

Cover the Pool

Because there is no circulation and no filtration going on, an uncovered pool, or a poorly covered pool will likely develop stains during the off season.

For the best stain protection, use a solid pool cover for winter, either a float on the water type, or a solid safety cover (without drain panels). A sturdy solid pool cover, that you can pump rain off of the top, will do the best job in keeping your pool stain free.

Cover installation is also important. If your cover has gaps up against raised walls, steps or cut outs, seal them up with pool noodles or pool doodles. Water bags can also be used around the edge to seal up a safety cover edge.

COVER-THE-POOLFor water bag type covers, fold the corners and excess material under the cover, and pull it taut. Place your water tubes end to end, so that you have complete coverage from blowing winds and burrowing animals.

Staking the corners with rope, or using extra weights at the corners, like planters, umbrella stands or heavy wood will help keep the cover tight.

RULE-1800-POOL-COVER-PUMPPool cover pumps do the hard work of pumping off the cover. We have automatic cover pumps, and smaller types that need to be manually shut off. Having a reliable cover pump is important to prevent a cover mishap. If the cover rips or falls in the pool, you’ll have real winter pool stains!

Chemical the Pool

I know it’s tempting to throw the cover on and be done with it. And who wants to add costly chemicals at closing? But – it’s the most important time of year to have the best water balance you can!

water-anime - purchased thru istockTest your pool water, and add the needed chemicals to balance your pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness. Most winter pool stains can be prevented by simply having correct water balance. For mesh covered pools, test pH every month during winter, to be sure that acid rain or other causes have not changed your pH, or the water is changing colors.

A metal chelator like Stain Away or Metal Free will prevent metals from staining the pool during winter, when you need the most protection.

Using non-chlorine closing kits will protect the pool surface from discoloration while the pool water is closed and stagnant. Chlorine filled floaters can become lodged in one position, or if the pool loses water during winter, can come to rest on the shallow end floor.ultimate-winter-pool-closing-KIT

For mesh covered pools, use our Ultimate Pool Closing Kit, which contains Pool Magic, an enzyme formula that consumes particles all winter, so your pool opens much cleaner.

winter ball - no tux required!Or try the Winter Ball. You don’t need to rent a tuxedo for this Winter Ball, just pierce the orb with the included push pin and drop it in the pool. Slow release enzymes controls oils and organic debris during winter.

So remember, to prevent winter pool stains, Clean it, Cover it, and Chemical it – just right, and you’ll be able to keep any pool surface clean and bright, and prevent ugly pool stains.

Brett Rotelli
InTheSwim Staff Blogger


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