Expert Advice on Closing Your Swimming Pool for the Season

EOnce Labor Day has passed, the weather begins to cool and
the leaves start to fall, pool owners naturally begin to think about when they
plan to close their pool for the winter season. There are many questions
surrounding this process including when is the best time to close a pool, and
what pool company should you trust with this important task.

To help us answer some of the most essential pool questions,
Mark Murphy of Blue Diamond Pool Services (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) joins
us to provide his expert input. Take a look!

Guide us through the
basic process of closing a gunite swimming pool for the winter season.

Blue Diamond Pool
Services
: When we close a swimming pool at least two service technicians
will arrive onsite. One technician will work pool side while the other focuses
on the equipment pad. While working pool side we will clean the pool one final
time and lower the water level approximately 3-4” below the tile band.

Throughout the process they will remove pool accessories
(fittings, ladders, railing, etc.) and prepare the pool to be covered, which
includes unrolling the cover, turning up anchors, and install cable systems.
While this is happening, the second technician is winterizing pool equipment
and clearing water from plumbing lines.

Finally some winter chemicals will be added and the pool
will be covered by both technicians. While closing the pool, we are proactively
giving the pool and filter system one final inspection for the year and making
note of any issues. No one wants to have a “surprise” next spring!

How does this differ
from closing other types of pools?

BDPS: Gunite
pools generally offer more options in and around the pool. Things like
waterfalls, water features, in-floor agitation systems, tile work, etc. all
impact the number of plumbing lines to winterize, the amount of equipment to
address on pad, where water level needs to be maintained, and how the cover is
secured.

What is the ideal
time frame to close a swimming pool and why?

BDPS: There is really
no right or wrong answer. We will close our first pool in August and our last
pool in December. Homeowners will keep pools open longer not to always use
them, but to keep the aesthetic of their back yard. Your ever-changing life
schedules will help to determine your pool closing, but in a lot of cases the
biggest factor is the surroundings of the pool. Keeping up with leafs can be
never ending, so finding a balance between enjoyment and hassle is what usually
determines each pool owner’s “right” time.

What are the risks of
trying a DIY approach to closing your own swimming pool?

BDPS: The type of
pool and the variables mentioned above will greatly determine whether or not a
homeowner should even think about tackling a pool closing on their own. Having
the necessary equipment to complete the job, the attention/know-how to get
every line blown and plugged, and the help to get the pool cover on and secure
are all essential to a thorough pool closing. If a pool is not winterized
properly the chance of pipes freezing and breaking is very real in
Pennsylvania.

Without an established relationship with a service company
getting issues corrected in the spring can sometimes be difficult with the
seasonal workload. By using a reputable pool service company it ultimately
should give the pool owner peace of mind and assurance that come next spring
their pool will be ready when they need it to be.

And one last piece of
advice…

BDPS: As the fall
season creeps in on us, swimming pools can become an afterthought. It is
important to maintain your pool until it is closed for the year. Leafs
compacting in the skimmer and strainer baskets will restrict flow and function
of filtration system. Letting water chemistry get away at the end of the season
can lead to scaling and interior finish imperfections.

And remember…what you
don’t do this year will potentially catch up with you next swim season!


10 Myths About Custom Gunite Swimming Pools - Debunked!

1Once you decide you want something, like the convenience and luxury of having your own swimming pool, there are few things that can hold you back. Many of these things prove to be myths or misconceptions once you pull back the curtain and learn the truth. 

This is exactly what we’re going to do for the
10 most common myths that often hold back hopeful pool owners from pulling the
trigger and starting their pool project. Let’s take a look at the truths behind
the matter and put to rest all the myths that might be holding you back from
starting the process of building your dream pool today. Take a look!

Myth #1: Gunite is way more expensive than
other types of pools.

Truth: Not necessarily. A variety of factors will
impact the cost of any type of swimming pool including: size, job site access
and topography, design, features, materials, and excavation requirements. The
unique design flexibility, material durability and longevity that gunite pool
projects provide can often offer the most “bang for your buck”.

Myth #2: Building a pool is a long and drawn
out process. 

Truth: Like any construction project, building a
custom gunite pool follows a certain process. However, this process can and
often does flow smoothly. Customers can have a large impact on the building
process by making clear and efficient decisions on pool design and material
finishes in the planning stages of the project. Furthermore, working with a
professional pool company with experienced project managers will keep your pool
project moving forward seamlessly.

Myth #3: A pool will cause my utility bills to
skyrocket.

Truth: It’s true that a pool, especially one that is
heated, will indeed increase your electric, water and possibly gas consumption.
But smart and efficient use of your pool will not cause your utility bills to
“skyrocket” more than what is to be expected. Variable speed pumps, proper
hydraulics and pipe sizing, and installing the most efficient heating systems
possible are a few of the options we can walk you through to maximize your pool
fun and minimize the utility bills.

Myth #4: Learning how to maintain the pH levels
of a gunite pool will be hard. 

Truth: Like most things in life, there is a learning
curve, but once you know what you’re doing it becomes easier. The same is true
of managing a gunite pool (or any other type of pool for that matter)! Our pool
professionals will teach you how to test the pool water chemistry and make the
necessary adjustments. It only takes a few minutes per week to maintain good
water quality and a balanced pH in your pool. And if you’d rather hand this off
to a professional, we can do that too!

Myth #5: All the decisions involved will stress
me out. 

Truth: When working with a professional and
experienced pool company, many of the major decisions will be made easy because
we guide you through every step of the process and provide sound
recommendations. It’s our responsibility to offer you the best pool design to
meet your wants and needs. 

Myth #6: It will feel like a second job
communicating with all of these contractors.

Truth: Again, this is a core responsibility of your
pool company to be the project manager and make sure everyone is effectively
communicating with one another. It’s our job to manage all the moving pieces
(see Myth #2) and to keep all parties informed of what’s going on and what the
next steps in the project are. We will work hard to ensure that the entire
process, from designing your dream pool, continuing on through construction,
and splashing in with the first cannonball is an enjoyable one!

Myth #7: Maintaining a pool is hard work. 

Truth: It’s fair to expect that there will be certain
responsibilities that come with owning a swimming pool, but these do not need
to require excessive amounts of your time. Simple and manageable maintenance
tasks, like cleaning out your filters and checking your pool’s chemical levels,
will only take a few minutes of your time throughout the week. This, compared
to the hours you’ll enjoy swimming in your pool each week, is a reasonable
trade off.

Myth #8: Maintaining a pool is expensive. 

Truth: Every pool we build is sanitized by a
salt/chlorine generator. Saltwater pools require only a few bags of salt
throughout the season, which are far less expensive than buying chlorine
“shock.” Our goal is to put the least amount of chemicals in the pool as
possible, which in turn reduces maintenance costs. While there are other costs
associated with maintaining a pool, like investing in a quality pool cover to
winterize your pool, these are long-lasting investments that are not required
annually. 

Myth #9: It’s cheaper/more convenient to use a
community pool or country club.

Truth: Building your own swimming pool is an
investment. While it may seem more convenient or less expensive to continue to
use a community pool or a country club, consider the long-term costs and
requirements. You will thoroughly enjoy the convenience of walking out your
back door to your own, private swimming pool. You are also likely to use it a
lot more! Additionally, the cost of other pool memberships quickly add up over
the years. You’ll never pay a membership to use your own pool. 

Myth #10: Opening and closing a swimming pool
each season will be stressful.

Truth: It’s so important to properly prepare your
swimming pool for the seasons, whether this is opening it for summer, or
closing it for winter. The good news is a professional pool company can make
this stress-free for you. Trusting a reputable service company to open and
close your pool takes the stress out of this task and may also reinforce
warranties provided by your pool builder and pool filter equipment
manufacturers.

If you spent this summer dreaming about having
your own swimming pool, what’s holding you back? Now that you know most of the
common hesitations are myths or misconceptions, let’s start making your pool
owning dreams a reality!

Contact us today to get started.