Why August in D.C. is the time to think about winterizing your pool

Why August in D.C. is the time to think about winterizing your pool
Swimming pool in Maryland.

Swimming pool in Maryland.

Preparing your swimming pool for winter may be the last thing on your mind as most Washington, D.C., residents enjoy the remaining days of summer.

Late August, indeed, may be too soon for you to bid farewell to summer, but it’s the perfect time to prepare your pool for the transition. 

Why so soon? Washington pool service companies will tell you that it’s all about the cover.

“Now is when you need to take a look at the cover and see if it’s time to replace it,” says Jonathan Broga of the highly rated Potomac Pool Service in Sterling, Virginia. “Ordering a pool cover takes time, and companies can get backed up closer to fall.”

Squirrel away time to winterize

A cover is key to pool protection, and it can take a beating from the sun, falling debris and, especially in this region, squirrels. “Squirrels can do a lot of damage,” Broga says.

Keeping debris out of the pool is an obvious job for the cover, but it's also designed to keep light out.

No light and the right balance of chemicals prevent algae growth in the water that remains during the winter.

Broga says the life span of a pool cover is around 10 to 12 years, but it needs to be thoroughly inspected each year before use.

Unpredictable pool weather

This week, Broga sent his clients reminders that now’s the time to think about winterizing their pools, even if they plan to keep swimming well into September. Potomac charges between $400 and $450 for the pool closing service.

D.C. and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs often enjoy mild falls, which easily extends the traditional pool season.

The region, however, also is known for unpredictable weather. Unexpected freezes are common, so things need to be in order well before winter, and Broga recommends a professional for this task.

“Homeowners can do a spring pool opening on their own, because the worst thing that can happen is that they’ll get wet and have to call a professional,” he says.

Winter is a different story.

Damage to pipes, filters and even tiles around the top of the pool easily can occur if the right procedures aren’t followed.

“Fixing those can get expensive, and you’re often talking about having to dig under concrete,” Broga says. “Nobody wants that.”

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Pool Safety Tips, Pool & Spa Service

Your swimming pool should be enclosed with a fence at least four-feet high. Pool gates should open away from the pool and should be self-closing and self-latching.

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