Summer has come to a close, and it’s time to swap out shorts and sandals for cozy sweaters and mugs of cocoa. It’s also time to close up your inground pool for the winter to keep it clean and protected so it’s ready to go next spring. Here’s what you need to know.

When to Close Your Pool
In the Chicagoland area, the swimming season is usually behind us by the time September comes to a close. The general rule is to close your pool before temperatures drop below freezing overnight, but we recommend closing it as soon as temperatures drop below a comfortable swimming temperature during the day. The reason is that you’ll be able to have it covered up tightly long before the big leaf drops of autumn.

Should I Close My Pool Myself?
Closing an inground pool for the winter is a project that some homeowners can handle themselves. We’ll talk about some of the steps below, but it’s important to keep in mind that missing steps or performing any of the tasks incorrectly could lead to serious damage to your pool or filtration system over the winter. If this is a new pool or you’ve moved into a home, and this is your first winter, we strongly recommend having a professional team close your inground pool. You’ll be able to observe the process and see if you think it’s something you can tackle yourself or enjoy a cool drink while it’s taken care of for you, instead.

How to Close Your Inground Pool
The first step is to clean the pool. Use a brush to scrub the walls and floor, making sure to get into all the tight spaces as well as you can. If necessary, use an algae brush to remove any blooms that may be present. Next vacuum up any debris you’ve disturbed by brushing.

Your water will need to be tested to check the chemical levels using a test kit. Proper balance is necessary to protect against corrosion or scaly build-up over the cold months. Once the chlorine levels are correct, the water should be shocked, and winter chemicals added. Some manufacturers recommend a second shock after giving the water a few days to circulate through the filtration system, allowing one more night for circulation, then proceeding.

Once the chemical processes are complete, you’ll want to drain some of the water to prevent freeze damage. Then, clean the filter and pump and blow out the lines to prevent fractured lines caused by freezing. Remove any accessories, and install the winter cover.

Proper Protection for Inground Pools
The process outlined above is just a summary of the basic steps. Before attempting to close your pool yourself, you’ll want to make sure you understand the proper balance of chemicals for your pool size, the process of removing water from pump lines, and how to choose the right winter cover for your pool. It can be a lot for anyone to manage themselves with no experience, but once you’re familiar with the process, it’s one that many homeowners manage each fall.

At Dutch Barn Landscaping, we want you to enjoy many happy years with your inground pool. Our pool maintenance experts are happy to close your pool quickly, efficiently, and safely so you can rest easy all winter long. To learn more about closing your inground pool for the winter or to schedule an appointment, call us today!