First Winter in Florida? We Answer Your Pool Maintenance Questions!

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First Winter in Florida? We Answer Your Pool Maintenance Questions!

There’s no doubt about it – a booming number of people became happy new residents of The Sunshine State in 2022! According to ESPN Southwest Florida, there was a total of 321,881 applications for Florida driver licenses from out-of-state drivers as of August – and the year still had four more months to go! So if you are among those who recently relocated to our beautiful state, welcome! If you bought a house with a swimming pool, you may have questions about how to maintain it. Whether your previous home had a pool, or you’re a first-time pool owner, you’ve come to the right place! Read and learn, so you can enjoy your Central Florida pool to the max!

Do I Need to Close My Pool?

If you’ve moved from a state that experiences a true winter – complete with prolonged freezing temperatures and snow – you may be accustomed to closing your pool for the season, and wonder if it’s necessary to do likewise here. The short answer: no. Central Florida’s winters are mild. Average daytime highs are around 72 °F, with lows of around 52 °F. As our blog post – “Care and Maintenance of Your Central Florida Pool in Winter” – points out, the main purpose of closing a pool for the winter is to protect it from freezing water. Even when we do experience a cold snap, our Florida weather isn’t consistently cold enough to warrant closing your pool. The good news is that it is far less expensive to maintain your pool than it is to close it!

More good news: Even if your pool isn’t heated, you may not yet be acclimated to Central Florida’s warm-to-hot temperatures. This means if you were digging out from a snowmageddon this time last year, you may consider the water fine for a December dip – while Florida natives and semi-natives bundle up and toast s’mores over the patio fire pit!

Although there’s no need to close your pool in Florida during the winter, it is necessary to modify your pool maintenance practices. Keep your pool clean and in top condition by doing the following.

Continue your pool cleaning routine – Remove leaves and debris from the water, and clean the debris traps or skimmers. Old leaves can also cause stains on the sides and floor of your pool and promote algae growth. Run your pool filter and regularly vacuum the pool to remove debris. This will help you maintain a healthy water balance and keep it clean for spring.

Balance the chemicals in your pool – Continue to maintain the water balance throughout the season, even when you aren’t using the pool. Algae can thrive in pools during this time due to the fluctuating weather. Also, it will save you time and money in the spring, when you’re ready to use it regularly. However, you can decrease the amount of chlorine in the water, since it won’t have to kill contaminates from people using the pool. Test the pool water at least once a week during this time. If you have a salt chlorine generator, turn down the amount of chlorine it produces. This will increase your system’s lifespan, sparing it from unnecessary runtime.

Prevent algae buildup – As temperatures don’t get low enough to prevent algae growth, GPS Pools recommends keeping the water circulating at a rate that matches your environment’s needs. Colder water requires less circulation. Run your pool’s pump for one hour per 10 degrees of water temperature. So, if it’s 60 degrees outside, set your pump timer for a six-hour cycle.

Monitor the water level – Keep an eye on the water levels. Since Florida has less rainfall in the winter to replace evaporated water, the water level can drop one to two inches a week. If the water level falls below the skimmers, your pool could experience severe component damage. That’s why it’s important to monitor your pool’s water level and add water as needed to keep the water level above the skimmers. In addition, if you notice the water level dropping soon after adding water, a leak could be the cause. Should this happen, conduct the bucket test, and contact us if the test indicates a leak.

In addition to following a maintenance routine, you may want to consider the following upgrades to make your pool experience even better:

Invest in a pool heater – Yes, there will be times when it will be too cold to swim! If you want to get the most from your Central Florida pool, a pool heater is the ideal solution. Electric, gas and solar powered models are available, giving you numerous options.

Invest in a pool cover – This is an option for those who don’t swim (or host anyone who does) over the winter months. Obviously, a cover keeps out leaves, dirt and other debris. Also, because the pool water isn’t exposed to sunlight, chlorine levels don’t need to be adjusted as often, and the water is much slower to evaporate. A solar cover will absorb heat on sunny days – which are actually common in winter – to warm the pool’s water naturally, so you can swim if you’d like. However, pool covers are typically designed for rectangular-shaped pools.

Should I Drain My Pool?

No matter what kind of pool you have – be it concrete, fiberglass, vinyl liner or above-ground – never drain it, for any reason! In Florida, draining the pool will do a great deal of harm, and no good whatsoever. Our blog post – “Why You Should Never Drain Your Pool Yourself” – covers in detail the many reasons to not drain your swimming pool, which include the following:

  • When too much pool water soaks into the ground, the resulting upward water pressure (hydrostatic pressure) could crack the bottom of your pool or cause it to float right out of the ground.
  • In the case of fiberglass pools, the floors can split altogether, necessitating repairs to the fiberglass shell, plumbing, side walls (which can bulge outwards or even pop as a result of the sudden lack of water pressure) and pool deck.
  • For both inground and above-ground pools, the liner can shrink when the pool is drained, then tear when the pool is refilled. Refilling promptly and shifting the liner in the early stages of refilling can mitigate this. However, this is not a good idea with older liners.
  • Excess ground water can cause pool liners to float away from the walls, causing wrinkles.

Need Help? Call Our Certified Leak Detection Professionals!

Once again, we welcome you to the Sunshine State! Our pros at Certified Leak Detection have over 30 years of experience in detecting leaks in pools, spas and fountains, using industry-leading technologies. We don’t perform swimming pool maintenance, but we want everyone to enjoy their slice of Florida paradise to the fullest. Maintaining your pool properly will help you do just that! Plus, the more involved you are with your pool’s upkeep, the more aware you’ll be of conditions that may indicate a leak.

Serving areas throughout Central Florida – including Orlando, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, Kissimmee, Clermont and Winter Springs – our team is ready to answer your call.

Contact us for quick, reliable service!

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