They tell me its March here in New England, and I call shenanigans! When I left for work this morning it was 18 degress……18!!!
I am sure like me you are officially done with the now infamous winter of 2015 here in Massachusetts, looking at the forecast there might be some light at the end of the tunnel and we can get some of this snow melted away.
As we all ramp up and hope for spring in the coming weeks there are some things you should be looking for around your pool, particularly above ground pools which are most susceptible to harsh winters.
1. Is Your Above Ground Pool Cover Sagging?
If you see your winter cover on your above ground pool sagging low into the middle of the pool you really need to take some time and inspect the pool structure. A lot of above ground pool owners use the cable and winch system provided with the pool cover to hold it on during the winter.
The problem with this is when the snow and water weight starts pushing the cover into the pull it is pulling up on the top rails of the pool structure. It’s basically pulling the pool inside out! Not what we want.
A lot of times a small leak in the liner that was not as noticeable during the summer (mistaken for evaporation and splash out) can dramatically lower the water level in the pool during the fall and you won’t notice until rain or snow ends up on the cover and starts pushing it down.
If you see this happening with your pool and the cable is pulling hard on the pool structure you should cut bait immediately. Let the cover fall into the pool. Yes this will cause a big mess you will have to pick up in the fall, especially if you did not clean all the leaves off the cover before the snow came.
However letting the cover go into the pool is much better than the cover taking your pool down with it!
2. Dramatic Water Loss in The Pool
We sort of mentioned this above but you should check the water level in your pool under the cover to see if you might have a liner leak. With the freezing and thawing of the pool water, ice can shift and tear a hole int he liner.
If the tear is bad enough you may have to prepare for a liner replacement and it is best to know that as ealy in the year as possible as pool companies liner replacement schedules can book up pretty fast come spring time. And after the winter of 2015 you can bet that will be the case.
If you see this happening with your pool and the cable is pulling hard on the pool structure you should cut bait immediately. Let the cover fall into the pool.
I should note, the ice tearing the liner is usually the result of a pre-existing small leak in the liner that was not repaired during the season. This causes a drop in water level under the freeze line, which causes the top layer of frozen ice to slip and tear the vinyl.
3. Frost Heave Damage to Pool Patios
Have you heard of people complaining about not being able to shut their doors this winter? This is caused by the heaving of the earth below the structure.
When the ground freezes and heaves below your pool deck this can cause some unsightly problems come springtime. I expect to see many cracked concrete pool decks this spring because of this reason. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about this. The concrete is one solid slab so when the ground moves beneath it it does not have much flexibility.
This is one of the main reasons we highly recommend paver pool decks for our new pool construction customers. Because they are made with individual blocks the won’t suffer ugly cracking damage.
If your paver deck does heave, all you do is take up the few bad blocks put down a little sand then re-set the blocks….good as new and doesn’t take long at all.
Now Lets Get Ready for Pool Season!
This snow will melt and the temperatures will rise eventually so look ahead and prepare for a great summer out in the backyard by the pool. If you do find any pool damage get on it early and contact your local pool service company as early as possible to get on their repair schedule.
And don’t forget to turn those clocks ahead this weekend!