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Seasonal garden pool - how to prepare it for winter?
The garden pool in the Slovak climate can be used from late spring to early autumn, ie - in good winds - almost half a year. However, until the first frosts come, we should put it in and secure it for the remaining months, unless it is a well-built year-round pool.
First of all, before we think about the end of the season, we should take care of the prophylaxis that will pay off for us in the future. Even when using the pool, it pays to take care of it and use standard recommended methods to clean it. This includes, for example, the use of filter pumps (part of a set of many garden pools) that continuously remove dirt, or the disinfection of water using chlorine products available on the market, dosed in liquids, granules or tablets, depending on the size of the tank. A popular method is to purify the water with vitamin C, which eliminates its yellowish or greenish tint - but does not solve the causes of the problem and provides only short-term and apparent effects. Of course, it is also worth systematically removing larger debris from trees and shrubs falling into the water and covering the pool with a cover when not in use. This will significantly reduce the amount of dirt that we will have to deal with when starting the winter maintenance of the pool.
Don't try frost resistance
Producers generally do not recommend leaving well-prepared garden pools outside after the end of the season. The effect of frost is unpredictable; also pools made of highly durable materials do not have to withstand extreme tests and can cause irreparable damage. Plastics such as PVC tend to lose their elasticity at low temperatures and then their structure can be exposed to micro-injuries under the influence of even small force interactions. At best, this will result in deterioration of material properties and shorten the life of the entire pool, at worst - damage to the pool prone to damage will begin to crack immediately. So in order to save money and enjoy the pool for many seasons, it is essential to take care of its maintenance as soon as we decide not to use it again this year. Where to start?
Remove visible dirt
You must first select any visible dirt floating in or on the water, such as leaves, twigs, dead insects, and other major dirt, unless removed by filters. It is best to use a pool strainer for this purpose. This will avoid clogging the drain when emptying the pool. Then use a pool cleaner if you have one. As a result, you will get rid of most of the dirt on the pool deck at this stage and facilitate subsequent treatments. If you don't have a vacuum cleaner, let the surface clean to the next level, see below.
Cleaning pumps and filters
If your pool is equipped with a sand pump, first select a filter and check its condition. Depending on this, replace the filter or clean it with a soft cloth, dry it and store it. Do the same with the rest of the pump to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria during storage. It is best to disconnect all removable parts and store the whole set in a dry place.
Pour water from the tank
There should be no water left in the dismantled pool. If, despite your efforts, the temperature at the storage location drops below zero, swelling ice can lead to physical damage to the material. If there is no frost, microbes can again grow in stagnant water and parts of the pool are exposed to decay or mold. The drain valve located at the bottom is used to drain the pool. Do not try to tilt the pool or bend its walls, as this can damage it and you will not have full control of the run-off water - remember that it is a very large amount that can seriously damage your garden.
Clean empty tank
The garden pool is best cleaned immediately after the water spills out - soaked dirt in the still wet pool is more prone to treatments to remove it. Of course, you can do this later, and even in the spring, but then it will definitely take more time and effort. This procedure is not worth giving up, even if you used a vacuum cleaner before - it removed most of the dirt, but not all. In any case, the receding water will definitely leave it on the bottom and walls of the tank. Do not use pressure washers - there is a risk of damage to the coating. The pool washbasin can be cleaned with a sponge, a soft cloth or - in the case of more difficult dirt removal - with a soft brush (not coarse brushes or steel wool, which is likely to damage the surface). Use lukewarm water. If chemicals are required, use those that are specifically designed for pools and match the type of enclosure. It is not allowed to use cleaning agents that can have a bad effect on the coating, but only substances that clean it and leave a protective disinfectant layer on it.
Dry the surface
After cleaning, dry the surface of the pool thoroughly, paying particular attention to places where water collects easily and is more difficult to evaporate, such as bends or wall connections. For example, you can use a cotton cloth for drying. Bacteria and fungi will not have good conditions for growth even in the dry pool. This is important because you probably won't have his condition under control for several months. And when you reassemble it in the spring, you'd probably prefer unpleasant odors, new, hard-to-remove pollution and frost damage.
Put down the pool
Before disassembling the pool, be sure to read the instructions that come with it - this will allow you to maintain the correct sequence of activities, avoiding the common mistakes that users often make and of which the manufacturer is usually aware. It will also save you from having to think about the individual steps and "pry out the door" at the tray. The expansion fund consists of a different type and a free-standing pool. We may also be disappointed by the routine - even a similar type of pool, which we have dealt with before, may be subject to slightly different recommendations. It is usually better to collapse a pool than to fold it - every stronger bend in the coating is a potential weakness, it will be more prone to material fatigue and physical damage, and if not thoroughly cleaned and dried, it promotes water accumulation (freezing) and the development of harmful microorganisms ...
Ensure safe storage
To avoid exposing the material from which the garden pool is made to the destructive effects of frost, store it in an insulated building and make sure that the room temperature does not drop too much. If this happens, it is better not to move the pool - the frozen material becomes more fragile and can easily break even under the influence of small forces. It pays to keep the original packaging of all parts of the pool so that everything is stored in them throughout the winter. However, if we no longer have them, it pays to wrap the complex pool in some additional protective layer to protect it from accidental damage during room traffic and from pressure from other objects in the area. If possible, don't hide elements in different remote locations - after a few months, you may not remember where you put what you put, so you'll find it hard to find and put everything together.
Adherence to the above recommendations should properly ensure the pool out of season, significantly extend its life and save you unnecessary problems in the spring, while preparing for the next season.