In between the rest of your end-of-season chores, don’t neglect your pool. You may not be using it for the next few months, but taking good care of it now will ensure that it’ll be ready for action when summer comes. A few helpful end-of-season pool maintenance tips will guide you through the winterizing process and check one more chore off your to-do list.

Balance the Water

You’ve been doing it all season long as part of your regular pool maintenance, but it’s doubly important now. Before you close up your pool for the winter, make sure the water inside is clean and its pH is between 7.4 and 7.6. Total alkalinity levels should be between 80 and 120 parts per million. Before you put the cover on your pool for the season, test it with a test strip one last time to ensure that it’s balanced.

Add Algaecide

To prevent algae blooms and moldy new ecosystems forming in your pool over the winter, pour some algaecide into the water now. Let your pump continue to run for around 24 hours after adding it to ensure thorough circulation.

Drain It (A Little!)

You may be tempted to drain your pool completely for the winter, but full drainage can damage the liner and cause a host of problems for you in the spring. Drain a little bit of water out of your pool until the water level is six inches below the skimmer or tile line. This will prevent damage to your pool when the temperature dips below freezing. Take care to drain the pump and filter as well to prevent pipes from bursting.

Shock and Chlorinate

Shock your pool before you close it to kill any lingering bacteria in the water. To keep the water clean throughout the winter, add chlorine. Use your test strips to make sure you aren’t adding too much or too little.

Cover It Up

Once your pool’s water is balanced and chlorinated, and once excess water has been drained out of the pump, get that pool cover out. Inspect it before putting it on the pool—are there any warps or tears? If so, invest in a new cover and seal your pool up thoroughly to prevent leaves and debris from making their way in during the winter.

As you bid goodbye to your swimming pool for the winter, make sure you’ve done your due diligence in caring for it. Ensure that it’ll be in top condition come spring by taking preventative measures now. These helpful end-of-season pool maintenance tips will keep you and your pool happy.