Good property managers need to be one step ahead of the game, and September is no time to be caught flat-footed. The once-packed swimming pool is now virtually empty, and the kids who filled it weeks ago are now lugging school backpacks around. The temperature is starting to dip at night, and there’s no time to waste—winter is coming and it’s time to get buildings and amenities ready for colder weather. Preparing for winter involves a number of tasks for the property manager, starting with draining the pool and ending with test-firing the boiler before the first frost.
The first step in getting the pool ready for winter is to draw the water level down 10 to 18 inches, just below the skimmers, according to Glenn DiLoreto, president of Clear Blue Pool Management in Hackettstown. Once the water is lowered, winterizing chemicals are added “to keep the water as clear and algae-free as possible over the winter,” says DiLoreto. The next step is using a blower to clear out all the pool lines and adding anti-freeze to the lines for added precaution against freezing, he says.
Turning his attention to the pool area, DiLoreto recommends power-washing all the pool furniture before putting it in storage. In addition to water, he frequently adds a degreaser to the power wash mix to rid the furniture of accumulated suntan lotion. Also put away the pool’s vacuuming equipment for the winter, along with any handrails and ladders, which need to be unbolted before storing, he says.
While the pool equipment is being tucked away, DiLoreto says it’s a good time to take a full inventory, to generate a list of missing or damaged equipment.
Finally, says DiLoreto, the safety cover should be applied over the pool, both for aesthetic and insurance reasons. If the cover is installed correctly—anchored into the pool and drawn very tight—it should support the weight of a person, he says. With the cover on, DiLoreto says it’s time to make sure all of the pool’s entry gates are locked and all keys delivered back to the management office.