There’s a chill in the air, the days are shortening, and the number of days left to enjoy your outdoor spaces are dwindling. If you live in cooler climates, it means it’s time to prepare your outdoor furniture for the winter. If you have one, you’re also faced with preparing your backyard pool for months of cold and even snow.
Storing Outdoor Furniture
Ideally you want to find an indoor storage space for your outdoor furniture. It needs to be protected from wind, wet, and cold, which can cause rust, cracks, and mildew. Some popular places for storing patio and pool furniture for the winter include garages, storage units, sheds, and basements.
Before you put these chairs, tables, canopies, and umbrellas away, take time to clean them thoroughly. This includes treating stains, washing cushions, cleaning glass and metal, and oiling wood.
Covering the furniture once it is in storage is also a good idea. This will prevent dust build up and minimize the amount of cleaning the furniture will need when you bring it out next spring. It also protects wood and glass from being scratched. If you have cushions or other fabric items, store them in airtight bags to keep them safe from bugs and damp.
If you don’t have access to a storage space, move the furniture to a sheltered area of your yard and cover them with weather-proof tarps or specialty covers. Secure the covers to the furniture so they don’t blow or gap. Throughout the cold season you’ll need to remove leaves, snow, or pools of rain that collect on the covers.
Protecting Your Pool
There are two very good reasons to close your pool for the winter. First, it makes it much easier to reset your pool next summer if you have properly cleaned, stored, and cared for the pool equipment. Second, if the weather is cold enough and the water freezes, your pool could be seriously damaged, requiring expensive repairs.
Here are the steps you should follow to prepare your pool for winter. Consult your pool manufacturer/installer for specific instructions on each step.
- Balance the chemicals in the water
- Remove pool accessories such as vacuums, ladders, skimmer baskets, wall fittings, heater, etc.
- Clear all debris from the water
- Add conditioner, pool algaecides, or other winterizing chemicals
- Do a final vacuum and brush of the pool itself
- Do a backwash of the pool’s filter
- Lower the water level according to specs
- Remove all water from the filter, chlorinator, pump, and heater and clean
- Drain and empty the chemical feeder
- Install your pool cover, making use of air pillows to create gaps for water to expand
- Store chemicals and pool items in a dry, cool space for the winter.
Now all that’s left is remembering to check the pool cover throughout the cold months. You’ll want to remove debris and standing water so that the cover isn’t damaged. Monitor when the water freezes and check that it doesn’t put stress on your pool walls, causing cracks.
Take proper care of your patio furniture and pool now and it will be a breeze to get them ready next spring.