Winter is not kind to pools. Looking out at my pool covered in snow is not only rather depressing, but also concerning because I have no idea what winter is doing to my pool. Most of us have a variety of minor, annoying things wrong with our pool at any given time. However, since most others don’t notice them, we choose to ignore them until they become worse or affect the operation of the pool. Here is a list of just a few examples:
- a few loose tiles
- cracks in the coping bricks or stones
- loose coping bricks
- cracks in the deck
- delamination spots in the plaster
- bubbling or cracks on the surface of the fiberglass steps
- a vinyl liner faded and creeping towards the end of its life
What we don’t know is what has happened to these items while our pool is closed and exposed to the severe winter elements. I can’t tell you how many pool owners I have spoken to that are amazed, and sometimes horrified, at what they find when the cover comes off in the spring. Way too often have I received a phone call from a pool owner that had a couple of loose tiles in the fall turn into feet and feet of tiles that came off during the winter. Last year I even received a call from a pool owner that closed their own pool in the fall and removed the cover right before Memorial Day weekend only to find the pool completely empty. YIKES!
Unfortunately “hope” is not a strategy and there is only so much we can do to protect our pools from the freeze thaw effects of winter. However, I do have some recommendations that will help you with any renovations that may be necessary this spring:
- Don’t wait until pool opening to look for damage. Most pool owners in St. Louis don’t actually open their pool and begin swimming until sometime in May. However, we have plenty of warm days in March and April when the cover can be removed to visually evaluate the condition of your pool, and then put back on until you are ready to begin work or open the pool. Pool service companies are SLAMMED in May. Waiting until you actually open the pool to check its condition could cause you to have to wait until mid-summer to have renovation work performed. Getting an early start evaluating your pool can help ensure any necessary renovations can be performed early enough for you to have the entire pool season to swim.
- Assume the worst. St. Louis has had one of the harshest winters in recent memory. Last winter I only shoveled my driveway one time. Yet as of today we have already received 3x the amount of snow this winter compared to the winter of 2017/2018. Don’t stick your head in the sand regarding known situations. If you know you had one of the above listed issues, or any other issue, with your pool when it was closed last fall you should assume the winter has only made it worse. As I said before, winter is not kind to pools.
- May is the wettest month in St. Louis. The old saying “April showers bring May flowers” leads people to think April is the month we get the most rain. Historically May is the only month of the year where our average rainfall is over 4 inches. This means you have a better chance of avoiding weather delays and having your renovation project completed on time if you begin the project in April.
Most pool renovation companies schedule their work on a first come, first serve basis. Everyone, yes everyone, is dying to have their work done so they can be swimming during the dog days of summer. Yet the reality is we all only have so much capacity at any given time. The sooner you’re on our schedule, the sooner we can have you back swimming.
Azul Pool & Patio only does new construction and renovation projects. We don’t open pools, and don’t do pool equipment repairs. So we have the capacity to perform pool renovations without having to work around pool opening season like other companies. Give us a call and schedule an appointment for us to come pull off the cover and assess how winter has treated your pool. Remember hope is not a strategy.