Winter is off season, best time for pool renovations

Now that both the ambient and water temperature for the backyard pool have gotten below most people’s tolerance. You conceivably have two options to choose from if you do not have a spa or a heater attached to your pool.

The first option is to “winterize” your pool. In the Austin area, this is not something we typically do. What you might want to do is cut the run time for the equipment from eight hours to six hours and if you don’t have a freeze guard, change your equipment to run at night instead of during the day.

Another good tip to keep in mind is that algae and certain pool bacterias will not grow once the temperature of the water gets to about 50 degrees fahrenheit. Which is the perfect time to STOP using chlorine tablets. Tabs contain stabilizer, and even though pools require between 60 to 80 parts per million, this chemical builds up through the long swim season and could lead to your pool becoming overstabilized. So, be proactive and discontinue their use. Instead, dilute the stabilizer in the water by either backwashing the filter heavily or simply wasting water out of the pool and refilling the pool. The fresh water will dilute the remaining stabilizer. You should only need to shock the pool once a month to oxidize environmental particulate, but remember to check ph and alkalinity every week to prevent plaster erosion and equipment damage.

The second option is to take advantage of the down time and move forward with the long overdue renovation or resurfacing of the pool. The winter off season presents the perfect combination of positives to move forward with any repairs or upgrades to your backyard getaway.

The first positive is the number of contractors in your area looking for something to do in their slow season. This will lead to lower bids for similar work during the swim season. Depending on market conditions, this can be up to a 10 to 15 percent discount.

Another “pro”, for doing work on your pool during the off season, is the quality and availability of building materials. Even the best coordinator has a difficult time getting needed materials when things are in full swing. Generally, this leads to lower quality, “bottom of the barrel,” materials that can take from the overall appearance of your project. During the off season building materials are plentiful and give you the opportunity to select the materials to be used for the best possible outcome.

The best thing about getting your pool renovated during the off season, is the efficient manner in which the project will be completed. So many times during the swim season, projects of any size can and will drag on, for what seems ever. Your contractor’s overhead will be a powerful motivator to get things done quickly. Sometimes, you will have his or her undivided attention, which is a big plus.

The swim season, in the Austin area, typically gets started around mid-March/early April, which gives you about two months to take advantage of the many benefits of “off season” pool renovation. Most pool replasters can be completed from drain to swim within one working week.

Reliable pool care has 20 plus years of experience with pool renovations and is ready to answer any questions you might have.

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