It’s not always easy to admit that the swimming season is coming to an end. But no matter how hard you try to deny it “Winter is Coming”.  Dropping temperatures,  changing leaves and the kids going back to school all are signs the end is near.

But how can you be sure that it’s the right time to close your backyard swimming pool? You don’t want to have any pool equipment damaged by cold weather – but you also don’t want to miss the chance the squeeze the last drops out of summer.

A boy stands on a winter pool cover on top of a backyard swimming pool during the autumn, after the pool has been closed for winter.Closing your Pool too early

If the rest of your summer is fully booked, you might be tempted to simply close your pool a bit earlier and be done with it.

However, closing your pool while it is still under the heat of summer could lead to aggressive algae growth. When you go to open your pool again in the summer, you might find a very unpleasant mess to deal with before you can dive in. Summer can sometimes give an unexpected scorcher of a day, so pay attention to the forecast to avoid closing too early.

In a similar manner, you will want to make sure you deal with all ongoing issues before winter. Working with a local pool business to balance and shock your water before winterizing and closing your pool can ensure that everything is ready for the long hibernation. Choosing instead to ignore algae or other issues with the equipment will result in even more work in the spring.

Relying on a bit of experience is incredibly helpful, especially if you are a relatively new pool owner.

The rule to keep in mind

As a general rule, you should plan on closing your pool around the Thanksgiving weekend in early October – but keep an eye on the forecast since weather patterns vary from year to year.

If you find that you are constantly running the pool heater to keep the temperature at an acceptable level, that’s a sign that it is time to close the pool.

Also, you want to make sure that you cover and close your pool before leaves and needles start dropping from the trees. If you wait until after the wind begins to pick up, you’ll spend a lot of hours on your patio with a skimmer, digging leaves out of your pool.

If you want to be ambitious and clean the pool regularly, you can wait until most the leaves have fallen and then close the pool. This will mean less work in the spring and less of a mess under the cover when you open in the spring.

Autumn leaves littering an in-ground swimming pool with the skimmer basket emptied on the patio

Check with the experts

In case you haven’t noticed, weather can be quite unpredictable. Rather than waiting until the damage is done, your best bet is to pick up the phone and give your local pool contractor a call. They can give you the rundown of when to close your pool, and can even give you a hand with it so that everything is in tip-top shape when summer rolls around again!