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Thread: Winter Observations

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    Winter Observations

    This was my first winter owning a pool. The original owners did not close the pool during winter and after seeing the cost of the safety covers, I decided to try this route also. I found that very little was needed as far as keeping chemicals balanced, 6 cups of bleach once a week at the most. All the others parameters did not vary, no adjustments needed. The biggest pain was cleaning out the leaves and worrying when we had the polar blast that had temps below zero for couple days. This was not the time I wanted my “could die any day” pump to go out. Fortunately it did not.

    The things that had me most concerned was the pool deck rising and the coping chipping. When we had several days of very cold weather…in the teens and below…I noticed that the pool decking would rise anywhere frome ˝” to 1” above the pool. It settled back into place when temps warmed. This happened three times overs the winter. I assume the culprit is wet soil under the decking that is freezing and lifting the concrete patio.

    Is this normal? Do I need to try to take measures to prevent this from happening next year. We are having pool replastered in March and the caulking will be redone if that may be one source of water. The patio does have a few cracks, what concrete doesn’t.

    The coping has chipped a lot over the winter. I would estimate 20-30 chunks of coping are in the pool right now along with some smaller chips. I assume this is a freezing issue as well.

    The coping and tile will be replaced during the re-plaster job. What measures should I take to prevent this same damage next winter? The pool is 13 years old. When we moved in this summer, I noticed some chipped coping but not to the extent of this year. So this type of damage has only started the past couple winters. Is this an age thing or could I have done something wrong.

    I had my pool at SLAM levels for over a week prior to the real turn in cold temps last October. I battled algae over summer and I wanted to make sure I went into the winter with a clean pool. I’m extremely confident that my SLAM was successful. My CYA level was between 50-60 ppm through the winter and my FC never went below 5 ppm, and yes I use the TF-100 test kit. After returning from a 5 day vacation in November, I saw black specks all over the pool floor. Would this be dead algae? I wondered if it was soil that could have blown in due to high winds. Also while gone, we had someone treat our grass and wondered if carryover from them. I’m also seeing “dirt” settle out on the steps outs. Could this be algae or does my lower filtering time allow particles to settle.

    Attached are some pics of the things I've described

    I have not enjoyed having an open pool over the winter, I may pay the $3000 for a cover next year
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    20K IG gunite
    TR-60 Sand Filter, 1HP Pentair single speed pump
    Memphis TN

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Winter Observations

    I will address a few of these items...
    Quote Originally Posted by curlytop09 View Post
    When we had several days of very cold weather…in the teens and below…I noticed that the pool decking would rise anywhere frome ˝” to 1” above the pool. It settled back into place when temps warmed. This happened three times overs the winter. I assume the culprit is wet soil under the decking that is freezing and lifting the concrete patio. Is this normal?
    I have similar patio/coping as you, but I did not experience the patio rising that you did. We have had similarly cold temps this winter, though not quite as extreme as you have apparently had. Could be that your soil is different than ours and/or there may be water seeping into/around the patio due to insufficient caulking on the pool tiles and coping. The strip of mastic between the coping and patio looks like it has several gaps which would allow water to seep in. Hopefully, that will be part of your replaster/re-caulking job.

    The coping has chipped a lot over the winter. I would estimate 20-30 chunks of coping are in the pool right now along with some smaller chips. I assume this is a freezing issue as well.
    Cold but dry coping should not chip on its own. It's possible that it may be a freeze issue if water is somehow getting in or around the coping. A more likely cause would be shoveling or "chipping" out any ice on the surface...if that applies in your situation.

    After returning from a 5 day vacation in November, I saw black specks all over the pool floor. Would this be dead algae? I wondered if it was soil that could have blown in due to high winds. Also while gone, we had someone treat our grass and wondered if carryover from them. I’m also seeing “dirt” settle out on the steps outs. Could this be algae or does my lower filtering time allow particles to settle.
    Given that your chlorine usage has been stable, I'll bet that the black specs are soil blown in from high winds. I get that as well and it definitely correlates with windy days.
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    Re: Winter Observations

    Thanks for the reply.

    The mastic is definitely in poor shape and will be replaced. I'm not sure if it was damaged when the patio lifted during the cold snap or was already in bad shape. I did not pay attention when weather was warm. I have asked one neighbor and they had same issue. Another neighbor behind me has a pool, newer though, but I never see them to ask.

    In general, is the mastic/caulking around the pool perimeter something that has to be redone ever so often as part of pool upkeep?

    Here in Memphis, there was not need to shovel snow or chip away ice. The chipping must be from water getting around the coping and freezing. Hoping that the fixes in March will eliminate this but need to know how to keep fixed long term.
    20K IG gunite
    TR-60 Sand Filter, 1HP Pentair single speed pump
    Memphis TN

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