Even the best pool winterization company can’t completely safeguard your pool against the perils of winter weather. One of the worst pool repair problems to discover in winter is a leaky pool. Locating the source of winter pool leaks as soon as possible and doing proper triage will save you from major pool repair headaches in the spring.
Why a Leaky Pool in Winter is a Problem
There’s never a good time to discover pool leaks, but a leaky pool during the winter is especially troublesome. A properly winterized pool can withstand the weight of snow on the pool cover, but a leaky pool will cause a drop in water level, which could send your winter cover slipping into the pool.
Vinyl-lined pools are vulnerable to other problems. If too much water leaks out of your pool, the vinyl pool liner may loosen and pull away from the pool floor. The vinyl liner may also shrivel and wrinkle during cold weather.
Pool leaks aren’t the only winter pool damage you might discover. During Maryland’s winters, frequent freezing and thawing of ground water can cause “deck heave,” which can wreak havoc on concrete decking, tile and caulking. Poor erosion control around an inground pool can also cause soil to wash into the pool as snow melts off.
Finding and Repairing Pool Leaks During Winter Months
Carefully inspect vinyl liners around your pool’s waterline, looking for small holes and tears. Look for debris that may be obscuring a hole or that could cause a ripped pool liner. You may also wish to squirt a small amount of leak testing dye to check for pool leaks. Patch any small holes in the liner and refill the pool.
Check the area around pool lights for leaks. A strong indication the leak is near your pool light is if the water level stabilizes near the pool light after you’ve filled the pool. Pool putty can help reduce leaks around underwater pool lights.
Inspect areas around the faceplates, returns, skipper and stairs for vinyl liner damage. These are areas where your pool installer may have intentionally cut the liner during the installation. Pool leaks can sometimes develop in these areas as the pool walls contract during cold weather.
What to Do If You Discover Major Pool Leaks
Winter pool leaks are no fun. If your pool loses too much water during winter, it can cost thousands of dollars to repair later. Save yourself money by checking your pool for leaks during winter and taking precautions to minimize the damage.
If you find the leak or need to wait until spring, keep an adequate pool water level by replacing lost pool water with a garden hose. Check your pool covers, keep them clear of standing water, and get ready for pool opening in the spring.