Sunset Pools and Spas

How to Winterize a Pool

“Sunset” Your Pool for The Winter Season

It is unfortunate, but outdoor pools are not able to stay open all year long. With the cold weather months now upon us, it is time for owners and operators of outdoor, inground pools to start thinking about the process of “winterizing” their pool.

How Do You Winterize a Pool?

As the summer comes to a close in Chicago, outdoor pools need to close up until the start of the spring season. Winterizing your pool in northern climates is an important step in making sure the pool can be used when the spring finally, and in all its glorious, fun-loving fashion, comes back around.

Let the following serve as a basic checklist as you start the process of closing or winterizing their pool for the cold weather months:

  1. The first step that outdoor pool owners should take is to test their water. After a long summer of use, a pool’s chemistry could be out of balance. The chemicals to check and “balance” for those preparing to winterize a pool include pH and total alkalinity. Ideally, pH levels should be adjusted to 7.2-7.4 (check with your pool installer for a specific pH level for your own pool).
    While many pool kits offer basic water testing capabilities, keep in mind that there is usually no replacement for a full test. Check with Sunset Pools & Spas for more information on water testing and other pool maintenance services.
  2. Before closing down a pool for the winter, it is important to make sure that it is cleaned thoroughly one last time. That means removing any debris (leaves, sticks, rocks, etc.) from filters, brushing the sides and vacuuming out any floating debris. This makes sure that filters remain clear and no unsightly stains remain as the pool is closed up for the winter as that is certainly not something you want to see or experience in the spring. The process of winterizing a pool also provides the perfect opportunity to check for leaks
  3. Don’t put away the chlorine just yet! It is recommended that pools being winterized go through “shocking”, the process of adding chlorine (or non-chlorine) chemicals in order to raise the “free chlorine” levels to a point where contaminants such as algae, combined chlorine (also known as chloramines) and bacteria are destroyed. While best to check with your pool installer, most winter pool chemical kits recommend a chlorine level of between 2-3 ppm.
    Chlorine is not the only chemical, of course, that should be added to a pool before winterization processes are complete. Pool owners and operators should also consider the addition of other winterizing chemicals including algaecide.
  4. One of the final steps to is to remove any objects that are used in or around the pool including ladders or pool lights, and make sure to plug the return jet too. Doing so will ensure damage will not occur when the cold winter months result could potentially result in water freezing. Those prepping their pool for the winter months may also want to consider repairing pool equipment, preparing their plumbing lines and winterizing their filtration equipment. 
  5. Installing the winter pool cover is the last step of a good winterization process. Make sure that the cover is centered and that the cover is secured tightly. Custom pool covers offer better protection that one size fits all options, so check with your pool builder to learn about the best pool cover options available for you.

While a lot of work goes into a Chicago pool opening and pool closing service, Sunset Pools & Spas has a professional, trained and courteous staff on hand to manage both winterizing outdoor pools and preparing them for springtime and summertime fun too. Get in touch with Sunset Pools & Spas today to schedule a consultation.

How To Winterize a Pool Infographic 

Remodeling Your Swimming Pool: Helpful Tips from the Pros

There are several ways that pool owners can approach the business of remodeling their pools, and not all of them result from just wanting something more aesthetically pleasing. Any pool can incur damages over time, whether that be from years of use or years of exposure to the elements. Sometimes, people are interested in adding more modern technological features to their pool spaces, and other times it could simply be a matter of safety.

Whatever the reason, there a few ways to approach a remodel that can improve the looks and the functionality of your pool. The following swimming pool remodeling ideas from Sunset Pools & Spas could help with both:

Change the Tile at the Waterline

One of the most obvious benefits to using tile at the waterline in the first place is that it masks the grime that typically marks the water level, regardless of how clean you keep your pool. Over time, those marks can show up quite clearly, so one feature worth adding during a remodel would be new tiles to spruce up the look and longevity of the pool by hiding that waterline.

Consider Resurfacing

If your budget can provide for it, there comes a time when every pool needs a resurfacing or re-plastering. If the surface of a pool has worn down unevenly or lost its grip, adding one of the newer aggregate finishes could bolster the overall aesthetic and safety of the pool, especially if you opt for certain colors in the aggregate. Quartz and stones can even be added for an even higher-end look.

Be More Energy-Efficient

If you’re investing in a remodel anyway, consider doing so with new energy-efficient parts and materials to use less energy and perhaps lower your monthly electric bill. For example, there are several solar-powered features available at Sunset Pools & Spas, as well as variable-speed pool pumps that could even earn you a rebate from your utility company.

Switch to LED Lights

Whether your pool currently features lights or not, adding LED lighting in the remodel can completely alter the mood of a space without having to spend a whole lot of money. These lights come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, and some can even be controlled by a smartphone app. For an easy boost to the ambiance of a pool, LED lights are about as quick and easy as it gets.

Go Automated

LED lighting isn’t the only pool feature that can be controlled by smartphones. There are systems that also can connect to the pump, pool heater, and actuators that can allow some pools to switch from a pool to a spa with just a tap of an app.

If you’re interested in undergoing a swimming pool remodel sometime soon, we would love to help here at Sunset Pools & Spas. Stop in any time and a swimming pool remodeling contractor will walk you through your options and help you price out the best remodel options for you and your family. Before you know it, your old pool will look and function like new.


Everything You Need to Know About Putting a Small Pool in a Small Space

All homeowners deserve a great pool, but there’s no question that some homes are more conducive for big, lavish pools than others. However, that doesn’t mean that homes with small yards and small decks spaces can’t find room for a pool. Here at Sunset Pools & Spas, we have installed several small pools in all sorts of diverse spaces, so if the size of your yard is a concern, don’t give up. There may be a perfect pool for you yet!

Consider the Proportions of Your Space

Even if you have only small spaces in the rear of your property, a small backyard pool still can look great if you don’t order a pool that’s too big for the space. We’ve had customers try to fit too much pool into too little yard, and the results were not the most aesthetically pleasing. You want the pool to look like it belongs in the space, so make sure you and your contractor design one that fits your yard.

Be Aware of Property Boundaries

Beyond the proportions of the yard, it’s important to know where the actual boundaries of your property are so you can position the pool in the correct area of your yard. Your city or town may have zoning rules about how far away a structure needs to be from the property line, so be aware of what those are to be sure the pool you want fits in the space you’ve got designated.

Keep It Simple

One of the things about small spaces is that it’s surprisingly easy to go overboard. When designing a small backyard pool, try to keep the design simple so you can make the most of your space without the hole thing look too crowded.

Pools That Work Well in Small Spaces

There are certain pool designs that work especially well in small spaces, including the following:

Plunge Pool

These are deeper pools that are about as cost-effective as a small inground pool can get. They are small but deep, which means they aren’t built for swimming laps as much as they are built for relaxation. They require fewer materials and are easier to maintain and heat, which makes them more affordable even beyond the installation costs.

Elongated Pool

Maybe you can’t fit what would be considered a “traditional-sized” pool in your backyard, but you could consider building a longer, thinner pool to better fit your space. These are great for narrower yards and are long enough to do some actual swimming rather than just relaxing.

Freeform Pool

Of course, there really are no limits to the shapes pools can take, and a freeform pool would allow you to cobble together essentially any size pool to fit odd or oblong spaces. Even if you have plenty of space with which to work, sometimes an odd-shaped pool can look really nice and give you a unique pool to enjoy no matter the size of the space.

If you have any questions or want some help planning a pool for your small space, give us a call here at Sunset Pools & Spas so we can begin the process of getting your perfect pool built!