Pool Freeze Damage
That pool water that in the Summer is so refreshing and relaxing can also be the same pool water that destroys your pool in the Winter. In the Northeast, Ice and the damage from it is all too familiar here. Protecting your investment should always be a priority in the NJ area in the Winter.
Pool leaks during the swim season are a nuisance and may be destructive, however in the Winter months there are even more detrimental. If the proper water level cannot be maintained thus supporting the ice above it, a pool which has a leak may be damaged from the ice that has formed. It is normal during the Winter here in New Jersey for large sheets of ice to form either above or under your pool cover. The ice formed underneath the cover is unavoidable, however the water or snow that has formed on top of the cover can cause large ice sheets but may be lessened by regular water and snow removal. If at any time the water beneath this ice accumulation on top of the cover has drained, there will be no support for the ice. Either of these situations if allowed to go unattended or unnoticed, will allow the ice to settle where the gravity takes it and guess what stands in the way? Your pool liner and pool walls.
An Aboveground pool is easily damaged beyond repair from an ice sheet. Frozen rain/snow melt that sits on top of the cover can bring the cover down with its weight. This could also cause extensive damage to the structure of the pool’s frame. At any time while the pool is covered, if your cover seems to be sinking into the pool or if there is undue stress being put on the cover, it is recommended to release the cover into the pool. By releasing the cover, the tension and stress will be removed thus hopefully eliminating a collapse. If during the swim season at any time you think there may be a leak in your pool, have the pool checked for leaks and repaired as soon as possible.
Ice that has formed under the cover can also damage the pool by expanding to the point where the pool walls are pushed outward. This also will cause structural damage to the pool frame. Having an Air Pillow will help to prevent this by not allowing the water to freeze straight across the cover as well as absorbing the expansion. Each year make sure you have an Air Pillow and that it is in good condition. It is recommended to have a spare on hand in case of failure.
If water enters the skimmer over the Winter, this an easily crack and break. Usually water levels are lowered when closing the pool to just below the skimmer. For added protection, I have clients whom also use a Skimmer Closure. A skimmer closure or skimmer guard is very similar to a tupperware container lid that seals the skimmer. Another useful skimmer guard is known as a Gizmo. A Gizmo absorbs expansion of ice that may have formed in the skimmer.
In New Jersey, it is a very good possibility that freeze damage could occur to your Aboveground Pool and I recommend being over-prepared. It is better to plan for what might occur than to be completely unprepared when it does occur. If it were me, and I was asked to spend $40 – $60 to protect my pool or have it structurally damaged, I would spend the money as it is less costly than replacing the pool. I think the choice is easily decided.