Pool and spa repair businesses love the early spring. Why? Because they make tons of money? Why? Because that’s when homeowners realize that their pools and hot tubs were damaged over the winter because they did a lousy job closing them in the fall.

doughboyBroken pipes. Damaged electric. Structural damage to the pool walls and floor. These are just a few of the potential hazards of a botched winterization job — and they’re not even the worst. Failing to correctly close down a pool or spa could lead to a tragedy with pets or children.

It is possible to winterize your pool correctly, but it’s not easy. You might think it’s nothing more than following a bunch of steps on a checklist, and that’s true — the same way rebuilding a car transmission is just following steps.

In reality, it’s a major procedure that usually requires the services of an experienced professional.

Something as little as draining the water below the groundwater line could cause catastrophic damage. Forgetting to remove water from heater coils (or jet piping, in the case of a spa) could lead to major damage from expanding ice.

When the pool is shut down, it’s not an out-of-sight-out-of-mind type of thing. Winterized pools require regular inspection and maintenance. Something as little as out-of-balance pH can damage the liner.

Winter is brutal on spas and pools. Closing them properly in fall and maintaining them correctly throughout the winter makes spring opening a breeze.

It’s a lot more expensive to pay a repairman in the spring than it is to hire a pool pro to shut your pool down correctly in the fall.