Pools and hot tubs: How to winterize them

Did you get to use your pool or hot tub to the max this summer? It’ll soon be time to think about closing your pool or making sure your hot tub doesn’t freeze during the winter.

While it’s certainly a chore to close a pool in the fall, neglecting to do it the right way can lead to a mess of torn covers, broken pipes and cracks in the spring.

Our harsh winters are tough on pools and hot tubs, not to mention hot tub covers, so you’ll want to look for warning signs of damage and come up with a maintenance plan before the winter sets in.


  • The pool cover: Check for signs of wear, and if in doubt, consult a professional. If the cover is too worn, it can be torn by ice or become damaged during the cycle of freezing and thawing. Be aware that even if a pool cover is included in your insurance policy, a cover that’s reached the end of its useful life may not be protected because your policy is not a maintenance plan or repair contract! So, do take preventive measures and replace any parts that are too weak or worn to be covered by your policy.
  • Around the pool: If you have an inground pool, check for any cracks that may have appeared in the cement. Again, severe weather conditions and dramatic temperature fluctuations can exacerbate the problem and cause significant damage.
  • Closing time: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid causing any damage. If you hire someone to do the work, make sure that the contractor carries civil liability insurance that will cover any damage for which they are responsible.


Hot tubs
  • Shutting the hot tub for the winter: Be sure to drain it well and proceed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. If you hire someone to do this for you, the same advice about liability insurance noted above applies!
  • Winterized hot tubs: Once again, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and when you are applying the products recommended in the maintenance guide, verify the condition of your hot tub. If you neglect to inspect your hot tub for too long and it sustains damage—which can happen if your hot tub freezes – your insurance coverage may be compromised.


With the right insurance, you’re like a fish in water. 

If inground pools and hot tubs are directly included in your home insurance, aboveground pools must be covered under a special rider that is appended to your contract.

Your insurer can provide you with valuable advice to prevent unpleasant surprises come springtime. Don’t hesitate to call them – prevention is key! After all, it’s so much better to open your pool in the spring and enjoy it than to discover it’s damaged and in need of repair.


While you’re at it, think about preparing your house for the cold season by following these helpful tips.