Serving Central Texas
09 Jan 2018

How to Winterize Your Outdoor Kitchen

Winter doesn’t mean the end of backyard parties, but it does mean you might have fewer of them. Protecting elements of your outdoor kitchen during the coldest part of the year, whether you plan on waiting until spring to use it again or there might just be a longer break between outdoor get-togethers, can help protect your investment from damage and keep everything in good repair for the next time you use it. Here are a few tips to keep everything in top condition:

How to Winterize Your Outdoor Kitchen

  • Don’t cover or seal everything. While covering the countertops and the more fragile feature can protect them from the occasional ice storm, you don’t want to cover anything that has moisture. Refrigerators, ice makers, and sink faucets should not be covered: they can collect moisture that leads to mold and mildew if there is no way for the excess water to dissipate. Make sure you have a dedicated storage space to the covers that came with your kitchen and contact the manufacturer before covering anything that didn’t come with weather protection.
  • Instead, winterize your machines. Make sure the water and power to your outdoor refrigerator and ice maker are off so water doesn’t freeze and expand in their pipes and near the machinery. Then be sure both are completely empty and give them one last cleaning until the spring.
  • Scrub the grill and stove top. If you know New Year’s Eve was the last outdoor party you’re likely to have for a while, make sure to de-grease the grill and turn off the gas.

Using your outdoor kitchen isn’t a summer-only way to have fun, but getting your kitchen ready for winter if you expect to not use it can save you time and effort in the spring. Winter can also be the perfect time to add features and build up your outdoor kitchen. Contact Varsity Pools here for more information.

14 Dec 2017

Three Ways to Maintain Your Pool in Winter

It’s winter, and while that doesn’t mean months of snowfall or sub-freezing temperatures in this part of the country, it does mean your family’s pool has a lighter use. Now is the perfect time to schedule some winter maintenance so your pool will be clean, safe, and ready for swimming once spring rolls around. Here are three pool maintenance tips to keep your pool in great shape:

Three Ways to Maintain Your Pool in Winter

  1. Drain your pipes and motorized elements. Any water left in your pipes, pool heater, pump, or filter can freeze and expand. That expansion can lead to cracks in the pipes or can even break tabs and hoses in the motorized parts. Check them over before the first major freeze to make sure they’re free of water. Even if you don’t drain your pool completely, also make sure to drain it below the edge of the skimmer.
  2. Keep the water clean with algaecide. Texas doesn’t stay below freezing for long, and the mild winters mean algae and bacteria have an easy time growing in your pool if it’s not cleaned at the end of the swimming season. Add an algaecide product to your pool and run the pump for 24 hours right before you shut down the system for winter. This will get rid of algae currently in the system to minimize growth throughout winter.
  3. Regularly clear off debris from your pool cover. Once your pool is closed for winter, the cover is bound to collect leaves and debris, even if it doesn’t build up with ice. Keep it clean so you can monitor it for cracks, pests, and damage.

Winter pool maintenance is all about prevention. Taking a few simple steps now like adding algaecide and keeping nature at bay can make starting your pool up in the spring much easier and faster. Visit Varsity Pools here for more tips.