This time of year many pools are in hibernation, covered and closed for the winter. But that doesn’t mean out of sight, out of mind. Proper pool cover maintenance during the off season will help keep your family and pool safe, prolong the life of your cover, and also make it easier to open your pool once spring has sprung. We’ve put together a few tips for properly caring for your winter cover.
Keep It Clear of Leaves and Debris
Your safety cover will keep leaves and twigs out of your pool, but you need to keep the junk off of your cover. Use a a leaf blower, a leaf net, or a soft-bristle pool brush to clear your cover of any debris. Those little twigs can poke holes in your cover. If this happens you need to patch in holes before the grow or risk replacing your cover early. Also make sure to remove any debris from under and around the straps and springs anchoring your cover. If you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall during the winter, you don’t have to remove snow from the cover. A good safety cover can accommodate more than a foot of snow, and using a snow shovel or similar tool could damage the cover. Definitely do not try to melt snow either.
Solid safety covers are held in place by springs and straps that attach to the deck around the pool. All the springs are supposed be under the same amount of tension, approximately, and about halfway expanded. You’ll want to check these straps periodically throughout the off season and make adjustments if anything gets loose. And periodically check to make sure no gaps have opened up that might let a small living thing fall into the pool.
Maintain Proper Water Level
The water level in your pool needs to be just right to ensure your cover works appropriately. Believe it or not, the water under the cover actually helps support the cover if there is snow on it. So you don’t want the water level too low or you could damage your cover. Conversely, you don’t want the water to touch the cover under normal conditions. If there is too much water in your pool it will create a wet spot where leaves and twigs might accumulate. If your water level does get too high, a small cover pump can remove the excess or you can use a garden hose to siphon off the extra water.
Mark Your Cover
This is especially important if you live in an area where you get persistent snowfall. With a good snow covering, it can be hard to tell exactly where the edge of your pool is, and you don’t want someone stumbling onto your pool cover. Use lawn stakes and twine or snow poles to mark the perimeter of your pool area. And however you choose to mark it, make sure it is visible. If your pool is in an area where you could get 8 inches of snow in a day, make sure your markers are plenty tall.
Keep up with these few chores through the winter time and you’ll have a pool that’s practically ready for swimming when the weather warms up. Taking proper care of your cover will also prolong the life of it, saving you money on costly replacements. Maintain the water level and proper spring tension, keep debris off the cover, and your cover and pool should be in good shape.