Safety Winter Pool Cover Maintenance Tips
How to Take Care of Your Pool Safety and Automatic Cover this Winter
During the wintertime, taking care of your pool is often pushed to the back of your mind. However, taking good care of your pool during the offseason is just as important as when it is in use. This importance of care also applies to your safety pool cover.
Like proper pool closing, your pool cover will also help protect your pool all winter long, so it’s ready to use come spring.
Here’s a look at the importance of keeping an eye on your pool cover throughout the winter, along with maintenance tips for taking proper care of it once the snow starts to fall.
Importance of Having a Winter Pool Cover
A winter pool cover will help keep your pool clean and free of debris all winter long. A cover keeps out leaves, twigs, acorns, insects, animal droppings, and other contaminants that can accumulate in a pool during the offseason.
So when it’s time to open your pool in the spring, you won’t have to deal with time-consuming and often costly pool issues, such as stains, clogs, and green water filled with algae-blooms.
Risks of Improper Winter Pool Maintenance
Set it and forget it is not how to take care of a pool in winter. If you forget about your pool all winter long, there is a high risk of your pool and equipment getting damaged.
The best way to protect your pool from winter damage is to winterize your pool in fall. Winterizing your pool will also make it easier to open come spring. Along with proper pool closing, you need to take care of your pool cover throughout the winter months.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Pool Cover Throughout the Winter
Here’s how to take care of your pool in winter by taking care of the cover.
Use the Right Cover
We highly recommend using a safety mesh cover, specifically for inground pools. When using a safety mesh cover, ensure it fits your pool well so it won’t fall off or let debris in during winter. It’s also a good idea to mark the edges of the cover with stakes and rope or twine so you know where the pool is under a blanket of snow.
For best results and to ensure no mistakes are made during installation, it’s advised to contact the professionals when the time comes to install your safety mesh cover.
Clear Any Debris
Since twigs and debris can cause damage to your pool cover, keep it clean throughout the winter. Gently remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from the cover using a leaf blower, leaf net, or soft-bristle pool brush. And also remove debris from under and around the straps and springs.
It’s best to search for holes and patch them when you close your pool or when you install your safety cover for the winter. Throughout the winter, keep an eye out for holes on your pool cover. And if you notice any holes developing, use a safety cover patch to cover the holes.
Safety cover patches are available for both solid and mesh covers. And they are durable enough to prevent a hole from getting worse in the winter. Patches will also prevent debris from getting into the pool and contaminating the water.
Remove Snow When It Gets Too High
Removing snow from your pool cover isn’t necessary during small and moderate snowfalls (under 2 feet of snow) since most winter pool covers can handle the weight of snow. But if there have been plenty of heavy snowfalls, the buildup of snow can eventually weigh down the cover.
- For preventative measures, consider removing some of the snow on your safety pool cover by following these steps:
- For 3+ feet of snow, use a leaf blower if the snow is light.
- If the snow is wet and heavy, use a soft-bristle push broom to remove snow from the cover gently.
*Do not use a shovel as this will risk damaging your cover.
For automatic safety pool covers, no matter how much snow accumulates on the cover, make sure to pump snow meltwater off as soon as possible to prevent ice buildup.
Solid safety pool covers have springs and straps that attach to the pool deck. The springs on a pool cover should each be under the same tension, around halfway expanded.
So throughout the winter, adjust the straps if they loosen to keep the cover taut. And inspect the cover occasionally to make sure gaps haven’t developed. Gaps risk letting small animals, children, feet, or debris fall through.
Maintain Proper Water Level
When covering your pool for the winter, make sure the water level is filled to the normal operating level, or just a bit higher. A general rule of thumb for an ideal water level is halfway up your skimmer opening.
There should be enough water in your pool to support the cover during heavy snowfalls. Otherwise, the cover could become damaged without the water’s support underneath.
So keep an eye on the water level at the skimmer. If it drops, put a hose in the skimmer to add water. And if water starts accumulating on top of the cover, use a small cover pump to remove the excess water.
For mesh covers, use a small cover pump in your skimmer or on the top step in the shallow end to pump out and lower the water.
What to Do When Winter Is Over
Once winter is over, pump off water from the cover and clear off debris using a soft-bristle broom or a leaf blower. When the cover is clear of debris, you can slowly remove it and spread it on your lawn or deck. Hose it off and let it dry before storing it. Also make sure to skim any debris from your pool water.
If you managed to winterize your pool and take care of your pool cover all winter, then you shouldn’t encounter any unwelcome surprises in your pool when winter is over. The combination of proper pool closing and winter cover maintenance will keep your pool clean and free from damage and stains. This means less work for you in the spring and more time spend enjoying your pool in the warm weather.