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5 Critical Tips for Winter Pool Cover Maintenance

So you’ve taken all the necessary steps to winterize your pool for the cold weather. You’ve disabled the pump, put the necessary chemicals in, added your air pillows, and have it securely covered.

If you winterize your pool correctly, you should have crystal clear waters when that winter cover comes off in the spring. In a perfect world, you’ll be able to take the cover off, put the necessary chemicals in, get the pump set back, and wait for it to get warm enough to swim.

Unfortunately, for many homeowners, it doesn’t work out quite like that. They take off the cover in the spring and discover murky, algae-filled waters.

Where do most homeowners go wrong? They forget to take care of their winter cover over the winter.

Yes, even if you’re not actively using the pool, you still have to provide maintenance. Regularly checking on your cover throughout your winter and making any necessary repairs will help prevent murky waters in the spring.

Here are some tips to take into consideration.

Get rid of any large debris

Throughout the winter, be prepared for leaves, dirt, and branches to fall onto your cover. While some debris is normal, you don’t want to leave large sticks and branches lying on it for too long. They weigh your cover down and could end up tearing a hole in it. Regularly walk about the perimeter of your pool and pick up any sticks.

You’ll also want to be mindful of leaving large amounts of leaves on your cover. You don’t want them freezing onto your cover. This creates stress on your cover and their sharp edges could puncture your cover. Use a pool net to scoop off any leaves.

Regularly remove built-up water

Ideally, air pillows will help prevent water from building up on your pool cover. Sometimes, though, pockets of deep water will still collect on the cover. You don’t want to leave deep water there all winter. It will get murky and freeze over, creating tension on top of your cover. That murky water will also leak into your pool when you try to remove the cover in the spring.

What you need is an affordable pump that can remove pockets of deep water. Anytime you spot large puddles of water gathering on the cover, go out and suck the water off.  You can also check out a great resource for pool pumps.

Watch out for any gaps

Most people use cable and clips to secure their pool cover. But when those winter winds are blowing, it can be really easy for those clips to loosen, which then creates a small gap. This allows debris to enter your pool. Some people have even taken their winter cover off to discover that an animal managed to get into their pool!

Throughout the winter, walk around the pool and look for any gaps. If you notice any, all you have to do is straight the cover back out and secure the cables and clips.

 Replace air pillows as needed

Air pillows are basically giant balloons that you put under your winter cover. The incline should help any water drain off of your pool. However, sometimes these air pillows pop. While you might be tempted to leave them alone until the spring, losing that incline could cause water build-up. If you don’t want to have to pump off your cover every week, replace the air pillows.

All you need to do is pull back a portion of the cover (not the whole thing). Remove the old air pillow and slip a new one in. Then, cover the pool back up.

Leave the cover on

Some people may be tempted to take the cover off if it starts looking disgusting or if they think the worst of winter is over. Do not take the cover off until you’re ready to open your pool for the summer! When you open your pool, you’re going to want to put in the chemicals and start your pump up. If you take your cover off prematurely, those chemicals won’t be circulating throughout the pool.

The only time you should remove your cover is if you need to replace an air pillow or put in more winter algaecide. Otherwise, leave it on!

Final thoughts

Maintaining your pool properly is a year-long task! If you want your pool to stay in good condition over the chilly winter months, you’re going to want to take care of that cover. Don’t risk the chance of your cover tearing—you don’t want all of that debris getting into your clean pool.

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