One of the most important tasks you have as a pool owner is winterizing your pool in the fall. Doing so properly will prevent damage during the winter and make it easier to open your pool when spring arrives. There are two primary elements to caring for your pool after the snow starts flying. The first is the actual winterization process. The second is maintenance related to your pool cover.
Caring for Your Winter Safety Cover
Follow these steps to maximize the effectiveness and the lifespan of your winter pool cover:
- Mark the cover. Create a visual indicator to mark where the edges of the pool cover are. For example, you can use stakes in the adjacent lawn connected by twine or rope. With a blanket of snow on the ground it’s easy to forget precisely where the pool edge is, and you don’t want someone or something stumbling onto the cover.
- Maintain appropriate tension on the cover. If you have a solid winter safety cover, all of the cover springs should be under roughly the same tension. They should be halfway expanded, give or take. Adjust the straps as needed during the winter months to keep the cover fairly taut. Be sure to inspect the cover periodically to ensure no gaps have developed that might allow an animal or small child to get under it.
- Maintain the proper water level in the pool. Your pool water level should not be too low, as the water must support the cover in situations where you receive a heavy snowfall. At the same time, ideally you don’t want the water to touch the underside of the cover under general conditions as that contact will create a wet spot where debris will accumulate.
- Keep the cover clean. You should gently remove leaves and twigs from the cover as needed with a leaf blower, a leaf net, or a soft-bristle pool brush. Be sure to also remove debris from around and under straps and springs.
- Patch any holes that develop promptly. Inspect the cover regularly, and if you notice a hole developing, contact a local pool professional for advise as how to best repair the issue. This will keep a small issue from becoming a big one.
- Don’t worry about snow accumulation. With normal amounts of snow, there is no need to remove it from the cover. A winter cover and straps that are in good condition can withstand some snow accumulation.
Pool Closing Questions?
As you get ready to close your pool for the winter, make sure to follow the advice of a pool professional. Contact a local independent Latham Independent Builder if you have questions.
Editor’s note: Originally published 9/2017. Updated for relevance and clarity.