We dedicate much of our blog to topics about pool water and your pool itself, but there’s another part to your swimming pool that doesn’t get much “media time” — your pool cover!
That hardly seems fair for an accessory that keeps dirt, leaves, sticks, pollen and other unwanted debris out of your pool. Based on the level of protection your pool cover provides on a daily basis, it deserves a little credit and plenty of care.
So let’s talk about pool covers and find out how to do a better job of caring for them when it comes to cleaning and storing.
Automatic Pool Covers
Whether opened or closed, automatic pool covers remain attached to your pool, so storing them is not something you have to think about. However, cleaning them is still an important maintenance task. Here’s what you need to know:
- If the pool cover is dry (preferred), use a leaf blower to clear off the main part of the cover and then sweep the edges with a broom or pool brush.
- If the pool cover is wet, the easiest way to clean it is with a hose, spraying the debris to one end of the pool just as you do when using a leaf blower on a dry pool cover.
- If the pool cover has more than an inch of water on it, use a pool rake to collect the dirt, algae and other pieces of debris. Then, turn on your pool cover pumps to soak up the standing water.
- For stains, use a little hand soap and water to scrub them away.
- Annually, you should take time to:
- Clean out the box so that excess muck and grime don’t force your cover’s motor to work harder than it should.
- Spray off the tracks with a hose or spray bottle.
- Check the motor to make sure it’s properly greased and all pieces are tight.
Tarp Pool Covers
Due to their more simplistic design, tarp covers are more simple to clean than automatic covers. If you were expecting rocket science here, you’ll be disappointed. However, if you were hoping for convenience, you’ll be very pleased!
- Grab a hose and spray the tarp off.
- If you need to wipe off any stains on the tarp, use soap and water. The only tricky part of this process will be getting to the stain without climbing into the pool. If there’s a tarp stain you can’t reach, begin the process of removing the cover from your pool by folding it up. Before folding up the part of the cover with the stain, move to the other end of the pool and pull the cover toward you until you can reach the stained area. Wipe the stain, then resume folding the pool cover into approximately three-foot sections.
- To store your pool cover, lift (don’t drag) the folded pool cover out of the pool and finish folding it into smaller sections so that it fits inside the bag it belongs to. Hang the bag somewhere off the ground so that no animals climb into it. If you don’t have a bag, a storage container with a lid works just fine.
A Few General Tips:
- By keeping your pool water clean and properly balanced, your pool cover will stay cleaner.
- Open the cover at least once a week. The chlorine bi-products in your swimming pool must be allowed to evaporate into the air every so often so they don’t corrode the inside of your pool cover. Leaving your pool cover open for a few hours gives the water a chance to “breathe” and is especially important after adding chemicals or shocking your swimming pool.