posted on October 01, 2014 16:06
Although there’s still a few weeks left to enjoy your pool--kids coming home from a hot classroom love the chance to cool off before they tackle their homework—it won’t be too long before it’s time to close your pool for the winter. When that time comes, do yourself a favor and choose a cover that will keep it well-protected.
You have several options for pool covers. A tarp is the least expensive but also the most problematic choice for covering your pool. Before you place a tarp cover, you’ll need to drain out enough water to take it below the skimmers—about eight inches. Over time, the tarp cover will sag under the weight of water and debris, so unless you’re diligent about cleaning it out, you could face several inches of winter sludge (dirty water, leaves, branches and who knows what else) to remove come spring.
Unfortunately, when you neglect to clean a tarp cover you run a greater risk of it tearing and letting dirty sludge into your pool. In addition, since tarps aren’t very strong, if a tree branch falls it may well cut a hole, also letting the water and debris into your pool. It could take days—and put a strain on your pumps and filters—to clean up the aftereffects of that kind of leakage.
Tarp covers can also pose a danger to a child or an animal. If they fall into the tarp, there’s a chance that they’ll become trapped in the water that accumulates in the tarp or in the pool itself if they break through.
A safety mesh or a solid safety cover is usually a better choice for your pool and for your peace of mind. Unlike the tarp, which is held down by water tubes, a safety cover is stretched taut and then attached to the deck surrounding the pool with metal springs and grommets. It’s almost like a trampoline placed over your pool, so when something hits the cover it’s less likely to tear or break.
In addition, a stretched-tight, solid safety cover doesn’t sag as much and so collects less water—probably only an inch or two. That means less cover cleanup over the course of the winter and during spring opening.
A mesh safety cover—the cover that our Service Manager, Mark Weldy, likes best—will actually allow the water to filter through. Before you put the cover on, you simply drain the pool down about 18 inches – the amount of rainfall we generally receive in this region during non-pool season. During the off season, the rains and snow melts of winter actually fill the pool, so that you’re close to the optimum water levels when it’s time for spring opening. (If we get back-to-back blizzards or more rain than expected, you may have to drain a little water out of the pool, but it’s a lot easier than cleaning out sludge.)
No one likes to think about the end of swim season. But planning ahead to protect your pool during the winter months is the best way to ensure that you won’t waste a lot of time when the temperatures do rise once again. Stop by Buddy’s and we’ll be glad to help you decide on the cover that’s right for you pool.