If the autumn leaves are still covering your mesh or solid winter cover or automatic pool cover, it is best to try to remove them before the snow and ice are upon us. Remember to also remove the leaves from around the equipment to prevent corrosion.
Pro Tip: For dry leaves, try using a leaf blower to remove the leaves with ease. After you blow the leaves into a pile, remove the leaves from around the area so they don’t end up blowing back on your cover. For wet leaves, you will need to try a leaf rake designed to remove heavier debris.
We hope you are enjoying and sharing these pool tips with fellow pool owners. Please check back often for more of Tracy’s Tips on our blog.
During the cold, dark months of winter, taking care of your pool may be the last thing on your mind.
Even though swimming season is over, your pool still needs a little attention. The good news is that future problems can be prevented with some minimal maintenance over the winter season. Follow this guide and pool problems won’t plague your spring opening!
Avoid Winter Woes
Snow can wreak havoc on pool covers causing straps and springs to stretch. Excessive rainfall can raise water levels beyond the tile line causing hundreds of dollars of damage to decking, tile and coping materials, making your first spring cleaning costly and difficult. On the other hand, if the water level in your pool is too low during the winter months, your cover will not be able to support the weight of ice and snow accumulation and could cause expensive cover damage.
Pool Cover Guide
When using a mesh safety cover, we recommend keeping the water level 15-18″ below the cover. This level will rise as rainfall and snow-melt pass through the mesh.
When using a tarp cover, we recommend keeping the water level 1″ below the bottom of the skimmer, and thus the tile line. As long as the cover is in good condition, no water should pass through it. The level beneath the cover should remain constant during the off season. Periodically scoop debris off of the tarp cover and pump the water off to avoid letting a swamp grow on top of it. We recommend using a leaf net with any tarp cover to make leaf removal quick and easy. Call us to order one.
Check your safety cover regularly over the winter and remove debris as it accumulates using a pool brush or leaf blower. This is especially important for pools located in areas with many trees. If you do not remove leaves and debris from your cover, improper water drainage may occur and will put too much water weight on the cover.
Once winter and freezing temperatures come to an end, we recommend keeping the water 1-2″ above the bottom of the skimmer with mesh safety covers. This will allow you to avoid having to add water at the pool opening and create a gap between the cover and the water’s surface. This gap prevents algae growth which occurs when the cover sits in the water. The cover’s straps may need to be tightened after stretching out under the weight of ice and snow.
Make Your Life Hassle Free
Sign up today for our Winter Care Service and we’ll take care of your winter pool woes! Our Winter Care Service was designed for the busy pool owner with better things to do than worry about pool maintenance.
Prefer to do it yourself? Stop by the South Shore Pool Supply Retail Store for everything you need for winter pool maintenance and talk to our friendly staff who will be happy to answer any of your questions.
Set yourself up for a successful spring opening with these
additional off-season pool care tips from our friends at Swim University.
“Taking care of your pool doesn’t end when you put the cover on. It’s important to continue caring for your pool
during the off-season (fall, winter, and early spring) to ensure a successful and clean opening…” 10 Tips From The Pros >>
Our friends at Swim University have a ton of helpful resources for pool owners, but their advice and content does not necessarily represent those of South Shore Pool Supply. Instead, the information is intended to provide you with additional resources for optimal pool care. Please contact us directly for specific pool care advice.
If you’ve chosen an environmentally conscious lifestyle, owning a swimming pool may seem like it would be off the table. With high water and energy use alongside the addition of harsh chemicals, swimming pools do not exactly scream “green” living.
The good news? You can be an eco-friendly pool owner by making real changes to your poolside oasis that will lessen your impact on the environment. Here are a few tips and a few tricks to get you started.
1. Cover your pool
When you cover your pool you are preventing water from evaporating out of it and causing your water level to drop. Without a pool cover you are wasting water and then energy used to heat the new water you have to add back. Additionally, using a pool cover will keep the sun off your pool which may enable you to use less chemicals to maintain your water. Also, a pool cover will keep debris out of your pool which reduces the energy required to keep it clean, enabling your pump to run less frequently. If you choose a tight fitting safety cover, you will greatly decrease the risk of an accidental pet or wildlife drowning. Keeping your pool covered when not in use is a win, win, win!
2. Check for leaks
If your pool is losing water, you are throwing money down the drain. Over time, you could be losing thousands of gallons of water if a leak is not detected right away. Identify and fix your pool leaks.
3. Consider a solar pool heater
The U.S. Department of Energy states that solar pool heaters are “the most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates.” The initial purchase of solar pool heaters may seem a bit steep, but the money you will save in the future on energy costs will make up for it. Using a sustainable resource for your pool heating will reduce your ecological impact.
4. Invest in a variable speed pump
It is still up for debate whether pool heaters or pumps use more energy. Traditional pool pumps often come out on top because many pool owners don’t use pool heaters. “The Natural Resources Defense Council estimated in 2008 that pumps in the U.S. are responsible for 10 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually—the equivalent of 1.3 million cars.” – SierraClub.org. Why are variable speed pool pumps a better option? Pool owners see significant savings in energy costs when upgrading from a single-speed or dual-speed pump. It will pay for itself in 2-3 years and consume about 75% less energy.
5. Choose energy efficient products
When upgrading or replacing pool equipment, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR label and certification. These products will be the most energy-efficient options and the best for the environment as a whole. You may even be eligible for rebates and tax incentives for upgrading your equipment.
6. Light it up with LED and solar
Update your pool lighting to utilize LED and solar lighting options. There are a number of LED lighting options for inside your pool and countless solar options for your pool patio. Lose the incandescent lighting and start saving your wallet and planet immediately.
7. Plant with purpose
If you’re adding plants to your poolscape, choose drought resistant plants and shrubbery that can act as a windbreak. Blocking the wind from your pool will help prevent rapid evaporation and provide a more comfortable swimming experience. Using native species in your landscaping is recommended as it will be most suitable for the climate you live in and require less maintenance. Talk to a landscaper in your area about the best options for your property.
8. Keep it simple
If you are not willing to give up your pool but want to minimize your negative impact on the environment, skip the extras. A smaller pool without a lot of bells and whistles such as waterfalls and features, hot tubs, etc., will give you the same enjoyment without a huge expenditure of energy.
Did we miss something? Leave your eco-friendly recommendations in the comments!
When you purchase a home with a swimming pool or decide to add one to enhance your backyard and entertainment space, your first priority should be safety. Pools are SO much fun, but can also be dangerous for non-swimmers including adults, children and animals. Consider a safety cover to ease your worries in the off-season and greatly reduce the risk of an accident.
When it comes to pool covers, there are two options: solid or mesh. Let’s review both options in more detail to help you decide which makes the most sense for you and your family.
Solid Safety Covers
Solid pool covers do not let sunlight, water or debris through. This prevents algae from growing in your pool. Without algae and dirty water getting into your pool, spring opening will require less maintenance and be less of a headache.
These are usually made from a vinyl, tarpaulin-like material, making them easy to cut to the custom shape of your
specific swimming pool.
This type of cover is attached to your pool deck via anchors and springs, allowing it to support the weight of water, snow or debris that may collect on the cover.
When you are not using this cover, it can easily be folded up and stored.
Since solid pool covers do not drain, you will need a pump or drain to remove water and debris from the cover if too much accumulates. You will want to prevent a large puddle from accumulating on your solid cover as to not create another drowning hazard.
Though the cover can be folded when not in use, it is heavier than a mesh cover which can make it a little more difficult to maneuver.
Mesh pool covers are very strong and if installed and
maintained properly, can hold a lot of weight. This keeps people and animals out and away from danger.
Mesh covers are generally reasonably priced, making them the most affordable to pool owners.
Mesh covers can last around 15 years if properly maintained, so they are not only an investment in safety, but the best
option for your wallet.
Mesh covers can be custom made to fit your specific pool shape.
These covers can be folded and easily stored in the off-season, much like the solid safety covers. However, they tend to be lighter weight, making them easier to deal with.
Rain will filter through the mesh, so you will not have to pump excess water off of the top of it.
This type of cover is attached to your pool deck via anchors and springs as well, allowing it to support the weight of snow or debris that may collect on the cover. It will keep out large debris such as fallen tree limbs.
While the sunlight penetrating this cover can be an
advantage if you’re still using the pool and want it warmed, it can be a disadvantage when it comes to algae growth.
Sunlight will get through the tight mesh weave allowing for algae growth on your pool’s walls. This will leave you with more work to clean your water when you uncover in the spring.
Dirty water mixed with smaller debris will be able to seep into your pool requiring more effort to clean it when pool season rolls back around.
Since rain water and melted snow will make its way into your pool, you may need to drain some water should the water level get too high.
When deciding which cover is right for your pool, be sure to weigh the pros and cons for your specific pool and budget to determine which option is best. Regardless of which type of cover you choose, installing a safety cover is a smart decision for all pool owners.
*Note: Safety covers now come in a variety of colors to suit your personal style!