Solar covers are one of the smartest investments a pool owner can make. That’s because for the (very affordable) price of what’s essentially a really big piece of bubble wrap, a pool can be kept both warm and debris-free all summer long.
Solar covers work by simply floating on the surface of the pool and transferring the sun’s rays into the water, allowing the pool to be mildly heated with no effect on your electric bill. At night, the solar cover traps whatever heat has built up during the day in the water. It does all this while keeping leaves or any other debris out.
Because solar covers are smaller and lighter than full wintertime covers, they are easy to put on and take off every day during the swimming season. It’s very important, however, to properly care for the solar cover. Simply pulling it off and throwing it in the shed every day can damage the cover and defeat its purpose. Here are a few tips that will extend the life of your solar cover and help keep your pool in tip-top shape.
1. Use a container
You should have a separate container for your solar cover, one that you keep it in each day. Too many pool owners
toss their cover aside or put it somewhere that’s out of the way but doesn’t protect the cover. Debris, insects, and damage are a threat on every lawn and in every shed, so do yourself a favor and use a large, clean rubber or plastic container. This way, there’s no chance of any dirt, debris or living things adhering to the cover and ending up in your pool. There’s also no chance of the cover getting snagged, stepped on, or otherwise damaged. In addition, make sure not to keep your solar cover together with pool chemicals such as chlorine. These chemicals can damage the cover and should be stored separately.
2. Keep it clean
There’s no need to do it daily, but every once in a while during the season, hose off the cover. Obviously, when any visible dirt or debris finds its way onto the cover, it should be removed. As the season wears on, there will be some inevitable build up. Roll and fold it neatly. It’s tempting just to jam the cover into its container (you do have a container, right?) and get right to the cannonball competition, but a few short minutes spent neatly rolling/folding the cover will extend its life and effectiveness. Roll or fold the cover neatly but loosely, so as not to pop any of the bubbles, and to lessen the chances of its getting snagged or damaged.
3. Store it properly
When the pool season ends
, take the time to put it away for the winter carefully. Lay the cover out and hose it down thoroughly. Do not use any chemical cleaners; water alone will do. Make sure that before you put it away it is completely dry. You can leave it out to dry, but ideally a leaf blower can be used to dry the cover quickly before there’s any chance of new debris finding its way onto it. Fold it up neatly (but loosely) and place it into a container with a secure lid. By following these simple steps, your solar cover will heat and protect your pool for years to come.