For anyone tired of manually covering their pool, automatic pool covers are an ideal alternative. With the flip of a switch, the vinyl unrolls by itself, so the water is shielded from the elements, leaves, and other debris. But these accessories can be fairly pricey, so when you purchase one, you want to make sure it lasts. Check out these five key tips for caring for yours so it lasts as long as possible.
It’s inevitable that leaves, debris, snow, and ice will accumulate on the vinyl when it’s stretched over the water. It’s important to clean them away as soon as possible. The extra weight can strain the vinyl, as well as the reel components that help unroll automatic pool covers. Use a telescopic brush to wipe gently away leaves, snow, and other debris. If water has accumulated on the surface, use a small pump to remove it.
The water level in a pool is key to maintaining your cover. Water should hit at approximately mid-skimmer. If it’s higher than that point, the reel components and system may be flooded. If it falls lower than mid-skimmer, the vinyl may start to sag, causing it to strain once debris accumulates.
At least two to three times a year, automatic pool covers should be cleaned to remove chemical residue that can make them degrade more quickly. Unroll the vinyl and work in small sections, using a mild dishwashing detergent and a gentle brush to scrub it clean. Rinse it off with your garden hose. If any water accumulates on the surface after you’re done, you can use a pump to remove it.
Check for Problems
In addition to keeping your cover clean, it’s important to inspect it regularly to ensure that there are no problems. Examine the motor housing and reel components to make sure they’re secure. If anything is loose, tighten it. It’s also a good idea to spray the reel components with a Teflon lubricant spray three or four times a year to ensure that it rolls smoothly. For issues with the motor or reel components that are not easily fixed, call the company that installed your cover to come for service. Check the vinyl itself for rips and tears. If you find any damage, use a patching kit from your local supply store to repair the areas.
Watch Out with Chemicals
Maintaining proper water chemistry is key if you want to keep your water clear and sparkling. That often means adding chemicals to balance out the various levels. But the chemicals that you use to treat the water can damage the cover and cause it to break down prematurely. To avoid damaging it, wait approximately two hours after adding chemicals before you unroll the vinyl.