Pool covers have three purposes. The first is to prevent evaporation of water and chemicals, which saves you money. The second, preventing leaves and other debris from falling into your pool. And finally, it helps maintain the warmth in your water. These three purposes can only be achieved if your pool cover is properly installed and we’re here today to ensure that your new cover is properly installed.
Preparing your pool area for pool cover installation
The first step you need to do is to clear the area around your pool so that you can lay out your pool cover around the edges of your pool without any obstacles. While this step is not really essential, we find that the convenience of not having to squeeze around pool ladders while cutting your pool cover to size is worth the effort of removing the ladders. Plus, think of it this way, you get a chance to inspect your pool ladders and rails at the same time!
Laying out the pool cover for sizing
With the pool area completely clear, start at the far end of the pool with the bubble side down and start unrolling your pool cover, tucking it down the sides of the pool as you go. Once the cover has been fully unrolled, use a pool broom to gently push the air out between the surface of the pool and the cover. Don’t worry about getting all of them, just make sure there are no large air pockets.
Marking the pool cover edges for cutting
Once all of the air has been swept out, mark your cut lines with a piece of chalk or a sharpie. We like our pool covers to have a snug fit so we usually cut it a few millimeters above the waterline so that it pushes against the side of the pool but not long enough to go over the lip or the coping of the pool.
Cutting the pool cover to size
You’ll need a sharp scissor, the sharper the better, to cut your pool cover. Simply follow the marks that you’ve made earlier, don’t forget to tuck the pool cover back into the pool every few feet. We also like to make “flaps” on our pool cover at the skimmer areas. This allows you to sweep water and debris accumulation down the line directly into your skimmers. This also allows rainwater to flow directly into your skimmers rather then pooling at the top of your covers.
Do I need a roller for my pool cover?
No, getting a cover roller is completely optional, but it is highly recommended due to the following reasons:
- Ease of rolling and unrolling your pool cover – Without a cover roller, it would take an average of 10 to 15 minutes to completely and safely roll or unroll your pool cover. With a cover roller, it’ll take around 1 to 2 minutes maximum.
- Ease of use = Frequency of use – A lot of people will use their pool covers more often if it’s easy to use. Many people will just keep their pool covers to the side or in the shed because of all the effort needed to roll and unroll their pool covers. Remember, the only time you’re getting value out of your pool cover is when it’s actually covering the pool and not staying in the shed somewhere.
- Reduces the wear and tear of your pool covers – With a pool cover roller, your pool cover goes directly from your pool and on to the rollers, no more dragging around surfaces which can cause damage to your covers. Not only that, since it’s equally rolled, there’s no danger of getting creases in your pool cover which can later turn into tears.
- It secures your pool cover in place – since the pool cover is physically attached to the rollers, it’s kept in place when it is unrolled and covering the pool.
Again, cover rollers are completely optional. You can hold down your pool cover with rocks or bricks and keep them secure without the added expense of a roller cover and you can safely roll and unroll them once you get the hang of it, just takes a little bit of elbow grease and patience.
Installing a cover roller
If you’ve purchased a cover roller then installation couldn’t be more straightforward. With your pool cover still laid out on your pool, position your roller at one end of the pool. Start with the middle point and attach the eyelet and string to the cover and the roller. Once the middle eyelet is attached, manually pull your cover off of the pool so it’s resting at the base of the roller. Space the other eyelets to the left and right of existing eyelet and attach to the cover roller with the string. Make sure that all of the string is of equal length so that the force is equally distributed when rolling up your pool cover.
Pool cover storage and care
Always remember to store your pool cover somewhere safe after rolling it up, don’t leave it exposed to the elements (and to kids wanting to jump up and down on it). Make sure there aren’t any leaves or debris on the surface of the pool cover as these can cause staining and become algae food if they rot.
If you have a pool roller, it’s also a good idea to get a UV-proof tarp to cover up your cover and roller. While this may sound strange seeing that pool covers are designed to withstand the elements, it’s worth remembering that if the cover is there on the pool in use, there’s pool water underneath the cover to cool the cover off. When rolled up, the heat from the sun has nowhere to go and it can actually “cook” or sunburn your dry cover.
While they are a significant investment upfront, pool covers pay for themselves in the long run by reducing your expenses on water and pool chemicals. The same goes for pool cover rollers, they’re a bit pricy but if they lead you to using your pool cover more often then they’re giving you the full value of your money. If you don't have a pool cover yet and you're considering getting one, then check out our Ultimate Pool Cover and Roller Guide here.
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Happy swimming :)