Having a pool cover is essential for keeping your pool clean and safe. But how tight should it be? It depends on the type of cover you have. Mesh covers should be almost “taut” like a drum, while solid covers should be kept a little less tight in the area of the pump or drain strip. Safety covers should be tight to the drum, with only a slight deviation in the center. If the cover is too loose, leaves can blow easily and create a mess. If it's too tight, it can be difficult to remove in spring and put strain on the cover due to snow build-up.
When measuring for a pool cover, make sure it is 3 feet wide so that you can properly anchor it. Most covers have an overlap of between 9 and 18 inches, and springs and straps will take up another 17 inches of space from the edge of the cover. To adjust the tension, remove the spring from the anchor using an assembly tool and adjust the length of the strap with the D-ring or buckle before reinstalling the anchor.
For mesh covers, springs should be compressed by 50%, while solid covers should be compressed between 65% and 75%. If you're looking for a more aesthetically pleasing option, trays with lids that accommodate stone, concrete or other materials are available to match your roof. This makes the covered vault almost undetectable.
It's important to keep your pool water level at or just below the skimmer when using a cover. Open your pool early to avoid green water caused by strong sunlight and high temperatures. Pool covers can keep debris out of your pool so you don't have to spend time cleaning it every year.
For freeform covers, measuring is a bit complex and may require professional help. With mesh versions of winter safety covers, water will pass through but snow and ice will still load the cover significantly. Monitor your water level in case of leaks, as lowering it can put strain on any cover system.
Check your cover periodically during winter and remove debris with a pool leaf net, vacuum bar or broom. With proper installation and maintenance, your pool cover will keep your pool clean and safe for years to come.