As fall is here, and your in-ground swimming pool water gets colder, it’s time to start thinking about closing your pool. One of the first items you should store for the winter is your solar cover or summer blanket. At Hawaiian Pool Builders, we want to make sure that your solar cover is properly stored away for next season with these three simple steps.
Because solar covers are smaller and lighter than full wintertime covers, they are easy to take off every day during the swimming season. However, it’s important to properly care for your cover. Simply pulling it off and tossing it in the shed for winter storage can damage it.
Cleaning your solar cover: To preserve and increase the lifespan of your solar cover, the first step is a good end-of-season cleaning. Lay it out on the driveway, or another flat surface where you have good drainage while you clean it. Give it a good hosing down, and then pour a dish soap/water mix over the top and brush the surface with a soft push broom. Please note, the water/soap mixture is very slippery. Give it a thorough rinse, and let it dry. Pressure washing your solar cover is not recommended.
Drying your solar cover: After it’s all cleaned, both sides of the cover need to be dried properly. To speed up the drying process, if you have a leaf blower, you can remove a majority of the water that way. If you put it away with any water on it, you’ll end up with mildew growing over the winter. Mildew is very difficult to remove. Not only does it smell and look bad, it weakens the material. You can dry your cover by hanging it over a clothes line. Move it around once or twice to ensure both sides are getting dried. We don’t recommend laying it on the lawn, as it may burn the grass. Another option is to put your pool cover on, and lay the solar cover over it. Just remember to flip it.
Storing your solar cover: The best way to store your solar cover is with a roller, or a solar reel. It attaches to the reel with straps, and is rolled up when the cover is not in use. Most rollers come equipped with wheels that can be used to move the roller into your garage or other storage unit to keep it out of the elements. Some covers ship in a large, white bag that can also be used for storage. You can also stand it up in a tall trash can.
With the solar cover properly stored, you can rest knowing it will be ready to go for next years’ swimming season.