While solar pool covers are tough, resilient, and built to weather the severe Australian environment, a little time and effort put into routine care and maintenance can help your solar pool cover last longer and protect your investment.
What is a Pool Cover?
Good-quality solar pool covers are made of a thick, spherical bubble material that is both affordable to buy and free to run. Pool covers capture sunlight and converts it to heat, which is then contained in the pool area, raising the temperature by 8 degrees Celsius.
A solar pool cover (also known as a pool blanket) helps to minimise evaporation, retain heat, and keep undesired leaves and debris out of your pool. It’s built of thick, UV-stabilized spherical bubble material that’s then welded and trimmed to fit your pool’s dimensions.
How Does a Pool Cover Work?
When laid over the pool’s surface, the pool blanket forms a barrier between the pool water and the outside environment. Our warm climate in Australia may cause an uncovered household pool to lose up to 55,000 gallons per year due to evaporation. When the water in your pool evaporates, so go the costly pool chemicals and salts. Evaporation, along with water loss, is the most prominent cause of heat loss in pools, and a correctly fitting pool blanket may prevent up to 97 per cent of it.
A pool cover is a generally requested addition for most of our clients who elect to invest in their outdoor lifestyle with pool heat pumps or solar panel heaters to help store the heat produced by their pool heating system and save on power expenses.
Your solar pool cover should last 3 to 4 seasons if you take adequate care and measures, but here are eight tips to make your solar pool cover last longer:
- Avoid Using Excessive Pool Chemicals
Excessive chemicals and chlorine can prematurely age your pool cover. However, your pool cover will degrade faster than it should if the chlorine levels are too high and the water is not correctly balanced. Testing your pool’s water on a biweekly to monthly basis is recommended to keep it at its best.
If your solar pool blanket is exposed to high chemical doses for an extended length of time, the bubbles will dissolve and drop to the bottom of your pool. Therefore, keep the amounts of chlorine, acid, and other chemicals in your pool blanket between 1 and 3 parts per million to get the maximum life out of it.
Remove your blanket first if your pool requires a chemical shock treatment. Replace the blanket only after you’ve double-checked that the levels are back to where they should be. Then, when covering your pool with the blanket, make sure the bubble side is facing down.
- Keep It Clean
Debris can accumulate not just on the pool cover but also on the rails. As a result, debris in the track might cause the cover to fall out of alignment, so check your tracks for debris regularly to avoid this. A garden hose or a spray bottle can wash and clean the tracks. Before opening or shutting the pool, make sure all branches, leaves, toys, etc. – are removed.
Furthermore, if the cleaning chemicals are kept on the rails for an extended period, they may create a residue that might harm the tracks. Fortunately, all it takes is a short wash to fix it, so every few months, wipe, soft-brush, or wash the cover off to eliminate any built-up dirt and chemical residue.
- Keep The Cover Out of the Direct Sun
Pool coverings amplify the warming impact of the sun. Keep the cover out of the sun when not used to minimise sun damage and shrinking. The blanket should be stored on its roller with the storage cover attached or folded neatly in a cool, shaded location. (Keep your distance from chewing dogs!)When you take the blanket out of the pool, keep it out of direct sunlight and put it beneath the protective covering that came with it to avoid being exposed to UV rays.
- Keep Your Pool Temperature Below 34 Degrees
Water temperatures should not exceed 34 degrees Celsius if the pool blanket is covering a pool with solar heating since this will diminish the material’s lifespan.
- Make Use of Water Tubes
Winds are one of the factors that might shorten the lifespan of a pool cover, yet many pool owners overlook it. For example, strong gusts sliding beneath the pool cover can shred the fabric and drive leaves and dust not only on top of the cover but also underneath it, contaminating the pool water.
To assist the pool cover to become more sturdy against high winds, water tubes are employed to seal in the sides. They are mainly used on non-safety pool covers because safety pool covers are fastened to the pool’s sides, and the wind is usually not an issue.
- Repair The Cover if Necessary
Depending on the amount of damage, patching the pool cover is an excellent way to extend its life. Mesh pool covers are now incredibly resilient, so they will not shred or break apart right away if pierced. It should, however, be mended as soon as possible, either with DIY patching or by obtaining a mesh cover patch kit.
Solid pool covers are extremely tough, so they’re unlikely to break apart if they’re punctured. Repairing the damage with DIY patching or a solid pool cover patching kit is the best approach to deal with it if the damage is manageable.
- Ensure The Machinery is Lubricated
Lubricate all the moving components of the pool cover as needed for regular maintenance to ensure that they are in good operating order. It is commonly accomplished by spraying all moving components with a Teflon-based lubricant, which reduces wear and corrosion.
- Check Your Pool’s Water Level
Many pool owners are unaware that the water level in their pool can impact the performance and longevity of their pool cover. Please check your swimming pool’s water level, then add or subtract water as needed until it reaches the right level. If the water level is too low, there won’t be enough water beneath it to maintain it. The track and the cloth may be harmed, so maintain a water level halfway up the skimmer line.
Be Aware of Poor-Quality Solar Pool Cover Scams!
Pool covers must be properly installed to cover both the span and breadth of your pool for the greatest results. In addition, your solar pool must be properly installed to cover both the span and width of your pool for the greatest effects.
Cheap pool blankets from China have flooded the Australian market. A reputable solar pol cover provider who also typically sells pool heat pump, on the other hand, should be Australian-made and will not come apart after six months. Instead, they’ve been designed to withstand our challenging climate, weather, and pool conditions.