Is an Automatic Pool Cover the Right Choice for Winter?

When it comes to winterizing your pool, an automatic pool cover may not be the best choice. Although you can use it all winter long, it is not specifically designed to withstand the elements, especially if you live in a snowy climate. To ensure your automatic pool cover is prepared for the colder weather, there are some simple precautions you should take before and during winter. Doing so can help extend the life of your system and pool. Remember, even a few inches of snow or water at the top of the deck can be a huge weight that can pull the cover and guides into the pool.

No matter where you live or what kind of winter you have, it's best to use a safety cover (mesh or solid) during the off-season and keep your expensive auto cover fabric and ropes rolled up securely. In northern areas, snow can melt and refreeze before you can pump it out, creating a thick layer of ice on the deck that can puncture or wear down the cover material. UV rays from the sun also degrade fabrics, even those reinforced with PVC vinyl used in automatic pool covers. Automatic pool covers are ideal for preventing children and pets from entering the pool when no one is around. However, if your season lasts 6 months but you use the car cover for 12 months, you can expect the fabric to be exposed to twice as much UV radiation each year.

Snow, ice and rain also displace the water in the pool, pushing it onto the deep wall of the dam, which can damage the tile when the water freezes at that level during the night. This also reduces the water level in the pool as the water at the top of the Cover pushes the water under the cover over the tile rack and out of the drain of the cover box. If the water level is not high enough, it can cause damage to both your caterpillars and stitched edges of your cover canvas. Sinking pressure may also cause your cover to pull on your pool walls, which could damage your top rail, fence, and pool walls. Cold temperatures are also known to degrade soft materials like automatic pool cover fabrics. It may seem difficult to have two covers - one for summer and one for winter - but in the long run it will save you money and effort.

Heavy snow can stretch and damage an automatic pool cover, but usually you don't have to worry until there are two feet of snow or more on your deck. Many pool owners opt for an automatic safety cover during pool season due to its ease of deployment, cost savings, and high safety factor when children and pets are likely to be near the pool. Then they use a solid or mesh safety cover during winter. Proper preparation of your automatic pool cover for winter can help extend its overall life and keep it running best for many more seasons. Follow these simple precautions before and during winter to help ensure your automatic pool cover is ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it.