Unfortunately Summer is coming to an end and your pool water is getting colder, which means its time to think about scheduling a pool closing.
If you have a solar cover, this is one of the first things that you will need to store for the winter. Making sure the solar cover (or solar blanket as it is sometimes called) is extremely important, as you would like it to last as many years as possible wouldn’t you?
Cleaning a Solar Cover
The very first step in preserving your solar cover and increasing its life span, is proper cleaning prior to storing it each year. I recommend to my clients to roll it carefully and carry to an area that will drain well usually driveways are best in our area.
After giving the cover a good hosing, using a soapy/water mix brush the cover with a soft push broom finishing by rinsing well to remove soapy residue. Caution, the cover will become very slippery during cleaning. If you wish to dry cover faster and own a leaf blower, you can blow off most of the water. If you have time or don’t own a leaf blower, air drying works just as well. The use of a pressure washer is NOT RECOMMENDED.
Drying a Solar Cover
Once you have cleaned your solar cover, it is time to dry. The cover needs to be completely dry on both sides prior to folding and storing to prevent mildew forming over the winter. Mildew is very difficult to remove and it could cause you to have to buy a new solar cover. Mildew not only reeks, but it is very unsightly as well as causing material to weaken.
A good place to dry your solar cover is a clothes line if you have one. If not laying it across a car or if you have room over a deck railing, anywhere but your grass. Drying it on the grass could cause browning out of your lawn. Remember to turn cover over to dry both sides prior to folding and storing.
Properly Folding a Solar Cover
By now your cover should be thoroughly dried on both sides, and it is ready to be stored for the Winter. Now I am going to assume that a solar reel is not in use, so that means there are 2 ways to properly fold your solar cover. You can either fold it, or roll it. If you are folding it, fold cover down the seam in the center then continue folding in same direction until the width of the cover is easy for you to manage (usually 3-4′ wide), now you would fold the entire length of cover in half, and continue until the cover is again a manageable length.
The other method of storing a solar cover is by rolling it up. If your cover is round this method is easier and avoids wrinkles better. A combination of rolling and folding the solar cover would involve folding on the seam once then rolling it up. The use of string can assist in holding cover together.
Proper Storage of Solar Cover
You will want to store your cover in an area where mice and other little critters cannot have access to it. These little creatures can do a lot of damage to a cover by nesting. Storing in a container with a secure lid is one way of protecting the cover and is highly recommended.
When storing a solar cover and reel, it will be much easier to roll up the cover onto the reel as the do tend to be quite large. You will still need to ensure that the cover is clean and free of any dirt and debris as well as fully dried. The use of a cover specifically made to protect and cover a solar cover and reel is a good idea. These covers will protect your cover and reel from harmful UV rays, snow, rain and ice over the Winter. These covers usually have drawstrings that allow cover to be pulled tightly at both ends to keep the critters out.
All in all you will want to ensure that your solar cover is clean, dry and well protected over the Winter months. I hope this blog has helped and if you have any further questions regarding your solar cover do not hesitate to contact the Pool Pros at Elite Lawn Sprinklers, Pools & Spas (732) 257-0702