Tips for easy snow removal and how to protect your pool cover.
If you live in an area that gets snowy winters, chances are you’ve either had to remove snow from your swimming pool cover or you are going to need to when winter hits.
You might think that your pool cover can take the weight of a bit of snow. But heavy snow building up on your pool cover could lead to damage. If it’s not dealt with, you might even need to replace it entirely.
We’ve gathered together some top tips in this article to help you to remove snow from your pool cover in the safest way.
Why You should Remove Snow from Your Pool Cover
If you have a swimming pool, you probably already know that letting snow build up on the cover is not a good idea. There are lots of reasons for this:
Snow on Above Ground Pools
The walls of an above ground pool could cave in if the weight of the snow becomes too much. This could mean expensive fixes and probably a new pool cover.
Snow on Inground Pools
The weight of snow could stretch the cover and cause it to split, even ripping it out from the sides of your pool. You might end up having to replace it if it can’t be patched adequately.
Can a Pool Cover Collapse from the Weight of Snow?
The short answer is yes. It all depends on the type of pool, what sort of cover you have and the weight of the snow.
Let’s look at different types of snow.
Dry snow is soft powdery stuff that is very lightweight. It weighs about 1 pound per square foot.
Wet snow is heavier than dry snow and likely to be much more of a problem when it comes to weighing down your pool cover. Wet snow can weigh 20 pounds per square foot.
If you think about the surface area of your pool and then the possible depth of the snow, you can see how this could be a problem, even for pool covers designed to take up to 2,000 pounds of weight. Snow gets even heavier when it is full of ice.
You could end up with 500 pounds of weight on your pool cover from just a couple of inches of snow.
So how can you stop snow from breaking your pool cover? Let’s look at the different types of pool cover first, and then we’ll move on to how to safely remove snow from a pool cover.
Winter Pool Covers
If you have a winter pool cover you’ll know that they are specifically designed to deal with rainy and snowy conditions. They will bend under the weight of the snow.
Getting your pool water level just right supports the weight of the snow-filled cover. This is usually about 3 to 6 inches below the skimmer level.
Solid Pool Covers
A solid pool cover relies on a pump for drainage. The pump works by sucking up water that collects in the middle of the cover and sending it away as wastewater.
A solid cover could safely support about 10 feet of snow – but there is always a risk in letting it get that high, and new snowfall on top could cause damage.
Mesh Pool Covers
Mesh pool covers are made from a flexible material that bends and stretches. They are designed to do this to take the weight of rain or snow. They will go back to their original shape once they have thawed out.
Every pool cover has its limitations, though. They will not stretch forever! As with the other covers we’ve talked about above, it’s vital to get the level of your pool water just right, so that it can support the weight of your cover. The water line should be 3 to 6 inches below the skimmer level.
How to Remove Snow from Your Pool Cover
There are a few different ways you can tackle this – we’ve got 5 for you below.
Make sure you don’t use a shovel or any other sharp implement to shift snow from your pool cover – this could catch and damage the cover.
For Light Snow:
- A leaf blower can quickly clear light powdery snow. You can stop snow building up by doing this as soon as it starts to snow.
- Sprinkling pool salt onto a cover will naturally melt away a light covering of snow. Don’t use rock salt that you buy for driveways, only pool salt.
For Light to Heavy Snow:
- Use a long-handled broom to sweep snow off the cover
- Buy a cover pump to take away the water produced by melted snow
- Invest in waterproof heating cables to speed up melting. These are also used on roofs to deal with heavy snow loads.
Keep Shifting that Snow
In all cases, it’s a good idea to keep using a broom or leaf blower to clear snow as it falls. This will prevent a build-up.
Clearing the snow often will also stop it from forming into ice. A thick layer of ice can take a long time to melt, while another layer of snow is quickly adding to the problem if you are dealing with a big snowstorm. So keep shifting that snow!