If you have an inground pool, chances are you don’t think a whole lot about it during the winter months, once you’ve winterized your pool and closed it up for the season. But that might be a mistake, especially if Old Man Winter dumps a substantial amount of snow in one storm. You want to know how to clear snow off your inground pool cover.
Maryland winters can be unpredictable, with not much snow one year, and several feet of snow the next. So, like the Boy Scouts, it’s always best to be prepared. Knowledge is power, as they say.
How to Clear Snow Off Your Inground Pool Cover – Under 2 Feet of Snow
If a storm or series of storms brings under 2 feet of snow, you probably don’t have to worry about clearing the snow off your sturdy winter pool cover or safety cover, because they are designed to hold that kind of weight. But that’s as long as the water level doesn’t drop too low. Yes, you should keep water in your inground pool over the winter. Your pool care company will drain a certain amount and will chemically balance the water as part of winterizing your inground pool.
Winter pool covers need the support of the water, and if the water drains out, the solid covers can tear or cave in, and safety cover straps and springs can fail, under a heavy snow load. Your winter water level should be about 3-6″ below the skimmer opening. You’ll want to monitor the level. If you know your pool has a slow leak, or you discover that it has a leak during the winter, you may need to add water throughout the winter to keep the level 3”-12” below the skimmer level. Any lower than that and the cover could collapse.
Mesh pool covers (safety covers) will look like they are going to break under the strain of snow, and the cover will actually freeze to the water surface. This can look unsettling. But don’t worry, because your cover will bounce back up to the original taut shape when the temperatures rise. Don’t try to speed up the thawing process, and don’t try to break the cover free from the ice. Whatever you do, don’t use a metal snow shovel on the cover–it could tear it.
Solid winter pool covers will hold the snow melt as the thaw begins. You need to be ready with your cover pump once the melting starts. 10″ of snow translates to about 1″ of water when it melts. Any more than an inch of water on your cover can cause stress, and potentially damage the cover.
How to Clear Snow Off Your Inground Pool Cover – More Than 2 Feet of Snow
If we get more than two feet of snow, you may want to take action. After you’ve cleared your driveway and sidewalks start clearing the snow a foot or two from around the pool’s edge. Be careful to not get close to the pool or pool edge. Don’t worry about the pool cover itself, but clear the deck around the pool to allow snow melt to drain away from the pool cover.
How to Clear Snow Off Your Inground Pool Cover – More Than 3 Feet of Snow
Well, work is probably cancelled, so you will want to help your pool out after you have cleared your driveway and sidewalks. But no snow blowers or metal shovels should come anywhere near your pool cover. You can easily tear your pool cover by using a metal shovel. You may clear a path around your pool with a metal shovel or snow blower to make getting to the cover an easier task.
If there is more than three feet of snow on your pool cover, here’s what to do:
- Gently remove the snow with a soft bristle push broom. Once it is off the cover, you can shovel any snow away from the pool edge. This will allow for drainage of snow melt.
- If the snow isn’t wet and heavy use a strong leaf blower and blow the snow off the pool cover.
Protect your investment by not allowing too much snow and snow melt build up on your pool cover. If your snow cover is damaged, or your pool cover pump stops working, you may need to call a professional pool services company for help.