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Leaf Covers and Nets

Changing Fall Colors

October is a beautiful time of year. Trees are showing about every color in the rainbow and a drive through the country can be quite enjoyable. Yes, everyone loves the annual fall kaleidoscope of color. Unfortunately, those colorful leaves ultimately drop from the trees, and for pool owners, they make a mess. At best, they are a nuisance to pools not yet winterized. At their worst, they will leach their fluids and stain the liner or surface. However, most pools are now closed and covered, so they’re no big deal—right? 

Wrong. Even if your pool is winterized, leaves that lay on the winter cover are a disaster just waiting to happen. Firstly, they need to be skimmed off when weather permits. That’s extra work during the coldest time of the year. Secondly, they clog cover pumps, making it difficult to keep water at a proper level on top of the cover. Thirdly, they eventually rot, turning the top of your winter cover into a compost dump. Lastly, springtime cover removal becomes a roll of the dice. Murphy’s Law number one comes into play. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. In short, when removing the cover, there’s a distinct possibility that all that gunk will end up in the pool. That will result in a painfully slow and potentially expensive spring cleanup.

Leaf Covers Reduce the Risks.

Picture your tree-covered lawn, then imagine you had a net strung across your yard. The leaves fall, then are trapped on the net. You simply pull them to the curb and dump them there. Leaves gone—piece of cake. Repeat as necessary. A pool leaf cover works the same way. Collect…peal cover…dispose leaves

Importantly, let’s get one thing straight: Leaf covers collect fallen leaves but are not designed to work by themselves. In other words, they do not go on pools that have not been covered for the winter. They are a woven nylon mesh net, sized for your pool, and go on top of your winter cover. For above ground pools, they come with their own cable and cinch and are installed identically as winter covers. The same is true for traditional winter covers on inground pools. Just put the leaf cover on top of the winter cover and use existing water tubes or holdem’ downs. Now, when the leaves fall, they are trapped on the leaf net. You’re on your way to a much easier spring. Collect…peal cover…dispose leaves.

The Secret to an Easy Pool Reopening.

Emptying leaf covers
Leaf Cover

Once the leaf cover is on, empty it frequently. It’s easy, but I recommend a helper. Two people can easily peel it back and remove accumulated leaves. With water draining away to the winter cover, the leaf cover is easy to remove. I would recommend doing this several times during the falling leaf season. If you wait to get all the leaves at once, some will have already started to decompose. They can get quite heavy, too, risking damage to your leaf cover.  Don’t get greedy. Leaf cover removal and replacement is a five-to-ten-minute process. 

The Leaves Have All Fallen. Now What?

Don’t leave the leaf cover on all winter. With the leaves gone for the season, there is no reason to leave it on the pool. Simply remove the leaf cover on a nice, sunny day. If possible, hose it off. If it is too cold, just let it dry. Once done, fold it and put it in a plastic storage container, securing it for use again next fall. Storing it in a container keeps little critters from chewing it up. Some leaf covers are composed of thinly woven strands that last one or two years if you are lucky. Call it planned obsolescence. Quality leaf covers sold by Eastgate Pools & Spas are strong and durable, and if used properly, will last for many years. 

In Summary.

A leaf cover is an inexpensive tool designed to make your spring pool opening a pleasant experience. Avoid dumping a glob of rotting organic matter in your pool. A leaf cover can pay for itself in reduced opening clean-up/rescue chemicals. But possibly, the greatest savings might be in keeping your sanity in the spring.

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Written by Max