Hello, I’m Dr. Pool. Our winter pool covers are some of the strongest made, but even our best pool covers can become damaged in certain situations or conditions.
Holes in pool covers that develop during winter can be caused by:
- Branches or sticks falling on the cover
- Sharp animal claws or heavy hooves
- Cover pumps thrown onto or dragged off the cover
Not to mention – New Year’s Eve fireworks, lawnmower accidents, thrown bricks…
If your pool cover has become damaged, read on for some advice on how to make effective pool cover repairs.
Safety Pool Cover Repairs
Contrary to popular belief, mesh covers won’t unravel at the first little tear. The interlocking weave will prevent spreading in most cases. A hole in a mesh safety cover can grow slightly larger however, as the ends of the polypropylene threads fray and degrade in the sun and snow. Speaking of snow, a large amount of it, centered over a tear in a mesh safety cover, can cause a rip to grow larger. Solid safety covers, made of PVC reinforced vinyl, almost never expand, even if left un-patched.
Patching your safety pool cover is always a good idea anyway, if for nothing else, to keep sun and debris from falling in the hole. If the hole is very large; over 3″ in diameter, or more than 6″ long, a sewn patch or a panel replacement is probably in order. A temporary patch of duct tape and vinyl can get you through winter.
To send a safety pool cover in for repair at the end of the season, clean it off well and remove all of the springs. Circle any repairs needed with chalk, and roll up the cover tightly. Box it up, and call your favorite safety cover dealer (like In The Swim) for estimates on repair pricing and where to ship the cover. After your cover is received, an exact quote is created, which you can then approve.
For a less messy and easier repair, try our Loop-Loc safety cover patches. Made by 3M, they are very durable and stick permanently to your pool cover. Three colors are available, in mesh and solid safety cover versions.
Solid Pool Cover Repairs
Solid pool covers, those that float on the water, are much less rip resistant than safety pool covers. And because they float on the water, small rips can contaminate the pool water, or the pool water can flood the cover, making removal with your cover pump impossible – without pumping out the pool at the same time!
Similar to safety covers, a rip in your solid pool cover won’t begin to unravel and leave you with a pile of floating polypropylene threads. The tight weave and the impregnated layers prevent spreading in most cases.
Nonetheless, patching holes in your solid cover should be done asap, to prevent the problems described above. Large holes or small separations along a seam can also be patched, but the likelihood of it being a permanent patch decreases. Holes of up to 12″ in length are usually quite successful, and can last for several seasons.
If the hole is near the edge of the pool, and your cover is a bit oversized (inground pools), you may be able to shift the cover, so that the hole is not in contact with the pool water, but is either over the deck, or in the area where the cover rises from the water to the edge of the pool coping. For aboveground pools that use an air pillow, positioning the air pillow under the hole can keep it safely up out of the water.
Murphy’s law however, will predict that a hole in your cover will be smack dab in the middle of the pool.
If this is your situation, fold the cover on itself, so that the hole is out of the water, and any water on top of the cover is pushed to one end so that your cover pump can remove it.
Remove the cover from the pool if necessary, or you may be able to keep the pool half covered while you dry the area to be patched. To patch a solid cover, you can use rubber cement to hold two pieces of cover material together, sandwiched on both sides of the pool cover. You can also use duct tape, if you don’t mind the MacGyver jokes.
I would recommend that you use our Lightning Weld pool cover patches. The glue is formulated to hold fast to polypropylene fabric, resisting water, weather and sun, and the peel-n-stick process is fast and easy.
Once you make it through winter, you can then decide if your pool cover is going to make it another winter – but first, you have to get through this one!
Most pool cover damage can be prevented by keeping your cover clean and secure, trimming weak branches, and shooting off your New Year’s fireworks – away from the pool cover!