For the most part, covers should be maintenance free. But a little care is required, and two mistakes seem fairly common among poolowners. Getting clients to adhere to these guidelines will save them headaches and money down the road. It also ensures that their covers will have longer life spans.

Safety covers

Generally, it’s good for clients to remove debris from their covers. There’s no reason to let it build up, and in clearer weather it’s not hard to brush off leaves and sticks.

SEE MORE: For the Long Haul - Cover Care

However, in the winter customers might be tempted to try and remove snow build-up from their covers. But seasoned installers strongly advise against this.

“We would never encourage the customer to walk out there and shovel snow off of the cover,” says Mike Giannamore, president of Aqua Pool & Patio in East Windsor, Conn. “We have a letter about winter snow loads for customers. It discusses the weight of the snow that can accumulate. Even though the covers meet ASTM testing qualifications, [the snow] could put enough stress on the cover that if we put a human being on it might break.”

Automatic covers

A good rainstorm can put up to 2 inches of water on a cover. That’s extra weight in the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds.

Unfortunately, there are customers who don’t use the cover pump to remove this extra weight and, instead, try to close the cover with water on top. This strains the system and can cause it to break down.

“I had one customer, I had to keep on going back because they refused to use the pump,” says Michael Ramos.

Strongly encourage customers to, at the very least, use the pump before they close their covers.