There’s nothing that signals the beginning of summer quite like opening up your pool. Before you can take your first dip, however, there’s an important first step: removing your swimming pool cover.

With high-quality pool covers pricing ranging anywhere from $800 to $1,400, you’re going to want to make sure that you remove and care for yours properly. In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to remove your swimming pool cover and start the summer off right. For this article, we’ll be focusing on solid and mesh covers for inground pools, but the steps will be similar for other types of pools and covers as well.

Disclaimer: Improper removal of a pool cover could damage your cover or even cause physical injury. If you’re not comfortable with all the steps outlined below, there are many qualified pool specialists in your area that can safely remove, clean and store your pool cover for you.

What You’ll Need

  • Removal/installation rod
  • Hex key
  • Mild detergent (dish soap is fine)
  • Pool brush
  • Leaf Skimmer
  • Pool cover pump (for solid covers)
  • Hose
  • Patch kit (if necessary)
  • Another person

Swimming Pool Cover Removal Instructions

1. Remove debris.

Use a pool brush and leaf skimmer to remove leaves, twigs and other debris. Place gathered items in trash bags (or a paper lawn & leaf bag if possible).

2. Pump out water that has collected.

For solid covers, use a pool cover pump to remove any water that has pooled on top of the cover. To ensure your safety, keep your hands out of the water and do not place any metal in the water while the pump is plugged in.

3. Pop off the cover from anchors.

Use your removal/installation rod to pop off the cover from the anchors surrounding your pool.

4. Screw down anchors.

Use your hex key to screw the anchors back into the ground so you don’t trip on them or damage your cover.

5. (Optional) Remove sandbags or water tubes.

If you are using sandbags to hold down the cover, remove them at this time. If you are using water tubes, remove and drain them, and then place aside to air dry.

6. Fold the cover.

Have a second person help you fold the cover. Start at one end and fold like an accordion or fan. This will make it easier to unfold later. To avoid damage, do not drag the cover during this process.

Warning: This can be strenuous on your back, so do not attempt if you have any known back problems.

7. Remove, lay flat and unfold the cover.

Carefully lift the cover and place on a dry and even surface. Unfold and then lay flat.

8. Clean the cover with cleaning solution.

Clean the cover with a mild detergent (such as dish soap). If there is mold developing, use bleach diluted with water after the initial cleaning.

9. Rinse.

Hose off the cover and ensure that no detergent is left.

10. Air dry.

Leave the cover in a sunny spot if possible and let air dry.

11. Fix any rips.

Check carefully for any rips or tears. If you find any, use a patch kit to fix them.

12. Sprinkle with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great natural solution to absorb moisture and odour. Once dry, coat the cover with a moderate amount of baking soda to prevent mildew and mold buildup.

13. Place cover in a bag.

Fold the cover in halves until it can fit inside the bag it came with. If you don’t have a bag, a plastic storage bin works well too.

14. Store the cover.

Put the cover in a safe, cool and dry place, such as a garage.

backyard swimming pool cover removed

Image courtesy of Vic Brincat

Let The Summer Begin!

By following these steps, you’ll be on the right path to starting the summer off right. Feeling overwhelmed (or just don’t feel like doing all that work)? That’s perfectly fine. We have hundreds of trusted contractors all across Canada ready to get your pool up and running. Search for pool maintenance companies in your area today!

*Cover photo courtesy of Joey Parsons

Posted by Michael Keshen