Inspecting Your Pool Cover
Your swimming pool can be lots of fun for your family and friends, but as a pool owner, it’s your job to be sure that your pool is used responsibly and safely.
Meyco safety covers exceed all ASTM F 1346-91 Standard Performance Specification for Safety Covers. As with any safety product, however, it will only work as intended if you use it as instructed. If you use a Meyco safety cover to keep your pool secure between swim seasons, you should inspect your cover regularly. If the cover appears torn or damaged, then you must STOP using it as a safety cover.
Your state and local authorities may also require a fence or other devices to protect against unauthorized access to your pool. All of these devices are intended to assist supervising adults. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR COMPETENT ADULT SUPERVISION, WHICH MUST BE MAINTAINED WHEN CHILDREN, PETS OR OTHERS ARE IN OR AROUND THE POOL.
Photo courtsey of Lanham Pool Products
When to inspect your Meyco Safety Cover
Meyco recommends the following inspection schedule to be sure that your Meyco cover can continue to serve as a safety cover for your pool:
SAFETY WARNING: NEVER ALLOW CHILDREN OR PETS TO WALK OR PLAY ON YOUR MEYCO POOL COVER.
Inspecting Your Cover: Warning Signs
Rips or tears
Inspect for rips or tears in the fabric after any incident that could impact its integrity. Rips or tears in your cover could damage its integrity, making it unable to support the intended weight. If this happens, your cover would no longer be classified as a safety cover. Non-warranty damage, like tears from animals (including those caused by claws from pets or damage from rodents) or falling tree limbs, could require repair. Rodents can even damage covers when your cover is stored during the warmer, summer months.
Rough coping can cause tears or snags in the cover. So can dragging/pulling you cover over springs and anchors (this is especially common during installation and is not a covered under your warranty). Both may cause damage that will require repair in order for your cover to be classified as a safety cover.
If you see any rips or tears in your cover that requires repair, take photos and contact your authorized Meyco dealer. In many instances, small holes or tears can be easily repaired using either Meyco’s self-adhesive patch kits. You can order these from your pool professional. You may need to ship your cover back to Meyco to repair larger holes or tears. Learn more about repairing your Meyco cover here.
Different climates and seasonal use patterns impact the longevity of your pool cover. UV damage will cause your cover fabric to become brittle and faded so it’s always best to check your cover for UV damage at least once a year. First, check the amount of fading of the top side of your cover. The quickest way to inspect your cover for UV damage is to flip up a corner of your cover and compare the bottom of the cover to the top. If the top is faded and much lighter in color than the bottom, you must expect less strength in the cover and you may even have UV damage. The more color it’s losing, the more UV has impacted the cover. Next feel your cover. If your material is becoming stiff or brittle in any way, UV has impacted the cover.
If you believe your Meyco cover is showing signs of UV damage, STOP USING YOUR COVER AS A SAFETY COVER IMMEDIATELY. Take photos of the affected area and – if your cover is on your pool – of your entire pool area, and contact your authorized Meyco dealer. Meyco’s repair team can review these photos and the information you provide to determine the next best steps. You can learn more about repairing your Meyco cover here.
Meyco’s thread costs about 20%-40% more and has a higher UV resistance than the thread used in some other covers on the market; but over time, UV exposure and wear and tear, may cause the thread to deteriorate or break.
Meyco uses a heavy gauge, UV treated, white, polyester-bonded, marine thread to sew your cover. The white thread assists Meyco in quality control during the manufacturing process to ensure no stitches are missed. The white stands out against the dark material and that can help you when you inspect your cover to easily spot breaks or damage to the stitching. White is also the natural color of polyester, meaning Meyco uses thread that is not dyed. Dye can affect the longevity of the thread.
If the thread looks frayed, missing or broken, your pool cover needs repair at a minimum. If you notice this throughout your cover, your cover has endured too much UV exposure and MUST STOP BEING USED AS A SAFETY COVER.
Finally, try prying your fingers between the webbing and the material it’s sewn to. If the thread begins to break while you are doing this – even if the thread looks good – it’s a sign of UV damage and you must stop using this cover as a safety cover.
If your Meyco cover is showing signs of this type of damage, stop using or relying on this cover as a safety cover. Take photos of the affected area and – if your cover is on your pool – of your entire pool area and contact your authorized Meyco dealer. Meyco’s repair team can review these photos and the information you provide to determine the next best steps. You can learn more about repairing your Meyco cover here.
Wear on Reinforcing Strips
Meyco winter safety covers are designed with anti-abrasion strips sewn into the bottom of your cover (if applicable) for added protection at typical wear points where webbing straps ride over the coping edge. These reinforcing strips are made from a polyethylene material that will not stain your deck. As your cover stretches and flexes, as it’s designed to do when properly installed on your pool, these reinforcing strips may begin to wear down as they slide over areas with rough coping and sharp corners. If you see areas of wear on these strips, they may need to be replaced before more extensive and expensive damage is done to your cover.
You can take extra precaution to extend the life of these wear strips by adding padding (vinyl, rubber sheeting or carpet remnants) between your cover and these areas to prevent excessive wear. Damage caused by rough coping or sharp edge is not covered under Meyco’s 12-year pro-rated warranty.
If you believe the reinforcing strips on your Meyco cover are showing signs of wear that could lead to more extensive damage to your safety cover, take photos of the affected area and – if your cover is on your pool – of your entire pool area and contact your authorized Meyco dealer. Meyco’s repair team can review these photos and the information you provide to determine the next best steps. You can learn more about repairing your Meyco cover here.
Warning: If you pull the reinforcing strip off the cover by easily breaking the thread, this too may be a problem with advanced aging or UV damage; inspect other areas of the cover immediately and if more thread damage is detected STOP USING YOUR COVER AS A SAFETY COVER IMMEDIATELY until it can be inspected or replaced.
Frayed or Damaged Webbing /Straps
Meyco covers are designed with bands of webbing that run through the entire cover in a crisscross pattern and around the perimeter. The webbing is also used as the straps that extend around the perimeter of your cover and connect the cover to your springs and anchors. This webbing is made from a true polypropylene weave for extra strength and durability. This flexible webbing is specially designed to be thinner but stronger than webbing found on most other covers on the market.
Over time, webbing and straps may begin to fray or shows signs of wear due to UV exposure, rough coping or from debris that may fall on the cover. Frayed or damaged webbing or straps will need to be repaired before your cover can no longer be considered a safety cover.
If you see this type of damage to your webbing or straps, take photos of the affected area and – if your cover is on your pool – of your entire pool area and contact your authorized Meyco dealer. Meyco’s repair team can review these photos and the information you provide to determine the next best steps. You can learn more about repairing your Meyco cover here.
Warning: If you can separate the webbing from the cover by putting you fingers in between the webbing and the material, while thread easily breaks, STOP USING YOUR COVER AS A SAFETY COVER IMMEDIATELY until it can be inspected or replaced.
Stiff, brittle or faded material
An often overlooked source of potential damage to covers is reflected sunlight from windows. This reflected light intensifies the sun’s damaging UV rays and can even burn holes and create premature fading or other damage to your cover material (as well as other pool products). Pay attention to solar reflection from your home and address with appropriate windows, trees or shrubbery to shield your cover from solar reflection.
Improperly maintained water chemistry can also shorten the life of your cover. Excessive chlorine, salt or other products or improper pH can damage your cover and cause the cover material to stiffen, turn brittle or even fade.
If you see that your cover material is becoming stiff, brittle or faded, your cover will likely need to be repaired, if possible, and it may no longer be considered a safety cover. Stop using or relying on your cover as a safety cover, take photos of the affected area(s) and – if your cover is on your pool – of your entire pool area and contact your authorized Meyco dealer. Meyco’s repair team can review these photos and the information you provide to determine the next best steps. You can learn more about repairing your Meyco cover here.
Warning: If you can easily break the material with minimal weight or you can run an existing hole into a tear just using your hand or finger, STOP USING YOUR COVER AS A SAFETY COVER IMMEDIATELY until it can be inspected or replaced.
Damaged Hardware (springs, buckles, strap tips and anchors)
Meyco uses the highest grade, pure brass anchors and high tensile strength stainless steel springs and buckles that are all 100% made in the USA. Our anchors also have the word MEYCO stamped on the head of each anchor so you can be sure your anchors are of the highest quality. Other covers on the market use cheaper hardware that often have impurities such as air, carbon, and miscellaneous content. These impurities can weaken hardware. For parts of hardware where strength isn’t a factor (anchor shells), most, if not all other manufacturers buy imported pieces to save money. These pieces still contain unknown chemicals that Meyco opts not to put in our backyard. That’s why Meyco’s high quality hardware lasts longer than hardware used in other covers.
Meyco’s hardware is also designed to extend the life of your cover especially when the cover is under heavy stress. Excess strain on your cover – due to debris, heavy snow load, etc – may cause your springs to separate. This is not a defect in the hardware but an intended design feature that protects the cover from costly repairs not covered under the warranty.
If, however, you see damage to buckles, missing strap tips or believe that the springs or anchors may be damaged, take photos of the affected area(s) and – if your cover is on your pool – of your entire pool area and contact your authorized Meyco dealer. Meyco’s repair team can review these photos and the information you provide to determine the next best steps. You can learn more about repairing your Meyco cover here.
DESPITE THE AGE OF THE COVER OR THE AMOUNT OF TIME LEFT ON THE WARRANTY, these are all signs of a cover that may no longer be considered a safety cover and should be replaced or repaired immediately.
Take These Steps to Extend the Life of Your Cover
Maintain Water Chemistry
Proper pool water chemistry must be maintained at all times that your cover is in place. Excessive chlorine, salt or other products or improper pH can damage the cover, pool surface and other components. Water chemistry should be checked regularly.
Keep Pool Water Level within 18″ of the Top of the Pool during the Winter
Low water level will cause undue stress on the cover and could result in damage not covered by our warranty.
Properly Clean and Store your Cover
The cover should be folded and stored in its original storage bag when not in use. Leaves and other debris should be removed before storage. Clean PermaGuard and RuggedMesh covers with a mild detergent before storing. RuggedMesh covers should also be hosed down from the bottom side to avoid clogged filters. MeycoLite covers do not need to be scrubbed or powdered before storage. ALL covers must be stored in an area free of rodents.
Avoid Damage from Solar Reflection
Reflected sunlight from windows can damage the cover (as well as other pool products). Pay attention to solar reflection from your home and address with appropriate windows, trees or shrubbery to shield your cover from solar reflection.
Avoid Rough Surfaces
Avoid cover contact with rough decking or coping surfaces or edges, which can cause tears or other damage. To reduce the risk of abrasion, check the cover periodically to ensure it is kept drum tight. Do not drag the cover on the decking or over cover springs.
Keep Grills and Fire Pits Away from Your Cover
Sparks from barbecues, other grills and fire pits may damage your cover. All outdoor cooking appliances should be kept at least 10 feet away from the pool edge.
Maintain Cover Tension
Your cover should be “drum tight”. A loose cover will allow “wind-whipping” which may result in coping wear on the fabric around the edge.
Seasonal Use Only
“Season” is defined as winter use between the months of September-June. Each season is equivalent to 1 year. Year-round use of your cover or use outside of the normal “season” would constitute excessive use, will age the cover more rapidly and will void your warranty.
Warning: Summer use by itself, can age your cover 2-3 years. This means it may not be considered a safety cover after 2-3 years of year-round use depending on several variables. Pay special attention to your cover if you use it year round or during summer months.
See the links below for more ways on how to protect your pool cover so it last for years to come.
Winter Cover Care: For 60 years, Meyco’s skilled craftsmen have followed founder Fred Meyers, Jr’s. Path to Quality to ensure your Meyco cover keeps your family and your swimming pool safe between swim seasons. You can extend the life and proper function of your Meyco pool cover by following proper cover care and installation procedures as outlined in Meyco’s convenient Installation and Care Manual.
Available from Your Local Swimming Pool Company
Meyco Pool Covers and accessories are available from Authorized Meyco Dealers.