swimming pool cover to get the most from your pool. Most pool owners are already aware of this and own a pool cover, but if you don’t, you need to consider purchasing one quickly. There are plenty of reasons to do so, from leaf blockage to algae prevention to safety. If you do already have a cover, your first step will be taking it out and giving it a quick inspection. Unroll the pool cover and take a look at it. You don’t have to break out a microscope and Sherlock Holmes hat – just give it a quick pass to see if you can spot any damage. A rip or tear in the material could spread quickly, especially if rain or snow weights down your pool. Look for dirt and debris as well. Maybe you didn’t wash off the tarp enough before you stored it, or perhaps the location you stored it was susceptible to mice. Regardless, if you spot any caked on dirt or debris, be sure to wash it off. You also need to check your weights, water tubes or anchors. For those using safety pool covers, check the anchors installed in the deck around your pool as well as the actual straps and springs. For those with traditional covers, take a look at the weights and make sure none are missing or too badly damaged to be used. And for those using above ground pool covers, be sure to check the cable and winch or whatever other type of securing device is used on your cover. If any of these are damaged, you may need a new cover. Simply put, using a poor, damaged swimming pool cover can sometimes be as bad as using none at all. If yours is ready for an upgrade, don’t skimp on the investment. Take the time to find and purchase a quality pool cover so you’re not left with a huge mess. A rip that turns into a major tear could be a huge problem, and fishing a heavy pool cover out of a swimming pool in the middle of December is nobody’s idea of a good time. There’s plenty of time to watch football. Take a few hours to close down your pool properly and you’ll be glad that you did. And if you need a new cover, be sure to buy one and not just ignore the problem. It’s a minor investment that will save you big in terms of time, money, and energy over the fall and especially next spring.