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15 Best Ways to Keep Leaves Out of Your Swimming Pool

There is nothing more annoying than walking into your yard and finding your pool full of leaves. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your pool maintenance easier!

Ways to Keep Leaves Out of Your Swimming Pool

1. Install a Pool Cover

A pool cover is your first line of defence against leaves. If you are battling with leaves in your swimming pool, installing a cover is one of the easiest and most effective solutions. 

There are a few different options when it comes to covers, such as solid pool covers, which form a solid barrier against any leaves and mesh covers, which are traditionally used as a safety net. 

Pool cover with debris

Solar pool covers are an ideal choice for most as they not only keep out the debris but keep your water warmer. They can cost under $100. Cheap ones only last a season or two so you may consider a better quality cover.

Automatic pool covers, which roll on and off with the touch of a button, are a convenient and efficient way to safeguard your pool from leaves but are expensive. Usually $2000+.

2. Remove Trees or Plants

If you are constantly finding your pool full of leaves, take a look around your garden to identify the culprits. The best way to stop the amount of leaves getting into your swimming pool is to remove the source. 

Remove any trees or plants that are directly around or over your water for instant results. To do this, consult with an arborist or landscaper to identify problematic vegetation and consider its removal.

3. Periodic Tree Trimming

If you are not sold on the idea of stripping your garden bare of greenery, you can reduce the volume of leaves making their way into your pool by trimming any surrounding trees. 

Periodically trimming the trees in your garden will drastically reduce the number of leaves that end up in your pool.

4. Fences, Leaf Blocks & Retaining Walls

The seemingly endless amount of soggy leaves can wind up there by blowing into your pool from the ground.

To prevent leaves from blowing in, you can install a fence, leaf block, or retaining wall. Fences installed are usually for safety reasons, but they are great at keeping your pool free from leaves.

A leaf block works in the same way as a fence; it’s just much smaller. Retaining walls are the largest solution and can be erected around your property to prevent leaves from blowing into your swimming pool from your neighbor’s garden.

5. Using a Leaf Vacuum

Man vacuuming a swimming pool with a telescopic pole.
Vacuuming a swimming pool with a telescopic pole

Leaf vacuums are a particularly effective tool for removing leaves from your pool. Leaf vacuums are great for when you have a lot of leaves. Leaf vacuums suction leaves (and other debris) from your pool, using the pressure from your garden hose, which the vacuum attaches to.  Or you can use your suction cleaner.

6. Ask a Neighbor to Trim their Trees

Now, this option may feel slightly uncomfortable for some people, but if your neighbor’s trees are adding to your leaf problem, you will need to take action. You will have to very politely ask your neighbor with the problem trees if they wouldn’t mind trimming them.

Just as periodically trimming the trees in your garden can help reduce the number of leaves, your neighbor trimming their trees can have the same effect. 

7. Install a Pool Screen or Cage

Installing a screen or cage are both excellent solutions for leaf problems. They are both large structures that cover your pool in its entirety, preventing leaves from falling in while still allowing sunlight.

A pool cage is typically an aluminum structure filled with wind-resistant screening that transforms your pool area into a terrarium. A pool screen is just as effective at keeping out leaves and is similar in design to pool cages, except the structure is filled with mesh screens.

Cleaning and Removing Leaves

8. Turn on the Skimmer

Pool skimmer basket full of leaves.
Pool skimmer basket full of leaves

Your skimmer is designed to collect any leaves or other junk that have settled on top of the water. The skimmer pulls in water from the surface and passes it through the filtration system. Keep the basket clean to ensure good water flow and make sure you run the pump and filter 8-12 hours per day.

9. Optimize Circulation

Aiming swimming pool jets or nozzles too high creates bubbles and should be avoided.
Aim the pool jets correctly to optimize circulation.

Another thing you can do is to optimize the circulation of the pool. By doing this, you create the perfect amount of circulation to move leaves that have fallen into your pool, to the entrance of the skimmer. Do this by making sure you aim the pool jets correctly and the leaf baskets are clear. This will make sure the majority of the leaves get sucked into the skimmer, stopping them from sinking to the bottom. 

10. Using a Leaf Blower

A leaf blower can be a quick way to clear leaves from the deck and surrounding areas. You can use a hand-held leaf blower to remove the leaves that have collected on top of your pool cover. A leaf blower is the most effective when the leaves on top of your cover are dry. 

11. Manual Removal with a Leaf Net

This inexpensive solution is slightly more labor-intensive than others, but it is effective and easy. Using a leaf net to remove leaves is a fast solution. You simply have to scoop them out and dispose of them. 

12. Using a Robotic Pool Skimmer

Robotic pool skimmers autonomously roam the water’s surface, collecting leaves. They work in the same manner as regular pool skimmers. 

These skimmers make their way around your pool using internal sensors. They are effective because they continuously suck up any debris in their path, and do not rely on pool circulation to do their job. 

13. Pool Cleaner (Robotic or Automatic)

Robotic or automatic pool cleaners work similarly to leaf skimmers, except they roam the bottom and sides of your pool. This type of vacuum cleaner automatically sucks up any leaves or small things like sticks, petals, insects, that it comes into contact with. 

The automatic or robotic cleaner keeps your pool free from debris while keeping the bottom and sides free from any dirt that tends to settle. They are a fast and effective method for keeping your pool clean. 

Professional Solutions

14. Hiring a Pool Cleaning Service

Sometimes, we all need an extra helping hand. If you are struggling to keep your pool clean or simply do not know where to start, you can hire a professional pool cleaning service. A professional can help to keep your clean pool, ensure that all of your parts are working correctly, and ensure your water has the right chemical balance. 

15. Installing a leaf-blocking system

Leaf-blocking systems come in several different varieties and can be as simple as a fence constructed around your pool, or a pool cage built to cover your pool. Either option requires the help of a professional. 


Why is it Important to Keep Leaves Out of Your Pool?

Leaves in your pool affect the water quality, your pool’s filtration system, and the chemical balance. Leaves also place strain on your pump. Additionally, leaves can promote the growth of algae and stain the bottom of your pool. 

How to Keep Leaves Out of Skimmer

Leaves that are sucked into your skimmer, can sometimes end up clogging it. If your skimmer becomes clogged, the water flow will be obstructed. To prevent leaves from entering your skimmer, you can apply a skimmer shield. This will block the leaves and keep them out. 

Another solution is using a pool cover. This will ensure the leaves don’t get into the water in the first place.

How do I Keep Debris Out of my Inground Pool?

The best way to keep debris out of your pool is through the use of a pool cover, turning up the skimmer flow, or trimming any overhanging trees. In addition, you can install a fence, leaf block, or a pool cage around your pool to enhance safety, prevent debris accumulation, and create a more secure recreational space for you and your family.

How to Keep Leaves out of the Pool in Fall, Winter, and Summer

 – Fall

In the fall, use a mesh leaf cover. A mesh leaf cover will cover your pool in its entirety keeping out any unwanted leaves. It is safely secured by catches on the side of your pool. You can also use a solar cover.

 – Winter

Cover your pool winter with a winter cover. Winter covers are made from heavier, more durable material than your average cover, made to protect your pool from the harsh winter weather. 

Winter covers are securely fixed to the side of the pool, and the weight of the cover means that little to no debris will find its way into your pool. If you have an above ground pool and live in an area that freezes over, don’t forget to use a pool pillow underneath your cover.

– Summer

During the summer months recommend an automatic pool cover, if your budget permits, or a solar pool cover. The automatic pool cover is perfect for summer when the pool is being used the most, as you can simply remove it with the touch of a button! A solar pool cover will retain the heat and if you have a cover roller, it can be rolled up in about 60 seconds. 


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