The Damage Leaves Can Do to Your Pool

Leaves in the pool are more than just an unsightly mess. They can attract vermin to your safe swimming pool area, cost you money, and even leave your pool damaged and in need of repair. Unfortunately, as a pool owner, the likelihood of coming out some morning to find your inground pool with leaves floating in it is pretty high if you don’t take precautions. Your local pool safety experts have your back with solutions that not only help you keep leaves out of the swimming pool but help protect your friends, family, and loved ones from accidental drownings.

What’s the Big Leafy Deal?

Empty pool skimmer laying beside a dirty pool

Some people think you can leave leaves in your swimming pool until the next regular cleaning. After all, your skimmer should grab them, right? Those people are wrong and misunderstand a vital fact about their swimming pool’s pump and filtration system, including the skimmer baskets. Your swimming pool filtration system is there for prevention, not as a solution. It’s important that leaves be removed from your pool’s system as quickly as possible to maintain the water’s health and avoid the necessity of potentially expensive maintenance and repair procedures.


Water is a universal solvent, which is why it’s so good at getting our clothes and bodies clean, making our food and beverages, and changing the shape of the land as it moves toward the seas. That also means anything on or in the leaves that end up in your pool will end up in the pool’s water if left there long enough. Leaves in the pool can introduce natural contaminants, like mold, algae, and pollen, as well as man-made chemicals from pollution, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and more. You can’t leave leaves in your inground pool because you’re creating a giant teacup of random biological and chemical substances for your loved ones to swim in.

Chemical Balance

You might be saying, “…but I test my water and balance it regularly!” You cannot effectively balance dirty pool water. Leaves in your pool are constantly breaking down. While your pool chemistry can help fight contamination in the proper amounts, as long as leaves are left in the pool, the concentration of contaminants is continuously changing while the fibers of the plant matter soak up chemicals, costing you more and more money. 


Leaves also bring with them a greater risk of vermin, like bugs, rodents, and frogs. Contaminated water doesn’t flow as freely, and stiller waters make a great place to lay eggs, especially if your pool chemistry is already compromised. While some of these will undoubtedly end up in skimmer baskets, others will survive and thrive in an environment that offers food, ample water, and plenty of hiding opportunities. 

Clogged Pipes and Filter Medium

Skimmer baskets are easy to empty, but the pipes that continue on to your filter and pump are not. Your skimmers catch large material, but small fragments can work their way through to later lodge in the pipes or to clog up the filter that sifts smaller debris from the water. This impeded water flow reduces the efficiency of your entire pump and filtration system, making the pool more susceptible to threats the longer the leaves are in the pool. 

Broken Pool Pump

As the flow of water gets increasingly restricted, your pump will work harder to maintain circulation, causing pressures to rise and the motor to work harder still. Eventually, something has to give. From seals to the mechanical components of the pump itself, there’s plenty that can break on the pump. Broken pool pumps can cost hundreds of dollars to repair and thousands to replace, all of which you can avoid by not leaving leaves in the pool.

How to Avoid Damage from Leaves in Your Pool

Green leaf pool cover installed over a swimming pool

The best way to avoid leaves in your inground pool or spa is to make sure you prevent as many as possible from entering the water. Leaf pool covers are an affordable and convenient solution to keep leaves and debris out of your swimming pool, and reduce overall maintenance costs. While they do not act as a safety solution, you can easily add a pool net beneath the leaf cover to create a strong safety barrier to protect your loved ones.

Swimming pool safety covers make a better and safer leaf cover that helps your pool avoid becoming part of a tragic statistic that steals nearly 4000 lives annually. Swimming pool safety covers are made of a strong, rip and weather-resistant material that’s anchored around the pool to rails or installed anchor points. 

Custom-fit, they create a tight, taut barrier to water entry that’s strong enough to hold the weight of a full-grown adult. While this creates a layer of protection that helps prevent accidental drowning, it also makes these covers perfect for keeping trash, dirt, sticks, and leaves from your inground pool’s water. The cover can be swept off before opening, making leaf collection an easy, trouble-free process before they have a chance to clog up your pump system or throw off your water chemistry.

When leaves do manage to get into your pool, such as when it’s uncovered and in use, simply use a net to remove them as quickly as possible. Make sure to keep up with your regular pool maintenance schedule, including emptying skimmer baskets, general cleaning, and filter changes. Maintaining your proper chemical balance also helps prevent anything carried in by blowing leaves from causing an outbreak as long as the leaves are removed and disposed of quickly.

Protect Your Inground Pool from Leaves and Unsupervised Access

There’s no cost to finding out how affordable peace of mind can be.  When you schedule a visit with your independent All-Safe Pool contractor, they’ll set a time to visit with you about your pool needs, take measurements, and create a written estimate tailored to your swimming pool area. Professionally installed safety barriers can protect your loved ones and reduce the risk of leaves in your pool. Get your free quote from your local All-Safe Pool professional today.

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