We just bought a home this summer that has an above ground pool. The former owners looked like they just threw the cover on and ran when they closed it last season and we had a lot of trouble opening it this past summer. There were SO many leaves in the pool and gallons and gallons of water (and leaves) on the cover. It was actually like a swamp and we even had several frogs take up residence. Needless to say, I'm terrified of this winter. We live in New Jersey. We have had the pool closed and the cover seems pretty flimsy. I don't know if that is normal, though. Just this weekend we got a large storm and I already went out there with the submersible pump and pumped out as much water as I could. I couldn't really reach the middle of the pool, but already--just several days in--the cover is already loaded with leaves. Water remains in the middle of the pool.
My questions are: what can I do to make sure the same disaster doesn't happen again? We did not use a pillow and now I'm thinking I should have. Is it too late to go back and do that? Short of cutting down some trees (haha), what other suggestions does anyone have? This really is all so new to us, so please: feel free to speak to me like a child and start at the beginning! I do not want to the same mess we dealt with this past summer. That was nothing short of a nightmare. We really enjoyed the pool over the summer, but this is a heck of a lot of work for the fall.
Thanks in advance for your help.