Have you decided NOT to open your pool this summer? There are many reasons that homeowners might decide to take a break from pool maintenance for a season or two. Perhaps you are leaving your home and traveling for the summer or economic issues have forced you to keep the pool closed for the season. A pool that is unused can be come a potential hazard. Since you are infrequently monitoring the pool, it can be a dangerous liability for local children or animals. If you pool will stay closed this summer, make sure that it is protected with a pool safety cover. Required to hold a minimum of 485 pounds per five square feet, a safety cover provides a solid surface to anyone who may walk into your pool. They are a great way to prevent accidental drowning.
If you own an above ground pool, you probably use a winter cover. With the abundance of options available with your cover, you might find yourself slightly confused about what to buy. I am here to help! Below is your guide to winter pool cover accessories for above ground pools!
Pool cover pumps are used to remove water that builds up on your pool cover. They are available in manual models, where you will have to monitor the pumps progress and unplug it when the water is drained, or in automatic models, which sense and automatically start when water is on the cover and cut off automatically! While cover pumps are not absolutely necessary, they will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes and the burden of removing your cover.
Air pillows are placed under the cover on top of the water. They absorb freezing water’s pressure to protect your pool walls and liner. They also reduce excess rain, snow, and leaves on your winter cover. Using an air pillow under your winter cover will make draining the water off the top of your cover much easier.
There are also several option available when deciding how to keep your cover in place. Pool cover wall bags are fillted with water and used to hold your cover in place during times of high wind. They are designed to lie on top of the cover around the inside perimeter of your pool. Winter cover seal is very much like a large roll of plastic wrap. It is wrapped around the covered pool to keep wind from getting under your winter cover and causing damage and premature wear and tear. It is easy to apply and can be done by one person. Cover clips are handy fasteners that hold your pool cover in place. They grip your top rail like a clothes pin and hold throughout the winter season. The cover lock system is similar to cover clips, but more secure. It involves a two-part system that snaps together to ensure maximum hold, even in the highest winds.
With you understanding of these accessories, you will be thoroughly prepared to close your pool this season!
Choosing a pool cover can be confusing. Below, you will find an explanation of the four different types of covers that pool owners’ normally consider. By comparing the explanation and benefit of each with your own person needs, you are sure to find the cover or covers that perfectly fit your situation.
Winter Pool Covers are mainly used to protect your pool from harsh winter conditions and to keep large debris out of your pool. A winter cover also block sunlight to prevent algae growth. They are normally solid and use air pillows to allow for water expansion in freezing weather and water tubes or weight bags to hold in place. They make opening your pool easier and less expensive in the Spring.
Safety Covers are used for maintenance as well as to protect children and pets from accidental drowning in a pool closed for the season. A proper safety cover is securely anchored into the deck area surrounding the pool and lies flat so there are no gaps between the pool and the cover. They are available in mesh and solid materials. Because they are stretched tight across the pool’s surface, water does not pool on top. These covers are very important if you have children or pets.
Solar Covers, or solar blankets, are designed exclusively to help heat and retain heat in your pool. They can be used to raise your pool’s temperature by an average of 10-15 degrees. They also reduce heat and chemical evaporation by up to 70%.
Mesh covers, known as leaf nets, are made of an open weave material that fits over your winter cover or solar cover and helps you avoid accumulations of wet, heavy, saturated leaves and twigs on top of your winter cover. These nets ensure a quicker removal of leaves and helps prolong the life of your winter or solar cover. They are perfect for pool areas that are surrounded by trees. They make removal of your winter cover much easier in the spring.
I want to share some rather startling statistics regarding children and pool safety. According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children 1-14 years old. Additionally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 75 percent of the children involved in swimming pool submersion or drowning accidents were between 1 and 3 years old. Owning a pool is a great privilege, but also a huge responsibility. In addition to securing your pool with a fence and installing pool alarms, pool safety covers are the perfect way to keep children and animals from accidental drowning. In order for a cover to be considered a “safety” cover, it must be able to hold a minimum of 485 pounds per five square feet. Since this is much more than the weight of even an average adult, you can be assured that any children or animals that might accidently enter your pool area will be safely supported. Safety covers come in two forms: solid and mesh. Both types of safety covers are anchored to a deck with straps that pull the cover taut over the pool. The straps are usually attached to springs and are anchored to recessed brackets in a deck surface. This gives the cover the necessary tension and strength to support huge amounts of weight. It is important to note that only covers that are designated “safety” covers are designed for this purpose. Solar covers, winter covers, and leaf nets will not aid in drowning prevention. Safety covers are an investment in your family’s protection.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, backyard swimming pools lose energy in a number of ways, but evaporation is the most significant source of energy loss. In fact, 70% of energy loss in swimming pools can be attributed to evaporation.
Four factors determine your pools’ evaporation rate. Temperature, on air temperature and humidity, and on the wind speed at the pool’s surface. The higher the temperature of the pool, the higher the wind speed, and the lower the humidity, the greater the rate of evaporation. If you live in a windy area, you should install a wind barrier like strategically planted trees, or a tall fence, evaporation. The wind break should be high enough and near enough to the pool so that it doesn’t create turbulence over the pool, which will increase evaporation. You also don’t want the windbreak to block the sun from the pool; the sun helps to heat the pool and keeps it warm over time.
Creating an environmentally friendly swimming pool is achievable, important and simple to do. First, use Solar Covers, also known as solar blankets, to cover your pool. Solar Pool Covers or Blankets resemble enormous sheets of bubble wrap. The bubbles trap heat from the sun and convey the heat to the pool, keeping the water temperature warm and comfortable. The solar cover also helps to trap the water’s heat and prevents heat loss in the cooler air at night or on cooler days. Solar covers float freely on top of a pool without the need for tie-downs or anchors to secure them. Solar covers are usually folded and stored or rolled up in a large roll and wheeled out of the way. Solar Blankets are perfect for use in sunny climates because the more heat they can trap, the longer they can extend the swim season. Solar pool covers can increase water temperatures by as much as 10-15 degrees.
Besides offering energy savings, pool covers also do the following:
- Save water by decreasing the amount of make-up water needed by 30%–50%;
- Reduce the pool’s consumption of chemicals by 35%–60%;
- Reduce cleaning time by preventing dirt and other debris from entering the pool.