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.
Safety pool covers are one of the most important safety features that every backyard swimming pool should have. Homeowners may already own a solar pool cover and/or a winter pool cover, but these types of pool covers are not safety pool covers and should not be used as such. A pool cover must be able to support a minimum of 485 pounds per 5 square feet before it can be considered a safety pool cover, according to the American Society for Testing and Materials’ (ASTM) F1346-91 standard.
Two choices for safety pool covers include mesh covers and solid material covers. Both varieties of cover are anchored to a pool’s deck with straps that pull the cover tight over the pool. The straps attach to stainless steel springs and are anchored to recessed brackets in the pool deck’s surface.
Mesh safety pool covers require very little upkeep because debris that may fall on the covers usually blows off the top, and rain and snow drain through the mesh panels; however, because mesh is a screen-like material, some dirt may penetrate the webbing. Alternatively, having a mesh-style safety pool cover prevents the danger of small children or pets coming in contact with shallow water because puddles cannot form on the surface.
Solid safety pool covers are similar to mesh covers in that they can be secured to a pool’s deck by anchors. The difference is that solid safety pool covers may not be most suitable for pools in areas that get heavy rain or snowfall. Precipitation can accumulate on a solid cover which creates a puddle of water over the pool. The puddles of water may weigh the pool cover down enough to create a sag. Even a small puddle of water can be a danger to small children or pets who, if unsupervised, wander onto the pool cover. To reduce this potential problem, some manufacturers of solid safety pool covers include drain panels in the covers. If no drain panels are present, a small cover pump that automatically pumps water off the cover as soon as it is detected may also be used.