Winter Pool Covers: Which is for you?
Pool covers are an important item for pool owners. Whether you’re using them to reduce costly evaporation, retain heat, keep debris out of the pool, save on chemicals, or close your pool down in the off-season, a pool cover can go a long way toward saving money and protecting your investment.
There are several different types of pool covers that each serve their own purpose:
Standard Winter Cover
Winter covers are basic pool covers, similar to a tarp, that keep debris and sunlight out. They are affordable, widely available, and easy to install. However, they tend to deteriorate over 2-3 years and require some maintenance. If water or debris gathers on top, it must be removed or the cover will cave in. To remedy this, some owners may use an air-pillow or a leaf-net to make cleaning off the tarp easier.
Safety Covers, or security covers, are either mesh or solid and cover the entirety of the pool. These covers provide extra sturdiness and protection by locking over the pool with straps and springs. This protects children and small animals from falling in. Safety covers are more expensive than standard covers and require labor to install, but can be maintained for much longer if properly stored. They are easy to put on and remove and tend to look neater and cleaner than cheaper alternatives.
There are two types of safety covers: Mesh and Solid.
Mesh safety covers are lighter, easier to handle, and let snow and water pass through their tightly woven material and into the pool. This means you don’t have to pump the water off and makes it easier to clean the leaves and debris when spring arrives. The downside is that fine dust can pass through the barrier, as well as sunlight, which contributes to algae growth. Overall, mesh safety covers offer security at a manageable weight and price.
Solid covers block all sunlight and particles from entering the pool, preventing algae growth. This ensures that you have the easiest possible opening. These covers are heavier and more expensive than mesh safety covers, but last the longest and can even resist damage from heavy debris. Because water stays on top of a solid cover, a pump may be necessary to maintain function.