How to Choose a Pool Cover?

Why You Need a Pool Cover

Maintenance

Maintaining a pool is always involved. Sweeping the bottom, cleaning the filter, and conditioning the water can be time-consuming and even expensive. During winter storage or elongated periods of non-use, keeping a pool covered reduces the expense, hassle, and delay of preparing a pool for use again.

Safety

Pool covers, whether mesh or solid, may also prevent accidental injury or death for animals and people who fall into the pool. If the cover is strong enough, even cars can avoid sinking fully into pools. Since safety is a primary concern, using a pool cover makes sense and affords peace of mind.

Local Ordinances

Depending on the pool’s locality, using a certified pool cover may be required. Many fire departments conduct free hazard inspections of access points and pool areas to ensure the recreation area and the pool itself meet minimum local requirements, saving the pool owner potentially thousands of dollars in fines.

Will a Pool Cover Save Me Money?

Perhaps a pool owner might ask the better question, “How much money will a pool cover save?” According to Jessica on TheHomeDweller.com, between maintenance, liability, insurance, and municipal fines, the answer could reach thousands of dollars.

Pool Maintenance Aid

Because pool covers protect the pool from falling debris and even pets and people, routine maintenance costs and effort are greatly reduced. Because the debris never reaches the water, less pool floor and walls cleaning is required, and filters are clearer. Additionally, most pool covers provide a fair degree of UV protection, costs and effort inherent in retreating the water to proper pH balance also enjoy a lesser scale.

Safety Tools

Pool covers act as lids over the pool water. Because the water isn’t directly and immediately accessible, covers prevent animals and people from accidental injury or drowning if they fall into the water and cannot swim or walk out.

Pool covers allow water to sift through the cover material which prevents pooling of rain water and melted snow and drowning in the trapped water, adding to the safety factor. Unfortunately, even the tightest weave can still allow soot, smoke, and fine grains of sand to filter into the pool water as well. Additional maintenance may be required because of that, but safety advantages far outweigh minor cleaning concerns.

Local Requirements

Local laws may require not only fencing but also pool covers. Not using a pool cover during long periods of pool disuse may incur hefty fines. The positive side to adhering to local requirements may be realized in lower insurance premiums, always good news to a homeowner.

Which Pool Cover Type is Best: Mesh or Solid–or Both?

Pool safety covers come in three basic designs: mesh, solid, or both. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and they all have similarities. The pool owner faces an easier decision in choosing which type to use when these factors are identified.

Mesh Pool Covers

Lightweight and porous, mesh pool covers span the pool completely with either a loose or tight weave that allows water to filter through while trapping leaves, twigs, and other debris above the pool water. Generally made from nylon or polypropylene, mesh pool covers are strong and pliant and are usually maintenance-free.

The disadvantage to mesh covers is that the pool water may have to be retreated, depending on the condition of the water that filters through naturally.

Solid Pool Covers

Heavier than mesh covers, solid pool covers are usually a solid sheet of material, commonly vinyl. The solid pool cover traps all debris and prevents drastic pollution of pool water, but solid covers also trap all water from rain, snow, and ice. Pool owners who prefer solid pool covers generally gather the trapped debris and pump off the trapped water. Because solid pool covers trap all falling debris, with the right water treatment, the pool may not have to be retreated in the spring.

One disadvantage to a solid pool cover is that it is not maintenance-free. The cover must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each Spring to kill the germs, bacteria, and mold which can form on both the top and bottom of the cover.

Another disadvantage is that pooling of water on top of the cover may cause a fallen animal or person to accidentally drown.

Combined Covers

Combined covers may present the best option for many pool owners. The bulk of the cover is solid, but the center of the cover is mesh, allowing trapped water to filter through which avoids the pooling of rain or melted snow from presenting a potential drowning risk. The mesh also reduces cover maintenance, though it may not eliminate it completely.

What are the Differences Between a Safety Cover and a Regular Pool Cover?

Too many people believe that a regular pool cover provides sufficient protection from not only light debris from falling into a pool but also prohibits pets and children from reaching the water as well. Unfortunately, the vast number of accidental drownings during winter storage times gives tragic evidence to the contrary.

Design Differences

Regular pool covers are generally simple tarp-like sheets or large tablets that do cover pool water and protect it from light debris like leaves and twigs. Regular pool covers do save money from reduced maintenance costs, make no mistake.

But their strength is insufficient to protect against heavy items or animals or pets from falling through to the water, and they do little to inhibit slipping under the tarp and gaining access to the water. Falling or crawling are the two methods of ingress that cause most drowning deaths during times pool covers are used.

Safety covers, on the other hand, are much stronger. If a pool safety cover can suspend the weight of a car, a safety cover can certainly hold the weight of a pet, child, or adult.

Safety covers also often have anchor strips that are harder to unfasten from the anchor pin, disallowing casual removal. Special tools are required to remove safety covers from the pinions; fortunately, those tools are included with the cover kits.

Summary

Evaluate pool traffic and location and make the best decision regarding purchasing a regular pool cover and a pool safety cover. It may be your own life you save.

 

Author’s Bio

Born in 1971, in Farmington, MI, Jessica grew up in a warm family environment. Her father is an Electrical Engineer and Inventor, and her mother is a Veterinarian, with two siblings and a very large backyard. Jessica runs her own blog where she writes about different home appliances.