A pool cover provides valuable benefits for your inground or above ground pool. Not only can a cover be used during the winter months when the pool is not in use, but there are pool covers that can also be used during the swimming season to keep your pool cleaner, warmer and safer. There are a variety of pool cover types available, so depending on your needs, you can choose the swimming pool cover that is right for you.
Here’s a rundown of different types of pool covers and the benefits that each provides:
Solar pool cover
The primary purpose of a solar pool cover is to retain heat within the swimming pool when it is not in use. The cover is comprised of a material that resembles bubble wrap, and is laid across the expanse of the pool. During daylight hours, solar pool covers trap the heat of the sun within the bubbles or cells and that heat warms the water in the pool. When the solar pool cover is used at night, it prevents the warmth within the pool from escaping into the cool night air, acting as an insulator. Solar pool covers are sometimes referred to as solar blankets and are a fairly inexpensive way to keep your pool warm. Swimming pool solar covers save pool owners money by reducing their reliance on pool heaters and are also beneficial because they can extend the amount of time the pool can be utilized if there is no pool heater being used.
Winter pool cover
Winter pool covers are a must for keeping your pool clean and protected during the off season. There are a variety of different types of swimming pool covers that can be used during the winter months and which one you choose will depend on factors such as whether you have an above ground or inground pool, whether you want a solid or mesh cover, and how much you are willing to spend. No matter what type of winter pool cover you choose, by covering your pool, you will prevent dirt, debris and leaves from building up in the pool, which will make the spring clean-up a lot easier. You will also keep your pool safer when not in use.
Here are a few options to consider when covering your pool for the winter:
Mesh pool cover
Mesh pool covers protect the pool from everything except rain and fine debris from passing through. The quality of the mesh pool cover depends on the scrim, which refers to the tightness of the weave of the mesh. The tighter the scrim, the less debris that will make its way into the pool and the stronger and more durable the cover will be. One big advantage to mesh pool covers is that they are lightweight so they are easily attached and removed, and since they allow rain to seep through, you do not have to worry about using a pool cover pump to remove water from the top like it collects on solid pool covers. You can find inground mesh pool covers or above ground pool covers, depending on what type of pool you own.
Solid pool cover
A solid pool cover, also sometimes referred to as a safety pool cover, is a solid cover made of a vinyl-like material that is pulled tight across the pool area and is anchored to the side of the pool with straps. For inground pool covers, the cover will be attached to springs that attach to brackets that are set into your surrounding deck surface. If you have an above ground pool cover, then the straps are pulled down along the side of the pool and are attached along the sides. In order for a pool cover to be considered a safety pool cover, the cover must hold a minimum of 485 pounds per five square feet, as determined by the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). A swimming pool safety cover does not necessarily have to be a solid cover, but can also be a mesh cover, but it is more likely that solid covers will meet the ASTM safety requirements. Solid pool covers are beneficial because they not only keep out dirt, debris and leaves, but they also prevent small animals from making their way into the pool. With safety pool covers, you also have the added piece of mind that a child or pet will not accidently fall into the pool when unsupervised. One drawback to solid covers is that they tend to collect water on the top. The easiest way to remove the standing water is by using pool cover pumps.
Automatic pool cover
Automatic pool covers make installing and removing the cover a breeze. Rather than having the entire process be manual, which can be a rather difficult task, an automatic pool cover easily retracts and unrolls with the push of a switch. While automatic pool covers are rather expensive, they do save you the expense of having to hire a professional pool company to attach or remove your pool cover. Since the cover is so easy to operate, you have the added benefit of keeping your pool cover on not only during the off season, but whenever your pool is not being used, keeping it safer, cleaner and warmer.
Some accessories that make utilization of your pool cover a bit easier include:
Pool cover roller
Pool cover rollers make it easier to cover your pool by assisting in the assembly and removal of the cover. Rather than dragging a heavy cover across the pool, requiring multiple people to complete the task, the pool cover roller can be used by a single person and makes easy work out of rolling or unrolling the cover across the pool. For homeowners that do not have an automatic pool cover, this accessory makes light work of covering or uncovering a pool.
Pool cover pump
A swimming pool cover pump is helpful to homeowners by automatically removing water that collects on the top of the cover. Standing water on top of a solid pool cover can attract bugs, lead to the growth of mold and algae and can reduce the life of your pool cover. It can also be a safety hazard, since animals or children can fall into the water. A pool cover pump should be periodically used to remove the water from the top of the pool cover.
No matter what type of pool cover you select, or which accessories you choose to make using your pool cover easier, you will find that the benefits of using a pool cover will outweigh any work it takes to install or remove the cover each season. For safety reasons alone, a pool cover, along with a pool fence, are a smart investment.