From keeping the leaves or freezing air out to keep your kiddos safe, there are several reasons to invest in a quality pool cover. Let’s discuss why it’s important to cover these bases and add a few more reasons to the list:
Protection from the Elements
Wind, dust, rain, snow, and other elements can wreak serious havoc on your pool and its systems. They can even cause a chemical imbalance and contaminate the water. A quality pool cover will protect your pool from these elements and help keep it working like new.
Safety and Security
A pool cover is designed to provide an added layer of safety and prevent small children from accidentally falling in. Thousands of drownings involving children take place each year, and without a pool cover, your child or his or her friends can easily become the next statistic.
Insulation and Energy Efficiency
When it comes to wintertime use, a pool cover can be a real energy saver. Rather than letting cold air turn your pool into an ice skating rink, an insulated, winter-ready cover will help keep the water warmer for wintertime dips. If your pool is heated, this will allow your heater to work a little less, saving you money every month as well.
Ease of Use
Most pool covers are a breeze to put on and take off. The covers are lightweight and intuitively designed for maximum ease of use.
As you can see, having a quality pool cover is just plain smart. After all, your children are priceless and your pool is a large investment worth protecting.
Fortunately, there are all types of great pool covers out there to choose from. Whether you need an inground swimming pool cover an above-ground swimming pool cover, a rectangle pool cover, or a round pool cover, there are plenty of quality, well-made pool covers out there offering all of the above and more!
Different Types of Pool Covers
Not all swimming pool covers are created equal, and there are many different types on the market to choose from, such as:
Mesh Pool Covers
Mesh pool covers are inexpensive and provide pool owners with an adequate level of protection. While a hardtop or vinyl pool cover is best if you have little ones, mesh safety pool covers are designed to protect against accidental drownings and are a solid option for parents on a budget.
While mesh covers are tightly woven and keep out pesky leaves, twigs, and bugs, they also allow rain and sunlight to pass through. This may seem like a negative at first, but it keeps water from pooling up on top, which can damage the cover and be a real hassle to deal with.
Solid Safety Pool Covers
If you’re shopping for safe pool covers, a solid safety cover is the way to go. Solid inground pool covers or above-ground pool covers provide an impenetrable barrier to keep children, leaves, rain, snow, bugs, and everything else out, making them the safest option around.
Aside from being a little more pricy and more difficult to put on and take off, the only real drawback of a solid safety pool cover is the fact that water tends to puddle on top and needs to be pumped off. However, if you have children and can overlook this little bit of extra maintenance, it may be the right option for you and your pool.
Winter Pool Covers
As its name suggests, a winter pool cover is designed to protect your pool in the winter months. However, they can be used at any time of the year when you don’t plan on using your pool for weeks, months, or any extended time.
Similar to solid safety covers, a winter cover is essentially a hard cover for the above-ground pool or in-ground pool. That being said, winter pool covers aren’t as sturdy as safety pool covers and can’t handle too much weight. This means they need to be frequently cleaned in areas with significant snowfall.
Solar Pool Covers
Solar pool covers aren’t made to provide a ton of protection. Instead, they’re designed to harness solar energy and use it to keep your pool warm and comfortable. While even the solar pool cover complete with pool solar cover reels and the latest in PV technology won’t keep all of the leaves and bugs out, you’ll notice nice little savings on your utility bill and improve your quality of life.
Solar pool covers are made for both in-ground and above-ground pools, so if you’re looking for a solar cover for above above-ground pool, you’re in luck.
Retractable Pool Covers
Retractable pool covers are the crème de la crème of the pool cover world. However, the added technology and convenience come with a price, literally. Nonetheless, if you can swing such an upgrade, you’ll soon find a retractable pool cover is well worth the extra expense.
The retractable pool covers feature track guides and rollers that essentially open and close a pool with the press of a button. Unlike other pool covers, retractable pool covers require professional installation, especially if you want to hide the track guides for a seamless fit and feel.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Pool Cover
It’s important to keep your pool cover clean to maintain its effectiveness and longevity. However, different pool covers require different cleaning methods.
Mesh Pool Safety Cover
To clean and maintain a mesh safety cover, you should use a push broom and bleach or a mild chlorine mixture to scrub away any dirt and debris. When finished, rinse with a garden hose and let it dry out in the sun.
While you’re at it, check the cover for any tears or rips. Also, check the spring tension and make sure the cover is tight to maximize draining and minimize sag.
Winter Pool Cover
When it comes to cleaning winter pool cover, you’ll need a garden hose, pool brush, dish soap, and a vinyl pool cover cleaner. You’ll need these supplies every few months to keep your winter cover in clean, like-new condition.
First, apply the dish soap to the cover and wet it with a hose. Then, scrub the liner with the pool brush and rinse it with the garden hose. If needed, use a cover pump to remove any excess water, and then let the cover dry in the sun.
Lastly, apply a vinyl pool cover cleaner to add a layer of protection from the sun and the elements. Doing so will significantly increase your cover’s lifespan.
Solar Pool Cover
To clean a solar pool cover, simply hose it off and give it a gentle scrub with a soft brush. This should be done periodically to prevent any mildew, mold, grime, and chemical residue buildup.
When not in use, it’s important to keep it stored out of the sunlight. If storing it on a reel, a solar cover protector will also be needed to avoid heat damage.
When using the cover, wait at least two hours after adding pool chemicals before you put it on your pool as solar covers can be damaged by high chemical loads.
Pool Cover Accessories
A pool cover isn’t an accessory. It’s a necessity. However, there are a few critical accessories you’ll need to keep your pool cover clean and functioning as it should for years to come, including:
A pool cover will collect leaves and keep them out of your pool, but what do you do with all of the leaves? You use a leaf blower of course! A leaf blower will allow you to quickly and easily blow away any leaves and debris to keep your pool cover and entire pool area as clean as can be.
Pool Cover Anchors
While most above-ground pool covers utilize ratchet and cable systems to keep them in place, most in-ground pool mesh safety covers use a brass anchor and steel spring systems. While most covers come with anchors and everything else needed for installation, it never hurts to have a few spares.
Pool Cover Pumps
Unlike mesh safety pool covers that allow water to drain through to the pool, winter, solar, and solid safety pool covers collect water and begin sagging and tearing without the use of a pool cover pump. If you’re not considering a mesh cover, you’ll need a pool cover pump, regardless of how secure you think the cover may be.
When to Replace Your Pool Cover
Even the best pool cover won’t last forever, so here are some warning signs of when it’s time for a pool cover replacement:
Cracked, Torn, or Ripped Material
Pool cover materials naturally break down over time. From constant sun and chemical exposure to temperature variations and flying debris, several things can lead to the degradation of your pool cover. If your pool cover has become cracked, torn, or ripped, it’s time to shop for a new one.
Dried Out Fabric
New pool covers are often supple and malleable. As they age, however, they become dried out and brittle, making them more susceptible to everyday wear and tear.
Seams Coming Apart
Most quality pool covers feature heat double or even triple-stitched seams. Unfortunately, even the most well-sewn cover will have threaded seams that begin to unravel or deteriorate over time. This is another obvious sign it’s time for a replacement.
The good news, replacing a pool cover is a relatively easy process. Unlike a pool filter or pool drain cover replacement, you don’t have to drain the pool or perform any tedious work. Most new covers can be installed in no time at all.