Of all the pool cover options, safety pool covers may be the most versatile. If you haven’t installed a safety pool cover yet, here are the following reasons why you should:
- Safety pool covers prevent children and pets from gaining access to the swimming pool.
- They keep dirt and debris out, protecting the pool from potential damage and making the opening of the pool in the spring a lot easier.
- They keep water in the pool by preventing evaporation.
- They help reduce chlorine consumption (especially with solid safety covers).
- They maintain heat in the pool.
Safety pool covers are typically made from mesh fabric or solid vinyl, stretched snugly across the pool to keep it covered. They are used for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools. Safety pool covers can be installed with straps and anchors around the pool or tracks that run parallel on both sides of the swimming pool.
Adding to their versatility, safety pool covers can be used any time of the year, including the winter season.
Safety pool covers must meet the requisite performance standards mandated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Pool cover manufacturers must meet the following criteria so that their products are considered “safety” pool covers
- The pool cover must bear a specific weight – at least 485 lbs. That’s the approximate combined weight of two average adults and a child to permit rescue operation.
- The cover must not have spaces that are large enough for children to slip through
- It must have sufficient rainwater drainage on the pool cover’s surface to avoid drowning
- It must have UV stabilizers
- It must be able to prevent mildew
- It must have reinforced seams
Winterizing a pool with safety pool covers
“Winterizing” a swimming pool is different from merely “closing” it. Winterizing a pool involves many steps, including turning off the pool’s equipment, removing some accessories, and draining the water from lines and vessels before closing the pool.
If you’re preparing to winterize your pool for the cold months, you can choose a mesh or a solid safety cover.
Deciding on a type of pool cover as part of winterizing a pool ultimately boils down to individual needs and preference.
Solid safety pool covers
Many pool owners in colder regions prefer a solid safety pool cover for many reasons:
- A solid safety pool cover protects the pool from rainwater or melting snow or ice.
- It does not allow sunlight to pass through to the water. This is important because in the spring, when the water begins to warm up, algae will grow in the pool if it has contact with sunlight.
- It protects the pool from leaves, dirt, and debris, meaning you’ll have sparkling clean water when you open your pool in the spring. A clean pool means no raking, brushing, vacuuming, chemicals, etc., to make it swimmable.
However, solid safety pool covers are expensive, costing a lot more than mesh covers. Despite the cost, they generally have a shorter lifespan than mesh covers, lasting only from 7 to 11 years, depending on the frequency of use. Another, solid safety pool covers are heavier than mesh, requiring at least two people to take them on and off the pool.
Since a solid safety pool cover does not allow rainwater or melted snow to pass through, it collects on top of the cover’s surface. This means it requires a pool cover pump to remove the standing water from its surface. And these pumps don’t come quite cheap.
Mesh safety pool covers
Mesh safety pool covers seem to be the more popular choice and what many pool cover manufacturers recommend, for many reasons:
- Mesh covers typically cost around $200 to $600 than a solid safety pool cover.
- They typically last longer than solid safety covers. The average lifespan of a mesh cover is 10 to 15 years.
- Mesh covers do not need a pump on top of the cover as they just let the rainwater and melted ice and snow pass through.
- Since mesh covers do not require a cover pump, they generally require no work during the winter season.
- Compared to solid vinyl covers, mesh covers are lightweight. They can be taken on or off by just one person in most cases, unlike solid safety covers.
While there are advantages of mesh covers, there are also some disadvantages. They allow rainwater or melted snow to pass through, making the water dirty. This means the pool requires a lot of cleaning once you open it in the springtime. This is also why pool owners using mesh covers tend to open their pools a little earlier before the water gets too warm in the spring.
Since melted ice and snow may pass through the mesh cover as the weather becomes warmer in the spring, you should check your pool’s water levels to make sure that they don’t rise above the coping line.
Mesh covers also allow sunlight to pass through, which leads to the degradation of the pool’s chlorine content. With reduced chlorine levels in the pool, it’s mostly certain that algae will form in the pool.
Choosing the safety pool cover that suits your pool
Safety pool covers are available in various shapes and sizes to suit pools of different types. Pools with unusual shapes or having extra features such as ladders, diving boards, or spas near the pool’s edge can easily be covered with a safety pool cover.
Manufacturers recommend that safety pool covers should be professionally installed to ensure they are fully secure.
For families with children and pets, and for those who live in areas with wildlife, a safety pool cover is a must-have security precaution. These safety covers are also approved for winterizing your pool.
Safety pool covers of good quality give your pool’s surface a clean and elegant look that will perfectly match your backyard pool landscape.
Other than aesthetic benefits, safety pool covers save you money in the long run, since they protect your investment while safeguarding your family, neighbors, and pets from unexpected submersion into the pool. Since most covers are easy to use, they also save time and effort, doing away with the hassle of closing and opening the pool.
Safety pool covers for winter are the ideal choice when you want to keep your pool and pool features in top condition, allowing you to enjoy the pleasure of looking forward to a well-maintained pool, season after season for many years