4 Steps To Picking The Perfect Swimming Pool Cover

Posted on: 1 November 2017

If you're getting ready to invest in a new pool, or you're buying a house that has one, you're going to also need a pool cover. Since they have a variety of functions, you may be lost as to which one is best. There's no need to feel overwhelmed with the options. Here are four steps to selecting the perfect cover for your pool.

1. Determine its purpose

Before even beginning the shopping process, you need to figure out what the purpose of your pool cover will be. If you're using it in the summer, you may be trying to prevent evaporation during periods of non-use. Or you could be using it to keep children safe and prevent accidental drownings.

In some situations, you might only want to reduce the amount of maintenance of your pool. If your pool is surrounded by a lot of trees, investing in a leaf pool cover is typically all you need. This will keep leaves and sticks out, but be aware that because it is so lightweight, it's not a safety feature and won't help prevent accidental drownings.

Mesh covers, however, are ideal for preventing accidents. They're made of a mesh material that's reinforced with metal squares or grids. And they allow rain water in but keep leaves and other large debris out.

To prevent evaporation, help minimize heat loss, and add a safety element, consider an automatic cover for your pool. They are a little more expensive than the others but help save in the long run since they prevent water and heat loss. Pools that are elevated or above ground are not good candidates for automatic covers.

Solar covers are made of plastic and look like bubble wrap. They also reduce heat loss through evaporation, and if you use a pool heater, they can help you save up to 70% on your pool heating costs. But you don't need to have a heated pool to enjoy their benefits. Solar covers are not to be used for safety reasons and will not prevent accidental drownings.

2. Figure out your climate

Believe it or not, the weather in your neck of the woods can be a factor in the type of cover you choose. If you live in a zone that stays warm year-round, like many parts of Florida and Texas, you likely won't need a special cover for winterizing your pool. You can stick with a leaf, solar, or automatic cover. But if you live somewhere that sees brutal winters with sleet, snow, or freezing rain, you'll need to invest in a cover that will protect against the harsh elements.

Mesh pool covers are ideal for cold climates because they allow water to pass through, preventing the bowing that occurs from melted snow and ice. It's generally recommended to stay away from solid covers unless you're willing to purchase a pump that can get rid of snow melt.

3. Look at the warranty

Most pool covers come with a warranty. But it's up to you to take a look at the terms before deciding if they meet your needs.

Be aware that most pool covers come with certain caveats that can void the warranty, like placing the cover on a differently shaped pool than what's recommended, improperly installing the cover, or letting the water level drop by so many inches while covered.

Before purchasing, make sure you're able to meet the demands of the warranty.

4. Examine the type and shape of pool

Pools are either above-ground or below-ground, and the kind of cover you purchase will be contingent on which one you have.

Most in-ground pools will have anchors that are fastened to the perimeter of the pool, and the cover remains secured to the anchors when in place. Above-ground swimming pool covers typically have grommets and use winches to keep them in place. But solar covers simply lie on the surface of the water.

Obviously, the shape of your pool will also dictate the pool cover you buy. Don't try to cover a round pool with a rectangular cover, even if you think it's big enough. They're too much of a safety issue if they can't be properly attached, and, as mentioned previously, doing so can void the warranty.