Sad as it is, school is starting soon and summer for the year is quickly drawing to a close. This means the end of swimming pool season in many parts of the country as colder temperatures are right around the corner. During the off-season, it is important to restrict access to your swimming pool for safety and protect for your pool from debris. Whether you have an in ground pool or an above ground pool, there are several things to consider when choosing a winter pool cover.
Types of Winter Pool Covers
The most common type of winter pool cover, solid woven, is water tight with coating on both top and bottom. Depending on the quality of cover you choose the materials it is made from and thickness can very. Warranty times for woven covers will often very based on the quality of the cover, the longer the warranty usually the better quality you can expect the cover to be. As woven covers a solid water tight cover, they can collect standing water on the top, which can easily be removed with a swimming pool cover pump.
With a mesh cover you will not have the issue of standing water on the cover, although similar in design to the woven solid cover; the mesh cover allows water to drain through the cover and into your pool while keeping out debris. Eliminating having standing water on top of the cover can reduce stress and allow for a prolonged winter pool cover life. The mesh covering may allow fine silt and dirt through but that can be removed by vacuuming when the pool is reopened.
Often when attempting to remove your winter pool cover leaves can make the job very messy and you can end up with a swimming pool full of leaves if you are not very careful. If you are in an area rich with trees and prone to leaf debris, a leaf catcher can save you tons of time and a lot of extra spring cleaning when it comes to your pool and winter cover removal. As the leaf catcher is installed on top of your regular woven or mesh cover when it comes to opening the pool again the leaf catcher is removed first with the trapped leaves, eliminating the worry of trying to get your cover off without dumping all the leaves into your pool.
If you are looking for a winter pool cover that will provide safety and security from accidental drowning you need a safety cover. They are far more heavy duty and secure than the regular mesh or woven covers, as they are not designed only to keep debris out of the pool but to protect against anyone falling in. They are quite a bit more expensive but worth it if you will have small children near the pool for added security and peace of mind.
Winter Pool Cover Sizing
Once you decide which type of winter pool cover is best for you, you will need to determine which size you need.
For in ground pools, winter pool covers are ordered based on the actual dimensions of your swimming pool, so if your pool is 18’x36’ you would purchase a 18’x36’ cover. When the cover arrives it will not be the exact same size as your pool, as they are typically manufactured with a five foot overlap on your
On top of the water and be properly weighted, so a cover ordered as 18’x36’ would actually measure about 23’x41’.
The same rules apply to above ground pool, you want to order the same size cover as your pool, a 16’ round pool = order a 16’ round cover. The necessary overlap will automatically be added.
Weighting a Winter Pool Cover
Standard mesh, woven, and leaf catcher in ground pool covers are usually weighted with water bags, but other weights can also be used. Many winter pool covers come with loops to put the water tube through keeping it secure. Others also have tie downs that can be used for weights.
Above ground pool covers are secured with a cable and metal winch that are included with the cover. In addition to the cable and metal winch some people choose to also use cover clips to help keep the cover from getting damaged should there be strong winds.
Safety covers actually anchor into studs that are drilled into your concrete. The great thing about the studs is they can be screwed down to level with the concrete when they are not in use to avoid any tripping or stubbing of toes. The ability to actually be anchored to the ground gives the safety covers added stability and strength, once again making them safer but also higher priced.
No matter what type of winter pool cover your choose just make sure to look at the thickness and the warranty to help determine quality there are many different types out there and you want a quality product that will do the job and last without issues. Also remember that the solid woven and mesh covers are not meant to prevent drowning, so if this is something you are worried about spending the extra money for a safety cover is definitely worth it.