How to Choose the Best Swimming Pool Cover to Fit Your Needs

by Pool Builders on 07-10-2009 in Articles

A swimming pool is obviously a significant investment. Many consumers might be enticed by price when adding the required accessories. Choosing pool covers based on price will cost you more in the long run and diminish your enjoyment of your pool.

Swimming Pool covers come in a wide range of quality and material to match the needs of each pool owner. Pool covers come in solid fabrics of various strengths and durability. Pool covers of a solid material will block sunlight to help diminish the development of algae and minimize debris from getting into the pool.

There are many types of pool covers to consider.

Covers for winter: The value of a winter pool cover comes from the quality of each of its components and the construction process used to make it. A US made winter pool cover will last many years. The best winter pool covers are made in the United States. The following points will guide you to the best decision (hint: none of them are price).

1.The manufacturing process used by U.S. manufacturers produces fabric strands that are superior in strength and straightness due to a hot air process compared to Import manufacturers that use a water loom process. So basically, the cheaper import is comprised of a weaker, kinked strand that requires more outer reinforcement to seal it. This distinction allows U.S. producers to make more durable, more uniform pool cover fabrics that are lightweight yet stronger than the competitive imports. Ultimately, the domestic product is less likely to delaminate and separate away from the fabric.

2. Denier: The most important consideration is called the "Denier", which refers to the breaking strength of each strand used in the weave fabric. The denier associated with domestic winter covers is nearly twice that of the imports, making them almost impossible to rip. They hold up to harsh winter conditions far better as a result. The ability to stop rips lends itself to cover durability, longevity and serviceability.

3. The third factor is the "Scrim ", the number of strands woven together horizontally and vertically, per square inch. Intuitively, the more strands, the stronger the cover, depending of course on the denier. The consumer should understand that Scrim by itself is not indicative of quality. Stores that only sell the cheap imported pool covers will not indicate the denier, do not highlight the origin of manufacture and unsuspecting consumer is none the wiser. Ultimately, many pool owners will have to replace their imported, cheap pool covers within a couple years because of these quality differences. Like many things of quality, the overall cost of ownership associated with quality products is less even if the initial price tag is more expensive.

MESH POOL COVERS: Mesh pool covers block most of the light, yet allow water to penetrate the cover. This advantage means you do not need to pump the water accumulation off the pool cover, leaves and debris will just blow away or easily removed. This allows faster pool opening in the Spring. By avoiding the requirement to refill the pool, you save water and lots of time. Mesh and solid pool covers are available in round or oval shapes to fit most pool shapes and sizes.

AUTOMATIC POOL COVERS: An Automatic pool cover uses an electric motor to open and close the cover. The cover rides on a track system that is built into the top of the in-ground pool wall or deck. An automatic pool cover serves as the pool solar cover, winter cover and a safety cover that lasts for years.

SOLAR POOL COVERS: Solar pool covers deliver solar energy to the water increasing the water temperature and reducing heat loss. Pool solar covers capture heat from sunlight inside thousands of tiny sealed air bubbles and transfer that energy to the pool water. The darker the pool cover color, the more heat they attract and the faster the transfer. Solar covers can add weeks of swimming fun by raising the water termperature 15 degrees over normal. Solar pool covers can pay for themselves in terms of energy conservation and help to prevent heat loss and pool water evaporation. They can reduce your pool heating costs by hundreds of dollars. They come in most standard sizes and can be trimmed to fit the pool as needed or ordered to fit. Although pool solar covers are lightweight and float on the pool surface, they still can be difficult to manage. Have a reel will make it easy to put the solar cover on and take it off. Using a solar cover without a reel is not recommended because the blankets are difficult to handle and usually require a couple people. Even without the reel though, the benefits from the solar heating blanket make it well worth the small investment.

POOL SAFETY COVERS: As implied by the name, they help protect your pool for accidental drowning and intrusion. Pool safety covers come in a Solid or Mesh fabric. There are advantages to each. Solid fabric will better block all the algae causing sunlight. The more popular mesh fabric will block most of the light yet allows rain, melting ice and snow to pass through and the leaves and debris just blow away. The covers are anchored into the pool deck to lock the cover down, so throughout the winter or during vacation your pool can be protected against intrusion or accidents. They are extremely strong and can support several hundred pounds, so they give peace of mind.

Your choices of pool covers depend on many factors as you can see. Ultimately, we recommend that you choose the correct cover based on your particular needs and environmental factors. AFTER you've chosen the correct design should you consider prices among suppliers for the particular type of cover you've settled on and don't be enticed by a lower price that compromises your decision for the best solution.

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