Pool Cover Essentials: Types, Benefits, Installation, and Repair

Pool Cover Essentials

Whether you have a small residential pool for your backyard or an Olympic-sized one for your place of business, it’s important to invest in a good-quality pool cover. Without one, your pool will continuously be exposed to the elements, causing the water to evaporate, lose heat, and fill up with dirt and debris that will necessitate expensive cleaning costs.

Ideally, your pool should be covered whenever it is not in use for longer than a few hours, meaning overnight and, more importantly, during extended periods of disuse, such as during the winter months.

No two pools are exactly the same, of course. Location, usage, weather, and other factors all affect their maintenance and care. For this reason, there are a few different pool covers you can choose from, each of which has its own set of pros and cons depending on your specific needs. Below, we’ll discuss the different types of covers, the benefits of each, the particulars of installation, and the importance of pool cover repair.

Do I Need to Cover My Pool?

When deciding to invest in a pool cover, the first factor you should consider is energy usage. According to the US Department of Energy’s Energy Saver website, it’s possible to save anywhere from 50 to 70 percent on your overall pool heating costs simply by making use of a cover. That is the case for both indoor and outdoor pools.

This is due to the massive amount of energy that is lost to water evaporation, which covers can dramatically reduce. Even during mild temperatures, uncovered pools lose a great deal of water due to evaporation, forcing energy bills upward.

The other main reason to keep your pool covered is to keep foreign materials, particularly leaves, branches, and other debris, out of your pool. Outdoor pools can quickly fill up with plant matter, which can then end up clogging pumps and creating other mechanical problems, forcing pool owners to shell out for costly repairs.

Option #1: Mesh Covers

One common type of pool cover material you’ll see frequently employed for outdoor pools is mesh. There are several benefits to using this material to cover your pool: First, it tends to be a lot less expensive than other, more solid materials.

Mesh is very easy to install as well; in many cases, you can just pull it, by hand, over your pool, and it will stretch and conform to fit any shape imaginable. It also seems to last longer. Mesh covers can last as long as 15 years if they are properly maintained.

Of course, there are disadvantages to using mesh covers as well. Mesh is a material that is constructed from interwoven strands, which allow water (and other things) to pass through it easily. This means that while it will keep larger debris out of the pool—like leaves and branches—it will do very little to prevent dirt and other smaller pollutants from entering the water. Of course, it is also limited in its ability to prevent evaporation, since UV radiation can also easily bypass the strands that make up the mesh.

Option #2: Solid Vinyl

Vinyl pool covers are also very common for pools in the United States. Their primary benefit over mesh is their impermeability. They block dirt, sunlight, and water vapor from passing through. This means that they will do a much better job of preventing evaporation and keeping energy costs down, while also potentially keeping your pool much cleaner than it would be if you used mesh.

Solid vinyl is more expensive than mesh, and this issue is compounded by the fact that, unlike with mesh, there is no “one size fits all” option for these types of covers. Each solid vinyl pool cover must be custom-made for your specific pool. They can also be more awkward and unwieldy to install simply due to the fact that they are heavier.

Installation Options

Homeowners and business owners have several options when it comes to the installation of their pool covers. The simplest option is to have your local pool company, such as Strong Refuge Pool in Portland and Seattle, create a fitted cover customized to your specific pool.

You can then place that cover by hand whenever you won’t be using the pool for more than a few hours. This hand-placed option works well for small residential pools that don’t see a great deal of use, but it tends to be impractical for larger pools in public or commercial areas.

If you have a large pool on your property, you may be best served by asking your pool contractor for an automatic pool cover. This is one that will cover your pool with the simple flick of a switch. It’s by far the most convenient and cost-effective option for large pools that see a lot of use.

Taking Care of Your Pool Cover

As with every other element of your swimming pool, your pool cover will need to be maintained properly to perform its job effectively and to last long. Much of the required maintenance is simple and is something you can do yourself.

Every few days or so, and after heavy rain or winds, you should use a specialized pool broom to clean dirt and debris off your pool cover. To prevent the growth of algae, wash the cover with soap and water at least every few months. If you are making use of an automatic cover, have the mechanical parts checked out by your pool cover contractor at least once a year.

For further questions or to order a pool cover of your own, contact your local swimming pool professionals today. No matter the size of your pool, if you’re located in the Pacific Northwest, reach out to the pros at Strong Refuge Pool for more information about pool cover repair and installation.


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About Marc Wallace

I'm never too busy to share my passion. I've created this page to help people learn more about business, finance and real estate. Besides all the serious stuff, I'm also a man that values family and healthy relationships. I hope you find my content insightful.

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