Swimming pool owners have a lot of fun in their pools, but also have a bit of responsibility to contend with as well. The simple fact is that once you own a pool you’ll quickly have to learn all about pH levels, pool chemicals, skimming, pump and filter maintenance, pool vacuums, and more. One area that you’ll also have to quickly learn about is that of swimming pool covers. There are a few different types of pool covers and while it’s a relatively easy subject to understand it is still a good idea to learn the differences each type of cover has. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, and each one accomplishes different things.
The first is just a Winter pool cover. A winter swimming pool cover fits over your pool and works to protect it in a few ways. It will stop leaves and other debris from falling into the pool, which is the primary benefit of one of these covers. But along with that, it can reduce the amount of sunlight entering a pool’s waters which will reduce the chemicals needed for maintenance over the fall and winter. It can also reduce animal related issues by eliminating the opportunity for animals to drink from the pool. The pool cover stretches over the swimming pool and is held in place by weighted bags along the perimeter of the pool. The main drawback of a winter swimming pool cover is safety – it won’t stop a child or pet from falling into the pool.
Safety pool covers are just what they sound like. They take the winter pool cover to another level and provide safety for your family. These pool covers fit over the pool like a basic winter cover would, but they feature straps that cross over the cover and attach to anchor points installed around the perimeter of the pool. These anchor points and straps give the cover the added strength it needs to prevent accidental drowning. Safety pool covers provide all the protection from leaves and debris that a standard cover does, only with the added element of safety. There are only two disadvantages to these covers. The first is that they’re a bit more expensive than a standard cover due to their higher quality and extra components. The second is that they’re a little more complex to install. The straps must be connected adjusted properly, and it’s usually a little easier to install with two or three people.
Finally, there are solar pool covers. These provide an entirely different type of service to a swimming pool owner. They don’t block the sun, don’t protect against falling debris, and won’t stop accidental drowning from occurring. What they’re used for, however, is warming up your water. They can speed up the process of opening up your pool and can extend the summer swimming season well into fall. Solar covers, sometimes called solar blankets, can actually increase water temperatures by as much as fifteen degrees. They’re relatively inexpensive as well. The disadvantage here is obvious, and it’s that beyond warming the water they don’t really help with anything else.
There are a couple of other accessories worth knowing about as well. The first is a pool cover ‘pillow’. These inflate with air and go underneath the pool cover. They’re not designed to help shed water, but instead actually reduce damage done to your pool walls during a hard freeze. They’re effective in an in ground pool as well as in an above ground pool, and well worth adding to your shut-down routine. The other accessory is a leaf net. This net is basically another type of cover that lies on top of your primary cover. Once the fall leaves have completely left the trees