Ask any pool owner what their least favourite thing to do is and they will likely say either opening or closing their pool. Ask them why and many will point to the tarp style cover that they use to cover their pool for the winter.
Up until recently, tarp style winter covers have been the default winter cover for many pool owners. They’re cheap and, for most pool owners, are the only pool cover that they’ve ever used.
Tarp style winter covers are also a pain to use. They require large and awkward water bags to hold them in place, are difficult to work with, look ugly, and they never seem to last more than 2-3 seasons. They are also unable to support much weight, which poses a real safety concern, especially if there are children or pets in the household. This has led many pool owners to make the switch to pool safety covers.
What Are Safety Covers?
Safety covers are winter pool covers that have been designed specifically to address many of the concerns that people have with traditional tarp style winter covers. They are designed to be stronger, safer and better looking than traditional winter pool covers.
Safety covers are made out of squares of woven mesh material. This mesh is designed to allow water to pass through them while preventing larger debris like leaves from getting through. These mesh squares are sewn together to increase the strength of the cover and then cut to fit your pool.
Springs are then sewn into the edge of safety covers. When the safety cover is in place, these springs are attached to anchors that have been drilled into the concrete (or wooden) decks surrounding the pool.
Safety Cover Benefits
Easier To Open and Close The Pool
Safety covers offer many advantages over other winter covers when it comes to opening and closing your pool. These advantages include:
- Weight. Safety covers are lighter and easier to carry when compared to other winter covers.
- Easier To Put On. No need to fill, carry and place a bunch of water bags; all you have to do is hook the ends of the springs onto their anchors and your safety cover is ready to go. Unlike tarp covers, pool safety covers also do not need to be weighed down by water.
- No Need To Worry About Leaves. As leaves fall on tarp style water covers, they are trapped by the water that is needed to sit on top of the cover. These leaves then need to be cleaned off the cover before it is removed or you run the risk of them ending up in the bottom of the pool. Since safety covers are not covered in water, leaves that fall on them simply dry up and blow away in the wind!
- Easier To Take Off. Since they sit above the water line, safety covers are already clean and dry. All you need to do is unhook the anchors and pull the cover off! No need to pump off a ton of water from the top of the cover, scoop out leaves and empty and roll up a bunch of water bags.
- Easier To Store. Safety covers are easily folded up and stored in their protective bags. Other winter pool covers, and their water bags, need to be thoroughly cleaned and algae scrubbed off before they can be stored.
- No Need To Replace Broken Water Bags. No water bags means no trips to the local pool store when you’re halfway through closing the pool and notice that a couple of your water bags have holes in them.
Safer Than Traditional Covers
As their names suggests, safety covers were designed first and foremost for safety. They are able to hold a tremendous amount of weight without breaking; they’re commonly called “elephant covers” after a famous marketing picture of a baby elephant standing in the middle of one.
The strength of the stitched seams and mesh material along with the flexibility of the springs means that pool safety covers will stretch rather than break. If a child or animal were to fall into the pool, the worst thing will happen with a safety cover is that they get a little bit wet.
Safety covers are built much better than other winter pool covers. While most covers will only last 2-3 years, safety covers will generally last at least 15 years, in fact, most good safety covers have anywhere from a 10-25 year warranty!
Unlike other winter covers, safety covers can also be patched. If a large branch or other object were to poke a hole in the cover, a patch kit can be purchased relatively inexpensively.
They Look Better
While arguably not as important as some of the other points made here, it has to be said that safety covers simply look much better than other winter covers. They are available in different colours to suit different tastes and are custom made to fit your pool.
Drawbacks Of Safety Covers
As the old adage says, nothing in life in perfect. Safety covers are no different and do have a few drawbacks.
More Expensive Than Traditional Winter Covers
While traditional winter pool covers only cost a few hundred dollars, safety covers can easily cost between $1000-$2000. Their superior warranty, build quality and custom shape means that you will always pay more for a good safety cover.
A trained professional is also required to drill the anchors into the pool deck, further increasing your initial costs.
Harder To Keep Water Clear
Since safety covers are made of mesh, they do allow some sunlight in. The UV radiation in this sunlight breaks down chlorine, allowing algae to grow more easily. This means that pools with safety covers do tend to turn cloudy or green more easily than those with a solid winter cover.
This mesh also does allow some silt and other fine debris to fall to the bottom of the pool. This fine debris then needs to be vacuumed out after the pool has been opened.
While safety covers aren’t perfect, their benefits definitely outweigh their drawbacks. While they may be more expensive than other covers; their build quality, long life, ease of use and, above all, added safety makes this added expense more than worth it.
By closing your pool a little later in the year, and opening it a little earlier in the year, you can also avoid any potential cloudy or green water issues due to sunlight getting through the mesh.
The added sand and silt that makes it through the cover is also not that big of a deal. Ever dropped a corner of your winter cover while taking it off of your pool? The leaves and other debris that adds to the pool is far worse than the bit of sand and silt that makes it through the safety cover mesh.
Not all safety covers are created equal however. Some cheap, poorly made covers aren’t much better than tarp covers. Others can let so much sunlight through them that the pool water is impossible to keep clear over the winter. That’s why we only deal with the best.
Our custom made pool safety covers are made in Canada using top quality materials. For this reason, we are able to offer warranties of up to 25 years on our safety covers!
Our safety covers are also made of lightweight mesh that is easier to handle than cheaper covers and blocks up to 99% of sunlight, meaning your pool will stay clearer, longer.
If you still have any questions about safety covers, or would like to get a quote on a new, custom built safety cover for your pool please contact us.