As any pool owner will tell you, choosing the right cover for your pool will be one of the most important decisions you make. While it may seem like a trivial exercise, making the right choice can save you both valuable time and money in the long run.
Pools without covers or the wrong type of cover take longer to open, warm up and simply maintain overall. But there are lots of factors to consider before you make your choice, and you don’t want to end up wasting your money on something that won’t get the job done the way you need.
One of the first things you’ll have to consider is whether you’ll need to get a pool cover custom made or straight from a retailer. Symmetrical pools with straight lines are generally easy to find covers for, but pools with round edges or asymmetrical designs may need a custom cover designed especially for them.
Once you’ve figured this out, you can start deciding what type of pool cover is right for you. To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of some of the most popular options out there, along with their pros and cons.
Automatic vs. manual
Automatic pool covers are controlled by the flip of a switch, opening and closing with ease for your convenience. Although they are a much more expensive option, they are excellent at preventing heat loss and keeping your pool costs down throughout the year. They generally are made from heavy vinyl and are best suited to symmetrical, rectangular shaped pools.
Manual pools are controlled by a crank and pulley system and are a much more affordable choice that offers much of the same benefits as automatic pool covers. Although more manual labour is involved, they are still exceptional at keeping heat trapped inside and keeping dirt and debris out. They are also better suited to circular or custom-shaped pools that require a more involved cover design.
Often referred to as bubble covers, solar pool covers are one of the most cost-effective options on the market. Made from a thin material that’s easy to install, solar covers can offer pool heating of up to 8 degrees, minimise evaporation and keep your pool clean by saving it from algae and debris.
Due to their slim material, you’ll probably have to get your solar cover replaced every few years. Although thanks to their low cost, they’re still one of the cheapest covers even once you factor in the cost of their replacement.
Safety pool covers are designed specifically to stop drowning or other accidents occurring when pets or young children wander into the pool area unattended. Anchor points are installed along the edges of the pool to hold it in place, making it extremely difficult for anyone or anything to get in once it’s on.
They also can hold more weight than the standard pool cover, making it less likely for someone to fall through it. These types of covers are generally made from heavy-duty mesh or solid materials, and are quite complicated to put on and remove, making them ideal for when the pool is not in use throughout the winter. They may be too much effort for everyday use during the summer, so most people who use safety covers will have another more lightweight option for this time of the year.
It’s also important to note that mesh covers do not collect rainwater, instead allowing it to pass through and get into the pool. Although this will mean less maintenance throughout the winter, once it’s time to use the pool again in the warmer months you’ll have to give it a good clean first. Solid safety covers will keep the rain out, but you’ll have to clean it now and then to avoid it tearing or drooping.
Tarp covers are also often used as permanent covers during the winter, and are very good at keeping out leaves and debris as well as preventing UV rays from entering and causing evaporation. They are generally held in place by water bags along the edge of the pool, which can be a time consuming and tedious process.
They also can hold very little weight, posing a safety risk if you have any kids or pets you’re worried about getting in and also potentially collapsing into the pool if too much rainwater falls on top of it.
The right kind of pool cover for you will depend on your budget, pool shape and local climate. Think about what’s most important to you when it comes to your pool and how you can save the most time and money over time.