As the Summer season comes to and end and we enter the Autumn season, it becomes time to consider what products to use to cover and protect your pool for the off-season.
In-ground pool owners have 2 main choices for covering their pools, a basic winter tarp type cover, which utilizes the use of water bags/tubes or safety cover. This page hopefully will provide enough to assist in your decision of which cover will be the best option for your pool.
What is a Pool Safety Cover?
A Pool safety cover is an in-ground pool cover which is typically anchored into the pool deck. Just as with the basic pool cover, the safety cover will keep leaves & debris out of the pool, as well as assist in keeping the pool water cleaner. However, unlike a basic winter cover, the safety cover offers many more benefits that the other just can’t.
Pool safety covers are available in 2 basic types:
Mesh – Keeps the leaves & debris out while allowing for rainwater or snow-melt to seep through
Solid – Keeps out dirt, debris & water while the pool is covered.
A pool safety cover, unlike a basic winter cover is pulled taut across the pool and is secured using straps that are connected to anchors installed all the way around the pool. The in-ground pool needs adequate decking (concrete, pavers, wood, etc.) for the anchors to be installed into.
Not only does the safety cover offer the unmatched protection from dirt & debris, it also (while on the pool) offers protection from accidental submersion. A safety cover will provide additional protection for your family, friends, pets and wildlife. The straps have a”break” strength of over 2 tons (4000 lbs), and although you shouldn’t walk on them, a safety cover has been shown to hold and support the weight of a baby elephant (approx 350- 400 lbs) without sinking.
So, Why Should I Buy a Safety Cover?
Pool safety cover prices are usually 3-4 times more than a similarly sized basic winter cover and the installation is generally much more involved. So why would you opt for the purchase of the pool safety cover, here are some good reasons!
To protect your investment – A pool safety cover provides a level of protection that is unmatched from the harsh elements of the off-season. This keeps your pool in peak condition, thus making for an easier more predictable pool opening in the Spring. A safety cover eliminates the worry of the Winters gusty winds, freezing temperatures, snow and there is no need to run out to run out to the cover for any adjustments or to replace messy water bags. There will be little or no need to fret over a mid-winter rip, a seam failure or large amount of debris being dumped into the pool. Should your pool develop a mid-winter leak, causing the water level to drop, a basic winter cover will be pulled into the pool, which can be quite messy. Also due to the fact that basic covers float on the pool surface, small holes in the cover can cause the cover pump to pump water from the pool lowering the water level and creating a problematic situations.
Safeguard family & pets – A safety cover forms a barrier that provides unparallelled protection for your family, friends and pets from accidental submersion. Should someone or something venture out onto your safety cover while it is on the pool, it has been designed to support their weight so that they won’t be trapped within or submerged underneath the cover. Now their feet may get wet, but they should remain safely out of the pool (small children may still have a risk of drowning.) A basic winter cover is 100% UNSAFE! Anyone or anything that venture onto it are in DANGER! The cover can wrap around them as the weight of the water beneath makes it almost impossible to escape. The water that is on the top of the cover quickly will rush to this low spot which may cause drowning.
To save time & effort – If you open or close your own pool, once you have the anchors installed properly, the safety cover is quite easy to use. There will be no more need to remove muck from the cover, replace water bags or fiddling with temperamental cover pumps.
Save money over time – Yes, safety covers cost more initially, this is because they offer so many benefits that a basic cover just simply cannot. Also as a safety cover lasts many more years, they pay for themselves in a few seasons. By the time you need to replace a safety cover, you will probably have replaced at a minimum 4 basic covers (unless you happen to be the luckiest pool owner ever!) , plus an endless number of water bags.
More appealing appearance – I found that more pool owners prefer the finished look of a safety cover provides. A basic cover tends to look sloppy. Safety covers are available in so many colors allowing more customization in appearance. If your pool is visible (as most are) from your house, you won’t be embarrassed by the look of your safety cover. This overall appearance of a neat, tailored cover is very pleasing when you have a custom shaped pool.
Either way, whichever winter cover you choose for your pool, if you choose a safety cover you can be assured you are choosing the very best off-season protection that money can buy.