In- ground Pool owners have 2 options for Winter covers:
- Solid Cover – also know as a water bag cover, or
- Safety Cover – available in mesh, smart mesh or solid.
The Safety Cover is more costly, but in my professional opinion worth the money and here’s why:
Solid Cover vs Safety Cover – The Pros and Cons
- Inexpensive to cover the pool
- Quickly available
- Easy to Install
- Reusable as a tarp
- Easy to rip or tear
- Water tubes necessary to hold cover in place
- Must be maintained over the Winter
- Does not last as long as a safety cover
- 100% UNSAFE if someone or something falls onto it – may prove fatal
- Will hold up to 350 lbs per sq. ft.
- Life expectancy of 10-15 years
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Easy to maintain
- 2 – 3 times the initial cost of solid cover or higher if pool custom
- More time to install
Total Cost of Ownership
A safety cover overall has a lower TCO than a solid cover. My safety cover is 10 years old and still looks like new.
It is expected that approximately every 15 years maximum you will need to replace your safety cover, whereas a solid cover will be replacing every 3-5 (if you are one of the lucky ones.), not including the water bag replacements in between.
Basic math on the TCO of a solid cover vs safety covers may be figured out this way:
Using an 18 x 36 Rectangle Pool
Solid Cover cost with Water Bags approximately $325.00 every 3-5 years. Lets say you need to buy 5 over 15 years, this equals $1625.00
A Safety Cover approximately $3086.00 once in 15 years.
Yes the initial cost out of pocket is higher on the Safety Cover, but over time it can end up costing less than the Solid Cover, not to mention much less maintenance. The safety cover provides safety for your family, friends and pets, which as you know is priceless!