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Pool Tips

Different Types of Pool Covers

Proper protection for your pool in the off-season is extremely important. Credible Pools is based in southwestern Pennsylvania where we can potentially see significant snowfall. We’ve already seen more snow this winter than we’ve seen in the last few years with a real chance of seeing even more. Unfortunately, we got quite a few calls about the damage the recent snow accumulation has done to some pool owners’ covers.

We want to take this opportunity to teach you about different types of pool covers, how they hold up throughout the winter, and furthermore, why we strongly recommend and only sell Commercial Grade Mesh Safety Covers.

Standard Covers

Just a standard pool cover is made of a cheap, tarp-like material and is held down by water bags, which are inconvenient and take a lot of time to fill.

This type of cover offers next to no protection. It will keep sunlight and small debris out of your pool, but it can only hold very little weight. This poses a real risk if you have children, pets, animals that visit your backyard, or anyone around the pool in general. They can easily fall into the pool and the cover itself poses an entrapment hazard.

This type of cover requires the pool owner to remain vigilant throughout the fall and winter of any accumulation on top of the cover. An additional pump is necessary to remove any water that collects on the cover. The pump will do nothing to remove any snow. It won’t take much to damage the cover or cause it to cave in, so snow and water removal must be done diligently.

A standard cover will only last one to three seasons. The pumps usually last only two to four seasons. It’s not a sound purchase, especially in areas that see a lot of rain and snow. Lastly, it’s an absolute eyesore.

Automatic Covers

Automatic pool covers are made of a vinyl material and require an entire mechanism of pulleys, tracks, motors and more. They give you the convenience of covering your pool whenever you want or need just by turning a key.

We want to be clear – Automatic cover, or Autocovers, are NOT winter covers. They are simply not designed to hold heavy snowfall and the ice that we can potentially see in our area. This can cause damage that is costly to repair.

Automatic pool covers can be expensive, both initially and throughout their lifetime. The vinyl material typically wears out in about five years. With so many components involved in the entire mechanism, there more potential for parts to break down. Autocovers also require an additional pump to keep water off the top.

These covers are great to use day-to-day during the pool season and are also excellent from a safety perspective. They can help leaves out of your pool to help make your regular cleaning easier. They are also good for keeping heat in, giving your pool heater a break. Autocovers are simply not a winter cover.

Solid Covers

Solid covers are composed of a single, solid piece of material, typically vinyl. They allow nothing to pass through them into your pool throughout the winter months.

Compared to mesh, solid covers requires a more involved installation, a more difficult removal and additional concerns when it comes to storing them during the season. Since they are one solid piece that doesn’t really “breathe,” any moisture on or in your cover will mold while in storage.

The lifespan of solid covers isn’t ideal and they typically only last about 7 to 10 years if you’re lucky. They also require an additional pump to remove any rainwater that collects on top of the cover. Pumps typically last about two to four years.

Solid covers require constant maintenance in the off-season to protect it from accumulating too much water or snow. This weight causes the cover to sag and really shortens the life of the cover.

Overall, we just don’t see these as being a reasonable option when you could get as much protection, a longer warranty, and much less hassle from a mesh safety cover.

Standard Mesh Safety Covers

Standard mesh safety covers are made with a woven, polypropylene mesh material. They will let some light through vs a solid cover, which can cause additional algae growth through the winter.

They are held by anchors that are drilled into the concrete around your pool and metal springs to provide great protection from debris during the off-season. The mesh material allows water to drain right through so you don’t have to worry about any accumulation on top of the cover.

While this type of cover will provide a basic level of protection, they do not live up to the standard that we want to sell to our customers. Unless your pool will be completely undisturbed during the winter months, we just can’t fully recommend a standard mesh cover.

Commercial Grade (ProMesh) Covers

The step up from standard mesh is GLI’s ProMesh Safety Covers. They’re woven tighter, achieving nearly 100% light blockage, so you do not have the algae growth and they are stronger than standard mesh. The heavy duty commercial grade springs allow the cover to flex under the heaviest of snow loads. The extra strength material provides greater tear resistance and tougher winter wear-ability.

We added this brand new GLI ProMesh Safety Cover to a customer’s automatic cover.

These covers offer almost 100% protection from UV light, preventing any algae growth in your pool, making your pool opening a breeze.

If you have children, pets, rain, or snow and want a longer lasting cover with a better warranty, we strongly recommend GLI’s ProMesh Safety Covers.

These covers are known to last up to 15 years and beyond. In terms of safety, protection, longevity, and cost, these are the best in the industry.