Here we discuss the different types of covers available for pools and spas which vary according to your needs.
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Solar covers are available for both in-ground and aboveground pools and come in a number of common pool sizes, rectangular for in-ground pools and round or oval for aboveground. If you have an unusual pool size, a custom solar blanket can be made however this would still be only in the standard shapes mentioned above. If you want a solar cover to fit the shape of a Grecian, Roman, lazy L or free form pool, the best option is to calculate what size rectangular cover would cover the entire pool surface and then cut the cover to the shape you need. Please note that most manufacturers do not cover under warranty any solar blankets that have been cut.
The installation of a solar cover is fairly simple since it just needs to rest bubble side down on the surface of the water and does not have to be attached to the deck or pool wall. But since these covers can be cumbersome and difficult to move when wet, many pool owners employ solar reels. The reel is a long tube attached to a base with a hand crank that is used to easily roll up the solar blanket and store it out of the way when the pool is in use. For in-ground pools, a solar reel would sit on the deck at one end of the pool and extend across the width of the pool. Straps are used to attach the solar cover to the reel. Some reels have casters so that the entire unit can be easily moved. Aboveground pool solar reels are similar except they attach to the top rail of the pool wall and are designed to swing to the side when you want to use the pool.
Liquid Solar Blankets
Winter & Safety Covers In colder climates where people close their pools for the winter, a couple of types of covers are employed to protect the pool.
You can safely walk across a properly installed safety cover. Many pool owners with small children use these covers for the protection of their family and the peace of mind of knowing the pool is securely sealed.Due to the need to install the anchors, safety covers are made for in-ground pools only, with the exception of aboveground pools that have adequate decking around them. The anchors make the installation a bit trickier and more involved than the winter covers. Some of our customers tackle the installation of their safety covers on their own while others employ local installers.
If you are just looking to keep your pool free of most debris during the colder months, a winter cover is adequate. In areas where pools are subject to a lot of falling leaves in autumn, the addition of a leaf net is something worth considering. This is a cover made of fine netting that lies on top of your winter cover during the fall. Once the bulk of leaves have descended, you can pull off the leaf net and its catch of leaves. This prevents you having to remove a pile of wet, decayed leaves in the spring and also protects your winter cover. In warmer climates, some customers who don't close their pools use the leaf net alone just to catch leaves in the fall. However, since leaf nets are designed to rest on top of a winter cover, the manufacturer typically will not honor the warranty if used alone. The reason for this is that without a winter cover underneath, the leaf net can rub against the coping around the pool and wear through.
Solid vs. Mesh Solid covers, either winter or safety, will keep water from rain and melting snow as well as debris out of your pool. The solid material will also block sunlight which is what algae need in order to grow. The advantage is that your spring clean-up and pool opening should be fairly hassle-free provided your pool was properly cleaned and winterized prior to installing the cover. The down side to the solid covers is that the water and debris they keep out of your pool will instead collect on top of the cover. This means you will have more maintenance during the winter, pumping water off of the cover. Solid safety covers feature a drain panel in the center through which you can push accumulated water. Cover pumps are also available which sit on top of the cover and operate either manually or automatically depending on the model.
Mesh covers allow rain and melting snow and ice to slowly seep through, greatly reducing and even eliminating the need to remove water. The material is a tightly woven mesh that will only permit fine silt to pass through so these covers will still prevent most debris from entering the pool. The benefit of the mesh cover is that you will have less maintenance during the colder winter months. However when you open the pool in the spring, there is a good chance that you'll have more of a job on your hands due to the silt that passed through. There is a possibility of some algae growth as well since the mesh does not completely block sunlight. This can be reduced by the addition of algaecide when you winterize your pool.
Ultimately, the pool owner will choose a cover material based on whether they prefer more maintenance during the winter or in the spring.
Cover Warranties The manufacturers' warranties for winter and safety covers are based on the material and apply to defects in workmanship. They do not cover damage caused by people, nature or improper installation or use. The warranties are pro-rated so a certain period of time will be covered under warranty in full and beyond that, the manufacturer will cover a percentage of the cost of replacement.
Winter covers typically come in 8-, 12-, or 15-year warranties, with the 8-year being the thinnest material and 15-year being the thickest. There is a considerable difference in quality between the three covers based on the thread count. The longer warranty covers have more threads per square inch than the shorter warranty covers.
Safety covers come in 12- and 15-year warranties. As with the winter covers, the longer 15-year warranty material is stronger. In particular, the 15-year mesh material is noticeably thicker when you compare the two. However, the 15-year solid safety cover is made of a special, high-tech fabric that is actually 33% lighter in weight than the 12-year solid material yet still 35% stronger. If you are going to be installing and removing your safety cover yourself, the lighter weight of the 15-year solid cover is definitely worth considering as it will be less cumbersome and easier to move.
Click here with more help for choosing your Swimming Pool Cover
Any obstructions that will require a cutout to make the cover fit the shell properly also need to be noted. These must be measured in size as well as their distance from the closest corner of the spa. We use a custom spa measuring form that guides you in proper measurement of your spa or hot tub. Covers come with a standard 2-inch skirt around the perimeter which helps to hold in heat. A longer skirt can be requested.Visit our Swimming Pool Covers store.