How To Choose Winter Swimming Pool Covers

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  • Author Brenda Masten
  • Published December 3, 2009
  • Word count 794

While it's important to cover your swimming pool year-round whenever it's not in use in order to keep it clean and to prevent water evaporation and heat loss, it's absolutely imperative to keep your pool covered during the winter season. Swimming pool winter covers prevent leaves and other environmental debris from getting into the pool, helping to keep the water clean. Winter swimming pool covers also prevent rodents and other wildlife from falling into the pool and drowning. Furthermore, winter covers help to protect pools from damage that can potentially be caused by harsh winter weather and freezing temperatures.

Winter swimming pool covers differ from pool covers used during the warmer months of the year in their design and construction. To begin with, winter covers are thicker than regular pool covers and are often made from thick vinyl. Many in-ground pool winter covers and above ground pool winter covers also feature several characteristics which enhance their durability so they can withstand cold temperatures, windy conditions and other harsh weather. For example, many winter pool covers are constructed from material specially designed to prevent rips and tears. Extra-wide material is also commonly used for swimming pool winter covers, in order to reduce the number of seams. Weather resistant coatings are also typical of winter pool covers, including coatings which resist damage caused by UV radiation from the sun.

When it comes to choosing a winter cover for your swimming pool, there are several factors that you should consider. First and foremost, you need to narrow your search according to the type of swimming pool that you own. This is because in-ground pool winter covers and above ground pool winter covers are not the same, although they provide similar benefits. Most in-ground pool winter covers are designed to be secured on the pool deck with water tubes while most above ground pool winter covers are designed to be anchored to the pool walls with a cable and grommet system and/or cover clips. The reason why it's so important to ensure that you have a winter cover specifically designed for your type of pool is that proper installation and proper fit are vital to the cover working effectively.

Whether you are looking for above ground pool winter covers or in-ground pool winter covers, you will still have different types of covers to choose from. Swimming pool winter covers for both in-ground and above ground swimming pools are available in solid and mesh varieties. Solid winter swimming pool covers, as is suggested by their name, create a solid and impenetrable shield that lies across the surface of the pool and keeps debris, large and small, out of the water. One of the main reasons that many pool owners like to use solid winter covers is the fact that these covers keep the pool water very clean so that spring openings are fast and easy with minimal work. However, before you purchase a solid cover for your pool, you need to be aware that puddles from rainwater and melting snow will accumulate on this type of cover. As a result, you will need a cover pump to remove the puddles.

In contrast to solid covers, mesh winter swimming pool covers do not provide a complete barrier between pools and the atmosphere. Instead, mesh covers are made from porous, woven material so that water is able to seep through the material and into the pool. While this design feature has several advantages, the main benefit is that water will not accumulate in puddles on top of the cover so a cover pump is not necessary. On the other hand, however, although mesh swimming pool winter covers will prevent leaves, twigs and other large debris from getting into the pool, smaller debris such as silt and sediment will be able to penetrate such covers. This means that mesh winter covers do not keep pools as clean as solid winter covers.

Once you have decided whether you would prefer to use a solid or mesh winter cover based on your personal preferences and the information above, you may wish to consider the addition of a leaf catcher. Particularly useful for swimming pools located in areas with many trees, leaf catchers are special nets designed to be spread over the top of winter swimming pool covers. As the leaves fall from the trees, they will land on the leaf catcher, rather than directly on the pool cover. Once all the leaves have fallen, all you have to do is lift off the leaf catcher and you will have a clean, leaf-free winter pool cover. By preventing leaves from sticking to pool covers or from becoming submerged in puddles on top of solid winter covers, leaf catchers make winter cleanups easy and convenient.

Brenda Masten is an experienced pool owner. She explains how to choose swimming pool covers for coming winter season. Learn more about different types of winter pool covers to make right buying decision.

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