"Do I need a swimming pool cover?" As pool cleaners, we get asked this question quite often. Especially during the winter months or after a ton of leaves or debris fall into one of our customers swimming pools! Whether or not you get a swimming pool cover really depends on the reason you want one in the first place. Below I'm going to show you some common types of swimming pool covers in order from the least expensive, to the most expensive. I'll tell you what they are used for, along with some pros and cons. Hopefully after reading this you will have a much better understanding of swimming pool covers and you can decide whats right for you!
1) The Solar Cover
Solar covers are pretty much just blue bubble wrap that sits on top of your pool. The bubbles face down into the water and the idea is that as the sun heats the air inside the bubbles heating the water. Likewise, the cover is supposed to reduce heat loss inside your pool by insulating it.
To be honest, I hate these covers. There hard to use, wear out quickly, and when it comes to keeping your water warm, I really don't think they work all that great. When most customers ask us about these types of covers, they are either wanting to start swimming earlier after winter ends, or are hoping to keep their water warm throughout the winter. This cover might let you swim a few week earlier, but as far as keeping your water warm throughout the winter, forget it. If your trying to keep debris out of your swimming pool then these covers are not for you. The way these covers are installed is by laying out a giant square of the bubble wrap covering the entire pool, then someone cuts the shape of your pool out of the square. So these covers are not fitted, which means debris vary easily gets into the sides. Additionally, unless you purchase the roll up mechanism along with the cover, they are pretty difficult to remove from the pool if you want to clean it. So in my opinion, I would consider another option.
2) On track vinyl covers
Now these covers arent all that bad! They run on a tracks beside your pool so are very easy to remove and put on. The vinyl does keep some heat in the pool if you put the cover on after swimming, but water holds heat pretty well in the first place so it won't make too much of a difference. These covers are great for keeping debris out of the pool. You will see in the next cover I talk about why I'm a fan of the non porous vinyl. The only downside is if you have any shrubbery or built up rock features around the pool, theses covers don't work.
3) Leaf Covers
Leaf cover are mainly used if you have a ton of heavy leaf fall after the summer ends and are trying to avoid vacuuming your pool for six months. They are a net like canvas that gets stretched over your pool and connect the cover to holes drilled around the outside. The downsides are that they are really difficult to take on and off, and are pretty expensive to install on your pool in the first place. Also, most people get these or put them on thinking the pool is going to stay super clean all winter, but are disappointed when they start seeing lots of dirt accumulate all over the pool bottom. These covers are meant to stop leaves and that's it. Dust and dirt will still get through the holes and into the pool. A major downside and problem that we often run into is the fact that algae will still grow inside the pool. Normally when we see a little bit of algae (which if the cover is on will be difficult), we quickly brush it and that puts a stop to the algae growth. If we see algae and there is a cover on the pool, we are unable to brush it without removing the cover. This results in additional expenses to pay your cleaners.
4) Rolling polycarbonate panels
These covers are AWESOME! They work great and they look extremely slick. Ive only ever seen one of these on a customers pool before. The guy actually had it on a remote control and to watch it slowly unfurl over the pool was super cool. These covers are great at not letting any debris into the pool when they are unrolled. Which means your pool could potentially stay clean all year around. These covers also work just like a green house, using the sun to keep your pool warm throughout the winter, especially if you heat the inside of the enclosed space. The downsides are these covers are very expensive to install and it's also very difficult to find someone to install them. Since I've ever seen one of these, I'm not sure if the pool needs to be square for them to work, but that's something to ask the company installing it for you. I'm sure if we can go to the moon, someone can build one of these bad boys over your crazy shaped pool, especially if you moneys not an issue.
Now that's it for swimming pool covers, make sure to write in if you have any question. Have a great day!