When the Canadian summer sadly fades away and swimming season comes to an end its essential to cover your inground pool before the cold, harsh winter blows in. There are several types of covers that are commonly used by swimming pool owners in the Great White North and its well worth taking a look at them to see which one is right for you.
Some owners use the standard tarpaulin type of winter pool cover while others prefer a more permanent version, which is generally known as a security-style safety pool cover. The fact is, tarp covers are becoming a thing of the past since they need to be weighted down and the water has to be pumped off of the top when spring arrives. Since these covers arent very durable they also need to be replaced every few years. If youre looking for a stronger, more dependable winter cover for your inground pool there are two basic choices, which are the mesh and solid versions. Its a good idea to take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both options before deciding which style will best suit your needs.
One of the best reasons to choose a solid cover is because the sunlight wont pass through it. This is beneficial when the warmer weather shows up in the spring and the water starts to heat up. Once the water rises in temperature theres a good chance the walls will become covered in algae if the sunlight reaches it. If you have a solid cover you dont have to open the pool earlier in the year to prevent a buildup of algae. However, some of the newer mesh models advertise the fact that they provide 100 per cent shade.
The water will also be kept out of the pool with a solid vinyl cover. With a mesh version, the rain and melted snow will filter into the pool and the water can become dirty if the cover has leaves and other debris sitting on top of it. Therefore, the water and bottom of the pool will be cleaner when you open it in the spring. This of course means the cleaning process will be quite a bit easier and the pool should be ready for swimming in sooner. With a mesh cover, you may be faced with a good deal of scrubbing, vacuuming, and filtering. In addition, more cleaning chemicals will probably be needed.
In general, mesh covers are less expensive than the solid versions and they typically last quite a bit longer. Many mesh-style covers can last at least 15 years while solid covers often need to be replaced after about a decade of use. Since the mesh covers are made with thousands of tiny holes in them the water will pass through and enter the pool. This means you dont have to pump off the water from the top of the cover when you open the pool. Without the need of a submersible pump youll also be able to save money, especially since theyre lifespan is limited. Some mesh covers are relatively light and can often be put on and taken off by just one person whereas a solid cover is usually heavier and needs at least two people to lift. Mostly all of the mesh and solid vinyl covers are attached to the ground with an anchor system. This means holes may need to be drilled into the ground at specific intervals of length and a metal peg/bolt installed into them. The covers have thin stainless-steel loops or springs which are attached to straps and theyre placed over the pegs and tightened. It may sound like a lot of work, but the holes just need to be drilled the first time you use the cover and attaching the straps and loops can usually be completed in five to 10 minutes.
Combining the best of both versions Choosing the type of winter pool cover thats best for you will depend on where your priorities lie. You may want to go with the least-expensive option or the style that requires less work and maintenance. Some companies are now manufacturing a hybrid style of swimming pool cover which combines the best aspects of the solid and mesh versions. These typically have a mesh section in the middle of the cover which allows the snow and rain to pass through and enter the pool. Therefore, a pump isnt needed in the spring.
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