A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing, Installing, and Maintaining Your Pool Cover

Imagine you’re about to close your pool for the season, or perhaps you’re just looking to keep it clean between uses. Either way, you’ll need to know how to cover your pool effectively. This process might seem daunting, but with the right knowledge, it’s a task you can easily accomplish.

Key Takeaways

  • Types of Pool Covers: There are three main types of pool covers – Safety Covers, Winter Covers, and Solar Pool Covers. Each caters to different needs – Safety Covers prevent accidents, Winter Covers block debris during off-season, and Solar Pool Covers help extend swimming seasons by harnessing solar energy.
  • Selecting the Right Cover: The right pool cover depends on several factors like climate, pool size and shape, and budget. Mesh safety covers suit regions with high precipitation, solid vinyl covers work best in drier climates, and solar pool covers are ideal for cooler regions. The dimensions of your pool will dictate the type and size of cover you need. Budgeting involves striking a balance between upfront costs and long-term savings.
  • Preparation before Cover Installation: Before installing the cover, correct pool water chemistry, inspect for sharp edges and objects, and sanitize the pool.
  • Installation and Securing of Covers: Installation depends on the type of cover. Winter covers need to be anchored with water bags or weights; mesh safety covers are attached to strategically placed anchors around the pool’s edge, and solar covers can be spread over the pool’s surface with the bubbles facing down. Properly securing the cover is critical to its effectiveness.
  • Maintenance and Care: Regularly clean your pool cover and store it properly during the off-season to extend its life. This involves removing debris, dealing promptly with algae, mold, or mildew, managing excess water on the cover, and correctly storing it away from harsh elements and sharp objects.

Understanding Different Types of Pool Covers

Covering a pool caters not only to cleanliness but to safety as well. It’s dependent on the type of cover you employ. Broadly, pool covers fall into three categories: Safety Covers, Winter Covers, and Solar Pool Covers. Diving into each segment allows for informed decisions based on your specific requirements.

Safety Covers

Safety Covers serve as an effective shield, reducing incidents of accidental slips or falls into the pool. Constructed from solid vinyl or mesh fabric, they maintain their form despite severe weather conditions. Mesh safety covers, though allow the passage of water, eliminating the need for pool water drainage post heavy rainfall. On the contrary, solid covers block out all water and debris but necessitate the use of a cover pump to remove pooled water.

Winter Covers

Transitioning to Winter Covers, they play a vital role during the off-season months. These are tough, resilient, and designed to withstand harsh winter conditions. Functioning mainly as debris blockers, they thwart leaves, twigs, and other similar items from contaminating the pool. Their design demands secure anchoring, typically through water bags or other weights laid along the pool’s perimeter. Be mindful, these covers aren’t safety devices and, therefore, don’t possess the strength to support a heavy load.

Solar Pool Covers

Stepping into the realm of energy-saving, Solar Pool Covers come into play. Capitalizing on the sun’s energy, these covers help warm the pool, extending your swimming season by several weeks. They work under a simple principle – absorb sunlight in the day, and drastically reduce the loss of heat from the pool during the night. Moreover, their design—similar in appearance to bubble wrap—not only promotes heat retention but also minimizes evaporation, making your pool more water and energy-efficient.

Choosing the Right Pool Cover

It’s crucial to pick the right pool cover that’s well-suited to your climate, pool size and shape, as well as budget. Keep in mind these considerations when deciding on the ideal cover for your pool.

Consider Your Climate

Your geographic location plays a fundamental role in determining the right type of pool cover. Mesh safety covers, for instance, allow water to pass through, making them an optimal choice for regions with high precipitation. Conversely, solid vinyl covers are best for drier climates, providing a firm barrier against dust and debris. Solar pool covers, favoured in cooler regions, utilise the sun’s energy to warm the water, offering an environment-friendly solution and reducing the energy consumption of any heating appliances.

Pool Size and Shape

The dimensions and design of your pool also dictate the type of cover you might select. Safety and winter covers are typically custom-made to match your pool’s specific shape and size, ensuring a tight fit that effectively avoids debris and deters unwanted access. Solar covers, on the other hand, can easily be trimmed to adjust to irregular pool shapes, providing flexibility and convenience.

Budget Considerations

Investing in the right pool cover offers long-term savings due to reduced cleaning costs and enhanced energy efficiency. Mesh safety covers are generally more affordable but may carry higher maintenance costs over time. Conversely, solid safety covers and winter covers entail a higher upfront cost but offer extended longevity. Solar covers represent an energy-efficient option that, though the price may be steep upfront, can save you substantial amounts in heating costs.

Keep these considerations in perspective when determining the best fit for your pool cover needs. Remember, the right choice can provide peace of mind, knowing that your pool is well-protected and energy-efficient.

Step-by-Step Guide to Covering Your Pool

Preparing Your Pool

Properly prepare your pool before installation of the cover. Begin by balancing the water chemistry. Aim for a pH level between 7.2 and 7.6, an alkalinity level between 80 and 120 parts per million, and a calcium hardness level between 180 and 220 parts per million. Ensure to sanitize the pool by adding a slow-dissolving chlorine product.

Next, inspect the pool for any sharp fragments, edges or snags, for rough spots along the edges or the bottom of your pool that can damage the cover. Furthermore, do not forget to remove any inflatables, toys, and other objects from the pool.

Installing the Cover

When it comes to installing the cover, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Typically, you start from one end and gradually roll it towards the other. With a winter cover, anchor it to the deck with water bags or other recommended weights. In contrast, a mesh safety cover uses anchors drilled into the pool deck for its installation. Meanwhile, a solar cover can be spread over the pool’s surface, with the bubbles facing down.

Securing the Cover Properly

Lastly, securing your pool cover is crucial to its effectiveness. For a winter cover, ensure no gaps exist between the cover and pool deck, securing with weights as directed. Mesh safety covers often require springs attached to the anchors, maintaining a right balance that keeps the cover taut and prevents sagging. Lastly, solar covers may need a reel to keep them secure when not in usage. Remember, a properly secured pool cover ensures maximum protection and energy efficiency, so put time in this step.

Maintenance and Care for Pool Covers

After choosing the perfect pool cover and installing it correctly, the next essential step involves maintaining and caring for it. Regularly cleaning your pool cover and appropriately storing it during the off-season can extend its lifespan and keep it effective for many years.

Regular Cleaning Tips

Proper cleaning keeps your pool cover in prime condition, enhancing its durability. Eliminate accumulated debris periodically. Leaves, twigs, and other forms of debris could potentially damage the cover or make it less effective. Use soft brooms or specialized pool cover sweepers to get rid of debris.

When algae, mold, or mildew appear, act promptly. Scrub the affected areas clean with gentle soap and water. Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals as they can deteriorate the cover’s material.

Keep an eye on water pooling. Excess water on your pool cover can strain and weaken it over time. Invest in a pool pump, using it frequently to remove substantial amounts of water.

Additionally, rinse off chemicals before covering the pool. High levels of chlorine or other pool chemicals can corrode or discolor the cover. It’s best to wait until chemicals fully mix with the pool water before you replace the cover.

Storage Advice During Off-Season

When it’s time to peel off the pool cover for the season, you’ll want to store it properly to ensure its longevity. Before storing, clean the cover thoroughly to eliminate grime, algae, or any clinging debris.

Dry it completely before you fold it. Storing a damp cover can lead to mold growth, making it unsuitable for future use. Spread it out in a sunny spot and allow it to dry naturally.

Fold the pool cover neatly and store it in a durable, preferably waterproof, storage bag. This guards against exposure to harsh elements. Store it in an area free from sharp objects that may puncture or rip it.

Check on your stored cover periodically, looking for any signs of damage or degradation. By undertaking these measures, you can ensure that your pool cover remains reliable and fruitful for extended periods. Remember, good care and proper maintenance are as critical as selecting the right cover and installation.


So, you’ve learned the ins and outs of covering your pool. You now know it’s not just about throwing any old cover over your pool. It’s about finding a cover that fits your needs, whether that’s safety, protection from the elements, or energy efficiency. You’ve also discovered how to install and secure your pool cover for optimal results. But remember, your job doesn’t end there. Maintaining your pool cover is just as important as choosing the right one. Keep it clean, store it correctly, and keep an eye out for damage. If you take these steps, you’ll extend the life of your cover and keep your pool in top shape for years to come. Now, you’re ready to dive into the world of pool covers with confidence!

A comprehensive guide to choosing, installing, and maintaining your pool cover highlights the importance of selecting the right type of cover based on your pool’s needs and seasonal requirements. For instance, solar covers help retain heat and reduce evaporation, while safety covers provide security and protect against debris. For detailed installation tips and maintenance advice, check out Leslie’s Pool Supplies.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of pool covers are discussed in this article?

The article highlights three types of covers including Safety Covers which help prevent accidents, Winter Covers that protect pools from debris, and Solar Pool Covers that efficiently use solar energy to warm the pool.

Why is the right pool cover important according to the article?

Selection of the right pool cover is vital because it not only ensures safety and cleanliness but also contributes to energy efficiency. Factors like climate, pool size, pool shape, and budget should be considered when choosing a pool cover.

How is pool cover installation discussed in the article?

The article provides a detailed step-by-step guide on effective pool covering procedures, which includes preparation of the pool, proper mechanism of cover installation, and secure fastening for maximum protection and energy efficiency.

Does the article talk about maintaining pool covers?

Yes, maintaining pool covers is a key focus of the article. It emphasizes the importance of regular cleaning, proper storage during the off-season, and monitoring for any damage. Proper maintenance is crucial for preserving the cover’s quality and functionality over time.

Are there any tips on increasing the lifespan of a pool cover?

The article suggests that taking care of a pool cover can greatly improve its lifespan. This includes cleaning it regularly, storing it properly in the offseason, and promptly repairing any damage that is found. These steps will ensure the cover remains effective for a longer period.