Pool & Spa Depot

Pool & Spa Depot


Swimming Pool Covers – Which Should You Choose?  

Pool covers fill two primary needs. First, a safety cover can prevent a serious accident. And second they can decrease your pool’s upkeep cost. There is an assortment of pool cover available, and we make it easy to find one that meets your needs. We have three main types of pool covers at Pool and Spa Depot, are Solar Covers, Winter Tarp Covers, and Safety Covers. They are manufactured using diverse materials including weaved mesh fabric and vinyl material. Winter covers shield your pool from collections of dirt, leaves, and different organic matter. We have covers for inground pools and above ground pools, but they differ in use and design. We also stock many covers and also order customized covers that will fill the needs of most customers.  Each type of cover serves a different purpose.

Solar coverSolar Pool Covers or blankets help save energy and water. All solar covers are blue and look like bubble wrap. They are boxed in a rectangle so they can be cut to fit their pool. They are very popular and can raise your pool’s water temperature by an average of five to ten degrees by absorbing sunlight during the day and keeping that heat in the pool at night.  Since they harness the power of the sun, if we have cloudy weather for several days a solar cover will be ineffective at this time. Another great benefit of a solar cover is, it will reduce your water and chemical evaporation by up to 70 percent that can save gallons of water each month.  If you use a pool heater, the heat retained by a solar cover helps to reduce your heating costs that can mean the savings of up to 90% in the summer time.  Another advantage of a solar cover is that it helps to keep debris out of your pool and that saves run time on your filter pump.

Winter-Tarp-CoversWinter Tarp Covers are used mainly to protect the pool from winter weather and to keep tree limbs, leaves, dirt, and other debris from falling into the pool.  For an inground pool, a winter tarp pool cover is held in place with water bags placed around the edge and inside sleeves attached to the cover.  An above ground pool uses the same type of winter tarp pool cover, but it is held in place by a combination winch and vinyl coated cable assembly that runs through grommets in the cover. Inflatable air pillows rest on the water under the cover to make leaf and debris removal easier and helps water to run off the cover. Additional, the second main reason for the air pillow is to prevent the pool from freezing solid in the winter and causing major damage to your above ground pool.  A winter tarp cover also blocks sunlight and inhibits algae growth.  A winter tarp cover is an important part of winterizing your pool which makes your springtime opening much easier and less expensive for aboveground pools.

But, with winter tarp covers for inground pools, please be warned of a few features that many customers overlook.

How long does a winter tarp cover last for an inground pool?

Almost all pool cover manufacturers make a good, better, and best option for you to choose from. The fact is, a tarp is a tarp, some are better than others. But even the best tarp covers rarely last more than 2 winters before they’re ready to be replaced. So if you think about that for a second, over the course of 15 years, a homeowner can actually spend more on a tarp covers than a mesh/vinyl safety cover. Tarp cover warranties are very pro-rated. So even if it says ‘7 years’, if you read close, you’ll see that such is not the case.

Do winter tarp covers require a pump?

Yes, because they are solid yet hold very little weight, winter tarp pool covers require a submersible pump to keep the water from building up on top. There are countless problems with these pumps since debris and leaves will clog them, without constant care watching over the pump, once they stop working, this can cause the water to fill up from rain, and the weight of the water will pull the water bags in the pool causing extra headache fixing this issue.

What does a winter tarp cover look like?

Inground-Tarp-CoverWe get this question a lot. So we decided to make sure we show you exactly what the winter tarp cover looks like. No question, a winter tarp cover with water bags holding it down is not the most aesthetically pleasing sight in the world, especially when compared to a form-fitting safety cover for an inground pool.

One thing to remember if you’re an inground pool owner, You’re not saving any money,  as we mention in #1, even though a form-fitting safety cover with straps costs a good bit more than a tarp cover, it will usually last 10-15 years. When compared with replacing a tarp every season, it’s easy to see why 90% of our inground pool customers purchase a true winter safety cover at some point.


cover-poolSafety pool covers are the most expensive type of pool cover, and is made for an inground pool, not an above ground are the most popular winter cover.  A safety cover is a maintenance cover as well as a safety barrier over your pool.  All safety covers must meet the requirements in the ASTM standards F1346-91 (1996); that means a cover must be able to support the weight of a small child or animal should they walk out onto the cover.  A proper safety cover is securely anchored into the deck area surrounding the pool and lies flat so there are no gaps between the pool and the cover that could allow a child to get under the cover and into the water.  Safety covers give the pool owner peace of mind that no child can fall into the pool.  Safety covers follow the shape of the pool and have a proper number of anchors embedded around the pool to hold the cover in place.  Most covers require professional installation, but sometimes can be installed by the owner.  Safety covers are available in a mesh or a solid material.  Mesh covers are lightweight and allow water, but not debris, to pass through.  Solid covers will not drain so they require a pump on top for draining.

It is important to remember these points.

  • A covered pool will experience less freezing than an uncovered one.
  • A covered pool will require less work, be less stressful and less expensive when you open it up in the spring time.
  • Safety covers will protect children and animals from falling into the water.

Check out the different types of covers and decide which is best for your pool.

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