Michigan Winters Mean Safety Covers for Pool Owners

*This post comes from our friends at Global Pool Products, a Michigan-based pool equipment manufacturer.

Whether you have come into a pool or just had one installed, chances are hopeful that you have realized a pool takes a decent amount of upkeep to maintain. While you likely understand that your pool needs the pH regularly checked and maintained, you may not understand why pool safety covers are a necessity. We’ll help clear up everything there is to know about swimming pool safety covers: what they do, why you should have one, and which varieties may best suit your specific needs.

What Does a Pool Safety Cover Do?

Safety covers exist to keep things from falling into the pool. Provided that you have properly installed and secured the cover, it can likely keep things like kids or small pets from falling into the water. While there is the obvious notion that the safety cover serves as a natural membrane that keeps things out, a properly secured one will also stop industrious little children and dogs from getting underneath the cover’s lip and tumbling into the waters secured within. Of course, no solution is foolproof and there is a chance that some bugs or other tiny little nuisance might make its way under the cover.

The most obvious benefit of this device is that it could keep things out and possibly even save a life. The resilience of a properly installed cover may be the difference between a child that is still breathing and one that might either drown or need timely intervention from whoever notices something in the water.

If you think that this innovation is some sort of magically resilient sheet of material that just rests on the top of the pool, think again. A safety cover works by being tethered to points spaced along the perimeter of the pool, effectively serving a similar purpose as the safety net of an acrobatic routine. If your pool is in the ground or otherwise done by yourself, you may need to mold some tethers out of concrete.

Types of Covers

There are multiple types of pool safety pool covers. If you have been sold on getting one for your pool, the next step is to figure out which kind is best suited to your particular needs. This section will go over the three varieties and address what they are well suited for.

Solid Cover

This form is a solid sheet, preventing almost anything from getting into the water below. The one drawback is that you need to pump water off of the top to keep it operational; let that resulting pool of water stand long enough and your cover will not only be useless but serve as the perfect breeding ground for nuisances like mosquitoes. Solid covers prevent dirt from making it into the pool and settling as mud along the floor and they also block UV light, preventing algae from blooming along the water’s surface. Understandably, solid covers fetch a higher price than a mesh or hybrid cover because you are also purchasing the necessary pump to remove water that it collects on top. There are also automatic water pumps that can be purchased with a solid cover and these, understandably, cost more but spare you a bit more legwork.

One perk of maintaining a solid cover over a mesh one is that you can clean a solid cover while it is still in operation. One drawback of a solid cover is that it is heavy enough that you will need at least one other person to help you put it away when the time comes to store it.

Mesh Cover

These sorts of covers have gaps that are wide enough to allow rainwater and melting snow to enter the pool while obstructing leaves and other debris. There is some variance among mesh cover designs; some can resist UV radiation, which microorganisms feed upon and lead to algae blooms, while others obstruct all but 1% of the light coming from the sun.

Hybrid Cover

This sort of cover is like a solid cover but its center changes into a mesh. Their drainage mechanisms are different from solid covers in a key way: where a solid cover relies on a pump to clear excess water, hybrid covers use mesh paneling to drain water directly into the pool. Hybrid covers are also lighter than solid ones, making them quite a savvy investment.

So Which Is Best For Your Needs?

We find that lists and graphs can be quite helpful for figuring out a course of action. In that light, we present a list of considerations for you to take in order to narrow down what cover is best for your pool.

  • Do you live alone? Either a mesh or hybrid may be best due to the weight of a solid cover.
  • Lazy about maintaining your pool? A hybrid cover may be best since drainage is simpler than a solid cover and it will usually obscure a lot of the UV light that algae love.
  • Are you on a budget? A mesh cover is likely to be your cheapest option.
  • Live with a large group? A solid cover gives the greatest level of protection and safety and its weight is nothing for a few people working together when you are ready to open your pool and put the cover away.