As a Vancouver swimming pool owner, you might find the variety of pool equipment on the market somewhat overwhelming. However, each pool is unique and requires a certain level of customisation to ensure a top-notch swimming experience. Among the many pool accessories, one item that stands out for its incredible value for money is a pool cover, also known as a pool blanket.
The right pool cover can help preserve water, reduce costs linked to energy and chemicals, and lessen the time spent on cleaning.
This is beneficial not only for you as a pool owner, but it also contributes positively to the environment. Let’s delve deeper into this automatic pool cover guide.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pool Cover in BC
Choosing the perfect pool cover for your swimming pool can be a bit of a puzzle. This article will guide you through the factors you should take into account when shopping for a pool cover.
A well-suited pool cover can save you both time and money. Factors such as your budget, aesthetic preferences, the shape of your pool, and whether your pool is newly built or existing, should be considered when making your decision.
Depending on the type of pool you have and your specific needs, there’s a pool cover out there that’s just right for you.
Types of Pool Covers
There are five main types of pool covers, each made of different materials and designed for different purposes.
Let’s review the variety of pool covers available and help you find the best fit for your swimming pool.
Automatic Pool Covers
Automatic pool covers can be deployed with just a flick of a switch, making them a convenient choice for pool owners. They offer the best protection for ensuring the safety of children and pets around the pool. Built to withstand the weight of several adults, these are also called safety pool covers because they can easily handle accidental slips and falls into the pool. Additionally, they act as solar pool covers, retaining heat so that a solar cover is not necessary.
Though they represent a higher initial investment, they can save you a significant amount in the long run. If you’re wondering what are the signs of wear that signal it’s time to replace your pool cover head over to our article.
Options for Concealing Your Automatic Pool Cover
There are various choices available for concealing your automatic pool cover, and for the types of tracks you use with the cover.
Options include a low-profile aluminium lid that can be mounted on your pool deck to hide the cover, a flat lid that is level with the pool deck, and stone or concrete lids, designed to blend seamlessly with your pool deck and be almost invisible.
Choosing the Right Track System for Your Automatic Pool Cover
The type of track also impacts how discreet your automatic pool cover is.
You can choose from an Under Track System, Recessed Top Track System, and Deckmount Track System.
The shape of your pool also affects whether an automatic pool cover is a viable option for you. Automatic pool covers are mostly used for rectangular pools, but can also be used for odd shaped pools, especially if they are being installed during pool construction. This is why consulting with a pool cover specialist and strategizing between everyone involved early in the process is essential to a build that will go smoothly and on budget.
Manual Pool Covers
A manual pool cover operates through a two-person crank and pulley system. A cover roll is installed at one end of the pool with a hand crank. When you turn the handle, the cover wraps around this roll.
This type of cover is particularly useful for pools that need protection but aren’t used frequently or if budget is the main concern. It offers the same benefits as the automatic pool cover but at a lower cost. The difference is that you have to manually apply the cover, instead of just flipping a switch. This cover is not as discreet as the automatic pool cover and is more bulky and less aesthetically pleasing, though it is straightforward to install.
Solar Pool Covers
Solar pool covers are made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and provide a physical barrier to evaporation, helping to reduce water and chemical loss. They also retain heat, potentially increasing your pool’s water temperature by up to 8°C. Also known as a bubble cover, this is a thin cover featuring air bubbles all over it and is the least expensive option.
Installation is very simple; once the cover is measured and cut to the shape of your pool, it is ready to use. It helps to minimise the amount of dirt and debris that get into your pool. Many pool owners use a cover roller with this type of cover to make it easier to apply and remove the cover, though this isn’t essential.
Please note, these covers are not designed to support the weight of a small child unlike the automatic safety pool covers, so additional safety measures should be taken to prevent potential accidents.
Thermal Pool Covers
Thermal pool covers insulate your pool, preventing heat loss and evaporation. While they don’t actively heat your pool, they do excel at retaining heat.
Solid and Mesh Pool Covers
These are the most popular types of pool covers for when the pool is not in use. They are made from a fine woven mesh that is fitted above your pool. They allow rainwater to pass through while preventing leaves, debris, and even insects (and ducks) from entering your pool water.
These covers are cost-effective and keep most debris out of the pool.
Anchor points must be installed around the pool area for the cover. These anchor points are very small and unobtrusive. This is an excellent cover for closing your pool as it reduces effective sunlight, limiting the growth of algae. By curtailing algae growth, you can decrease the cost and effort of cleaning that often occurs when reopening your pool.
Limitations of Mesh Pool Covers
While these covers are very effective, they may not be as useful if you are particularly concerned with evaporation or water temperature. However, they remain a top choice for a summer pool cover.
This type of cover cannot be easily applied and removed, which is why it is not suitable for daily use but ideal for closing your pool with.
Benefits of Pool Covers and Pool Blankets
You may be asking yourself, ‘are pool covers worth it?’ One of the simplest ways to save money on your pool is to invest in a pool cover. Some pool owners only use their pool cover during the colder months, but there are plenty of advantages to using them all year round. Here are our top money and time-saving reasons:
Prevents Pool Water Evaporation
Did you know that the primary reason a swimming pool loses water is through evaporation? This occurs when the surface of the pool is exposed to the sun.
Water molecules rise from the surface of the pool and form a vapour before they escape into the atmosphere.
Evaporation occurs throughout the year, but your pool loses water at a faster rate in summer due to the extra heat. A pool cover will block excess heat from reaching the water and also trap moisture, preventing it from evaporating into the air.
Automatic pool covers can inhibit this evaporation by providing a protective barrier against the elements, reducing the rate of evaporation and saving you both water and money, as you won’t have to refill your pool as frequently.
Reduced Chemical Consumption
Pool covers can also help you reduce your chemical consumption. This is because pool covers reduce the amount of UV light that comes into contact with your pool water.
Moreover, chemicals are used to restore your pool back to a healthy state when debris, leaves and even rain can cause an imbalance in your pool water. However, if you have a pool cover protecting your pool from this debris, it means your pool will stay cleaner for longer.
While pool covers do not replace chemicals, they can reduce the amount of chemicals you will need to keep your pool clean. This reduction in chemical use is not insignificant, and pool covers can save you up to 50% of your chemical use since you’re not constantly having to rebalance your pool water chemistry.
Reduced Energy Consumption
A high-quality pool cover will also aid in cutting down on energy consumption. Whether you opt for a solar or thermal pool cover, you’ll automatically be reducing the amount of energy you use to heat your pool. Due to their insulative properties, automatic pool covers prevent significant heat loss and can decrease your pool heating costs.
This reduction in chemical and energy consumption also applies to saltwater pools.
Increased Water Temperature
In addition to reducing energy costs, the heating benefits of pool covers can help you control your pool’s temperature and extend your swimming season.
When the temperature drops overnight, it usually decreases the temperature of the pool water. However, a pool cover will retain the heat and may even keep it warm enough to swim in the next day, meaning you will save money and electricity by not using your heating system as frequently.
So, rather than waiting for the weather to warm up, the insulation and heat retention features of your pool cover will maintain your pool water at the ideal temperature. This ensures you can enjoy your pool for a longer period!
Reduced Cleaning Time
Any type of pool cover can prevent leaves, debris, dust and even ducks from entering your pool, so you can spend less time cleaning it.
It can be a never-ending struggle to remove leaves, bugs and other debris from your pool each week. If leaves and other debris are left in the water, algae may start to grow. This could cause your pool to become cloudy and create a chemical imbalance. A pool cover can help keep debris out of your pool!
Fewer Maintenance Tasks, More Relaxation
Would you rather clean your pool or relax in it? Without leaves and other debris falling into the pool, you’ll have to spend less time hoovering it, and if there’s less evaporation, it means you won’t need to refill the pool as much or use as many chemicals to re-balance the pool.
Find the Ideal Pool Cover from Pool Covers BC
If you’re considering a pool cover but aren’t sure where to start, our team of certified technicians can help find the pool cover that best suits your needs and budget. View our range of pool cover products, or call your local Poolwerx today.
And remember, investing in a pool cover is a fantastic way to decrease the time you spend on pool maintenance and increase the time you spend enjoying your pool.
If you are interested in an automatic pool cover, contact us using the handy form below. You can even send us photos of your pool to help us better evaluate your needs and suggest pool cover options!
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