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A Quick Guide To Swimming Pool Covers

Your swimming pool is the epitome of summer relaxation. But it can be a struggle to keep your water clean and comfortable. Pool covers are a great way to prevent your water from turning into a murky pond.

Pool covers help prevent leaves and other material from falling into the water. This means less time cleaning and more time swimming! Pool covers reduce the risk of rocks, sticks, seeds, and leaves from clogging your pumps too.

Vinyl versions also reduce evaporation by shielding your water from direct sunlight. You won’t have to refill your pool or rebalance the water with chemicals as often. Pool covers ultimately save you money every month.

This money-saving accessory isn’t just a big tarp though. There are four distinct types: solar, winter, security, and automatic covers. Each one has unique benefits that will help you enjoy your pool to its fullest.


1) Solar Covers

These blankets are similar to putting a lid on a pot of hot water to keep the steam from escaping. But solar covers also go a step further by absorbing the sun’s heat during the day and trapping it during the night.

They do this by magnifying light through a pattern of round bubbles or diamonds. Some solar products can raise the pool’s water temperatures between 8 and 15 degrees. Naturally warming your water with sunshine lowers your electricity costs.

Something to think about: You need a roller to move the solar cover because of the weight and width. Solar covers aren’t security covers either, meaning you or your kids can’t walk on them.

Works with: Any pool


2) Winter Cover

A winter cover keeps the water clean, especially during the off season since most people in the midwest choose not to maintain their pools in the winter. The tarp overlaps your pool’s edge so you don’t need to order a custom size. It deflects sunlight too, though a winter cover doesn’t have the same warming capabilities as a solar cover.

With a winter cover you will need to routinely clear off any water, snow, dirt, and organic debris. Otherwise the weight of all that accumulation can sink the tarp into your pool defeating the purpose.

Something to think about: Mesh or mesh openings are preferable in midwest climates because winter precipitation is so much that it can weigh covers down significantly, sometimes damaging the cover or the pool and resulting in all of the debris ending up in the pool anyway.

With a mesh option, any debris collects on top of the winter cover; although a little bit of dirt may end up in your water, cloudy water in the spring at opening is more easily remedied than a broken cover.

Works with: Standard sizes are available for above-ground round or oval pools. In-ground pools require a customized tarp that anchors into the concrete.


3) Security Cover

These heavy-duty covers ensure children, pets, or even an adult can’t fall into the pool. The covers are typically made from mesh or solid vinyl. Pick a security cover that complies with ASTM F1346, a safety standard from the American Society for Testing and Materials. It should be rated to hold at least 485 pounds.

Something to think about: While vinyl versions are impenetrable, you need a pump to keep water from pooling on top. Typically these pumps will come with the cover you order.

Works with: Any pool


4) Automatic Covers

Wouldn’t it be nice to push a button and cover your pool? Automatic pool covers are operated with a simple turn of a key. These covers combine the benefits of safety and winter covers. Some even include solar heating as well.

Something to think about: These covers have a higher price tag. They are also custom fit to your pool shape. Maintenance is higher because components like pulleys, motors, and ropes eventually wear out.

Works with: With in-ground rectangular pools, the cover will be flush with the deck. With freeform shapes, the track will be above deck.


Splash Pool & Spa is the authorized dealer of GLI, Loop-Loc, and Cover Pools pool covers. Give us a call or send a message today for further guidance on which pool cover is the best fit for your swimming pool.


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