Safety Covers - Benefits, Types and Measuring Advice
Safety Covers- Benefits, Types and Measuring Advice
Protect Your Family and Your Pool During the Off-Season
As a pool owner, you know that pool safety is always the most important, and after protecting your family, neighbors and pets from accidentally falling into your pool, protecting the large investment that is your pool, is a high priority. That’s why we have created this information guide on pool safety covers, to discuss everything from the benefits of having a safety cover to measuring advice before you purchase one.
The reason a safety cover is called a safety cover is quite obvious: it provides a safer pool environment, especially for in-ground pools, when the pool is closed. A safety cover acts as a barrier to prevent children, adults and animals from falling into the pool when the pool is not in use for either the winter season or other extended periods of time during the swim season. A safety cover uses a unique anchoring system that is built into your pool deck. The cover’s straps and springs that connect to the anchors are designed to hold a lot of weight, much more than several human beings, and this design helps prevent accidental drownings and other pool-related injuries when the pool is not in use.
Other benefits to having a safety cover is it protects your pool from falling debris like tree limbs. Mind you, not every safety cover can fully stop every tree branch, but most covers can at least slow down debris from punching huge holes in your plaster, concrete, tile or vinyl-covered pool walls and floor. By keeping out large debris, a safety cover also keeps small debris like leaves out of your pool, reducing your cleaning time when you open the pool in the spring. Pool safety covers are generally pretty tough, so they have a long lifespan which saves you money in the long run, and saving money while having a nicer, safer and undamaged pool is a rather nice benefit. And safety covers provide a more finished look to your backyard throughout the off-season. Instead of looking at a concrete-lined hole in the ground filled with leaves and murky water, when you look out toward your pool, you will see nothing but a flat surface on your pool deck.
Now that you have an idea of the benefits a safety cover can deliver, it’s time for some research into the right cover for you and your pool. First, you’re going to want to determine what type of safety cover you would like to purchase, mesh or solid. A mesh and solid safety cover type each have their own pros and cons. The pros of a mesh safety cover include being lighter and easier to install, no need to pump rainwater or melted snow off the cover, they are more affordable than solid safety covers, saves from having to use more water to refill your pool in the spring, and they offer the same accidental submersion protection as a solid safety cover. Some cons are: they do drain water which can allow small amounts of debris and/or silt into your pool, they allow increased sun exposure to your pool water which can vaporize your pool chlorine and other chemicals, and the sunlight intrusion can then cause algae blooms in the chemically depleted water. Some pros for solid safety covers include: they protect your pool from rainwater, snowmelt, debris, pollen and phosphates; solid covers save cleaning time and money when re-opening your pool in the spring; and they block sunlight which helps prevent algae growth and pool water evaporation. Cons to solid safety covers are: they are heavier and bulkier to install, you have to drain water off the cover with a cover pump, and solid covers tend to be more expensive than mesh safety covers.
After you have decided which type of safety cover is best for your needs, it’s time to measure! And the first thing you should do when preparing to measure is look at your pool owner’s manual to research if there is a stock cover available for the size and shape of your pool. Most times, your pool will be a standard size and style, a Type #1, which means finding a stock safety cover should be relatively simply. However, for non-standard pools, a custom safety cover will be required. No biggie, it happens all the time, and you will have to measure for a Type #2 pool. Then you will need to grab a few supplies like chalk, 100 ft. tape measure, a pen and a helper, and then go and print In the Swim’s Safety Cover Measuring Form.
For Type #1 pools, refer to the diagram above and locate the particular shape of your pool and then follow the alphabetical measuring diagrams for each pool shape. If your pool is a rectangle, rectangle with a step section, or rectangle with bowed or Grecian ends, your pool is a Type #1 and you will need to measure accordingly. If you have a pool that is a free form, oval with step, kidney or lazy-shaped, your pool is a Type #2. You should follow the specific instructions on your safety cover measuring form like the above diagram. Be sure to locate special items like rocks, spas and diving boards, then mark the inside edge of your pool like above and number all points.
Very Important: Safety covers are made to have a 3-5 ft. overlap beyond your pool’s edge, depending on the make and model of your pool. Therefore, it is paramount that you order a safety cover based on pool size and not cover size.
While you are taking your measurements, make sure to take legible notes for the required fields on your safety cover measuring form. You should also ensure the Safety Cover Measuring Form depicts an accurate representation of your pool. Once the form is completed, submit the form to begin production of your cover. By following the specified instructions and taking the proper measurements, your safety cover will offer optimized protection for both your family and your pool.