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Winter Pool Cover Tips

There’s more to pool covers than meets the eye. Here’s a primer on what to consider.

Above ground vs. inground pool covers
While the design differs in the way that they fasten and secure to your pool deck, the end result is the same. Your pool cover will be secure enough to withstand winds and winter storms, and won’t sink under the weight of any water or leaves that can accumulate over the season.

Above Ground Winter Pool Covers
above ground winter pool covers are attached via a cable that passes through loops along the edge of the cover. The cable is attached to a winch that you’ll tighten just like the elastic around the edge of a shower cap. If your pool is located in an area subject to strong winds, adding shrink wrap plastic will seal the top and can be a good way to add extra security.

Inground Winter Pool Covers With Water Bags and Fitted Winter Pool Covers

Inground winter pool covers also follow the contour of the pool and deck, and feature loops which are filled with water bags shaped to fit the exact contour of your pool. If your vinyl liner pool was constructed in the past 20 years it probably has a track designed to hold a fitted winter cover without water bags.

Both the inground or above ground winter pool covers will be secured to lie just on top of the pool water.   In preparing your pool for the winter, you’ll lower the level of the water below the skimmers and returns. Be sure your pool chemistry is balanced and your pool water is clean.

In all cases, the quality of the winter cover is important.  The tighter the weave and thicker the coating on the cover the more it will seal the pool water from contamination over the winter.

*Please note that these types of pool covers and the way they are secured will not support any weight on top.

Safety Pool Covers
In addition to the basic inground and above ground winter pool covers described above, there are safety pool covers. Like standard winter pool covers, you’ll secure them to your deck in the fall and leave them on until you open your pool in the spring or summer. Also like the above mentioned pool covers, safety pool covers are available in either mesh or solid designs. Generally the mesh type is more durable in your pool area.

In contrast to the standard winter pool covers mentioned above, safety pool covers add more security to the basic function of keeping your pool clean over the winter. For inground pools, a safety cover is secured to the deck with brass anchors.  Safety covers are kept taut at deck level with strips of reinforced webbing that attach by springs to the anchors or brackets. This will give you a complete seal that cannot be penetrated and will keep any unexpected visitors like children, pets and other small animals from falling into the pool.

Safety covers come in a variety of colours that will complement your outdoor decor and they must conform to the Standard Performance Specification as set out by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) so you can be sure of their security. These Standards make sure that your safety cover will be able to support a specified weight and remain sealed to prevent gaps where a small child or animal can sneak through. The design will also remove any standing water.

Manufactured according to ASTM specifications, safety covers can be purchased in all mesh or as a solid cover with mesh drainage panels. They are also available as all solid covers that you will use in conjunction with a pool cover pump.

Advantages of Safety Pool Covers:
-Safety pool covers are the best option if you have pets or small children, or live in an area frequented by wild animals. Remember the neighbour’s pets and children too – no backyard is completely secure and that’s of even more concern if you take winter vacations.
-While they cost more than the other types of winter pool covers, they’re more durable and will last longer while giving you peace of mind as they prevent accidents and even loss of life.
-The designs are more attractive and aesthetically pleasing than standard winter pool covers, and they won’t collect debris on top that you’ll have to clean off come springtime.

Poolside fun may be over for the season when the cold weather comes, but taking the time and forethought to properly prepare your pool for the winter can save you time and money when you reopen in the spring – not to mention saving your pool from potentially ruinous damage and preventing tragic accidents.

About Bremner Pool & Spa: Established since 1981, Bremner Pool & Spa is one of the premiere swimming pool maintenance companies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We operate 10 state-of-the art service vehicles and offer a variety of high quality and eco friendly products & services including pool openings, partial pool openings, pool closings, winter pool covers, safety pool covers, weekly pool service, pool leak detection & repair, heaters, liners and pumps. As well, Bremner Pool & Spa complies with all City of Toronto By Laws for Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas.