What’s the difference between a regular pool cover and a safety cover?

What’s the difference between a regular pool cover and a safety cover?

A typical solid vinyl pool cover is little more than a tarp to put over your pool. Typically it is anchored with water bags or water tubes. The tubes are filled with water, which does freeze during the winter.  It is common that tubes will leak or break during the winter months, so having a few extra on hand is a good idea. Some homeowners place bricks or large items on the cover to anchor it in the event of loss of the water bags. This is not ideal, especially since a large item sitting on the edge of the pool could fall in or be pushed in, and cause possible damage to the liner in a vinyl liner pool. During the freeze cycle of winter, the top section of water in the pool does freeze. If something were to disrupt the ice and shove it into the walls of the pool, there could be issues. In a vinyl liner pool ice could puncture the liner. Though we don’t see this often because preventative measures are taken, it is a possibility.

The plastic pool cover does not prevent children or pets from gaining access to the pool.

All safety covers must conform to the Standard Performance Specification set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). According to the ASTM, a safety cover must be able to support a certain amount of weight, not permit gaps that a child or pet could squeeze through, and remove standing water. They are also a lot better to look at over the winter months. A plastic tarp with stagnant water and leaves and debris is unsightly. A safety cover which looks like a trampoline stretched over the pool is a lot more aesthetically appealing.

While a plastic tarp does keep the majority of the leaves, debris and silt out of the pool, it is still possible for wind to sweep some in. Plastic tarps are also typically good for 2-4 seasons. They can develop punctures, tears, and the weave can thin out, allowing the dirty top of the cover water to seep into the lower pool. If this happens, it is time to get a new cover.

The mesh safety cover is ideal because it will keep the pool area safe, debris out of the pool, (though some can also be pushed under the cover in high wind/highly landscaped areas), and will filter out most of the silt, though a good vacuum in the spring will help if any does get through. The other benefit to the safety covered pool is that the mesh allows the snow and rain to melt through the cover and into the pool, resulting in a pool that is full when openings come around.

Merlin Brochure Before & After a Safety Cover Installation
Merlin Brochure Before & After a Safety Cover Installation

For additional answers to questions about safety covers, or for a free, no obligation quote, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page, or call 248-478-4978 to speak to a member of our team.