Closing your in-ground swimming pool for the winter is an important task which must be carried out properly in order to protect your pool from harsh weather and to ensure that your spring opening goes as smoothly as possible. One of the most important steps involved in successfully winterizing your in-ground swimming pool is covering it with a winter pool cover. While there are many different in-ground winter pool covers available from a variety of manufacturers, all standard winter swimming pool covers fall into one of two categories — solid winter covers and mesh winter covers. While each category has its own pros and cons, both types of in-ground pool winter covers can provide your swimming pool with excellent winter protection when properly installed.
Although winter covers for in-ground swimming pools can be divided into two different categories, they all share certain common features. As they are designed to withstand harsh weather such as wind, rain, snow and cold temperatures, winter swimming pool covers are constructed from highly durable material. They also come with additional features which enhance their strength and durability, such as double-stitched binding and a weather-resistant top coating. Winter pool covers also come with a significant overlap of material to allow for water drop within the pool and secure anchoring around the edge of the pool.
As for the specific characteristics of each type of winter pool cover, solid in-ground winter pool covers are constructed from tightly woven polyethylene with a plastic coating. Typically, these winter swimming pool covers will feature UV inhibitors to prevent degradation from sunlight. Some covers also feature a black underside which helps to inhibit algae growth. Solid covers are the most commonly used type of in-ground pool winter covers and are relatively inexpensive. They are also quite easy to install.
However, the main advantage of solid in-ground pool covers is the fact that they prevent practically everything from penetrating the cover. This means that rainwater, leaves and even fine debris are prevented from entering the swimming pool, leaving your pool amazingly clean for a fast and easy spring opening. On the other hand, some solid covers tend to be quite heavy and difficult to handle, although lighter models are becoming available. Furthermore, another disadvantage associated with this type of winter cover is the fact that rainwater, melting snow and debris will accumulate on the top of the cover, forming puddles that will need to be pumped off to prevent spillage into the pool during spring removal.
Similar to solid winter covers, mesh winter pool covers for in-ground swimming pools are constructed from super strong, highly durable woven material. However, mesh covers do not have the same plastic coating as solid covers and, as a result, they are porous covers. This design feature allows water from rain and melting snow to pass through the cover and enter the swimming pool. This prevents puddles from collecting on the top of the cover, making spring removal easier and cleaner, and also reduces the need to use tap water to refill the pool in the springtime. Another advantage associated with mesh winter swimming pool covers is that they are lightweight while still offering excellent strength and durability.
On the downside, while mesh covers prevent large debris from entering the pool, silt and other fine debris can penetrate the mesh material. This means that more cleaning may be required when reopening a pool that has been covered with a mesh cover as compared to one that was covered with a solid cover during the winter. Also, as mesh winter pool covers allow a small amount of light to reach the pool water, they are not necessarily as effective at preventing algae growth as solid winter pool covers. However, it is possible to purchase mesh covers with a black underside designed to inhibit algae growth in order to help combat this problem.
All in all, in-ground pool winter covers of both types offer great advantages and benefits. With their durable construction, solid and mesh winter swimming pool covers can provide a high level of protection for your pool during the cold winter months. Since proper installation of a quality winter cover can protect your investment while also making your spring pool opening far easier and faster, winter pool covers for in-ground swimming pools are extremely important when it comes to closing your pool and properly preparing it for the winter season.