How to Buy the Right Cover for Your Pool

swimming pool covers

If you want your in-ground or above-ground pool to stay clean each season and maintain its water level, invest in the right type of pool cover. Pool covers can increase the safety of the pool, prevent evaporation, reduce your maintenance costs and keep the pool water warm when it’s not in use. Whether you want to protect a small backyard pool or a large above-ground pool installed on a deck, consider several practical and aesthetic reasons to invest in a pool cover.

What You Need to Know

  • Measure the length and width of the pool so you have an accurate idea of the size of pool cover you need.
  • Be prepared to pay for installation costs if you cannot install the pool cover yourself.
  • Set a budget range so that you can make the best decision when comparing different brands of pool covers with similar attributes and functionality.

Step 1

Consult with a pool installation specialist for recommendations on brands and styles. These individuals have experience working with the top brands in the industry and can provide you with a list of recommendations based on your pool’s style and design.

Step 2

Learn about state and local installation requirements. State and local authorities set the guidelines on how much of the pool must be covered when it is not in use. Avoid paying fees or fines by contacting your city, town or state’s department of health for requirements on pool covers in your area. Contact your local pool builder’s association for information about pool cover installations.

Step 3

Consider your climate. If you live in a sunny or windy part of the country, you will need a pool cover that prevents water evaporation. Based on your budget, choose among solar covers, track-mounted covers that slide across the pool or a mesh or solid fabric tie-down cover.

Step 4

Install an insulated pool cover for energy savings. Consider how hard your pool heater has to work on a regular basis just to maintain a steady temperature. If your pool uses a lot of energy for heating, a pool cover that provides a high level of insulation can help reduce energy costs.

Step 5

Choose an automatic pool cover for convenience. If convenience is a priority for you, invest in a track-mounted cover powered by electricity. These pool covers will require professional installation and can cost several thousand dollars. The benefit of these pool covers is you can push a button and the cover rolls and unrolls over the pool within minutes.

Step 6

Select tie-down pool covers if you have open deck space around your pool. Most tie-down covers require at least two to three feet of space around the pool so that pegs can anchor the pool cover. Make sure you have space available for easy installation of this type of pool cover.

Step 7

Review manufacturer’s warranty information. Check to see if the brand of pool cover you have selected has a warranty against defects. Consider purchasing an extended warranty or protection plan from your retailer to save money on replacement costs in the near future.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don’t have the right tools and equipment, you may need to hire a professional pool installation specialist or a handyman to install the pool cover.
  • Solar covers are the cheapest types of pool covers available and can be installed as a DIY project. Also called solar blankets, they resemble bubble wrap and float on the pool’s surface.
  • Track-mounted pool covers may take several hours to install. Be prepared to pay for construction work and extra materials.

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