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What Are the Different Types of above Ground Pool Covers?

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  • Written By: Deborah Walker
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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Above ground pool covers are used primarily for reducing the amount of time, energy, and cost of pool maintenance and to prevent pool accidents. The different types of pool covers include leaf nets, safety covers, winter covers, and solar covers. Covers are made of different materials, including loose-weave mesh and solid polyethylene, depending on the cover's intended use. Custom made, above ground pool covers are available for swimming pools that cannot use an off-the-shelf cover.

Leaf nets are above ground pool covers that fit on top of winter or solar pool covers. Leaf covers are made of lightweight, open-weave material, which allows water to pass through. They prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from accumulating on the cover. Leaf covers decrease the likelihood of debris getting accidentally dumped into the pool when the main cover is removed. They also make removing the main cover much easier because the heavy, wet leaves are removed before the main cover is taken off.

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Safety covers are another type of pool cover and are used to prevent accidental drownings or other pool accidents. These are the most expensive type of above ground pool cover and come in tightly woven mesh or solid polyethylene. A safety cover is held in place with straps that are anchored into decking with the cover pulled taut across the pool. For pool covers to be considered safety pool covers, they must meet the standard of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Regulations promulgated by ASTM state that all safety covers must hold a minimum of 485 pounds per 5 square feet, which is more than strong enough to support most people and pets if they accidentally walk out onto the cover.

A solid winter swimming pool cover will make opening the pool the following spring or summer much easier. Above ground pool covers used during winter minimize algae growth, the build up of debris, and the likelihood of pool water freezing during cold weather. The winter pool cover is held in place by a cable and winch assembly that is anchored to the pool by threading the cable through grommets in the cover. To minimize water puddling on the outside of the cover, air pillows float on the water underneath the cover.

Solar pool covers are the least expensive type of the pool covers. A solar swimming pool cover uses the sun to heat the pool and can raise the pool's water temperature by as much as 10 degrees. This type of cover can save pool owners up to 90% on heating costs during the summer season. Pools with solar covers prevent heat from escaping at night and keep the pool water and pool chemicals from evaporating by up to 70%. This means that family and friends can enjoy swimming in the pool at much less cost for the owner.

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