There are two different kinds swimming pool covers — nets and solid covers. The first variety, the net, is designed to be child and animal proof. The net will not allow a child or pet to sink below the surface, but does nothing to warm the pool or protect it from debris. The second variety — the solid covers — come in two varieties. Bubble pads lie on top of the water, while retractable covers are on motor-driven tracks that pull the cover back and forth across the pool.
Solid pool covers should not be used simply to keep dirt and leaves out of the pool. Yes, the bubble pads keeps leaves and dirt out right up until you take the cover off, and then everything collected on the pad has a tendency to fall into the pool as you pull the cover off.
In fact, the original intent of swimming pool covers was to hold in heat and keep pools warmer. As a general rule of thumb, on average a swimming pool cover will increase the pool water temperature to 7 to 10 degrees over and above the nighttime temperatures. This may extend the swimming season by 30 days on each end of the season. As an added bonus, while the pool is covered, you use fewer chemicals because you are not getting UV light into the pool. UV light is one of the food sources that algae feeds on and if you deprive it that source it reduces the amount of chemicals needed necessary to keep algae in check.
The retractable pool covers are best, but also the most expensive, if you are trying to keep out dirt and debris. They do work to keep crud out of the pool because you can hose them off as they retract. They still require maintenance because you have to clean the cover off as you retract, or at least you should!
One thing to watch for is the thickness (or mill) of the covers. Cheap pool covers tend to be very thin mill, and they deteriorate much more quickly than thicker, more expensive version. They’ll last maybe one season. The good ones can last two to four seasons.
Pool People in Glendale, Arizona, would be delighted to assess your pool and help you choose a cover that is right for your needs. We’ll be happy to help you select the right net for your needs. Pool People provides regular pool and spa cleaning, pool and spa maintenance, pool remodeling, pool and spa repairs, as well as tile cleaning for residents of the Northwest Valley in Phoenix. We also have a fully stocked pool store at 5830 W. Thunderbird Rd., Suite B-6, Glendale, AZ.