If running costs and safety are important to you then a swimming pool cover is an essential consideration for any pool, indoor or outdoor. Amazingly evaporation causes 70% of pool heat loss. A cover helps to prevent heat loss by sitting on the water, minimising air contact and stopping your pound notes escaping into the atmosphere.
Another benefit is maintenance becomes less time consuming as the cover decreases the amount of atmospheric deposition, (such as dust or leaves) entering your pool, giving you more time to enjoy your swimming, and less time to resent the cleaning.
So what kinds of covers are there?
There are five main types of pool cover:
- “Bubble cover” (Solar cover)
- Slatted covers
- “Safety covers”
- Rolling deck covers
- Raising floor covers
The majority of our clients opt for slatted covers or safety covers with rolling deck and raising floor covers being special requests.
What is a Bubble Cover?
Bubble covers are made from two types of polyethene film. One flat level, one bubble level which enables the cover to float.
Bubble covers are traditionally manual, meaning you have to go through the rigmarole of putting the covers on and off your pool before you swim. This is extended as it is also recommended to place another cover over your solar cover after your swim to protect it from the sun!
A lower quality cover is more likely to deteriorate with exposure to the elements than other covers.
What is a Slatted Pool Cover?
A slatted pool cover consists of a series of PVC or polycarbonate slats that float on the surface of the pool. The slats sit on a motorised reel, housed in a cover pit or cover cave that keeps them out of sight when retracted, meaning there is no ugly manual pool reel at the end of your pool.
Like most automatic covers, they are usually operated by turning a key switch which clients often locate in view of the pool.
In terms of achieving a balance of excellent thermal efficiency, aesthetics, ease of use and longevity, a slatted cover is what we believe is best suited to most luxury pools. It has better U-values than most other cover types and the ability to conceal it under paving or a deck when rolled up makes for a far nicer appearance.
PVC slats are the more cost-effective of the two options, and come in a range of 8 colours.
Polycarbonate slats are tougher, more resistant to heat, have a longer warranty and more available colours, but they also have a higher ticket price, being on average 20% more expensive than the PVC option.
In most UK scenarios a PVC cover will be sufficient as sun/ambient air temperatures are unlikely to get high enough to cause problems with the PVC but that is something you should factor into your decision-making process.
One of the most important things to bear in mind for families with younger children and pets is safety.
Safety covers are comprised of high-strength PVC reinforced fabric which is fixed to an aluminium “leading-edge” bar which pulls the cover along the width of the pool. Safety covers should be strong enough to endure any accidental slips, even by an adult. The fabric has a high gloss lacquer on both sides and contains a high tensile polyester scrim reinforcing layer to guard against tearing.
The material has a life expectancy of approximately 7-10 years. Apart from UV and wear & tear, the most common cause for a reduced fabric lifespan is the incorrect use of pool chemicals – obviously not a problem with Clear Water Revival because our pools are chemical-free.
Indoor Pool Covers
You could be forgiven for thinking that an indoor pool might not need a cover, but they are an integral part of the design of an efficient indoor pool hall. Indoor pool covers prevent evaporation and therefore affect how efficient your air handling system will be. By investing in a pool cover you can save running costs which would otherwise be spent on energy and water, but without a cover your air handling unit will be constantly working as hard as possible to battle air humidity and temperature loss.
For more information on air handling, see our air handling blog.
Clear Water Revival strongly recommend pool covers to save water, heating and money. If you need assistance in planning and creating your dream swimming pool, contact us to ensure you achieve your desired result, chemical-free of course.
Next week, we will be taking it up a notch and telling you about the “Rolls-Royce” of covers, rolling deck covers and raising floor covers.