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Thread: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

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    Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Was wondering about differences between the covers that let water filter through and the tarps that do not let any water through. I have both. I thought it would be better with the mesh cover as they say it can old an elephant and water melts and goes through, but I didn't know if it would let dirt and/or alow algae to grow.
    16 x 38 inground pool, 20K gal, vinyl liner, 0.75 HP Hayward Superpump (SF 1.0, 115 V), Hayward Pro Serier Top Mount 24" sand filter (300lbs sand) with 62GPM design flow fate and 3.1 sq ft effective filtration area, Kreepy Krawly cleaner

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    jordangregory,

    This is one of those questions that's difficult to answer definitively due to the amount of variables in the equation. Like all things in life, it is ultimately a compromise that will depend on what factors are most important to you. Mesh covers look much nicer than the tarp/water bag combo. They are also much safer because they can easily support many times the weight of a child or adult should someone accidentally fall in the pool. They do however let water and a whole bunch of other junk into your pool. This requires that you are pretty diligent about pumping that accumulated water out over the winter. I had a friend who wasn't so careful and when the overfilled pool froze, he lost most of his stone coping.

    On the other hand, the tarp/waterbag cover is ugly and potentially dangerous should someone fall in the pool. It also requires more work to place and remove than the mesh cover and you must pump the water out that accumulates on top. It does however keep your pool spotlessly clean. We have used a tarp cover since we finished our pool 3 years ago, and generally my wife and I use the hot tub the first night we uncover the pool. We usually still have 2-3 ppm of chlorine residual. Don't try that with a mesh cover! They also cost much less...but this is not an issue for you as you already have both.

    Mesh covers can create more work if you are a late opener or early closer. Mesh covers allow a significant amount of organic material to pass through, as well as some sunlight. That, combined with some heat from a late spring opening or early fall closing, can create quite a mess to clean up. Generally speaking, tarp covers keep your water cleaner and save you some time and money on chemicals (Stabilizer,Borates, Salt, etc) at initial startup because you haven't diluted and pumped the pool water as much.

    Hope this helps,

    Rob
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Thanks for the tip. That helps quite a bit.
    I wonder if I could combind the tarp and mesh. perhaps put the mesh down for safety, then put a tarp on top to keep out the debris and sunlight.
    16 x 38 inground pool, 20K gal, vinyl liner, 0.75 HP Hayward Superpump (SF 1.0, 115 V), Hayward Pro Serier Top Mount 24" sand filter (300lbs sand) with 62GPM design flow fate and 3.1 sq ft effective filtration area, Kreepy Krawly cleaner

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Uh, they so make solid safety covers you know,

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Uh, they so make solid safety covers you know,

    Scott
    His question related to tarp vs. mesh covers as he owns both and not a solid safety cover......a point uh....you might have known uh...if you actually uh...read his post. Solid safety covers come with their own headaches also.
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    So what headaches are associated with the solid covers? I haven't brought anything yet and I am in the market.
    14,700 gal. 14 x 28 rectangle with 2R IG by Hydra Pools, 1 hp Hayward Maxflow ll, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Aquarite Electronic SWG, one Aqua Genie Complete Skimmer, two main drains, four returns, 2 spa jets in steps, 30ml Tidewater liner. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    My guess would be that with a solid safety cover you need to get the accumulated water (or snow) off some how. I have read that people have to use a pump when ever there is a big rain to remove water ponding on the solid safety covers. From the advice above I think I'll save myself the $3,000 and buy a 30' x 50' tarp from Home Depot for $89. Maybe I'll need to buy a new one each year, but I like my water crystal clean when I remove the cover.
    20,000 gallon, Sand Filter, In-ground, vinyl, 1 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Natural Gas Heater, Aquarite Salt Chlorine Generator
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Solid covers tend to be very heavy....usually need at least two people to cover a pool. You also need to be more meticulous about cleaning and the drying cover before storage than you would for a mesh or tarp cover. Some solid covers depend on an electric pump to move the accumulated water. A certain percentage of these pumps can and will fail. The solid covers without pumps require drain panels to get the water off. This water...and sediment.... ultimately ends up in your pool...albeit to a much lesser degree than the mesh covers. I have heard of these panels clogging, preventing proper drainage and creating problems.

    These issues probably don't affect the majority of solid covers, so you cannot make your decision based solely on this information. If you can talk to other pool owners in your area...ask what works for them. Maybe somebody else will chime in here with their experiences. Like I said before...we have the tarp/water bag cover...it ain't pretty, but's it's cheap and the water is beautiful come spring time.

    Rob
    27ft Above Ground Pool
    Sand filter

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Quote Originally Posted by rkgdmd
    jordangregory,


    Mesh covers can create more work if you are a late opener or early closer. Mesh covers allow a significant amount of organic material to pass through, as well as some sunlight. That, combined with some heat from a late spring opening or early fall closing, can create quite a mess to clean up. Generally speaking, tarp covers keep your water cleaner and save you some time and money on chemicals (Stabilizer,Borates, Salt, etc) at initial startup because you haven't diluted and pumped the pool water as much.

    Hope this helps,

    Rob
    If you have to drain the pool to the same level to blow the lines (whether you use mesh or tarp), how does a tarp cover save on chemicals. Over the winter, the mesh will let the pool fill up with meltwater/rain and dilute the pool water that was left in the fall. With a tarp cover, you have to add tap water (or whatever, truck, well etc.) to top up the pool, thus also leading to dilution of the water that was left in the fall.

    Either way, new water will be added to the old, leading to dilution and chemicals will have to be added in both instances.
    16x28 Roman, 55000 litres, salt water, Zodiac Duoclear 130 (mineral cartridge removed!!!), inground, vinyl liner
    Hayward Tri-star VS900 (1.85 HP) pump, Hayward C3030 cartridge filter
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    rcy,

    I think it's the added organic material you get with the mesh that will require more chemicals than the city water.

    I'm wondering if you use mesh and you get a ton of rain and snow melt that brings the water level above your skimmer and gets back into the lines. If you get a spring time freeze-up could that cause damage to pipes and other equipment ?
    20,000 gallon, Sand Filter, In-ground, vinyl, 1 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Natural Gas Heater, Aquarite Salt Chlorine Generator
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Your skimmer holes (and wall jet holes) should be plugged after blowing the lines when winterizing, so water will enter the skimmer but can't get into the line because of the plug (Gizmo in my case). What I did have to do one year when we had a ton of snow and rain, was actually use my sump well pump to drain water from the pool weeks before opening, as it was in danger of overflowing. Most other years, the pool is just high enough for me to do an intial vacuum on 'waste' to get rid of the sediment that has settled to the bottom over the winter, then the level is perfect with no need to add water from the garden hose.
    16x28 Roman, 55000 litres, salt water, Zodiac Duoclear 130 (mineral cartridge removed!!!), inground, vinyl liner
    Hayward Tri-star VS900 (1.85 HP) pump, Hayward C3030 cartridge filter
    Nine Techno Solis 4x10 solar panels, Jandy LX 250 natural gas heater
    Jandy Aqualink PDA with Sub Panel Power Centre

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Quote Originally Posted by offgrid
    My guess would be that with a solid safety cover you need to get the accumulated water (or snow) off some how. I have read that people have to use a pump when ever there is a big rain to remove water ponding on the solid safety covers. From the advice above I think I'll save myself the $3,000 and buy a 30' x 50' tarp from Home Depot for $89. Maybe I'll need to buy a new one each year, but I like my water crystal clean when I remove the cover.

    Do you put balloon balls or something in the water to keep it from sagging in the middle? What do you do to anchor it? A friend of mine says she uses a tarp too and put sand bags around the edge with a ball in the middle.
    14,700 gal. 14 x 28 rectangle with 2R IG by Hydra Pools, 1 hp Hayward Maxflow ll, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Aquarite Electronic SWG, one Aqua Genie Complete Skimmer, two main drains, four returns, 2 spa jets in steps, 30ml Tidewater liner. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Quote Originally Posted by jordangregory
    Thanks for the tip. That helps quite a bit.
    I wonder if I could combind the tarp and mesh. perhaps put the mesh down for safety, then put a tarp on top to keep out the debris and sunlight.
    ive done this a few times this year for customers who REALLY need a new safety cover but cant afford one at the moment...
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    My favorite safety cover is the light weight solid, with mesh drains in the middle.

    Pools open crystal clear, they are lightweight unlike the old school solids, and with the mesh drains in the middle there is no worries about pumping off the cover during the off season.

    The only downfall is when you open the pool there is usually a little bit of dirt on the floor under the mesh drains. Its a very small amount and takes minutes to vacuum. Other then that, they are my favorite at the moment, and thats all ive been selling. Customers who have had mesh covers for the last 10 years we so pleased this spring to open to a clear pool. One ladies pool was still sparkling, as if we never shut it down. That even impressed me! Here is a new 20 x 40 Lightweight solid with mesh drains we installed a couple weeks ago.
    Id like to note, if you have a pool with a tile border, its important that the water level in the pool stays below the tile to prevent freeze damage. Your best option would be a fully solid cover. Or if you chose the solid with mesh drains, you would need to keep an automatic pump on the top step of your pool, so when the water level did rise, it would pump it out and away from the tile.
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    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    That's really nice! I'd like to get one but because I don't have a cement apron around my pool (waiting for ground to settle) what are my options?
    14,700 gal. 14 x 28 rectangle with 2R IG by Hydra Pools, 1 hp Hayward Maxflow ll, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Aquarite Electronic SWG, one Aqua Genie Complete Skimmer, two main drains, four returns, 2 spa jets in steps, 30ml Tidewater liner. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu07
    l (waiting for ground to settle) what are my options?
    Basically, a tarp and water bags.
    To answer your earlier question, for an IG pool, you dont need anything under the tarp to hold it up. The tarp floats on top of the water. The weight of snow, water, etc is held up by the water. The water bags hold the edges down and keep the cover from blowing around, but the water underneath does the work of holding the weight.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu07
    That's really nice! I'd like to get one but because I don't have a cement apron around my pool (waiting for ground to settle) what are my options?

    for now... tarp would be the smartest with no concrete around pool.

    but do yourself a favor and get a nice safety cover once you do have the cement
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
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    Heckpools's Avatar
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    if you have a plain 14x28 rectangle a nice light weight solid shouldnt be too expensive. Id say around 1800 installed. ( give or take some $$)
    [center:3gj9kdnn]Matt Heck
    "HECK OF A POOL SERVICE LLC"
    Serving Ocean co. NJ
    COMPANY INFO BELOW
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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    Matt,
    Do you have an opinion on Arctic Armor Safety covers? I'm considering either the mesh or solid from them.
    Outdoor fiberglass inground 15,000 gallons, Clean & Clear Plus 420ft. sq. filter, 1 h.p. WhisperFlo pump, New water cycler automatic chlorinater(not using), 1996 pool, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Mesh Covers vs. Tarps

    I'd like to bump jordangregory's question: "I wonder if I could combind the tarp and mesh. perhaps put the mesh down for safety, then put a tarp on top to keep out the debris and sunlight."
    Of course a solid safety cover is the $3,000 solution, but like jordangregory, I too have both safety mesh and tarp. Seems this combination would work just like a solid safety cover. Anyone?

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