Newbie pool owner here... looking to get my ducks in a row for winter (bummer) and really appreciated this thread. I'm going to take my chances and go with the mesh, as it just seems to make more sense to me.
I found a great deal here: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Round-Abov ... pool+cover and wondered if anyone is familiar with this particular cover... it really looks to me like trampoline mat fabric (which would be pretty tough, I think).
I have some questions, though... might be stupid ones, but like I said, I'm a newbie...
I know I need to drain the water to below the skimmer & return and plan to remove all the hoses and threaded inserts, etc. so any freezing won't damage them, but here's my question - I remember reading a post from a pool guy on this forum somewhere about damage to skimmer/return from ice if the water level didn't stay below them as the ice can turn... So how do you make sure that water level increase from freeze/melt on the cover doesn't make the water get up that high? is it really that big of a danger? I'm in Ohio, so I fully expect the whole pool to be one big ice block about January or February, with a potential for several feet of snow on a cover (we have gotten as much as 21" in a day... but last year prob. didn't get that much all winter combined).
This leads to my other question - one of the posters mentioned a homemade "tree" they put under the cover (basically a ball held in the middle of the pool by cords, instead of an air pillow), which also seems like a great idea to me - gives some slope to the cover, which may help the wind blow leaves/snow off of it. I'd love to know how they (or anyone for that matter) have accomplished that... I'm all for learning from others experience!
Thanks so much for any input folks might have - I'm so grateful for this site... it's been such an amazing resource - I've told anyone I know with pools about TFP!