Even though winter is in full force and my pool is buried with snow, I am looking for deals on a solar cover. I think that the common strategy is to get the cheapest one possible, since even good ones will only last 2-years on average.
LOL!!! Nice pool! We'll take your word for it that that isn't just a puddle.
Yes, an 8mil cover is all you need. It is lighter and easier to handle. 12mil won't really stop evaporation any more than 8 mil will and the sun hits it just as much. Keeping it out of the sun when it isn't on the pool helps a lot to reduce UV exposure. I'm on year 2 with mine and it seems fine ... so far.
I don't really understand why they can't use better UV resistant materials. There are certainly lots of plastic things that can sit outside in the sun for many, many years without disintegrating. Hopefully, some solar cover makers are reading this and adding more UV protectant to their formula right now!
After the first week I cut mine in half which helped a lot. My pool is 18ish x 41ish and now I have a 20x18 cover on each end. Both pieces stay in place fine, even in the recent 50mph winds. I need to make one of these this spring to help make it even easier to handle, DIY Solar Cover Roller
If your pool is 16x40 then get the closest size but slightly larger, that way you can
trim it to fit.
I always get my covers from ebay. Matt had mentioned above sunplay, that is who I got mine
from on ebay...you get a better deal there because they price them less than on their website
in order to move inventory and shipping (I have found) is always free. win / win.