Do new solar (bubble) covers shrink in size during the first weeks on the pool?

LapPoolMike

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
146
Saint Petersburg, FL
Howdy,
I just purchased my first solar cover ever, for my 11' x 60' lap pool, and could use some advice from experienced cover users. I actually purchased a 30' x 60' cover, the Clear 2400 Series 12mil thick cover from Doheny's, so I will be cutting it to get two full-length covers out of it plus pieces to cover my attached spa, stairs and swimout bench.

My question is: should I cut the cover larger than the pool dimensions (11' x 60') to account for shrinkage over say the first six weeks of life on the pool? I'm getting mixed opinions. I just spoke to Doheny's and they say shrinkage with their solar covers should not be an issue, that shrinkage is only an issue with vinyl liners. But the web site for the cover reel I purchased (Rocky's Reels #5A) states to allow a 1.5 inch wide border around the pool edge to compensate for shrinkage, in other words cut the cover 3 inches wider and 3 inches longer than the pool dimensions. I've read other sources that also say to allow for shrinkage, then go back 6 weeks later and do a final trim.

What say you? Have you ever experienced a pool solar cover shrinking by any significant amount? If you trim your covers, what do you do? I think I'm going to take it to my local park/soccer field to do the trimming! Thanks!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,630
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
If you have enough excess I would trim it big, You can always trim a bit more off. You can't stretch it once it is too small.

Let us know what your experience is on shrinkage.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
36,021
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Mine did not noticeably shrink. But I was not all that meticulous in trimming it to fit.
 

LapPoolMike

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
146
Saint Petersburg, FL
I called the manufacturer of the cover, they suggested to cut the cover 3 inches wider than the width of the pool, let it sit on the pool for a week, then do a final trim to exact width. That sounds like good advice to me, I think that's what I'll do!
 

LapPoolMike

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
146
Saint Petersburg, FL
Good to hear! I was originally going to get the 16 mil, but would have needed an even heavier duty reel to handle a 60' long cover, so opted for the 12 mil. I bet that 16 mil is nice! Thanks.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,184
NY
Mine actually grew. It didn't lay completely flat due to being rolled up from the factory. It had some creases that took 2 weeks in the sun to smooth out and when they did, I had to trim another few inches off. But start too big. You can always trim it down 3 more times, or even 6 more times. Once you go too small, its too small. Also make sure to give it plenty of time to settle. You're expecting to get a few years out of it, 2 weeks is well worth the risks.
 
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