Mesh Safety Cover .vs Solid Safety Cover...experiences?

lsbarkley

LifeTime Supporter
May 15, 2007
98
New Jersey
#1
Hi...I know its not even summer and I am talking about what cover to purchase to close the pool! I prefer not to go into scramble mode at the end of the season though. I have seen the solid covers but prefer something safer with pets and children. So the two options are: Mesh Safety Cover .vs Solid Safety Cover. Anyone have experience with either or both? The advantage for the solid safety cover seems to be no sun filters into pool and therefore not algae and also no small particles. On the othe hand do you have to pump out the water on top of the solid safety cover? I have seen some with the "vent" in the middle to allow water to drain...doesnt it defeat the purpose of keeping the water clean? Seems like the solid safety covers run about $200 more than the mesh. Thanks for the input.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
The mesh saftey covers are very popular. More opaque versions of the mesh and solid covers with vents to let the water through are trying to reduce the amount of light that passes through to help control algae. Generally having the water go into the pool is fine and most people are not bothered by the fine silt that gets through the mesh, one vacuum in the spring takes care of that. Not having to pump out the cover is a huge advantage compared to a little silt.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,459
SW Indiana
#3
I have a mesh safety cover. The dirt that it allows in is not a big deal. It settles to the bottom and is removed with the first vacuuming. In a normal year, I open my pool before the water is warm enough for algae to really kick in, so I don't know how bad it is with letting light in. Another factor with either the mesh or the solid with the mesh panel is the amount of rainwater collected over the winter. I usually have to drain water from my pool two or three times over the winter. Not a big deal for me, and it's a plus because I can let the water get way high right before I open so I don't have to add high alkalinity fill water to replace the backwash water from the opening cleanup. The important thing is the dilution that takes place. With my high alkalinity fill water, I want all of the rain water I can collect. A SWCG owner would probably find they need to add salt in the spring with any kind of cover that allows water into the pool.
 

kirbinster

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2007
293
NJ
#4
Are any particular brands better than others? I have seen these in such places as InTheSwim on the net and they have a name brand and a house brand - what should I look for as far as thickness(?) or other factors.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,459
SW Indiana
#5
kirbinster said:
Are any particular brands better than others? I have seen these in such places as InTheSwim on the net and they have a name brand and a house brand - what should I look for as far as thickness(?) or other factors.
Meyco(sp??) and Loop-Loc are good ones.
 

waste

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
4,160
Coastalish 'down easter'
#6
As was said, the mesh covers are now available in a 'sunblock' weave. We just stareted installing them last fall, but my experience so far is that they do as good a job as the solid safety covers at preventing algae blooms. They weigh ~ 15 lbs more than the regular mesh covers (as opposed to 2+ the weight of solid covers) (depending on the size of the cover) and in my opinion are worth the extra ~ $200!
 

lsbarkley

LifeTime Supporter
May 15, 2007
98
New Jersey
#7
Thanks for the replies. I have a fiberglass pool so I am told to only lower the water just below the skimmer. I will need a pump anyway so I guess the sunblock weave mesh is the way to go. The solid covers weigh 2x as much? Wow. Thanks for all the input.
 

mbar

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 24, 2007
257
Ashland PA
#8
I have a looploc mesh cover and I like it - but if the sunblock one would have been available when I got my pool I would have gotten that kind. If I ever need a new cover :roll: I will get the sunblock one, just hope this one lasts another 7 years!
 
May 25, 2007
10
#9
Here's my experience:

On my pool I have an HPI (Hinspergers Poly Industries - sold by SPP) sold safety cover. It's the standard safety cover with nylon straps, anchors, springs, etc. etc.. The cover has a mesh panel in the center that allows rain to drain into the pool.

My sister-in-law's pool (which I open and close myself just as I open and close my own pool) has a Loop-Loc brand mesh safety cover.

Here are my observed pros and cons for each:

Solid Cover Pros:
  • Solid Cover blocks 99% of light
    Blocking the light can allow an earlier close and later opening
    Solid covers only allow 'silt' in at the opening
    Stops virtually all algae growth (in a properly closed pool)
Solid Cover Cons:
  • Solid Covers are HEAVY
    Solid Covers are more difficult to put on at closing time
    Solid Covers are more difficult to take off in the spring
    Slightly more expensive
    Snow weighs the cover down
    More tension needed on springs
    More difficult to fold and store
    Need to clean and dry thouroughly in spring to ensure long life

Now the Mesh Covers:

Mesh cover Pros:
  • Very light and easy to put on at closing time
    Easy to remove in the spring due to low weight
    Easier to rinse clean before storing for summer
    Slightly lower initial cost

Mesh cover Cons:
  • Mesh covers let in MUCH MORE light
    More light means more algae
    Silt that comes through is on entire pool (not just one spot)
    Wind can lift the lighter cover letting in more debri over winter

Now - this list is not complete, but these have been my observations. After 5 seasons (2 of which I took care of my sister-in-law's pool) I have come to the following conclusion. The extra care (cleaning) and extra effort (from heavy weight and awkwardness) make the solid cover more trouble than it's worth.

The ease of handling the mesh cover, along with lower cost seem to make it be best overall choice for most owners. The amount of light doesn't seem to be terribly relevant in my climate (Kentucky) as long as the pool is closed when the water temp is close to 60 degrees F. My sister-in-law's pool opened this year with virtually clear water (just like my pool) and hers was closed 4 weeks earlier, and opened 4 weeks later. We rinsed her cover and let it dry (10 minutes work) and stored it away. I had to wash my cover and systematically dry the cover by turning it several times on the driveway before storing it away (2 hours work). I can lift her cover with one hand, my cover weighs nearly 120lbs, and is so awkward after folding it up that it takes two people to properly handle it.

When my solid cover wears out I will replace it with a mesh cover, but at $750 I hope it lasts at least 5 more seasons :)

edit: Forgot to mention - regardless of which cover you choose, you will mostly likely need a sump pump to remove water a few times over the winter. On average I have to pull back a corner of the cover and pump water off about 3 times each winter. Last winter I pumped about 26 inches of water off total. I close with the water just under the returns, then after closing maintain it just under the skimmers when pumping. If you don't mind having to store the pump inside when not in use, any standard sump pump will work. I have the cheapest model Little Giant brand I could find at Wal-Mart. If you want one that you can just leave in with a water hose connected, you will need to get a freeze tolerant pump.
 

lsbarkley

LifeTime Supporter
May 15, 2007
98
New Jersey
#10
great insight

Thanks for that reply. Very informative. I think a sunblock mesh cover sounds like the best of both worlds. I will look into the prices and see what I come up with. For my 14 x 32 fiberglass pool I got a price of $ 700 for a solid safety cover. Going to search now for the sunblock mesh. Thanks for the feedback.

Ls
 
May 25, 2007
10
#11
I'll probably be doing the same when my solid cover wears out - the sunblock material wasn't available when I bought mine or I would imagine I would have one now ;)
 

lsbarkley

LifeTime Supporter
May 15, 2007
98
New Jersey
#12
cover mate?

In searching online I see they sell a black "solar" cover that would go under a regular mesh cover. They rund around $140....mesh covers seem to run around 450 for a 12 year warr and 651 for a 15 year warranty. The safety sunblock mesh is a $1000. Much cheaper to do the reg mesh with this "mate". The price for a solid cover I received was $700. I need to find a better price for the sunblock mesh. Any input on the 12 and 15 year products...worth it to pay more for the 15 year?