Pool cover experiences


In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
Bangor Maine
Solids are almost twice as heavy, require a pump to remove excess water, are a huge pita installing once they fall in the water (water won’t drain off like a mesh) and you try to pull them out. They are more expensive as well.

Keep your deck clear of most debris and place foam rope just under the webbed perimeter and you will not have any mess. Properly installed and any leaves just blow off the cover, leaving zero mess. Improperly installed covers will sag into the pool water, creating puddles which any leaves will get stuck in. The sides and those puddles are where the issues come from. Both are easily solved.


Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
Columbus, Ohio
In 20 years I've gone through two solid covers and one pump. They are very heavy and a pain to put on with one person. I've done it by myself and it really goes a lot easier with two people. The old cover is showing wear but it's still usable. I upgraded to an auto-cover for convenience. My wife and I are in our 60's now so wrestling with a heavy solid cover in the winter and a solar cover in the summer was getting to be two much for one person. We can still manage it but there is a lot to be said for just pushing a button when you want the solar cover off for a quick swim.
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Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
I’m at the stage in life that you couldn’t pay me enough to remove and clean one of those winter covers, the stench alone is enough to make morticians pass out. 😂😂😂
Stench? You can eat dinner off of my cover. I would lay a white tablecloth on top of it for you.:)


Oct 2, 2019
Southern Maryland
We went thru the same debate - solid vs mesh. About 25 years ago, we decided to go with a solid Merlin cover. Our pool is surrounded by oak and pine trees that not only shed leaves in the fall, but also pollen and needles in the spring before we open it. The leaves are one thing, but keeping a pool clean from oak pollen is something I'd rather not deal with on a covered pool. It's bad enough keeping the cover cleaned. Our first Merlin cover lasted about 22 years. Not bad we thought, so we went with another when it needed replacement. This one however is from McEwen. Our IG gunite pool is custom shaped and about 700 sq ft.
Now that we are retired, we snowbird to Fla. As such, we don't have the opportunity to clean the cover when it needs it. I've gone thru 3 Little Giant auto pumps, now on our 4th. We don't get a lot of snow here, about 15-20" year, but it does freeze often. While we are away, I hook up a temperature controller (just like one someone that brews beer would use) to automatically turn power on/off to pump when near freezing. You don't want power to your pump if the water is near freezing. To prevent leaves and pollen from clogging up the pump, I put it inside a covered storage container where I've drilled many, many holes along the bottom so that water can seep in, but hopefully not too many leaves. This works pretty well. I do keep an eye on it while in Fla with a wifi smartcam. I've only had to call my son once to ask him to clear out the leaves while we weren't there.
To the OP, if you plan on opening in April, keep an eye on all that falling pollen. It can make a mess of your if unchecked.


Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
I have the 99%. It lets standing water through once the cover is saturated. Most everything else is too big so it blows off the cover. The 94% was more like a screen. You could see through it and anything bigger than the little squares will go right through. Only the finest silt makes it through mine which settles on the bottom and vacuums up with 2 passes in the spring. If the vacuum itself didn’t stir it all up it would only take one pass. It’s probably better to make two runs with the vacuum anyway regardless of the cover type.


Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
If I had a cover pump it would remove the water on top before it had a chance to soak through, but that would be just one more thing to keep an eye on all the time. So I find it’s easier for me to just drain the pool once or twice during the winter as need be.


Well-known member
Apr 29, 2016
Central Md.
We went with a gray Merlin mesh. I drop the pump in a couple of times over the winter to keep water level below the tile. The cover has worked perfectly for 4 winters.
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Well-known member
Mar 11, 2015
When our pool was installed in 2004, we went with a mesh safety cover. The builder said it would be easier to handle and last longer. After several years of messy spring cleanings (lots of fine silt), having to wait until late Nov/early Dec to close and open by the beginning of March (and even then the water was green sometimes at opening), I had enough.

It would have been $$$$ to replace it with a solid cover, so I bought a cheap tarp style cover to put over the mesh cover. This has worked better than I expected. Opening is much easier, and never green at opening despite closing in early Oct when we stop swimming and opening in early May when we’re ready to swim again.

TFP recommends waiting until water temp is below 60 to close, and open before water gets above 60. Our water is usually in the mid/upper 60s at closing, and upper 60s low 70s at opening, and still never a green pool. One year at opening I had to wait until June to open, and despite the water being 80 by then, the water was still clear when I opened (no chems added while it was closed).

Oh, and I’ve had to replace the cover pump once in the past 10 years (2nd pump still working fine).
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TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
Morris Cnty NJ
It is true you have to clean your deck with a mesh cover if you have leaves. But either cover needs the edgea packed with rope or pipe foam, noodles, etc. Takes 2 min w a leaf blower a few times in the fall. If you have no snow then solid is good too. I like the tight mesh covers they wear less on edges and dont scuff the deck as easy as solids
It is true you have to clean your deck with a mesh cover if you have leaves. But either cover needs the edgea packed with rope or pipe foam, noodles, etc. Takes 2 min w a leaf blower a few times in the fall. If you have no snow then solid is good too. I like the tight mesh covers they wear less on edges and dont scuff the deck as easy as solids
Thanks for the helpful feedback. Every time we think we have decided we change our minds.

we think we have switched to idea of mesh cover as we plan on closing late(end of oct) and opening early (mid March). We get minimal snow typically.we realized the super dense mesh (99% shade and solids are the same weight) and the 95% mesh is almost about half the weight.

would the 95% and polyquat get the job done well enough or just deal with theweight? Since 99% dense mesh is same weight as solid we would probably just go solid? I will report back once we pull the trigger!
Ok so after painful consideration and all of your input I finally decided to take the chance and not order Loop loc. lol We ordered the PoolTux KingMesh99 for $850 since it is backed by Latham and had the best warranty that included 5 yr full (15 year after that prorated = 20 total) and they included paying for shipping if any defects arise in the first 5 years. Many warranties were only honored if you paid return shipping and I refuse to pay more money b/c they have a defective product. It annoys me. lol For the 99% mesh option on loop loc it was $2200 so even if I only got 5-10 years out of thsi cover I'd be thrilled and if it goes longer yay me! I ordered through Pool Supply Store and also earned a $25 credit for future use.

Hoping for the best --- thank you everyone for helping me navigate this!
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