Safety cover or Autocover for winter

quantase

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2018
92
Central Virginia
I have an inground pool with an auto cover and travertine pavers dry set deck. When closing the pool, the company said that I may benefit from having a safety pool cover on instead Of using the auto cover to cover the pool throughout the winter. First, is it necessary to have a safety cover on, and will it really extend the life of my auto cover pool cover? Also if you recommend safety pool cover then should I go with mesh or a solid cover? Pros and cons? Additionally, I could also open the autocover every time it calls for snow and just pump the excess water out; however that could be a pain. Thanks
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,744
Northern NJ
We have seen people get rips in their autocover from unknown sources during the winter. A cover can take a beating depending on the type of winter you have with snow, ice, or critters walking on it.

I don't think planning to open the cover before every snow storm is a workable plan. You can have snow and ice prevent the cover from opening or closing.

There are pros and cons to mesh vs solid covers with no clear answer. With mesh the water level of your pool needs to be monitored. With a solid cover you usually need to put a pump on it to clear water off.
 

quantase

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2018
92
Central Virginia
Thanks for the replies. I think I'm leaning to getting the safety cover. I think maybe the solid to help decrease the chances my pool being opened to a green monster. I assume go with a name brand company with a good warranty is key, right? Any experience with safety cover anchors in travertine pavers on dry set aggregate and polymeric sand in between joints? Any issues I should be aware of and to look out for when installing? Thanks.
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,072
Moberly,MO
We have been doing autocovers for probably 25 years now and only have one customer who insisted on putting a safety cover on for the winter. I would go with the autocover and go on. Yes the cover takes a beating being exposed to the elements 365 days a year. Contact the cover manufacturer and ask their recommendations.
 

quantase

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2018
92
Central Virginia
Thanks for the advice. I spoke to the auto cover people and they said I didn’t need to have a safety cover. Although it would put a beating on the autocover and my have to replace it sooner than if I had a safety cover. I plan to have it measured and priced out for a safety cover this week to see what the price is. If it is reasonable then I may go ahead and do it, unless it is expensive.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
486
Spring Valley, NY
Do as you please but a repair in the auto cover will leave you without a cover for the duration of the repair. Now if the pool has no fence how will guard the pool. The extra cost of the winter safety cover gives you piece of mind for the swim season. Winter is much harder on pool covers so if it were me if the mesh got torn or broken I'd fix it come spring and have a worry free summer.
 

BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
339
SW PA
FWIW, on our previous pool, we used the (Coverpool) autocover as the sole winter cover for 6 winters. The previous owner used it for 3 or 4. In that time frame, theres been some mild winters and some that were brutal. It lasted the expected lifespan of the cover. Went through a few cover pumps in that time, but the cover fabric did fine. That said, if youre willing to buy and install an additional winter safety cover, i'd say do it. Nothing to lose there. Had i not known we were eventually going to demo and replace that pool, i probably would have gone that route also.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
486
Spring Valley, NY
So here is the split I think between the two covers. With the mesh you can drop the water level to whatever method you prefer for closing have it below the skimmer or even below the returns. The mesh can handle the weight of ice and snow even if it's fully suspended above the water. It basically does not depend on the water for support. The auto cover I think needs to have the water at normal pool level so the material is mostly flat on the pool water and relies on a cover pump at times but can handle the precip because it doesn't have to support weight of the snow and ice. The latter would probably (I think) need the water to remain and you couldn't drop the water level using winterizing methods needing the returns exposed.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,176
Bangor Maine
Just to clarify on the above, in snow belt areas a safety cover does in fact rely on the ice that forms underneath it to support it. If you don’t the springs will get ruined and tears can and do result in the strapping. Don’t ask me how I know 😱