Inground Pool Covers

An inground pool cover will retain heat, reduce heating costs, reduce evaporation, provide a safety barrier for children and protect your pool from harsh weather during the winter months. A wide variety of pool covers are available in just about any shape, color, size or material which we'll go over in more detail below. The most common mesh cover will increase the safety of your pool while a quality solar cover will keep the pool clean throughout the pool season while also regulating the water temperature.  

inground pool cover

The benefits of inground pool covers range from increasing the heat of the pool water to reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation. You will need to fill your pool less while reducing the amount of time spent balancing water chemistry. We'll compare the different types of covers so you can make an informed decision about purchasing a new cover for your pool. If you live in a climate where your pool water gets too hot in the summer and you want to keep it cool be sure to read all about pool shade covers like sun sails, pool umbrellas and pergolas. 


Types of Inground Pool Covers

There are 4 main types of inground pool covers and each has their own specific purpose when it comes to providing a protective covering. It's also common for pool owners to use more than one type of cover throughout the season as needs change. A solar cover is great during the swimming season when you want to quickly place and remove the cover during but isn't practical for the winter time where a winter cover provides a semi-permanent barrier that keeps just about anything while providing an added layer to your overall pool safety.  

Mesh Pool Safety Covers

There are 3 types of covers that are considered safety covers; mesh, solid and hybrid. A safety cover adds a layer of safety by preventing anyone or anything getting into your pool during the off-season. In addition, it's designed to keep your pool water clean, protect pool hardware, prevent algae growth and set your pool up for easy pool opening in the spring. An inground pool cover ensures the safety of your pool by fastening to your pool deck typically with stainless steel hardware that resists damage from the elements. 

Mesh Inground Pool Safety Cover

The Happybuy Pool Safety Cover is prefabricated to fit a variety of inground pool sizes. The soft yet tough material is durable, resistant to high temperatures and will prevent everything from leaves to rain and snow from ending up in your pool. The size of the cover should exceed the size of the pool to allow for fastening to the pool deck. These covers come with installation hardware and tools to allow for drilling into just about any type of pool deck. The tight mesh membrane will prevent water evaporation, protect pool equipment and keep children and pets out. 

Mesh Inground Pool Cover Installation

Mesh safety covers are designed to be stretched tight and anchored securely around the perimeter of the pool and the entire installation process can be completed in as little as a few hours with a drill and hammer. The first step is to install the anchors into the concrete around the pool, marking and drilling your holes in accordance with your cover manufacturers instructions. You may need to anchor into other materials that require specific hardware to drill into like poured concrete fittings for additional stability. 


Winter Pool Covers

A winter inground pool cover is designed to protect your pool during the winter months from the sun, rain, snow, ice or extremely cold temperatures. They are an alternative to installing a mesh or safety pool cover and in some cases they are adequate. Since winter covers are not permeable they do tend to accumulate debris and water that should be removed. You may want to consider using a submersible pool pump to remove standing water from the cover for increased safety and cleanliness. 

Blue Wave Inground Winter Pool Cover

The Blue Wave Winter Cover can be purchased in a variety of sizes ranging from 20 to 60 feet in length. This style of cover is designed to work with water tubes that are placed around the outer perimeter to keep the cover in place during the harsh winter months. When choosing the right size for your pool make sure to allow for about 5 feet overlap to allow proper securing with water tubes on the pool deck. Allowing extra slack will ensure the cover isn't stretched beyond it's capacity which could lead to ripping or tearing especially when the temperature drops below freezing. 


Solar Inground Pool Covers

Solar pool covers have the ability to convert solar energy into heat for your pool water and also keep water cool in hot southern climates. A properly sized solar cover blanket can increase and maintain warm water temperatures with adequate sunlight hours in some climates. In addition to heating the water, solar covers prevent evaporation, reduce chemical usage and lower energy costs when used regularly. 

Solar Inground Pool Blanket Cover

The Blue Wave Solar Pool Blanket comes in a variety of sizes that can even be customized by cutting to fit any size or shape of pool. Conserve energy with this 14-mil blanket that can increase pool water by up to 15℉. The insulating thermal bubbles will minimize heat loss and provide effective heating all summer long so you can enjoy warmer water temperatures in the evening or when the sun isn't shining. The superior durability is built into the fabric and is designed withstand deterioration caused by ultraviolet rays and pool chemicals. This inground pool cover is backed by a 6 year manufacturers warranty for added peace of mind. 

How A Solar Pool Cover Works

Are solar pool covers worth it and do they work? The answer is yes. A solar cover is a very affordable way to save every pool owner money and time in a few different ways that some pool owners might not even know.

  • Energy Savings. Every ray of sunshine that hits the cover is amplified as it enters the water. This conversion of free energy can keep a pool comfortably warm in some climates or reduce heating costs in pools that require a pool heater
  • Reduce Evaporation. A solar inground pool cover can reduce up to 6 feet of water evaporation in a single season. As water evaporates out of a pool it costs a pool owner money in two ways; heat energy loss and chemical usage. An uncovered pool can lose up to 90% of its heat from water loss caused by evaporation. 
  • Keep Debris Out. A properly fitted solar cover will keep out unwanted dirt, bugs and anything mother nature blows into your pool area. Enjoy a clean pool more often with less time spent skimming and vacuuming while increasing the lifespan of your filter system. 

Solar Pool Cover Bubbles Up or Down?

Solar pool cover bubbles up or down? The bubbles on a solar pool cover should be face down on the water. The purpose of the bubbles is to keep the cover afloat and creating a layer of air or thermal blanket between the pool water and cover. The pockets of air created by the bubbles is heated by the sun and in turn helps retain heat. 

Blue vs Clear Solar Pool Cover?

Blue vs clear solar pool cover? The differences between blue and clear are not big enough to make a choice based on science, however there are a few facts worth considering that lead us to highly recommend a colored solar cover. 

  • The darker the cover the more heat it will retain. A dark cover will absorb more heat and transfer that heat into the pool water. It will also create a better thermal barrier to heat loss from the water to the surrounding air.
  • A blue or black solar cover is more visible. On the topic of pool safety it is arguably better to have a solar cover that is more visible. A bather jumping into a pool that can't see a clear cover on it, is a potentially very dangerous situation. 
  • A clear solar inground pool cover allows more radiant energy through. The main argument for choosing a clear solar cover is that it allows more solar energy through into the water. It's impossible to say if this is more advantageous than more heat being held by a darker cover. 

Solar Pool Cover Installation

Installing the cover on your pool is self explanatory just ensure that the cover is bubble-side down to maximize the thermal blanket effect. The bubbles also keep the cover afloat and when the cover starts to lose its floatation it's a great indicator that it's time to purchase a new cover. If you have a unique or custom shaped pool you can easily trim the cover to size with scissors. 

A solar inground pool cover is most effective when the edge of the cover is perfectly flush with the edge of the pool with no gaps and no overlap. It's worth taking your time to trim the cover so it hugs the edge of the pool and in the long run you'll find a properly fitted cover will save cleaning headaches, retain heat and reduce evaporation better. 

A solar cover reel might be worth considering if you have a large rectangular pool. A reel can make it a lot easier for some pool owner's that find they are putting on and taking off the cover frequently. It's just not ideal for odd shaped pools and not worth the hassle or space for smaller pools or above ground pools. A solar cover should be used both day and night to reduce costly evaporation and to retain or increase heat

Solar Pool Cover Maintenance

A solar cover should not be left on the surface of the water in the off-season. It should be removed, cleaned and stored properly as part of a thorough pool winterizing or closing. If the cover accumulates a lot of dirt during the season you should also clean it before storing. The cover should be removed and laid out flat on a surface that won't damage the sensitive air bubbles on the underside of the cover. A large grassy area is ideal for giving it a good clean with a garden hose, mild soap and a soft broom or something similar.

Solar Cover Alternatives

If the thought of removing and replacing your inground pool cover every time you use your pool seems like a hassle there are alternatives. While the alternatives are easier to use they are unfortunately are also less effective. We don't recommend using these products on their own because of their limitations, but they are beneficial compared to not using a solar cover blanket at all. 

Liquid Solar Cover

A liquid solar cover or liquid solar blanket is a cover free way to achieve some of the benefits of a typical solar cover. The invisible and harmless barrier helps conserve water and retain heat energy by preventing up to 50% of normal water evaporation versus not using a cover. You won't see, feel or smell the liquid cover and it shouldn't cause any problems with filtration if used properly. Liquid solar covers are completely safe to use with salt water pools. It is worth noting that the effectiveness of the liquid cover is reduced if your pool is prone to windy conditions

How does a Liquid Solar Cover Work?

It works by forming an invisible, lighter than water barrier or blanket that floats on the surface of the water. The ingredients; isopropyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol form a mesh at a molecular level that prevents water and heat energy from escaping. The advanced mono-layer will constantly reform so it's safe to swim in and you won't even notice it, however it needs to be reapplied every 7-10 days under normal conditions. 

Solar Cover Rings

Solar Cover Rings are an innovative way to passively heat any pool. They are constructed of UV resistant vinyl and create heat by directing the suns rays to the bottom blue layer that absorbs about 50% of the suns energy and converts it to heat. The warming discs also prevent heat loss from escaping that commonly occurs at night when temperatures drop. The rings inflate and attach together with the built in magnets along the outer edge of the floating disc. These rings do not act as a solar blanket and should not be used as a replacement for a solar cover. 


Leaf Net Pool Covers

An inground leaf net pool cover is arguably one of the smartest things you can add to your pool if you live around trees that shed their leaves throughout the year and in the fall. There is nothing worse than cleaning rotted, decaying leaves out of your pool in the spring. Keep leaves out of your pool with a cover especially made for the job of trapping leaves. 

Blue Wave Leaf Net Inground Pool Cover

The Blue Wave Leaf Net Cover comes in many rectangular sizes. The biggest advantage of using a leaf net is you will eliminate the mess caused by decaying leaves and other organic matter. The durable woven polyethylene will catch debris and make is super easy to roll up and remove leaves and anything else that lands on the cover during the wintertime or a freak windstorm. The black mesh fabric is made to last so you can enjoy the benefits of a leaf net for many years. When sizing the cover be sure to allow for at least 4 feet of overlap so it can be secured using water tubes or attaching to the winter cover. 

How to use a Leaf Net Cover?

After measuring your pool purchase a net that is slightly larger than your pool so you have excess overlap. The overlap can be weighed down with water tubs or strapped in using rope and stakes similar to a winter cover. You may also want to tie it down to your winter safety cover as long as you aren't compromising the integrity of the cover.

The leaf net can be emptied anytime by rolling the corners up towards the center and discarding the leaves in a garbage can. Simply re-install the leaf net if you still see leaves left to be shed before winter. Leaf net inground pool covers are designed to withstand being outdoors but they should not be left on the cover over the winter, or used as the only means of covering your pool.

If you are in the market for an inground pool cover there are many options that will suit the needs of your pool. Keeping in mind safety, weather and your budget, you should be able to find something that is just right for your pool. We hope you found this page informative and best of luck choosing the right cover for your inground pool.


Disclaimer

Please use all appropriate and proper safety precautions when attempting projects on this website. All projects are attempted at the reader's own risk. 

Salt Water Pool and Spa™ participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, as an Amazon Associate we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.