Insights on cover sales for both pools and swim spas…
With many swimming pool companies struggling to find and retain qualified in-house staff, it is no wonder that demand has never been so high for swimming pool cover specialists. “We try to provide a reactive service, generally responding within seven days to attend either a breakdown or install,” explains Gary Mitchell, MISPE, of PCS Pools. “But in the past three years, we have found ourselves booked up, two to three months in advance,” he reveals.
“If, when ordering the cover system, pool builders contact us; we are then able to schedule the install and provide a seamless service,” Gary explains. “It is when we are contacted, once the cover has arrived on site, things get difficult to schedule-in.” Having been in the industry since 1982, installing his first slatted cover in 1987, and countless more since, Gary has also worked on the supply chain side of the industry, so can truly say he has all aspects covered. Gary works with all cover manufacturers with leading brands being Ocea , Del and Grando as well as Roldeck, Coverstar and OASE.
OUTSIDE THE BOX
Working on both residential and commercial pools, PCS Pools aims to swiftly resolve any cover malfunction as quickly as possible, subject to parts or adaptions that are sometimes required. “We often have to think outside of the box,” Gary admits. “Typically, we are dealing with covers that just don’t work or covers trapped in roller chambers and ropes snapped on material covers. “All the cover makes we work with, are of a good quality,” Gary believes. “It is more about installing them correctly because once they are installed well, all the covers work fine.”
Gary reflects: “We also seem to find ourselves going out to poor installs, taking them out and re-installing them correctly. “Poor workmanship, prior to our attendance, certainly causes major issues when installing a pool cover correctly. “Not reading the instructions or preparing builds to take the cover systems correctly and as per instructions,” Gary continues. “When it comes to ordering pool covers; reading a tape measure appears to be a big issue for some,” Gary retorts. “Often when installing slats and cover fabrics we find mistakes have been made and the cover doesn’t fit. “We don’t hold back with information; we are always happy to talk and to work with the trade showing them how to install the covers and encourage in-house engineers to install their own covers.”
Manufacturing swimming pool covers since 1972, over the past few years, the need to reduce carbon emissions has become greater than ever. Most domestic and commercial pool owners are looking for new ways to reduce their carbon footprint, minimise impact on climate change and save on energy costs. Plastica’s range of pool covers includes the UK’s most popular solar cover material with Geobubble™ technology. Geobubble™ is an innovative solar cover material, designed and manufactured to ensure that the bubble wall stays 50% thicker at its thinnest point when compared to conventional solar cover material.
It is proven to be a stronger, more durable solar cover, resulting in a much longer lifespan and benefitting from extended warranties. Plastica’s best-selling covers are the Sol+Guard 500™, EnergyGuard™ Selective Transmission and the Blue and Silver Apollo 400. All use Geobubble™ technology to eliminate water evaporation by 98%. This helps reduce water treatment consumption by over 60% – which is a huge saving. Debris such as leaves, dirt, insects and bird droppings are not only unsightly in a pool but also provide nutrients for algae and bacteria to feed on. When the pool is covered these contaminants will be kept out of the water, greatly improving the quality and appearance of the water.
These covers come with a pro-rata warranty up to six years in the UK & Eire only (four years for the Apollo). At the end of its life, Geobubble™ material is 100% recyclable, another environmental element to consider. Plastica also offer effective solutions for the commercial pool cover market, with their manual and motorised systems and their tough, eco-friendly 5mm Supercovers, available in blue or grey.
“It is now widely accepted that installing a heat retention cover is the single most effective means of reducing swimming pool energy consumption,” advises Plastica’s Will Dando. “According to figures based on actual independent live trials, fitting the right cover on a pool will give a reduction in energy bills of an average 23% per annum.” The unique and durable covers almost eliminate evaporation and reduce humidity and condensation. Depending on the type of reel system your customer opts for, a payback period as short as 12 months can be expected.
Always looking to break new ground, industry pioneers, Paramount Pools were the first British company to manufacture two types of thermal safety cover using a unique three-layer lamination process comprising of original PVC 630gm safety fabric and a specified insulation material. Working in close connection with Therma-Float® and independently tested by HSTTS laboratories, Paramount is able to offer two types of thermal blanket designed for pools and spa environment.
Thermo-safe pool and spa covers can withstand temperatures from -30 / +70°C The Thermo-safe pool cover incorporates the unique Therma-foil barrier made from 2.5mm of polyethylene foam coated with a metalised barrier providing excellent insulation properties. Due to the size of the rolled up material the cover is suitable for new pool installation only; up to 15m long requiring a 405mm wide pit housing. But swim spa suppliers should not miss the boat when it comes to selling the benefits of Thermo-safe Spa Cover.
“Reducing heat loss, cutting chemical use and saving temperatures; the Thermo-safe takes the strain out of covering swim spas and offers a compelling sales story for swim spas,” comments Paramount’s Steve Martin. Manufactured using the same lamination process but incorporates a 6mm closed cell cross-linked polyethylene foam sheet for ensuring high insulation properties on higher temp environments such as a swim spa or hydrotherapy pools. Thermo-blanket is supplied in sheet form only made to bespoke sides replace any standard heat retention cover.
Incorporating the same 6mm closed cell cross-linked polyethylene foam, the Thermo-blanket can be attached to most domestic/ commercial rollers. It is also an ideal solution for free-form shaped pools where roller application is not possible. The cover can be made into manageable size sections that can be remove by hand. Research has shown that an uncovered pool can lose as much as 5˚c heat in 5 hours; installing a Thermo- safe cover can reduce heat loss in the same period to as little as 0.65˚c.
Certikin have been supplying Roldeck slatted pool covers for 35 years. With a wide variety of installation options and slats to choose from, they create an attractive finish to any pool. Each Roldeck is made to measure for new or existing pools with the coiling mechanism installed above or below ground or in the pool itself. In an above ground installation, the protective roller cover can be reinforced to create a bench. Touch pad type switch and remote control for easy calibration and operation, a safety lock available for new builds and the ability to interlock with the air handling system (indoor pools), are just some of its outstanding features.
Solar Eclipse® slats were introduced to the range a few years ago and have exceptional resistance to UV radiation, thanks to UV stabilisers in the base material and an additional protective top layer. The Roldeck Easy Cover is an affordable electronic automatic cover, suitable for pools up to a maximum of 12m x 6m. It is available as a solar powered or full electronic system and is ideal if space around the pool is limited, as it is supplied with slim and discreet end stands. It is easy and quick to install and is available in combination with PVC slats in the colours white, grey, cream and the full range of polycarbonate slats (PC60 and Solar Eclipse). Certikin also champions the automatic Coverstar safety cover because it is easy to operate and provides safety (complies with French safety standard NFP90-308) without compromising the pool’s appearance.
Supporting the weight of children, pets and even adults, the Coverstar uses the top-quality Ultra Guard III vinyl composite, rather than the industry-standard vinyl. The high level of UV resistance offered by Ultra Guard III considerably reduces the level of colour fading compared to standard vinyl, plus it has high resistance to chlorine, acid, ozone, and other pool chemicals. Instead of using sewn webbing, which often proves to be the weak area of the cover, Coverstar uses an exclusive patented process to heat seal the webbing, prolonging the cover’s life and improving the overall quality operation. Crucially, factory-trained engineers are available for installation of both the Coverstar and Roldeck covers.
Tel: 01993 777200
Tel. 01271 378100
Tel. 01752 253525
Tel. 01993 707910
Tel. 01256 748380
P.C.S. Pools Ltd
Tel. 0777 631 2006
Tel. 01424 857802