Under Cover

Primarily sold as a cost cutter, pool systems like this one from Oase helps to improve pool safety.

We could probably debate, for the time it takes to doggy paddle the length and breadth of the country’s entire swimming pool stock, the merits of which swimming pool covers offer the best market value.

On one thing we would all agree however… all swimming pools should cover up. From a modest back garden pool to an Olympic-proportioned swimming zone – not covering a pool, when it is not in use, is tantamount to pouring liquid gold down the main swimming pool drain. In today’s energy efficient times – an unforgiveable sin.

“Pool covers, indoors or out, are pretty much a necessity,” comments Certikin’s Neil Stephenson. “Other than a new pool build, the major trigger is the deterioration or slowing of performance of an existing cover.”

Neil says it is all too tempting for pool owners and operators to opt for a like for like option rather than looking for an upgrade.

“Offering choice and knowledge is the best-selling tool, choice of price, colour, strength and thickness creates a cover package which will suit personal and budget needs and being able to support that with knowledge of the benefits of each cover will give confidence.

“Like everything else, you get what you pay for – a high quality, high performing cover will outlast budget products and perform for a much longer period if used and cared for properly.

“At the other end of the scale, trying to string-out the life of a cover can be false economy – the cover will not perform and save money if it has started to break down and split, whether that be naturally due to age or due to lack of care – replacing the cover is more efficient in the long run than getting an extra couple of years out of a failing cover”.

Failing to cover a pool, when it is not in use, is akin to pouring liquid gold down the main swimming pool drain. Pic. Ocea.

Will Dando of Plastica agrees: “Pool covers have been advised time and time again to be the most cost-effective way of saving heat energy used to run a swimming pool.

Choosing the right cover is vital, so it is important to understand what the cover is needed for as well as the options that are available. Safety covers are available in a choice of styles and designs from a simple safety net, which is tensioned over the pool when not in use, to a fully automated system which will completely cover the pool in a matter of minutes, by simply pressing a remote control switch.

Solar covers are probably the most popular type of pool cover sold in the UK today specially in the residential market, they are sometimes referred to as bubble covers. They will retain most of the absorbed heat, increasing the pool temperature by up to 12 degrees C in the summer season.

Says Will: “It is important to identify if there will be any benefit from solar gain to make an informed decision.

“Pool owners may choose a solar, or bubble, cover and then keep the cover off the water all day when it is sunny and never fully benefit.” Gaining popularity and market share, particularly in luxury residential pools, are automatic covers; particularly the slatted variety that can blend so well with pool designs.

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