"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Safety covers
These covers are typically attached all winter, by hooked bungee cords or hooked springs connected to the pool deck, and are usually made in a variety of materials including coated or laminated vinyl or polypropylene mesh. They are custom designed to stop leaf debris from entering the pool but more importantly they also provide safety for animals and small children when designed and installed properly.

Vinyl pool covers
Vinyl covers consist of a heavier material and have a longer life expectancy than thermal bubble covers.

Thermal bubble covers
The pool season can be extended by several weeks by installing a thermal bubble cover in the late spring and early fall They can raise the temperature of a pool by around 20 °Fahrenheit, or 11 °Celsius. However, thermal covers have a short lifespan due to the effects of sun exposure and pool chemicals.



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Pool Covers
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Swimming pool heating costs can be significantly reduced by using a pool cover. Use of a pool cover also can help reduce the amount of chemicals (chlorine, etc) required by the pool. Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing 75%–85% of the solar energy striking the pool surface. Though a cover decreases the total amount of solar heat absorbed by the pool, the cover eliminates heat loss due to evaporation and reduces heat loss at night through its insulating properties.

The heating effectiveness of a cover depends on type. A transparent bubble cover is the most effective, as it allows the largest amount of solar flux into the pool itself. A darker cover absorbs more sunlight directly, allowing temperature to rise faster, but ultimately prevents the pool from reaching as high a temperature as a clear cover.
A pool cover can be either manually, semi-automatically, or automatically operated. Manual covers can be folded and stored in a convenient location. Pool cover reels can also be used to help manually roll up the pool cover. The reel, usually on wheels, can be rolled out of the way.
Semi-automatic systems use electrical power to roll and unroll the cover, but usually require someone to pull on the cover when unrolling, or guide the cover onto the reel when rolling up the cover.
Automatic covers have permanently mounted reels that automatically cover and uncover the pool at the push of a button. They are the most expensive option, but are also the most convenient.
Some pool covers fit into tracks along the sides of the pool. This prevents anything or anybody from getting into the pool. They even support the weight of several people.




Thermal bubble cover on a reel,
rolled to the side of the pool.


Winter cover

Thermal bubble covers. Thermal bubble covers are lightweight UV stabilized floating covers designed to minimize heat loss on heated swimming pools. Typically they are only fitted in spring and fall (autumn) when the temperature difference between pool water and air temperature is greatest. They raise temperature of a pool by around 20 °Fahrenheit, or 11 °Celsius, after being on the pool for a week. Most swimming pool heat loss is through evaporation. Bubble covers are typically applied and removed by being rolled up on a device fitted to one side of the pool. Covers fall apart after 4 or 5 years due to sun exposure, overheating in the sun while off the pool, and chlorine attacking the plastic. Bubble covers should be removed during super chlorination.


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