After all the frustrations of dealing with a tarp cover for the pool last winter, we decided it was time to try something different.  This summer, we researched and ordered a new mesh safety cover for the pool.  We’ve only had it for a few weeks, but so far, it’s a big improvement over what we were dealing with last year.  It also looks a lot cleaner … here are pictures of the old tarp cover and the new mesh cover:

The old tarp cover

The old tarp cover

The new mesh cover

One of the things we like a lot better about this cover is the fact that it’s a safety cover that’s anchored into the concrete all around the edges of the pool.  We like the piece of mind knowing that the cover would support the weight of anything that might otherwise accidentally fall into the pool.  The cover seems pretty sturdy, but we’ve already noticed a lot of muddy footprints on it, which makes us sort of nervous that the raccoons will attempt to do the same thing to it that they did to the water bags last fall.  So far, so good, though.

Each of the straps that connects the cover to the anchors in the concrete has a spring attached to it, so the cover will have a little give as the snow starts to pile on it this winter.  Right now, we’ve got the cover on pretty loosely, but the recommendation is to put it on so that the springs aren’t more than half-way compressed when there’s no weight on the cover.  This will allow enough give for the cover to stretch and rest on top of the water left in the pool when there’s snow on it.

Anchors for the new cover

It’s also a mesh cover, so the water will be allowed to drain through it into the pool over the course of the winter as the snow melts or when it rains in the spring.  We’re not sure yet if this will be a good thing or not.  We think it will make opening the pool much less work because we won’t have to pump water off the top of the cover (which was the most time consuming part of opening the pool with a tarp cover), but it does mean that we need to periodically keep an eye on the water level in the pool and use a submersible pump to lower it if the level gets too high over the winter.  The guys at the pool store thought we wouldn’t have to worry about it until the middle of March or so, but we’ll probably plan to check it more frequently than that, at least to start with.  We’re also not sure what letting all of that water into the pool will do to the pool water when we open it in the spring.  The pool was pretty much clear this spring when we opened it after having a tarp cover on all winter, but letting all of that water into the pool over the course of the winter seems to almost guarantee that it will be pretty murky come spring.  Everything we’ve read says the trick is to close late and open early so that the water temperature stays at or below 60 degrees during the time that the pool is closed to prevent the algae from growing.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.  For now, though, it’s sure nice to not have to deal with leaking water bags!

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