Pool Cover Advice Tips

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How can you tell if a pool cover is safe?

Covers All The Specs

Once you have a little one that's running around everything has to have new safety standards. The outlets, the furniture, and even the dog need to go through a safety refresher course. A safety pool cover should also be checked thoroughly (since it will be preventing your kids from taking an unmonitored swim). When looking for a swimming pool cover, make sure:

• The cover has been approved by the ATSM (American Society for testing and material)
• The cover is made of mesh netting so water can pass through
• There are no huge gaps where a child can get through

What can winter do to your pool cover?

Keep Your Cover Covering

More pool cover advice: For certain areas of the country, winter can be one of the most frustrating season (you go to bed one night only to wake up to a blanket of white that you have to shovel through to leave the house, your car is so cold it won't start, not to mention all of the slipping and sliding on sidewalks). During these cold months, however, people often forget about something else that can be affected by the cold—their swimming pools.

Pools aren't usually in use during the winter so they can still feel the wrath of old man winter pretty hard. Here are some solutions to common winter pool problems:

• Problem: Winter winds can blow your pool cover all over
• Solution: Make sure your cover is anchored down with sandbags or water bags

• Problem: Wind, rain, and snow can gather on loose areas of a cover and weight it down
• Solution: Keep floating balls beneath the cover to keep the cover taut and prevent collection in sags

What features should spa or hot tub covers have?

Spotting The Right Spa Cover

There are all kinds of options for pool covers. Ones that keep people from falling in, ones that keep the heat in, and ones that keep the dirt out. When looking for a spa or hot tub cover you should be looking for one that has all 3 of these options.

Most of the time you don't need to worry since spas and hot tubs come with a cover. Though, if you do have children you should pay attention to its safety features.

*If the included cover's standards aren't up to code, you might want to pay a little extra to upgrade the spa cover.

Why can pool covers be a safety hazard?

Cover Conscience

Cover safety before using a cover! Most people assume that covers can do harm only in the winter (like when an animal gets stuck on the cover). However, covers can also be a hazard in the summer if they are not used right.

Some people will actually use a solar pool cover in the summer to help keep a pool warm when not in use. The problem can occur when it's time to remove the cover. If it's not completely removed from the pool, the cover could confuse swimmers swimming underwater trying to resurface.

*If you know you'll be using the cover all summer make sure it is complete uncovered before each use.

What is so great about an automatic pool cover?

Cover That Covers Itself

Pool cover advice: In the last number of decades marketing focus seems to have focused a lot on getting products to handle the menial tasks (an automatic garage door can open and close itself, lights can turn themselves off and on, robotic vacuum cleaners can go from room to room without anyone's help—even pool covers can roll and unroll themselves).

Today, you can buy an automated safety pool cover that actually rolls and unrolls itself. Though, be warned, a device like this does come at a price. You might wind up paying somewhere between $8 and $12 grand.

*This might not be a smart investment if you have little ones—remember that this thing can open the pool cover automatically (which can get dangerous if it gets into the wrong, little hands).

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Guru Spotlight
Lynne Christen