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Mesh vs. Solid Safety Pool Covers

Customers frequently call PcPools to seek advice on what type of safety pool cover to purchase: mesh or solid? We tell them "it depends" and wish them luck. Only kidding! We happily talk them through their particular needs and situation and help them make a decision that works best for them. Our customer service team will gladly do that with you, but this article should help give you a good idea about the pros and cons of each.
To start with, ask yourself this question: what is the purpose for which you are considering using a safety cover? If it’s only a safety measure and you intend to use a separate cover over the winter, a mesh pool cover may be better for your pool because they are lighter and easier to take on and off than solid covers. If your safety cover doubles as a winter cover, then ask yourself when you want to do the most maintenance on your pool: periodically throughout the winter or mostly in the spring?
If the former, we typically suggest a solid cover. If the latter, we typically suggest a mesh cover. Here’s why: the main difference between a mesh and solid safety pool cover is what they force the pool owner to do, and that affects when you have to do it. 
A mesh cover—even PcPools’ Arctic Armor® Super Mesh™ versions—allow precipitation and fine sediment to pass through them into the pool. A mesh cover will screen out leaves and other debris, but the reality is that sediment, water washed over dirty leaves, and some UV light gets into your pool. That combination frequently stimulates algae and bacteria growth.  Spring cleanup is bound to be a time consuming process. The advantage, however, is minimal maintenance throughout the winter. Because precipitation passes through the cover it is rarely weighed down by excessive weight.  This flow-through enables wet leaves and debris that collect on the cover to dry and blow away, concentrating your need to sweep off your cover to big snowstorms. Note, however, that excessive precipitation may periodically require use of a sump pump to drain excess water out of the pool. 
A solid safety cover, on the other hand, keeps your pool water clear by blocking out all precipitation and dirt. Blocking out everything allows you to open your pool in the spring with clear water. The appeal of that is obvious. The downside is the recurring maintenance throughout the winter. Snow, rain, and other debris must be swept or pumped off the solid safety cover. Excessive weight will cause it to sag, impairing its function and reducing its useful life, so owners must be vigilant throughout the season. Some solid models, such as the Arctic Armor® Ultra Light™ cover, have a small center drain that eases some of the maintenance burden. The solid cover will keep most of the precipitation and sediment out of the pool, but the small drain alleviates potentially harmful weight buildup, for example, in the event of a heavy rainstorm. The tradeoff is a slightly more labor intensive spring opening.
The bottom line is that there is no one right answer on which type of cover is better. The area in which you live—down to the number of trees in or near your yard—combined with your personal preferences dictate which pool cover style is best. If you have more questions or would like advice from one of our pool professionals, please call us toll free at 1.877.PCPOOLS (727.6657).