You’ve got to hand it to your automatic pool safety cover. It stands up to everything life throws at it — harsh weather, dirt and debris, curious critters — around the clock, every day of the year. In the process, it saves you money by preventing heat loss, chemical loss, and water evaporation. And, of course, it prevents entry by unsupervised children, which can otherwise have tragic consequences. It is an ever-vigilant guardian that never takes a day off.
That said, even products made from the strongest materials and with the best craftsmanship degrade over time. Your automatic pool cover is no different. Eventually, you will need to replace it.
How to Ensure Your Automatic Safety Cover Provides Maximum Protection
At the start and end of every pool season, and ideally mid-season as well, it’s important to take a closer look at your cover to ensure it is in good shape and operating as intended. Here are some signs that it may be time to replace it:
- It is noticeably worn or tearing. Temperature changes, ultraviolet light, and pool chemicals take their toll on all materials over time. If your automatic safety cover is starting to show peeling, cracking, or worn spots, it may no longer be protecting your pool to the degree that it should be.
- The stitching on the webbing is fraying. A cover is only as effective as the webbing that holds it together. If threads have begun to break and disintegrate in significant numbers, there is an increased risk of cover failure.
- The cover material is changing. Run your hand over the cover. A “healthy” cover
should be pliable. If the material has become stiff and brittle, you may need to repair it in specific areas or replace it entirely.
- The sewn webbing is bunching. Covers with sewn webbing may begin to bunch up around the rope. This can make the fabric more susceptible to catching on the fabric guides and tearing. Pay special attention to any areas where you see cover material gathering.
Get Advice from a Pool Care Professional
While replacing an automatic safety cover will definitely provide improved protection, it isn’t always necessary at the first signs of wear. If you have inspected your cover and there are areas of concern, you can always contact a pool care professional to get their opinion on whether a repair or replacement is the way to go. If you’re still on the fence, the peace of mind you’ll get from replacing the cover this season rather than waiting until later may very well be the deciding factor.
Decades of Insights on All Aspects of Pool Ownership
If you’ve got questions about any aspect of owning, maintaining, or upgrading a pool, don’t hesitate to contact a local independent Latham Independent Builder in your area. Latham has been in the pool business since 1956 and have decades of experience in helping owners get the most from their pools.
Originally posted 2/2017. Updated in 2021.