Balancing, winterizing and covering your pool during the winter months is recommended. Equipment and plumbing can freeze and break if not properly winterized. A small submersible pump is very useful to have as your pool or cover will need to be pumped out occasionally during the winter.
All covers that overlap on the pool decking may cause deck color variation because of covering part of the deck for a few months every year and causing that part of the deck to weather differently from the rest of the deck.
Safety mesh covers Great for safety and convenience. They last longer than other covers and are easy to clean. They are great when there are a lot of trees near the pool. They do, though, allow rain and fine debris through so expect your pool to be dirty upon spring opening. Must occasionally pump water out of the pool. They come in various colors but black or green last longer as these colors are more resistant to UV radiation. Drilling the anchors into the concrete deck could cause chipping. Also under windy conditions and especially if the cover is not tight, flapping of the cover may scar coping and deck.
Solid strapped covers Although most don’t qualify as safety covers because they accumulate water, they are much safer than water-bag covers. They don’t allow water through so they keep the pool clean. However they are more difficult to clean (especially with leaves), heavier and more difficult to handle and don’t last as long as the mesh covers. They must be pumped out often. Black or green are the longest lasting colors. Installation is similar to mesh covers so chipping of the deck may occur. It may also scar coping or deck.
Water-bag covers Water-bag covers are basically tarps of various thickness and quality that are laid over the pool and held in place by tubes filled with water. They are unsafe, don’t look great and are difficult to clean, but they are inexpensive and keep your pool clean.
Automatic covers Automatic covers are very convenient, reduce maintenance, reduce heat loss (great for indoor heated pools) and they are great for safety because whenever the pool is not in use, it can be covered. They do, though, have to be kept pumped out and free of debris and leaves. (Reduced maintenance for the pool, added maintenance for the cover). They are very expensive and require servicing very often. These covers are also available without the automatic function, requiring manual opening and closing.