Backyard swimming pools are unfortunately often the scene of accidents involving children. The best way to prevent these accidents and to protect small children from drowning is to install a swimming pool safety cover that limits access to the pool. This just may be the single most important investment you make in your pool. Pool safety covers must comply with ASTM F 1346 specifications regarding weight load. Generally, the safety cover must be able to hold the weight of two adults and a child.
Swimming pool safety covers are available in two different types -- mesh and solid. Both types of covers stretch tautly over the entire pool and are anchored firmly over the sides. Mesh covers are made of porous material; they have screen-like panels designed to keep leaves, twigs and other debris out of the pool, as well as people. When pool season comes around, you will have less to clean. Mesh covers can be year-round, even in winter: Water and snow don't accumulate on the cover; they drain right into the pool. An added bonus is the increased water level in the pool, which saves on bringing the water level up when swimming season starts. They are lighter than solid covers, and easier to install and maintain.
Solid safety pool covers are impervious barriers made of durable material such as vinyl. No sunlight, dirt or debris can get in. Water stays on the surface, and puddles that form can become a safety hazard. Excess water must be pumped off the top of the cover, which becomes slippery when wet. Solid covers are heavier and more expensive than mesh covers.