The time to purchase your safety cover is from late August to mid-September. Most safety covers are custom and take 4-6 weeks from the time the order is placed until the cover is installed. By late October, the leaves are falling and your pool has turned into a leaf magnet. If the leaves are not removed promptly, the tannins in the leaves can stain the pool surface regardless of whether it is Plaster/Concrete, Fiberglass or Vinyl. If you are in a wooded area, removing leaves can consume several hours per week for several weeks.
There are 3 types of Safety Covers: Mesh, Aqua-Xtreme Mesh, Solid covers. Mesh covers are the most common in North Carolina as it keeps the debris out, but allows the water to drain into the pool. Aqua-Xtreme Mesh, blocks the sunlight, but allows the water to drain into the pool. Solid covers block all the sunlight, but do NOT allow the water to drain into the pool. Solid covers require a pump to remove the water from the cover. If you are having a professional install and remove the cover, most professionals charge more to remove the solid cover, as it requires a service person to come drain the cover and remove the debris before the cover is pulled. Solid covers do not allow the pool to breath which has its advantages and disadvantages. Most pool surface (plaster/fiberglass/vinyl) manufacturers frown on using solid covers as it does not allow the water to outgas properly, which can cause damage to the pool surface and create what appears to be a bathtub ring in the pool at multiple levels.
Measuring for a custom cover for a freeform pool with or without features (such as: dive rocks, waterfalls, sheer descents, etc.) can be complicated and tedious. To improve the fit and accuracy of the safety cover, Pool Specialists uses a process of taking HD aerial pictures of the pool and processing them thru Image-Loc. This process ensures the best possible fit.
Pool Specialists recommends installing the safety cover just before the leaves start to fall, however we do NOT recommend winterizing the pool equipment until the water temperatures drop below 65 degrees. In the extended Raleigh-Durham-Cary area the water typically does not drop below 65 degrees until late November or December. During this time Pool Specialists recommends maintaining the chlorine and water chemistry running your filter pumps from 12:00 midnight to 6am. Make sure the automation system has freeze protection and that it is set not less than 37 degrees. Pool Specialists strongly recommends hiring a professional to winterize your pool and equipment. If you neglect to remove all the drain plugs and properly drain the equipment and pipes, freeze damage can easily cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.
To schedule your safety cover installation and pool equipment winterization